Obama May Signal The End of Black Politics

Younger politicians are leaving elders and history behind
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2008 7:30 AM CDT
Mass. governor Deval Patrick.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Barack Obama may be the most successful black candidate in American political history, but his prominence and possible presidency could be the death knell for black politics as we know it, Matt Bai writes in the New York Times Magazine. While he's not quite the “post-racial” candidate some have touted, Obama and other up-and-coming black pols are disconnected from—and in some cases have little need for—Washington’s traditional black power structure.

One Obama staffer was emphatic about the new politics. “We don’t carry around that history. We see the world through post-civil-rights eyes.” While some older black politicians who came up in the civil rights movement are skeptical of their progeny, they’re also threatened. Obama’s meteoric rise has spawned numerous challenges to incumbents, and those who supported Hillary Clinton are particularly vulnerable.