The fall of Kwame Kilpatrick could hurt Barack Obama’s chances in all-important Michigan, writes Keith Naughton for Newsweek. Long before the scandal broke, Obama embraced Kilpatrick at a Detroit event and told a crowd the “great” mayor would do “astounding things for many years to come”—a comment perhaps a little too prescient. Obama has since distanced himself, but those images are already appearing in GOP ads around the state.
Kilpatrick’s absence means he can’t work get-out-the-vote efforts for Obama. Furthermore, while white suburban Detroit voters will welcome the Democrat’s shunning of Kilpatrick, too much criticism could alienate a core of black supporters who feel Kilpatrick is partially a victim of racist forces looking to disenfranchise them, too.