Detroit Mess May Hurt Obama

In battleground Michigan, GOP seizing on Dem's support of ousted Detroit mayor
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2008 3:53 PM CDT
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., right, laughs with Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, left, at the Detroit NAACP's 53rd annual Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner in Detroit, Sunday, April 27, 2008.    (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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(Newser) – 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.