"What Barack Obama's remarks last night in San Francisco reveal," Mayhill Fowler asserts on the Huffington Post, "is his self-confidence--to the point of cockiness--right now."
I have close friends who attended the Obama donor event in Pacific Heights where Fowler claims she became so upset about his remarks. My friends, an interracial couple who are professors at two public universities in California, assured me that they did not hear any of the "cocky" tone that Fowler claims made her so "uncomfortable." The event was held for like-minded people who want to see Obama succeed. From her writings and her whirlwind media tour slamming Obama, Mayhill Fowler clearly does not share this sentiment. That's fair, but she shouldn't pretend to be an "Obama supporter."
Her charges of "cockiness" on the part of Senator Obama have had their desired effect. She has garnered publicity and has been given a free ride on this non-issue. She appeared on the Lou Dobbs show, and CNN and other news outlets are flogging her false and vituperative sentiments about Obama. Predictably, the Republican Party and the John McCain campaign seized upon Fowler's distortions and used them as talking points. And of course Hillary Clinton, needing some good news after Mark Penn ignominiously resigned when his ties to Columbian lobbying money were revealed, is milking Fowler's smears for all they're worth, (which isn't much).
Mayhill Fowler apparently took away a totally different feeling from the event than anyone else in the room and her spin on Obama's statements to what he thought was a sympathetic audience (save Ms. Fowler) is a sorry distortion. Fowler posed as a "citizen reporter," but she didn't seek responses from others who attended the event, nor did she check her own subjective and uniformly negative biases at the door.
"Even the Obama Campaign, I suppose, can never have too much money," Fowler sniffs. This is a curious dig coming from someone who claims to be sensitive and made to feel "uncomfortable" by the mere suggestion that some people in America after eight years of miserable misrule might be a tad "bitter."
Fowler writes: "The fact that so many middle class Californians are giving $2300 to Obama shows both the depth of prosperity in the state and the allure of the scent of victory." I guess Fowler believes the California economy has been just humming along during the Bush years? Maybe Fowler should do some of her "citizen reporting" and inform the governor and the state legislature, which are currently dealing with a $14 billion budget deficit and contemplating cutting $5 billion from education, about "the depth of prosperity" of the state. Fowler is the one who is out of touch with the plight of average working people, not Obama as she claims.
She even goes over Obama's use of the English language with the eye of a schoolmarm: "Note Obama's delicate sentence constructions. Never a gender pronoun--a he or a she--anywhere." I suppose she considers this kind of thing "political analysis."
According to her bio on the Huffington Post, Mayhill Fowler is a middle-aged Southern belle "born and bred in Tennessee" who moved to Houston, and later became a California resident.
But Mayhill Fowler does succeed in bringing up a powerful point relating to race relations in America: How must the first African American presidential candidate to make it this far behave? How much "confidence" in his own abilities can he show before people like Fowler label him "cocky?" And what are Fowler' credentials to make this kind of judgment? Do her white Southern roots allow her to really see a black candidate? Or is Obama to her Ralph Ellison's "invisible man?"
Follow Joseph A. Palermo on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JosephPalermo1