by Max Brantley
A reader mentioned this earlier, but here's the rundown on the latest Rasmussen poll which puts McCain's lead over Obama in Arkansas at 48-39.
They credit the narrowing to Clinton supporters accepting the Obama candidacy. Who knows? The poll also says 60 percent of Arkie Democrats and 42 percent of all Arkies want Clinton on the ticket.
Other findings: 31 percent of Arkies give Bush a favorable rating. I'd like to see the numbers outside the Third District. 65 percent like the job Gov. Mike Beebe is doing.
This Obama speech today may have been aimed directly at black fathers but I think it is also meant to send a message to the missing piece of his electoral puzzle in Arkansas and elsewhere in the South.
CHICAGO — Addressing a packed congregation at one of the city’s largest black churches, Senator Barack Obama on Sunday invoked his own absent father to deliver a sharp message to African-American men, saying, “We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception.”
“Too many fathers are M.I.A, too many fathers are AWOL, missing from too many lives and too many homes,” Mr. Obama said, to a chorus of approving murmurs from the audience. “They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.”
... Mr. Obama noted that “more than half of all black children live in single-parent households,” a number that he said had doubled since his own childhood.
Accompanied by his wife, Michelle, and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, who sat in the front pew, Mr. Obama laid out his case in stark terms that would be difficult for a white candidate to make, telling the mostly black audience not to “just sit in the house watching SportsCenter,” and to stop praising themselves for mediocre accomplishments.