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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

NYT offers another look at race in mayor's race

Picture 5

Apparently, great publications think alike.

In an interesting coincidence, both CL and the NYT ran articles today about how the issue of race is affecting the Atlanta mayor's race — and we both ended up quoting the same Emory poli sci prof!

Not so coincidental is the fact that we both used that professor's take on Mary Norwood's campaign strategy. Here's the segment from the Times story:

Ms. Norwood has set the tone by relentlessly attacking the Franklin administration’s record on crime and city finances, forcing the other candidates to distance themselves from the mayor.

“When you attack City Hall, you’re also implicitly attacking, to a degree, black politics,” said Michael Leo Owens, a political science professor at Emory University. “And this is a message that in some ways plays well with the white electorate.”

For weeks now, I'd been trying to figure out why Norwood seems to be running against City Hall rather than her opponents. Owens' analysis, though arguably cynical, makes a great deal of sense.

Here's the link to my story. I regret I didn't have space to use Owens' observations about Norwood's "98 Buick" commercial. With voiceover narration by an older African American lady, it's clearly aimed at the elderly black vote in a way that neither Lisa Borders nor Kasim Reed could get away with, he says.

Also, check out the five-minute-long video of Norwood hanging out at the Beautiful Restaurant on Cascade Road. It's like something you'd see on the parody site, "Black People Love Us."

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