Larry Elder

Elizabeth Edwards, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' wife, wants affirmative action -- for white males. Okay, she didn't put it exactly that way. Here's what happened.

In explaining why her husband relies so heavily on the Internet -- as opposed to traditional media -- to get his message out, Mrs. Edwards said, "In some ways, it's the way we have to go. We can't make John black, we can't make him a woman. Those things get you a lot of press, worth a certain amount of fundraising dollars. Now it's nice to get on the news, but not the be-all and end-all."

So the strong campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., reflects nothing more than her gender. And the competitive campaign of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., rests primarily on his race. Hey, any black guy could pull this off -- whether Barack Obama, rapper Snoop Dogg or television personality Mr. T. What's the diff?

If, according to Edwards, gender plays such an important role, what happened to the 2000 presidential candidacy of now Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C.? Or what about black former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, D-Ill., whose 2004 presidential campaign went nowhere? And Braun represented a "two-fer," both black and a woman.

Rev. Al Sharpton, who ran for president in 2004, complained that because of his race, the media ignored him. "I think when you look at the lack of diversity in the newsrooms," said Sharpton, "when you look at the lack of diversity from the editors and those in power, then you see them as automatically dismissive of anything that is not like them, which is white males. I think we've seen some very blatant racial insensitivity in the coverage of this race so far." Tell that to Mrs. Edwards.

What about Democratic New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, with his Hispanic heritage? He served as former President Bill Clinton's secretary of energy and as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Richardson also helped turn around the economy of New Mexico with tax cuts. In that state, he enjoys a popularity rating of 65 percent. Yet as a Democratic presidential candidate, he finds himself mired in single digits in the polls. What happened to his benefit?


Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.