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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

February 1, 2010

MORNING LINE

If you were to rank the black Ivies - black pols who got ahead by passing white exams rather than crossing white police lines - Newark mayor Cory Booker would easily head the pack with an 80% approval rating in a survey last fall.

And Washington mayor Adrian Fenty would be near the bottom of the heap as the Washington Post reports:

"While Fenty (D) has lost significant support among whites, African Americans have done a complete reversal on the mayor since a Post survey two years ago. Blacks have switched from 68 percent approval after his first year in office to 65 percent disapproval in the poll conducted last week. Overall, 42 percent of residents approve of the job he is doing; 49 percent disapprove. More than four in 10 in the new poll doubt his honesty, empathy and openness. "

Barack Obama has a similar approval rating - 47% from Rasmussen - but has held on to his black support. He has, however, lost a lot of collective ground in his first year.

And Duval Patrick is in trouble as governor of Massachusetts, with only a 39% approval rating.

One of the things that comes through from these surveys is how ethnicity can shift in importance after an election. Fenty won every precinct in Washington when he ran, but now even blacks don't like him.

The exception in this tale - Booker - can probably credit his style as much as substance. While quite conservative in a number of ways, he comes across as a can-do mayor in a style and works on the ancient principle that there's no Democratic or Republican way to fix a sewer. The important thing is to get it done.

It looks like the other three expected far more of a free ride than they got.


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