First of all, this may come as a surprise, but Obama was reelected. Not that his defeat in 2012 would have vindicated his thesis here, but in the circumstance, he seems forced to take the ridiculous position that the nation’s racism was on at least a five-year delay. At some point in 2013, everyone presumably woke up and cried out at once, “Wait, what? The president’s been black all this time?”
This isn’t the only problem with Obama’s attempt to racialize the failures of his party and his legacy. For example, one can hardly blame voters’ racism for President Trump’s win when so many of the same voters who had backed Obama twice — particularly in Democratic areas of the Midwest — turned right around and voted for Trump in shocking, game-changing numbers. Were they shocked at their own votes to elect and reelect Obama? Or is Obama just wrong here?
Another convincing rebuttal of Obama’s argument is his election history. The public actually liked Obama — the black guy — more than other Democrats, which explains why he persistently outperformed his party. And unfortunately for the thousands of (mostly white) Democrats in state and federal politics who lost elections between 2010 and 2016, the black president’s popularity never transferred to them or to the party agenda they shared.