MSNBC Worries Hillary Crowd Too White, Too Small and None Too Enthusiastic

Love the smell of flop sweat in the morning? That might have been the aroma wafting off Roosevelt Island today as Hillary "kicked off" her campaign [whatever happened to "you only get one chance to make a first impression?" Guess Hillary doesn't use Head & Shoulders.]

On MSNBC's Weekends with Alex Witt today, two reporters painted a picture of a crowd that was smaller than hoped for, not overly enthusiastic, and problematically pale.

First up was Alex Seitz-Wald, who let slip that stands behind the stage didn't get filled, and that the crowd was largely enthusiastic but "not overwhelmed."  A bit later Joy Reid and host Richard Liu fretted over the problematic predominance of pale faces, with Reid observing "on the diversity side, they were on the low end."  

ALEX SEITZ-WALD: It was a pretty enthusiastic crowd--there was however an overflow area behind the stage that didn't really get filled. Campaign officials say that was just a precautionary measure [Ed.: in the unlikely event a lot of people actually wanted to hear Hillary] in case they needed more room. I'd say a largely enthusiastic crowd but they were not overwhelmed.

RICHARD LIU: She was saying how she was going after the everyday American. But those who are maybe watching the background and who was there in the crowd, they didn't seem to reflect necessarily the everyday American per se, in terms of looking at diversity and those who were there but, of course, that's just what we saw on the camera. What did you see there on the ground?

. . . 

JOY REID: Yes, it was a predominantly white crowd. Interestingly enough, it was a pretty young crowd given a campaign-type of event but distribution of age was a lot more what the campaign wants to see and I did speak with a lot of young voters who were excited particularly about issues like gay rights and women's rights. But yes, in terms of ethnic diversity, the campaign, when I spoke with them, they said they were very happy with the level of diversity.  There were African-Americans here, there were Asian-Americans here, there were Latinos here. There were Latinos, deliberately so, on the stage along with African-Americans.

But if you look at the Democratic party as a whole, was this crowd as diverse as the party? No it was not. But that's something that the campaign is going to have to deal with. It's also about who's really paying attention at this particular moment and who's in New York, quite frankly [Ed.: good point--there are only several million blacks and Latinos in NYC]. So there are a lot of factors going into it, but I would say on the diversity side they were on the low end here.

LIU: Right. So well said there, Joy, about this being one event, on Roosevelt Island, and there are many more events to be had as the election moves on [Ed.: keep hope alive!]


Joy Reid Alex Seitz-Wald Hillary Clinton