MSNBC's Deutsch: Mass. Voters Opted for 'Visceral Comfort' of a White Guy

January 20th, 2010 2:40 PM
There are times when speaking in a stream of consciousness is a good and wholesome thing.  None occur in front of a camera, as evidenced by the public escapades of MSNBC’s Donny Deutsch.

The former ad-man took to today’s “Morning Joe” set yesterday morning to offer the following wisdom in reference to the impending Massachusetts electorate:
He is a traditional-looking middle-aged white male.  We’re going back to basics, we’ve obviously had our first African American president we’ve had the female candidates and what-not – you look at him, he looks like the candidate, the traditional view of the candidate, and is there a visceral comfort in that for people? I’m just curious from real kind of sociological point of view.
Obvious questions abound, of course.

First of all, this view of the Massachusetts electorate stipulates that a woman would have a harder time winning the Massachusetts Senate election than a man.  This is absurd, because Vicki Kennedy would most likely have blown out Scott Brown (or really, any other candidate), simply by reason of her family affiliation.  Her femininity would not have been the slightest hindrance.  

This also assumes that Coakley would not have won, had she actually campaigned – which is even more absurd, because she had a thirty point lead over Brown shortly after the primary.

Secondly, this was said in the context of voter anger over myriad issues – mostly local issues, interestingly enough.  Deutsch’s view discounts all of these issues out of hand, and focuses on whether a woman or a black man can win in Massachusetts.  Deval Patrick would be somewhat surprised.

Third, and most importantly, is the Massachusetts vote for President Obama in 2008.  He was the candidate of Hope, the Son of Camelot (whatever that is), the incarnation of visceral comfort.  And he won Massachusetts by a gigantic margin.  And let us not forget, this is after losing the Massachusetts primary to a woman – Hillary Clinton, by a 16-percentage point margin (despite Ted Kennedy’s endorsement).

Donny Deutsch may be an advertising guru, but he’s greatly overselling the effect of visuals – and insulting the intellect of the Massachusetts electorate.