It would be easy to look at yesterday's defeat for Artur Davis as simply a case of Joe Reed's ADC (Alabama Democratic Conference) having its way, but it would be as wrong to assume that, as it was to assume that black voters would automatically vote FOR Davis because he is black.
The fact is, that after punching the ADC in the mouth, which I'm glad he did, Davis didn't seem to have a real plan for connecting with black voters, which was still possible, despite the rift with the ADC. Believe it or not, there's no overwhelming love for Mr. Reed or the ADC in the black community, of which I'm aware.
The fact is, Davis never really did connect with many voters, black or white, on an emotional level, something Emory professor Drew Westen implores Democrats to emphasize as much as their intellectual firepower or logical "ten-point plans".
Just last week, a family member saw Davis speak at the Jeff Davis High School graduation and she told me that he just never reached the predominantly black audience at the ceremony. He only spoke about ten minutes, but she told me the audience was more captivated by one of the student speakers. Even though he actually went to the high school he was speaking at, the crowd, she said, never seemed to feel like he was one of them.
Whether it's true or not, I always had a gut feeling that there was a sense on the part of the Davis camp that he would get the black vote automatically. I'm also glad that mythology was put to rest yesterday, though I'm not celebrating in any way Davis' loss.
In fact, despite my own serious issues with Davis' votes on the "bankruptcy bill", net neutrality and the healthcare bill, I voted for him, not because of his race, but simply because I thought he had the better of two less-than-stimulating Democratic campaigns.
Yeah, the ADC snub didn't help, but in my opinion it wasn't a fatal blow that a candidate with more personal appeal could not have overcome. Perhaps, one day, a different candidate will kick open the door that Davis knocked on with his candidacy.