Last night, Barack Obama scored a sizeable victory in what his opponent had suggested could be a “game-changing” contest, one that would place the eyes of the “world” on North Carolina. Obama won by around 233,000 votes—or around 3,000 votes fewer than Hillary Clinton’s combined popular vote-margin in
In short, Obama is basically in the same position today as he was on March 12—before the first of Rev. Wright’s two emergences—but with only a handful of states left to vote. He is, as Tim Russert pointed out last night, the presumptive nominee.
While North Carolina Democrats embraced change in their presidential primary, Durham County Democrats resolutely and defiantly clung to the status quo. The last time Durham Democrats had a primary for district attorney, they marched to the polls to nominate a man who had indicted a demonstrably innocent person (the videotape of Reade Seligmann at the ATM machine was shown on newscasts the night before the primary); then, in the fall, Durham County voters elected a man who—thanks to the 60 Minutes broadcast—had become a national symbol for prosecutorial misconduct.
You’d think with such a record, the city’s leadership and voters would have insisted upon an ethically pristine chief prosecutor this time around. But, of course,
Cline still has never explained how she developed a reasonable suspicion—as required by state law to have recommended a non-testimonial order—that (to take the most extreme example) Brad Ross, who was 20 miles away the night of the lacrosse party, could have committed a crime. Yet she recommended an NTO against Ross, and 45 Duke students, anyway. During the campaign, Cline gave a version of events about her involvement in the case that was contradicted by contemporary documentary evidence. Yet none of her institutional supporters reconsidered their endorsements. And, as the office’s point person on sex crimes prosecutions, Cline has never publicly explained what precisely (if anything) she thought Mike Nifong did wrong in handling the lacrosse case.
Yet she’ll be
Then there’s the
I’ve seen a bit of Mangum’s writing (her police statement); I’d say she reads and writes at a ninth or tenth grade level. And everyone learned quite a bit about her schedule and lifestyle during at least part of the time she supposedly was taking classes at NCCU. She appeared to have both a drug and/or alcohol problem and a problem with emotional stability; and she appeared to organize her existence around not anything academic but instead her exotic dancing/prostitution schedule. NCCU doesn’t have the greatest academic reputation, but it’s embarrassing to see the university confer a degree on Mangum.
Imagine, moreover, if a student with the behavior described above (and, on top of that, had filed a police report the state AG had termed baseless) attended not NCCU but Duke. It’s hard to imagine that Larry Moneta and Dean Bryan would not (appropriately) have ensured that such a student would face disciplinary charges. If the student were white and male, doubtless most of the Group of 88 would have publicly demanded such a move. Yet Mangum never appears to have faced any disciplinary charges at NCCU, which speaks volumes about (to borrow a phrase frequently invoked by the Group) the institution’s campus culture.