Bill Clinton spoke this morning at the Peterson Fiscal Summit, and was both very impressive and not particularly different in substance from anything you’d hear from the White House. It naturally brought to mind the question of how different the reaction to Obama administration policies would be if the man offering them was a southern white guy rather than a black guy with a funny name.
Alan Abramowitz’s paper “The Race Factor: White Racial Attitudes and Opinions of Obama” doesn’t really answer the question but is suggestive:
The results in Table 2 show that racial resentment was strongly related to ratings of Obama and that this relationship persists even after controlling for party identification and ideology. Regardless of party identification or ideology, whites who scored high on the racial resentment scale had substantially more negative opinions of Obama than those who scored low on the racial resentment scale.
You see something similar in terms of beliefs about where Obama was born. Now I tend to assume that the correlation was weaker when Bill Clinton was president, and that the correlation between racial resentment and views of Nancy Pelosi is weaker, but I would be interested to see those kind of specific comparisons.