"THE HUXTABLE EFFECT"
Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez thinks that 'The Cosby Show', with its depiction of the positive values of a black family in the 1980s, may have paved the way for acceptance of Barack Obama's candidacy to be the President. As she put it, "The impact of Cosby's weekly presence in America's family rooms, as the fair-minded, fun, quirky Dr. Huxtable, cannot be underestimated in its affect upon the consciousness of Americans who were children and young adults at the time."
(Others have pointed to Dennis Haysbert's portrayal of the President in '24' as another factor that got people ready to accept a black man as the POTUS.)
"THE URKEL EFFECT"
And then there's Joel Stein of Time magazine who has a bleaker outlook as to TV's preparation of the American voter for a black Commander-In-Chief: "I am deeply worried about 'The Urkel Effect', which holds that voters leaning toward Obama will walk into the voting booth and suddenly think, I cannot take four years of listening to that giant-eared nerd. Because people are starting to realize that Obama is not all that cool."
"THE SANFORD EFFECT"
When it comes to black TV characters having any kind of effect on the presidential race, I'm more worried about it happening to John McCain instead, ironically enough. I'm scared that "The Sad Grandpa" (as he dubbed himself on this past week's 'Saturday Night Live') is going to pull a Fred G. Sanford. He'll suddenly clutch his chest, scream out "Here I come, Elizabeth! (Whoever she may be to him?) This is it! The big one!"
And then for the remainder of his term in office, we're stuck with the Alaskan LaWanda Page as President.......
(Thanks to TVTattle.com for pointing out those two articles.)