Earlier this week, Geraldine Ferraro was trying to make a point about the motivating power of white guilt by stating that Barack Obama would not be in the position he is today were it not for the fact that he happens to be black. She was subsequently railed against by both the mainstream media and the blogosphere, with numerous calls for her resignation from her informal position on Hillary Clinton's campaign. After trying to defend herself instead of apologizing to the Gods of Umbrage like so many Democrats before her, she was cornered into a resignation.
White guilt certainly exists, and it is definitely a benefit to Barack Obama's popularity especially among liberals, but it is by no means the singular reason Obama is held in such a favorable position by the Democrats. That would be equivalent of saying that the EEOC is the number one reason that black people can have good jobs. I believe that an individual's own competence and ambition plays a much larger role in his or her own life than any external factor. You could say that Barack Obama couldn't be where he is now if he were white, but he also wouldn't be where he is now if he didn't have a presidentially-accepted resume like a Harvard degree, experience in local, state and federal governments, and an ability to give a fantastic speech. Much more important to his ability to become President are the fact that he is over 35 and born in the U.S. And besides, any advantage he has from certain voters who vote for him because he is black is probably outweighed by the disadvantage from certain other voters who vote against him because he is black. We'll see that more in the general election.