I don't really see Obama as an affirmitive action candidate as he is able to come up with different ideas on the fly, him or his team, and yet i see hillary as trying to take the affirmitive action route into office, perhaps because she is older. She wanted to be president so badly that she took a lot of authority on (unelected) in the 1990's and now is trying to claim it on her resume even though her duties slowed down considerably after she failed to reform health care in america.
As for my predictions on independent voters, just sum up the most orthodox conservative and liberal points of view and put them in one label and you basically get a group of unpredictable activists. And I'm all for unpredictablity. Also, many independents, irregardless of their idealogy, rather like the idea of politicians who are willing to offend people. That's why it is both Obama (with his speach criticizing both blacks and whites) and McCain (who has offended many republican activists), are coming out ahead. Content once appologized for can be forgiven, but less so outright lying.
And too many politicians are too chickenshit to say any of the stuff that really needs to be said, as well as too akward to say it without massively offending people and creating a wellspring of political opposition.