Sunday, August 3, 2008

Obama STILL playing the Race Card!

At a press conference on Saturday, Barack Obama seemed to back away from his previous contention that the McCain campaign was playing the race card, saying instead that the McCain campaign was being "cynical, not racist".

This prompted McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds to respond: "We're glad the Obama campaign retracted Barack Obama's accusation because it was absolutely false, and we're moving on."

However - as Lynn Sweet points out - upon closer examination of what Obama had said, it is quite clear that the Democratic nominee was still accusing Senator McCain of playing the race card even while insisting he was doing no such thing.

At Saturday's press conference, a reporter asked Barack Obama the following question:
Senator, you said you are not injecting race into the campaign race. Your surrogates have said that your comments about not looking like other presidents on the dollar bill is not about your race. But you did say that, back at a fund-raiser in Jacksonville, that they are going to try to make you afraid of me, that he is young and inexperienced, he's got a funny name and did I mention that he is black. How do you reconcile that?
To which Obama replied:
Here is what I was saying. I think this should be undisputed, that I don't come out of central casting when it comes to presidential races, for a whole range of reasons. I'm young.... My name is Barack Obama. I am African-American.... I spent time in Indonesia. I do not have the typical biography of a presidential candidate...And, so, what I think has been an approach to the McCain campaign is to say that he is risky. To try to divert focus from the fact that they don't have any new ideas... All those elements... feed into this notion that he may be a, quote, unquote, risky choice... Let me be clear. In no way do I think that John McCain's campaign was being racist. I think they are cynical."
So in essence, Senator Obama was accusing Senator McCain of using race - whether directly or indirectly - as a scare tactic.

However, Senator MCain has never alluded to Obama's race in any of his statements or any of his campaign ads.

A voice-over in McCain's latest campaign ad, pokes fun at Obama's celebrity status - "He's the biggest celebrity in the world, but is he ready to lead?" says a voice-over in the ad. - But there isn't the slightest implication in the ad that Obama's name or his race would make him a risky candidate.

Thus, I think Tucker Bounds erred in saying that Obama had retracted his accusation and in saying the McCain campaign was going to move on.

Obama is still playing the race card even while insisting he's not, and until he stops accusing the McCain campaign of racism, they should call him out on that.

In truth, other than injecting race into the campaign and reversing his position on off shore drilling [on the heels of the latest polls showing that the majority of Americans support off shore drilling], - it is Senator Obama, and not his opponent, who clearly "has no new ideas".

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