Barack admits he was talking about race

03Aug08

Barack now admits the obvious, as his campaign manager did before him, that he was referring to race when he said:

So what they’re going to try to do is make you scared of me. You know, `he’s not patriotic enough, he’s got a funny name,’ you know, `he doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.’

The powerful part of the statement has been ignored. It’s the “what they’re going to try to do is make you scared of me,” part that makes this explosive when combined with the issue of race.

“I am black!” he is shouting out – “You better watch out, because the racist Republicans are coming to get me!”

“I’m young. I’m new to the national scene,” Obama said. “My name is Barack Obama. I am African-American. I was born in Hawaii. I spent time in Indonesia. I do not have the typical biography of a presidential candidate. What that means is that I’m sort of unfamiliar and people are still trying to get a fix on who I am.”

This is Barack being cute on race – he wants to use it to his advantage by notifying voters of the danger, but he also wants to be the ‘post-racial’ candidate. If Barack is going to use race as a shield in this election, isn’t it time to let go of the claims that he is transcendent?

Meanwhile, the mere inclusion of a blond female in a McCain ad on Barack is designed to stoke the latent racial angst in Americans, we’re told, maliciously injecting race into the campaign.

Democrats accused McCain of cynically turning things on their head; by crying foul, they claimed, McCain managed to put race front and center just as he was stepping up his personal attacks on Obama.

Is Barack just trying to keep the minority vote stoked, or does this also work to create a 60’s style paradigm in the election that keeps his suburban liberal affluent voters motivated?

Obama benefited in the Democratic presidential primary from anger stirred by suggestions that his rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, and her surrogates were using race to appeal to white voters. Although Obama never explicitly made that case — and usually works to downplay his ethnicity — he is thought to be counting on strong black support in November to win battleground states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania, and to put Republican-leaning states such as North Carolina and perhaps even Georgia into play.

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