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Obama: Enough With "Black Enough"

LAS VEGAS--Speaking before the National Association of Black Journalists convention in Las Vegas, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) directly addressed the charge that he is "not black enough."

He joked about the issue at first, poking fun at a stereotype of blacks. "I apologize for being a little bit late," he said, "but you guys keep asking if I'm black enough, so I figured I would stroll in."

But he turned serious about such questions. "We should ask ourselves why that is," he said. "It is not because of my physical appearance presumably. It's not because of my track record... I think in part we're still locked in this notion if you appeal to white folks, there must be something wrong."

Obama also touched on foreign policy and criticized Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) by name, arguing that Clinton had signaled her agreement with a statement he made about attacking al-Qaeda in Pakistan before changing her position on the issue.

On her criticism of his recent statement that would meet with foreign leaders like Cuba's Fidel Castro, Obama said he would meet with Castro but demand that he release political prisoners and ask Iranian leaders in meetings if they would cease development of nuclear weapons. He dismissed Clinton's view that these meetings could be used for propaganda purposes.

"I'm not afraid to lose a propaganda battle with a bunch of dictators," Obama said. He added, "being experienced is not enough, the question is what lessons do you learn from your experience," Obama told more than a thousand journalists at the Bally's hotel. "Everyone here knows a lot of 50 and 60 year-olds who have a lot of experience, but not much judgment...The people who have been criticizing me over the past two weeks are the people who engineered what is the biggest foreign policy fiasco in a generation."

Phil Singer, a Clinton spokesman, said "Senator Clinton will ensure that [Osama] bin Laden is killed or captured but knows there is a difference between saying that and telegraphing how we would do so in way that makes it harder to achieve that goal."

Obama was asked by the journalists if he, as the Democratic nominee, would pick Clinton as his running mate. Obama said she was "very capable" and that she would be on anyone's short list.
--Perry Bacon Jr.

By Washington Post editors  |  August 10, 2007; 8:22 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Barack Obama  
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Comments

racial equality won't ever exist until the ignorant people from the press, etc... stop recognizing the differences between races. how can we have an african american president if people are already getting their panties in a bunch about his ethnicity. he's not even going to get elected. it's pretty obvious that most people from the south are still too uneducated to think a black man could handle the job of being president. Truth is, Obama is plenty educated; however, he will not win the election due to the media's take on him. We just see him as...well, it's true isn't it?..the first black man to ever run for president. Why are we wasting so much time talking about someone who is not going to win because of what we are talking about. think about that one, america. peace! p.s. Bush blows goats for quarters.

Posted by: ericsaline | August 18, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

How about "Mature Enough" or "Intelligent Enough"? He wants to attack our allies?! Musharraf may not be the best ally we have. However, he has certainly stuck out his neck to help us and he is the only thing standing between Islamo-Nazis and a sizable nuclear arsenal. Obama is truly frightening.

Posted by: mikehunty | August 12, 2007 11:47 PM | Report abuse

any niggah be supportin dis uncle tom should be ganked otay buh-weet! he aint be down wit da hood popped outta some skank ass crackah an dat boils muh ass no wut i sayin bits! w-rd!

Posted by: panther_x | August 12, 2007 6:54 AM | Report abuse

//He continues to be a hypocrite about his legislative record, political contributions and life experience// rdklingus, do you have a good example of this hypocrisy? so far Obama is the most genuine article in my view, these are politicians after all, if you listen to him yourself, instead of reading hit pieces about him, you might have a different opinion.

Posted by: fnlorrain | August 11, 2007 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Obama is already starting to wear thin. He continues to be a hypocrite about his legislative record, political contributions and life experience. He should realize that the more he trashes Hillary and the rest of the political establishment the less likely he is to maintain the hope persona that he expected would make him a star. He is an inexperienced elitist who will wilt and falter under GOP attack and is not as special as he thinks he is.

Posted by: rdklingus | August 11, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama will never be "black enough" for that community's political/journalistic intelligentsia. To begin with, he's only half black; he is also half white. Thanks to a relentless perpetuation of the one-drop rule, the excruciatingly tortured "logic" of a pure, mixed or rainbow "race" persists in America.

What's even more interesting is that "blackness" is increasingly defined, essentially, as a leftist political ideology -- as opposed to a racial, ethnic or cultural grouping.

Charles M. Byrd, author of "The Bhagavad-gita in Black and White: From Mulatto Pride to Krishna Consciousness."

Posted by: chasbyrd | August 11, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

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