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Making Progress on Race

As Barack Obama's lead over John McCain dwindles, his supporters are struggling to explain why the soon-to-be Democratic nominee is not running away with the race when so many factors -- struggling economy, unpopular Republican incumbent -- point toward a Democratic sweep. Some pro-Obama pundits blame racism, specifically the stubborn refusal of older white voters to accept the idea of a black president. Jacob Weisberg of Slate writes that Obama's defeat would be a "sign and symptom of a nation's historical decline," which would tell the world "the United States had its day but, in the end, couldn't put its own self-interest ahead of its crazy irrationality over race." In the New York Times, Matt Bai takes the opposite view. "There are legitimate reasons that some older white voters might reserve judgment on Mr. Obama without being closet racists," he notes, including the Illinois senator's relative inexperience. Bai adds that, while "[p]roponents of the racial explanation for the closeness of the campaign point to a New York Times/CBS poll last month in which 19 percent of white voters said that most of the people they know wouldn’t vote for a black candidate . . . 16 percent of black voters said the same thing — which indicates that the answers reflect suspicions about other people’s racism more than the bigotry of the respondents."

I agree with Bai. Indeed, he might also have noted that whereas 5 percent of whites in the poll said they would personally never vote for a black candidate -- so did 6 percent of black voters! Yes, some people out there won't vote for Obama because he is black. But the most inveterately bigoted people in America probably wouldn't have voted Democratic anyway. Also, a lot of people are voting for Obama at least partly because of his race: He's polling 98 percent among blacks, who gave 11 percent of their votes to Bush last time; many white liberals (like Weisberg) support Obama in the belief that the symbolism of a black president would benefit America's image abroad. Would working-class whites be such a problem for a black Democratic nominee if he were a centrist like Doug Wilder or Colin Powell? Without taking an explicit position on the racism issue, Eugene Robinson helpfully noted today that no non-incumbent Dem has won more than 50 percent of the vote for president since 1932, so this presidential race always figured to be close, just like the past two.

The basic question is whether the Obama campaign -- win or lose -- is good news or bad news about the state of race relations in the United States. To me, the cup is definitely half full. This convention marks the 60th anniversary of the 1948 Democratic convention, in which Strom Thurmond led Southern Dems out of the party to protest the northern liberal wing's incipient support for civil rights. Among Thurmond's grievances was the prospect of whites and blacks sharing the same swimming pools. Yet on the first night of festivities in Denver, the spotlight was not only on the African American candidate but also on his wife and her family, an upwardly mobile bunch from Chicago who were presented as the quintessentially American strivers that they are. Whatever the outcome in November, it is a remarkable fact that, within living memory of Thurmond's disgusting campaign, the Obamas have about the same chance of moving into the White House that John Forbes Kerry's family once did. That's a symptom of national progress, not decline.

By Charles Lane  | August 26, 2008; 5:35 PM ET
Categories:  Lane  | Tags:  Charles Lane  
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"Would working-class whites be such a problem for a black Democratic nominee if he were a centrist like Doug Wilder or Colin Powell?"

Those two men are infinitely more qualified for POTUS than Obama.

Posted by: F. Daniels | August 26, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

If Hillary Clinton were the nominee instead of Barack Obama, the pundits would then be positing that a certain percentage of the population would never vote for a woman for president. As it is, though, those same pundits are claiming a certain percentage of the population would never vote for a black for president. Perhaps they are right on both scenarios. Unfortunately, a certain percentage of any population will always be against anything different from the status quo. History has always been one step backwards, two steps forward.

Posted by: HGH | August 26, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the, "if it had been Colin Powell, race wouldn't have been a problem," thought.

My wife is black (although I'm not). She worked her way through college on her own, and was a single mom until I came along. She says she doesn't trust Obama and won't vote for him. She likes McCain even less, since his beliefs and policy choices seem likely to cause more misery for people like her, despite all the recent yammer about Republicans carrying on the Abe Lincoln tradition, blah blah blah.

So Debbie is not going to vote this time around. "I'm tired of choosing the lesser of two evils," she says.

Colin Powell? "He's qualified to be president," she says. "Of course I'd vote for him. Who wouldn't?"

I figure the only people who wouldn't vote for Powell would be 10 or 12 KKK drunks -- but that the guys from the local VFW would set them straight in a hurry.

Obama seems like a nice man. But I know other nice Harvard law grads who aren't well-qualified to be president, either. This doesn't make them bad people; I'm not presidential material myself.

Unlike my wife, I *will* vote for the lesser of two evils. I work for a living, and the Bush years have not been good for me or my family. We need to try something and someone different. And that means Obama.

Posted by: Robin 'Roblimo' Miller | August 26, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I agree with most of Robin Miller's comments. As a middle aged white female, I admire that his wife was a single mom who was on her own. I, too, was a single mom and can identify with that. Mrs. Miller's race does not matter to me and I understand some of the challenges she must have undertaken as a woman with a child.

I agree that Colin Powell would have been a wonderful candidate, not because of his skin color, but because of his accomplishments.

I am sorry, but I can't vote for Obama because of his indecisiveness of voting "here" rather than yea or nay. He also seems to follow Ted Kennedy too much, who is a great reminder of Washington Politics, like Biden. I see Obama being a follower just to get to be POTUS. He is smart to throw his hat in with these powerbrokers. If Washington politics have been such a failure, then why do we have Kennedy and Biden for 30plus years?? Shouldn't they be changed??

I am so sick of the race card being pushed down my throat. That is another reason I am not voting for Obama -- his supporters have made me despise the man. And of course, his wife has helped with her earlier comments, etc. Before she got the speech writer, hairdresser, etc. Oh, and of course her salary was doubled when her husband announced his candidacy. So how is she such a "hard worker"?

But the bottom line is, the President alone cannot make change any more than Congress can make changes without the President. Unfortunately, we need people who can work together.

I have seen McCain cross the "aisle" in the interest of bipartisanship and doing the right thing. So he has my vote because of his attempts and prior record.

Obama runs on change, but he is the puppet to Kennedy....someone who has really bad skeletons in his closet and was ruined enough that he could not successfully run for President. Caroline Kennedy is also making a show after all of these years as a national patriot. What qualifies her to choose a VP for the candidate? I used to love the Kennedy legend, but my eyes have been opened the more I read. The best Kennedy is Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who is her own person.

Posted by: BB1953 | August 26, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

We all bleed RED in the battlefield, and all our tears are colorless. So, please give RACE a REST! By the way, sorry we failed you, Hillary. We should had worked harder - we should had worked smarter. Now we must accept Obama (the modern JFK) as our Commander-In-Chief, tutored by Biden (his personal Dick Cheney) ... then again, perhaps not ...

Posted by: Louie | August 26, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

That swing voters may be uncomfortable with Obama's race is absolutely a valid concern and a valid potential reason for his sagging poll numbers. He's leading on most every important issue outside of "values" and "leadership." Those are open to inserting racial feelings.

Posted by: matt | August 26, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

We all bleed RED in the battlefield, and all our tears are colorless. So, please give RACE a REST! By the way, sorry we failed you, Hillary. We should had worked harder - we should had worked smarter. Now we must accept Obama (the modern JFK) as our Commander-In-Chief, tutored by Biden (his personal Dick Cheney) ... then again, perhaps not ...

Posted by: Louie | August 26, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

It's really simplistic to label working class whites as racist for not voting Democratic. Look at the whole picture. The black man who is appealing to them to place him in power has never served in the military like Colin Powell, never suffered racism like Condeleeza Rice in segregated Birmingham, never served in an executive position, and is as wealthy and arrogant as Leona Helmsley in their eyes. Who gives a flying leap at a rolling doughnut what color He is? And exactly what has he accomplished. He gives a great canned speech. The working class whites have an expression for that: Don't pi** down my back and tell me it's raining.

Posted by: Get out the Umbrellas in Denver | August 26, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

To robin Miller
You are absolutely correct, if Colin Powell was running for president, he would have my vote and well over 50% of the United States voters because he is experienced and qualified. Obama is not. It is that simple

It has nothing to do with race, it has to do with competence.

But then again competence and politics don't mix

Posted by: dem52 | August 26, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

A successful leader has integrity and intelligence, he has vision and is able to inspire those around him to share it and work towards it. Experience is good, but not everything. Look how much experience Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld had and where did it lead us? an unnecessary war, a failing economy, and a fuel crisis.The seniors have had their turn running the country. Let's give a young person a chance -- he could hardly do any worse.

Posted by: Denise, Ohio | August 26, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Experience -

1. The process or fact of personally observing, encountering, or undergoing something.

2. Knowledge or practical wisdom gained from what one has observed, encountered, or undergone.

John McCain has experience, but only in the sense of the first definition. He has undergone much, but has learned very little from it. He has nothing to offer but a familiar face, a familiar set of political advisors, and 4 more years of the same policies that got us into the mess we are in now. Obama, despite his relative youth, is the one with practical wisdom, and that is what we need in our next President.

Posted by: synykyl | August 26, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

To me this race is about sexism and particularly the sexism shown by Obama and his supporters towards a female candidate.

I was horrified when I saw Obama's close friend and associate, Father Flegler, doing a gross parody of a white woman crying. But the deal was sealed for me by the loud laughter and thunderous applause of Obama's church. Since then the hate filled blogs, commentaries, and media coverage has only reinforced my impression of Obama as an oppressor and sexist.

As a white working class woman I cannot vote for this candidate who clearly aligned himself with individuals and groups that were openly disrespectful of women, and white women in particular.

For me there is only one choice for my future and the future of my two daughters - not Obama.

Posted by: McCain Woman Democrat | August 26, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Are we talking about the same Colin Powell who told the UN that Iraq had WMD, and he had the proof? That's the "centrist" you'd vote for instead of Obama?

Posted by: hmmm | August 26, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

If one is against BO, he/she is not racist. This guy has no record, no experience, no nothing! A black organizer from South Chi town. Wow, great criteria to be the commander-in-chief. The Dems had a choice and they made it. Ivy league education, so what. Show me the beef!

Posted by: rustynailx | August 26, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

One more republican govt will isolate the world from USA like never before and pull it down the economic ladder. Obama is almost perfect. McCain though not bad a person, will make a disastrous Prez like Bush. American people(whites mainly) should really snap out of their racist mindset and elect Obama. Its their last choice really. 20 years down the line when the demographics are different then a white man will never be elected- like tit for tat. They should not set bad examples

Posted by: foreigner | August 26, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

The only folks tired of hearing about race in America are racist. Strom Thurmond, the rapist and bigot and Jesse Helms were always complaining about folks discussing race. Mr. Obama starts 20% behind because of the number of white racst that at least honestly say they would never vote for a black person. The election is making many look in the mirror and alot are still in denial of what they see.

Posted by: quavaduff | August 26, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

On this glorious day, in the Obama Nation...I do declare from this day forward when a black can become a democratic nominee President of the U.S. that all racism has ended! Everyone regardless of race, creed or color now has an equal opportunity to pull themselves up out of the ghetto by there own bootstraps.

Posted by: Mr Mus Limm | August 26, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

On this glorious day, in the Obama Nation...I do declare from this day forward when a black can become a democratic nominee President of the U.S. that all racism has ended! Everyone regardless of race, creed or color now has an equal opportunity to pull themselves up out of the ghetto by there own bootstraps.

Posted by: Mr Mus Limm | August 26, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

On this glorious day, in the Obama Nation...I do declare from this day forward when a black can become a democratic nominee President of the U.S. that all racism has ended! Everyone regardless of race, creed or color now has an equal opportunity to pull themselves up out of the ghetto by there own bootstraps.

Posted by: Ex-McCain supporter | August 26, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

As a white conservative blue collar worker, and a vetran, I think that Mr. Mcain has placed too much emphasis on his time in Vietnam. Every time he is asked a difficult question he refers to his time as a P.O.W. I don't think that this country should be run by a person who is living in the past. It will take a new, younger person to see this country into the future.

Posted by: Executer75 | August 27, 2008 2:35 AM | Report abuse

I keep seeing variations on the statement, "This has nothing to do with race," with regard to Obama. I have seen and heard these words too many times in my life, so I know it's usually a lie when that falls out of someone's mouth. "Methinks you doth protest too much," always goes through my mind... I respect an out-and-out bigot who says he won't vote for a black man, and who doesn't like black people, more than cowards who always say that race is no factor in this election or this country. Talk about peeing down my leg and saying it's raining....

Posted by: Christoph | August 27, 2008 2:40 AM | Report abuse

H.C Speech was wonderful, I'm so proud I voted for her...but I will not vote for Obama/Bidden. No way....

Tampa, Fl

Posted by: ARA. | August 27, 2008 2:46 AM | Report abuse

I don't know how long it will take the US to realize that what they think is 'racism' is almost always about 'culture' (except for the loony 2%, and maybe even them). There are a lot of places where there are two cultures with the same skin color (eg Mexico, Canada) and there still exists all the discrimination (and accommodation) that is called racism in the US. So yeah, of course skin color doesn't matter, why would it. Culture however can make two groups genuinely different, and it goes well beyond skin deep. A 'good' thing to be sure, this is what makes life rich after all, but not the 'same' thing.

The funny thing is, Obama isn't really of 'black' culture -- maybe he is bi-cultural, but certainly the Obama we see on TV is of the majority culture in the US (which isn't 'white' either, it is just mainstream US culture). Imagine him behind a curtain, how would you know his color? You wouldn't.

I think subconsciously almost everyone understands this, maybe it just makes a crappy media story. Even at culture level I don't think it matters that much politically (eg Arnold in California can still win), but at least at this level you can have a real conversation about it.

Hey, in this light, Bill Clinton may still have some claim to being the first 'black' US president : ).

Posted by: Robin | August 27, 2008 2:56 AM | Report abuse

I think Obama's candidacy is bad news for race relations. He marks our first racists presidential election.

For the first time a candidate has been handed the Democrat's baton not because he is the most qualified, or most experienced, or most accomplished of the aspirants, and not because he has the best chance of capturing the White House, Biden, Richardson, Gore would have had 20 point leads by now, but because he is black.

An entire party has turned overtly racist. Ninety percent of black voters chose Obama over the far more accomplished non-black contenders. Whites supported him though they knew he had befriended unrepentant Weathermen who assailed the US govt with bombs and revolution. They knew he was for 20 years the acolyte of a pastor who railed against whites, America and Jews. They knew of the unsavory work he did for Retzko, now a convicted felon.

They nevertheless supported Obam. It was clearly for one reason, his race. That amount to the most blatant racism since Kukluxers marched openly through American cities and burned crosses on black and Catholic lawns.

There are surely racists also among Republicans and Independents but not to the extent manifested by the Democrats. It is a sorry day for America.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 5:32 AM | Report abuse

I am sorry, I overlooked the name box, in my 5:32 AM posting.

Posted by: nacl | August 27, 2008 5:36 AM | Report abuse

What me and my wife and saw in Atlanta Georgia in 1996 and in Chapel Hill durham and Raleigh in 2000 was just revolutionary from the picture we had of the southern states when I was a grad in Toronto in the sixties. The average Caucasian would realise that the twentieth century does not go well with these antiquated theories of racial supremacy like that of Adolf Hitler.

Posted by: s.divakaran | August 27, 2008 5:52 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget . . . Doug Wilder was far ahead in the polls leading up to election day. He actually won by less than 1/2 a percentage point.

Also remember, that 6% of the Black vote is insignificant (in real numbers), when compared with 5% of the White vote.

There is something to this argument, that we still don't want to grapple with as an honest nation.

Posted by: Tim | August 27, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe so many of you live in this sheltered buble. Racism exists. Hilary ran a horrible campaign with no organization and lost. Colon powell helped lie us on a war that he knew was wrong. To be editor of the Harvard law review, as obama was, means you are one of about two hundred people in the world, probably at most eighty of which are still living, from one of if not the most prestigious university in the world. Mccain graduated fifth from the bottom of his class at the naval acadamy. He probably shouldn'thave even been given a multi million dollar plan to fly. Experience is the shelter that prejudice is hiding behind. Where really is hillary's experience besisdes being first lady. She has not been in the senate that much longer than Obama. I'm not saying this is the only reason for the close race with mccain, no one really seems to be calling mccain on his bs, but to say that race is not playing a significant factor is being a little naive.
if one calls themselves a "lifelong democrat" but will not vote for Obama because of him fairly and politely beating Hillary, it's prejudice weather people want to admit it or not. If it quacks like a duck, it's a duck.

Posted by: Riddem | August 27, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I don't doubt that there are still people who (they themselves believe) are skin-color racists of the old school. The problem liberals have in addressing this situation scarely is that Obama is not just 'black' on the terms set by our chattering classes. He's a black Democratic liberal who is the product of a rather corrupt and certainly dysfunctional one-party political enviornment, which happens to coincide with a lot stereotypes of African-American politics. Corruption is not unique to Chicago or to the Democratic Party, but the Democrats are to be strongest in the areas that are losing population and jobs, so there's a perfect storm of bad perceptions hampering Obama.

Ask yourelf - in a straight-up contest between, say, Condoleeza Rice or Colin Powell and a liberal Democrat, would the 'white racists' really vote for the Democrat? Not likely. In my experiences with fellow whites who harbor fairly overt racial hostilities, you really find out after some probing that what they really hate are white upper-class liberals who they feel use African-Americans politically to beat lower-class whites over the head. Race has become a symbol for a host of cultural and political attitudes, as when old white man Joe Biden embarrassingly used the phrase 'white boys' in the Democratic primary debates to try to ingratiate himself with black voters, like a middle-aged person still dressing like a teenager.

Posted by: Mark Richard | August 27, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Let me get this right...its ok for 90% of America's African American population to be for Obama because he is African American...that's not prejudice or racism. So naturally, any caucasion American who does not favor him is racist? It couldn't be his lack of depth, his association with so many uber-leftist ranters, his sleezy practice of voting "present" rather than commit to a position in the Illinois Senate, his disgusting voting record on abortion, his arrogance displayed on his European Victory tour...? REally, there is something very wrong with the Democrats if they put the experienced candidate at the bottom of the ticket and the empty suit at the top. I am a female registered Democrat who will be voting for John McCain who has demonstrated his backbone, bravery and willingness to cross the aisle to work for the common good many times.

Posted by: Amused | August 27, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I for one do believe in the idea that these democrats that won't vote for Obama are closet racists. For the record, I am not Black, but I just don't see any other reason why any Democrat that agrees with Hillary's platform would not vote for him. He believes in the same things! Now, with Joe Biden on the ticket, a man reknowned by both parties for his Foreign policy experience as well as his domestic ideas- I really can't see anyone not voting for him.

Was Barack my first choice? No, actually Biden was. I did feel he was inexperienced, and not yet ready. He's the nominee now, and his first presidential decision to pick Biden shows me he is an intelligent and wise man that appreciates discourse, and differeing opinions. I feel he will make the tough decisions and he will learn.

Look at the moron people elected the last eight years! Does anyone think good old "King George" had any experience before taking offise? He sat doe-eyed while his advisor told him we were under atack on 9/11. His foreign and domestic policies are the ruination of this country and our standing in the world. Finally, yes, Bush learned on the job, but Obama has a brain, so he will not only learn, but expand on that knowledge.

P.S. for full disclosure, I was a lifelong moderate/liberal Republican until George W. came along. I have since swtched my affiliation to the Democrats.

Posted by: Steve T. NY | August 27, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Looking at both of these canidates I dont see racism as much of a factor. Sure to some it may some they may not believe a black man is ready or has the ability to lead this country. But thats hog wash I do believe that if Powell was in this race he would run away with it hands down. He has shown leadership in ways not many could match and he has an outstanding knowledge of domestic and world affairs. A blind man could see he is more then qualified to lead this country. So I cant see racism would be much a factor either way to Obama's victory or defeat. However there is one thing that is a factor and it should be. And it hasent really been addressed in any real length and thats his experience. It has been something I have been mentioning since he started campanging. I mean I never even heard of the man at all before he became a canidate. And at the times we face now both abroad and at home we need someone with a proven record. We don't need theories, we dont need pipe dreams or anykind of guessing games. We need someone with a real direction and plan based on the ways this country has moved forward in the pass and lessons learned when we have gone in the wrong direction. And with the experience or lack of experience Obama has I dont see how he could understand what really needs to be done. And I'm certainly not the only one. A friend of mine sent me the following and it dose voice the concerns of those who believe that Obama is lacking on many fronts to be our president.

John McCain: In congress 26 years,in the military 22 Years

Barrack Obama: In congress 143 Days, in the military NONE

Just think of how great a professional of any kind you could be with only 143 days of experience!!!
People want change so badly? Maybe we should lower the experience requirement for doctors, lawyers, airline pilots, etc. This would result in some change!
Just how much Senate experience does Barack Obama have in terms of actual work days? Not much.
From the time Barack Obama was sworn in as a United States Senator, to the time he announced he was forming a Presidential exploratory Committee, he logged 143 days of experience in the Senate.
That's how many days the Senate was actually in session and working.
The one single Senate committee that he headed never even met once.
After 143 days of work experience, Obama believed he was ready to be Commander In Chief, Leader of the Free World, and fill the shoes of Abraham Lincoln, FDR, JFK and Ronald Reagan.
Think about it.......143 days -- 20.4 weeks -- 4.7 months .
Our children spend more time in pre-school getting ready for kindergarten.
Do you really believe this man is ready to lead your country? Ask yourself would you put your childeren and familys welfare in the hands of a man who has less then 5 months experience in anything to do with a job discription of the president?
This isent to say I'm looking forward to republicans running this country either....if you ask me the way both parties have run this country over the decades they need to call it day and close shop. But seeing this is all we have for leadership wouldent you say experience is whats needed in times like what we are facing at this point and time? Running the country isent a crap game in Vagas so why start gambling now?

Posted by: Garywayne1961 | August 27, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

The dems throw an inexperienced SOCIALIST/MARXIST at us and then complain when his numbers are plummeting.
They seem betwixed and bewildered. How can this be?
How can a socialist/marxist's numbers not be SOARING?

I know... he's BLACK!!!

uhh, wrong.

Posted by: HILARIOUS | August 27, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Many posters believe that Colin Powell is qualified for POTUS but Obama is not. Colin Powell has never, ever held elective office. Obama at least has held elective office at the state and national levels. No one ever states what makes a person qualified. Hillary gets to count being the wife of a president. McCain has never had an excutive position, always legislative, which is the same as Obama, granted for a longer time, but being a senator is not the same as being president. The only person with presidential experience is disqualified to run, thank goodness.

Posted by: James R | August 27, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

White people can't get over themselves. AS much as Obama has placated to them, pretty much ignored black people in the USA, acquiesed to Israel and gone astray of his leftist leanings, all some white (mostly undereducated) people can see is a black man. Sure, these left-out, gun toting, bible thumping, extremists will go against against their class interests and vote for this particular white man. Any white man will do! As they are the majority, they will continue to lose their homes, their pensions and their jobs will ship away to the lowest bidding country. Four more years of Republicans means that it will only get tougher here. Let's suffer more inflation, unemployment, recession, high gas prices, falling stocks and stagnant wages. What a privilege to be white!

Posted by: Marj | August 27, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

BB1953, how sad. You posted reams of words about why you wouldn't support Obama. All of these words came down to one thing. You named it almost towards the end of your reasons. You won't because he is "black." It would be easier to swallow all of this if people would be intellectually honest. Why do whites hide their racism under the banner of being sick of having the "race card shoved down their throats?" You are sick of it? How sick do you think people of color are at having to deal with race every second of every day? It is reality that if Obama were white, this race would be over...and John McCain could take his flip flopping sorry butt back to the senate. Why would anyone in their right mind who is not hiding their own sick racism, reward any republican for anything after the disastrous 8 years we have gone through? Please just be honest. This is a blog. Nobody knows who you are. You could have saved yourself time and effort trying to explain all of your reasons in one sentence. Everyone who uses "inexperience" should be honest too. The US Constitution does not require that you have experience. All of the experienced Bushies brought us where we are right now. What good did that do. It's race, pure and simple. It's not only the elephant in the room, it is the dinosaur! Because of be honest, we should stay the hell out of the business of other countries. We have zero moral authority to push democracy until we clean up our own house. Zero. All of you that will vote McCain into office will not get the qualified guy you think you want either. It will be because of race, and you will get what you deserve.

Posted by: Marie | August 27, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

In response to Garywayne1961...

The Bush 2 adminstration arguably came in with as much experience as any adminstration in history..

Where has it gotten us?

This is not to say experience is bad... but there are other equaly important factors to consider...

I would rather have an inexperienced president who has sound judgement and common sense, possesses TRUE American values, seeks the council of others (even those he or she does not aggree with), values competancy over superficial loyalty, and puts the security and well being of the American people before any coporate interests, ideologues, or their own desire to expand their power.

Had the John McCain of 2000 run in 2008 I dont think Senator Obama would have a chance. Heck (I'm a die hard Democrat and I would have voted for the 2000 McCain then and would vote for him now).

But the 2008 McCain has sold his soul in order to be the Republican nominee. He has become that which he beheld as bad so that he could grasp the brass ring.

I'll take my chances with the Junior Senator from Illinois.

Posted by: Kent | August 27, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Oh,and by the way "Amused," you are very amusing. Since the days that blacks have had the right to vote, they have overwhelmingly voted for white candidates, just as whites have overwhelmingly voted for white candidates. Your logic holds no merit. Sorry, but it is just laughable. I think you should march in that booth and vote for McCain with pride. Then, after McCain's "honorable" policies kick your butt into submission that will make this past 8 years look like "High School Musical," you should never complain about a single policy, war or corruption that is sure to be a part of his administration. When the courts and the Justice Department finish doing a number on what's left of your rights, hopefully, for your sake, you will still be "amused." Finally, anyone who would vote for a man who left his crippled wife for a younger, richer woman and couldn't even wait 2 weeks until the divorce was final to get his license to marry Cindy, and any man who would embrace George W. Bush after the nasty lies and tactics he used against Cindy and his family in the 2000 election is neither honorable or trust worthy. His ambition for the presidency knows no limits. He said it himself and wrote it in one of his books. Look it up. That might "amuse" you too!

Posted by: Marie | August 27, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

1. How can Obama be polling 98% among blacks if 6% of blacks say they won't vote for him?

2. "Many white liberals (like Weisberg) support Obama in the belief that the symbolism of a black president would benefit America's image abroad." Not only is this lazy, insulting and completely lacking of evidence, it's as stupid as saying that if Obama loses, it's because people wouldn't vote for a black guy.

Posted by: Chet | August 27, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

"Would working-class whites be such a problem for a black Democratic nominee if he were a centrist like Doug Wilder or Colin Powell?"
Those two men are infinitely more qualified for POTUS than Obama.

And you know this because...? This is partisan resentment masquerading as legitimate criticism. First we're told we want a president who's a regular guy just like us, then we're told we want a lifetime politician. Which is it? And what part of Obama's lifetime in political and legal careers accounts for his alleged lack of experience? Maybe if his previous job had included getting steamrolled by the Bush Administration and then cravenly lying for them in front of the UN against his better judgement, you'd be more willing to vote for him?

Posted by: Ricardo | August 27, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Too bad so many of you aren't more knowledgeable or care about the issues and what Republicans have done and will do to further devastate this country and it's standing around the world. A candidate does not need Washington experience to have the leadership skills we need. It's the future that we need to be concerned about (technology, jobs, a good economy, a clean environment, etc.). But so many Americans are so ill-informed and not well educated and only look at the meia like FOX News and negative ads that the GOP right wing conservatives post on TV (and they are horrible distortions of facts and they lie). Please read, look at the issues, look at what we need to return to being the leader of the free world. The Republicans are sinking us. And you're worried that Obama isn't ready? No one is "ready" for the presidency until they get there. Please get your heads out of the sand. And all this comparing Obama to black republicans is crazy since those Blacks helped get us into this state of affairs. race doesn't matter. White men never have to atone for their bad judgement or their crimes, unless they are poor or not well connected. Bush and Cheney need to be in prison for their war crimes, but they are well connected and the head of our government. Isn't that pathetic. And as for you poor Clinton supporters ( I do love Hillary) you are part of the problem. You wanted Hillary because she is a woman. I'm a feminist and I just can't stand all this emotional bs from those of you who obviously do not care about the issues and the trouble we're in in this country.

Posted by: Martha | August 27, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Spot on Ricardo! Spot on! Colin Powell is a safe example for people because they know he will never run. Just like Condi.'s not because Obama is black, why...I would vote for Powell or Rice in a heartbeat...yeah...right. Obama has a wealth of experience...if you want to see it. It's all just crap wrapped in a bow and presented in a sack of cya because people can't embrace their own bigotry. I say you should own it. Wear your racism with pride. You don't even have to hide under a white sheet anymore. Now, you just have to polish it up and call it "concern over his lack of experience." But they won't do it because not only is it racism, but it is irrational ignorance of the highest order and the only thing worse than that is it showcases in neon what freaking hypocrites Americans are. You said it Ricardo..right on!

Posted by: Marie | August 27, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

All people are bigoted. We can't help it. The "Us" vs "Them" mentality is a genetic, evolutionary imperative. Where we can't intellectually overcome our prejudice we look for other reasons to rationalize our choices. The 27% of Hillary supporters, who polls show will vote for McCain, have obviously decided the a white woman(OMG!) and a white Republican(OMG!) are both lesser evils than a black(OMG!) Democrat. I haven't seen a number of Obama supporters that would vote for McCain if Hillary was the nominee, but I'd put money on it being double digits. Although, I can't envision reactionary Republicans forsaking McCain for either Democrat. It is not unfair or insulting to clain that predudice will have a very significant, if not deciding, role in the upcoming election.

Posted by: RSwager | August 27, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

You may not think it's about race, but I cannot tell you how many people here in the South I have heard say they would never vote for a person of color. Period. Doesn't matter that they are going to vote against their own best interests. That's what makes racism so hard to understand.

But it is real, and it is really bigger than the media wants to believe or report. I wish it were not so but ignoring it will not change it. There is also a huge number of people here in the South that would not vote for a woman either. Bible tells them it's wrong for a woman to be in charge. And a lot of these people are in the same group. They won't vote for either.

Maybe that's progress but it's hard to accept that in 2008 so many people here are so bigoted and racist and misogynistic but they are.

Posted by: beeman | August 27, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Why is everybody referring to Obama as a "black" man? Isn't his mother white? Perhaps one measure of our society's continuing racism is the insistence that Obama be defined as black, rather than mixed race.

Posted by: Bruce | August 27, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

If Obama , who is far and away a better candidate than McCain , looses ,it will be because he is black ( 50% ).

After 8 years of BUSH/Cheney this would be another nail in the coffin , a disaster for the home and all over the world.

Posted by: LA-MUTE | August 27, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

For those who are still closet racists, here are a few thoughts for you to ponder'

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.
- Andy Warhol
Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier. - Colin Powell

Today's world requires us to accept the oneness of humanity. In the past, isolated communities could afford to think of one another as fundamentally separate. Some could even exist in total isolation. But nowadays, whatever happens in one region eventually affects many other areas. within the context of our interdependent, self-interest clearly lies in considering the interest of others. The Dalai Lama
I believe that to meet the challenge of the next century, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. Each of us must learn to work not just for his or her own self, family or nation, but for the benefit of all mankind. -The Dalai Lama (1994)
When angry, count ten before you speak; if very angry, a hundred. - Thomas Jefferson

Ignore you; laugh at you; Attack you; Then you win. Mahatma Gandhi

Posted by: George Oertel | August 27, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

just do the math: over 80% say they want change; Obama trails McCain in some doesn't jibe. Only one thing to me is clear -- based on the last 8 years, the Republicans do not deserve another 4 years in the White House. PERIOD! If 'Old Abe' himself reappeared, the GOP still wouldn't get my vote. Let's get on with the issues, folks. just have Biden or Obama read a list of the damage Bush has done. Then, ask Democrats, "Is the USA in better shape today than it was 8 years ago?" If they say "NO" and still won't vote for Obama, the racial environment is, unfortunately, alive and kicking! Citing Obama's "lack of experience" is a thoughtless, ignorant, and painful "masked racism." And these are the same citizens who "idolize" Paul Pierce, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Denzel Washington et al. It's DISGUSTING!!

Posted by: stanman6 | August 27, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Race is not the problem. Obama is unqualified. That is the problem.

Posted by: mmarii | August 27, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I am a twice black retired naval officer and US government DOD employee. I have viwed with interest comments by many mostly white "democratic" Hillary supporters that they want vote for Obama under any circumstances because of how Hillary was treated by the press. I suspect that many of these not so loyal "democrats" take the black vote for granted and ignore the fact that no democratic candidate for president has been elected in a very long time without the approximately 80-90% of the black vote.

There was a very obvious fact that emerged during the primaries--while early on Hillary had all the usual "black leaders" in her corner the black mass moved solidly for Obama. I predict that if these angry Hillary supporters continue to bash Obama and speak of supporting McCain or staying home on voting day it will fracture the democratic party and lead to an independent black political movement that none of the establishment "black leaders" will be able to deliver to future democratic cndidates in general or to Hillary in 2012.


Posted by: FLeeB | August 27, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

"To me this race is about sexism and particularly the sexism shown by Obama and his supporters towards a female candidate.

I was horrified when I saw Obama's close friend and associate, Father Flegler, doing a gross parody of a white woman crying. But the deal was sealed for me by the loud laughter and thunderous applause of Obama's church. Since then the hate filled blogs, commentaries, and media coverage has only reinforced my impression of Obama as an oppressor and sexist.

As a white working class woman I cannot vote for this candidate who clearly aligned himself with individuals and groups that were openly disrespectful of women, and white women in particular.

For me there is only one choice for my future and the future of my two daughters - not Obama."


McCain Woman Democrat, you do realize you're playing into the hands of Karl Rove & Co, don't you?

Posted by: Alex | August 27, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

As I keep reading here I see alot of people are angry. And occurs to me I dont think any of this has anything really to with a mans color at all. Its more to do with the fact their man is falling in the polls and they may have to deal with the possibility of having Republicans in the White House again. You can take my word for it I'm not over thrilled with that prospect either. But then again the prospect of having a Democrat is about the samething. I mean really when was the last time theres been a politician with the real needs of the people in mind? Not in my life time. Elections have been like watching the Super Bowl. We havent voted for the man himself since before I was born. Its always been the team or pary and not one person has taken notice to that fact that I have noticed. Sure the parties have thrown the people a bone when it comes election time or when issues have got to the point that they had to do something to take the heat off themselves. But everything either party has done has always been to benifet the parties not the people. And we as the people keep falling for it year after year. We have sat by and settled for having the same 2 parties to vote for and have only given them a shot at the White House, Congress and the Senate. Sure there are token independants but its always been a game of the golden rule....those with the gold makes the rules. And the gold is split by Democrats and Republicans.
And everyone keeps talking about change. Thats laughable how can you have change when its the same old thing over and over again? If you want change you need to change the teams not just the players. But that takes intestinal fortitude and a belife there is better. And I can't help see there arent many who have either insight or intestinal fortitude. So if your going to complain maybe its time to take a look in the mirror at the real problem. I know that wont come off very popular and there will be excuses for this or that. But its our home and if we dont take out the trash it will always be a mess.

Posted by: Garywayne1961 | August 27, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

The sum of Obama's qualifications consist of being a community organizer and as a senator voting "present" instead of taking a stand on important issues with a solid "yes" or "no". He supported infanticide and now refuses to admit he did even when his voting record is waved in his face.

Even Biden, Obama's VP choice has said that Obama is not qualified to be president.

Frankly, I can't understand how Obama even got this far.

Posted by: Kelly | August 27, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Race, at lest for me has nothing to do with this election. It is a matter of experience. Senator Obama simply does not have the experience. His choice for VP made no difference. He could have chosen General Powell and it would not have mattered to me because the president is the one responsible.

Posted by: diamondjoe | August 27, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

To all the people who like to sit there and blame George W. for ALL the problems this country has faced the last eight years, maybe you need a Constitution refresher course. The Legislative Branch, aka the House and Senate, make the laws and policies for this country. The Executive Branch, aka the President, must have everything approved by the Legislative Branch according to the checks and balances set forth in the Constitution. Therefore, you can all blame the Congress (which the last two years was led by the Democrats) for the challenges and failures facing this country. Their inaction and poor decision making has led to today's situation. That's why Congress has the lowest approval rating of anyone in government. Yes, our president of the last eight years has not done what everyone hoped he would, but one man can't be responsible for everything.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Wow, reading all this comments just begs the question "Is Condeleeza or Powell contesting the elections?". The fact is they are not. No wonder the McCain strategist call Americans a bunch of whiners.

Posted by: Diego | August 27, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't like how this has turned in to a race campaigh and not enuff about the issue as a whole. obama fails to talk about pregidist yes not just races acts out there witch he confused eariler in his campaigh. pregidist is when you don't like and miss treat someone how has a deformaty or a hanicap or a disiblity or for any thing along those lines. jhon mcain has talked about these issues obama is soft on but mcain is a sick indavidual. MY brother served in the milltary mccain is on a offender list whith the navy for haveing sex eith a 13 year old girl when he was in the milltary. My brother scott saw this girl in a bar and she talked to him about this she is discusted a him for that and should be discusted at her country as well for allowing this to happen.

its what your vote stands for not who gets elected jessie venura 08 some people can be prod of.

Posted by: stephen k | August 27, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Riddem’s comments about experience being a subterfuge for racism. No one has the experience of being president other than a sitting president. Senators may sit on legislative committees about foreign relations, but they very seldom negotiate with foreign leaders. Generals know military strategies and some foreign relations, but stay clear of domestic affairs. Every legislature is a manager, because they run a staff and run a campaign--thus giving them executive experience.

Garywayne1961 states that Lincoln and Reagan were immensely more experienced than Obama. Since it was so long ago most of us are unfamiliar with Lincoln’s history. Prior to be coming president, Lincoln served one term as a state legislator, and one term as a congressman. To be fair, Lincoln was a captain in the Illinois militia (equivalent to the National Guard). But this was not a great deal of military experience. Likewise, Ronald Reagan was a two term governor of California; while an executive role, Reagan had very little experience in foreign affairs. Reagan was in the military during WWII—he did no fighting and was in a special public relations unit.

No one comes to the office of president with enough experience and everyone learns on the job. We need leaders who are open to divergent ideas and able sift through vast quantities of information to make informed decisions.

On another item--I talked to an African American friend of mine--he said something very insightful. He said Black people are voting for Obama because he is a good example--he and his wife are actually people who at one time had to struggle to pay bills and pulled themselves up by their boot straps. He went on to say the Obamas' know what it means to be ordinary folk. He also added that if Clarence Thomas were to run for a political office, most black people he knows would not vote for ‘Justice Uncle Thomas’ [his own words]. He said just being black is no reason to vote for anybody—so much for Black supporter only voting for Obama because he is Black

That being said, we can look to someone’s experience and gauge home fast they learn and what they have accomplished, what their stances are, and how they lead.

I happen to agree with Obama’s stance on a lot of the issues. I happen to disagree with a lot of McCain’s stances. So, I plan to vote for Obama.

Posted by: Prof Mar | August 27, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse


Although Lincoln and Obama serviced approximately the same time in the Illinois Legislative body. I check Wikipedia Lincoln served 4 terms in the Illinois house (8 years). Obama served 2 terms in the Illinois Senate (7 years).

Posted by: Prof Mar | August 27, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Only in old age have I become interested in politics. I worked in the mideast section and economic intelligence. I was in Panama during the Canal Zone Treaty Negotiations. There I met some Bildebergers...myself and others were looked upon as furniture and not people.

I overheard the following from the BIG boys:
"We are going to make running for office so expensive that only the people we choose can afford to run. We are also going to eliminate the write-in ballot so no interloper can come in at the last minute and mess some things up for us...." There were other things that were said, but that sent up a red flare for me and I began to notice politics a lot more.

While working in the Pentagon, I got a chance to go to an Information Warfare seminar...that really started me to thinking...and looking...and listening....

The old hacks that have been around for years--seem to be blinded by the governments billions of dollars that they have given the news media to plant a story or make sure a story is not written. They never ask a question that can get people to think---that must be it, they do not want people to start thinking.

QUESTION: Why is none of the oil from Alaska coming to the USA? It is all going to Japan.

QUESTION: Every country bordering a sea, or an ocean, or a gulf, has a 200 mile economic zone that belongs to that country.
Well...All the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico are in the USA Economic Zone...therefore, the oil belongs to the American taxpayer. How much does the oil company pay the US Treasury for that oil? The going rate is 60% of the selling price goes to the country and the other 40% goes to the oil company. Is there anyway we can find out how much the oil companies have dumped into the US Treasury? Where is this information located?

It does not take a brain scientist, or a rocket surgeon, or even an in-flight missile repairman to see that something is coming down and coming down hard in the near future. May not know what it is, but whatever it is, it is going to be really bad.

THE OBVIOUS IS SO WELL HIDDEN, and it is obvious we are in an economic war and we don't know it or see it. A shoot'em up bang bang military war--we can see and hear, but an economic war, is something new and we have no idea how to fight it or what to do about it. The two weapons of this economic war is CREDIT and DEBT. Credit is for control and debt is to make you a slave. Look at the credit part:
your credit rating determines
your interest rates
your car insurance rates
your health insurance rates
your house insurance rates
even your dental insurance.
Also, be late with ANY credit card and ALL of them will raise the interest rates. Of course it does not matter if the credit card company mismanaged its stuff and made the payment late or if you did...they will add all sorts of fees and late charges on it. Once you are in debt, they are going to make sure you STAY in debt and become a slave to pay off that debt.
Have you noticed that congress--yes those now in office and running for reelection--have not bothered to reign in those fees the banks and credit cards are charging? a war and don't know it and can't see it.

published Jan 2006

Posted by: Paul | August 27, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

My computer is giving me all sorts of trouble.

Is the Obama run for office a Racial Divide or is it designed for the races to build ramparts on both sides of the divide?

With INFORMATION WARFARE going full blast, they are building Obama up for a race war or to take the fall for the upcoming world wide economic depression. Because he is nice looking, articulate, and delivers one hell of a speech--that does not make him smart. I think he is going to be a pawn in a worldwide economic chess game.

If anyone has noticed, there is a hell of a rise in religion and racism in this country and also worldwide. Due to the economic conditions--world wide--there has been a tremendous increase in gangs...we are talking ruthless gangs.

Listen to the preachers--religion and racism feed off one another...Jews and Jesus are the biggest passion amplifiers in the world today. God made us all, but the Jews are God's chosen people---really??? Guess there will be no gentile prophets. Religion is always fraught with hypocrisy and there is no bigger racism than religious racism. If a religion is built on race--is that not racism???

Obama has another big problem--black people! He is black so I am going to vote for him! That is racist. If you can be racist against someone, you sure as hell be racist for someone. Racism breeds racism.

Throw in two other factors:---Information Warfare and Think Tanks. Think Tanks have some brilliant people. They take a problem or a situation, and makes sure the big boys take full advantage of every aspect of the problem. The information warfare portion does not want to change your mind about something--they want to change your perspective of the problem.

I have coined a phrase to explain it.
In the days of yore, worldwide problems were like a magicians physical sleight-of-hand tricks--but today, the information warfare is like that magician's sleight-of hand tricks, but it is done on a mental plane--I call it Sleight-of-Thought. The word wizard, before your eyes, has changed the discussion. He who changes or controls the subject wins the debate.

Obama and McCain are really the same--the same owners and the same fraternity. InfoWar makes the people believe they really have a choice--but they don't.

Posted by: Paul | August 27, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

As with a horse race you can look at the program,figure in all the stats and watch the horses walk by for show.But you won't know the winner til the race is over.And doesn't it feel good when you hold the wining ticket on the long shot!

Posted by: groetzinger | August 27, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

I will vote for any black man that does not promote Black Culture for whites. If blacks like black culture, fine. But most whites don't subscribe to it. Too much killing, drugs, lack of learning in schools, too many out-of-wedlock births (70%), etc. I think thats why so many of us love Colin Powel. He is a black man that subscribes to cultural values that most Americans also subscribe to.

Posted by: Black Culture is the Issue, Not Black People | August 27, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Here’s how I see and hear it: Clintons are cunning lawyers who were trained to never consider truth but only what can be legally accomplished (Hilary showed her colours when she claimed Bosnian smiles were sniper fire). McCain is another flag waving military robot who thinks American force can mow down anyone for anything (he was much more reflectively sage half a dozen years ago before he became a POW again – prisoner of “W” Bush). Obama was an opportunist who rose during the skewed period of white guilt affirmative action (nothing wrong with that if he can use his glib rhetorical skills for sincere leadership).
The rot in the US can probably never be excised. Why do we have lobbyists for Pete’s sake, a blatant buying of government? Why does America have the largest spying force in the world and believe it has the right to overthrow other countries’ systems? Why are we selling by far the most arms, bent on turning the globe into a powder-keg, even talking about arming school teachers? Why are we over-medicating citizens, even school kids? Why do most Americans believe there is a magical deity living in the sky, and that an equally powerful monster operates from somewhere in the centre of the earth? Why do we accept governmental officials who turn their back on the populace as soon as they enter office? Why do we have the most people incarcerated in the world?
It’s too late, my friends, to cleanse this decay.
I would have liked to have seen Al Gore, a much changed man from his VP and presidential candidacy days, versus Ron Paul, the only man who has spoken of true, significantly deep changes, but who was dismissed as a nut. Ideally Paul as Pres, Gore as VP ready for 2013, to hell with Republican versus Democrat nonsense.
Anyway, fantasy aside, you don’t want change. You’re busy blustering about experience, just a media catch phrase. Life is experience. Perhaps the politician with the least experience is the best qualified at these frighteningly depressing times. You’re carping about race and sexism. You are the landlords who are herding ethnic groups together till they fester, you are the educators who are claiming athletes have a place in universities, you are the sponsors who pay disgusting amounts to men running around in sports wear, you are the wardens who encourage criminals to bulk up in prisons, you are the Pharisees who pray loudly and sin the moment you depart the church, you are the greedy, the aggressive, blind to true teachings of concern for your fellow humans, you men rape and beat, punching instead of talking, drinking instead of dreaming, what's with the fix on beer and boxing, you women tease, what's with the high heels and make-up, and conning the old sugar-daddies to death.
It’s you, it’s your country, it’s your destiny. These poor actors performing for your votes can do nothing but perpetuate the muck of government which pays their salaries and buys their lies.
Go ahead folks, strut your faith and fury, but believe me there is no divine force out there that is blessing you or keeping you from evil.

Posted by: brent | August 27, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

In many ways it's a shame that Tricky Dick did away with the draft. Now many of you daft commentators can stay in your cocoons. Then from your racially pure hamlets, you can lament the world as you see it in the 21st century. It's a shame that more of you couldn't have been moved from your pathetic isolation and spent some time, via the draft, meeting your fellow citizens.

Posted by: John Hancock(vet) | August 27, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Progress On Race:

Having been around a while, the catalyst for inciting antagonism between races is the media. The minds driving the media's mission seek control by resulting permanent divide. If you have yet to see it - the current Presidency race, and this article in particular, emphasizes that the election is all about having a Black man elected President, if he can only overcome the historic and remaining prejudice that Whites have for Blacks. And if Senator Obama is not elected, it is because of the
prejudice that is actively in place

Great Formula for maintaining the division, and perhaps massive riots.

The issue of prejudice is a non factor. What is a factor is the qualifications of the individual, whether White or Black, and his
working plans for America. I becoming confident that America is
seeing the divisiveness that the media is sowing.

Posted by: 3rd-Party Advocate | August 27, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Obama was the one who made race an issue with the help of Rep. Clyburn of SC and Ted Kennedy of MA. They played the race card and then Obama, as well as others, used sexist remarks against Hillary. They are worse than Republicans.

Obama said tonight all is forgiven. Oh, no, B.O., it is not forgiven. You won't get this Democrat's vote. Thank God we split our vote in November.

Posted by: Katherine of Indy | August 27, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Real Brother here.

I think Obama's campaign is GOOD for the discussion on Race because its exposing the Racists, White Supremacists, Black Self-hating wish they were White Sellouts and Black man hating lesbians.

And yes, the reason Obama isn't doing better in the polls is NOT due to Racism but to White Supremacy and the belief that Whites are Superior(genetically and intellectually). Certainly no one had made an argument against Barack Obama other then the fact that he's Black,his Pastor of 20 years is Black, his wife is Black his children are Black etc. They can't make an argument that he lacks experience because he has MORE experience then 32 of the 43 Presidents.They can't argue he's a Muslim, he's Dumb(graduated top of his class at Harvard). They can't argue he's White(his father is African making him Black). The problem is Barack Obama is the real deal and the excuse that he's not fit to lead because he doesn't fit any of the stereotypes that these Racists believe is a weak argument.If Barack Obama doesn't meet the standard then his RACE is the only reason why and everyone knows it.

Posted by: Realbrother | August 27, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Real Brother here.

Mr. Miller I think you and your Black Self-hating wish she were White wife Robin are being disingenuous when you LIE about voting for Colin Powell(who had endorsed Obama). The truth is you mistakingly believe that because Colin and Condi Rice have shown a loyalty to White Supremacists that they would Govern as White Supremacists in Blackface.This assumption is wrong(and STUPID)because when one is APPOINTED to a posistion ones loyalty should be to he who does the appointing.In a National election the Candidate owes his or her loyalty to those who ELECTED them.If Condi or Colin were ELECTED by Racists and hard core White Supremacists then they would owe an alliegence to them but how likely is it that hard core White Supremacists and Racists would vote for Condi or Colin? Even if they did as candidates they wouldn't think that these people voted for them and as such wouldn't work in their interests.Finally, I wouldn't expect Robin or any other Self-hating Black man hater to vote for Barack Obama. Your wife rejected her Race and Culture and Black community long ago and she feels that Baracks success(due in large part to embracing his Black Race and Culture in direct opposition to what your wife did)puts her on the wrong side of the issue and she can't even enjoy or celbrate the Brothers accomplishment because it makes her life choice(to reject and run from who she is)look STUPID.

Posted by: Realbrother | August 27, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Real Brother here.

Katherine you Black man hating lesbians are simply being disingenuous with that charge that Obama "plays the Race card" by being Black.Its the DUMBEST argument that you Idiots can make.How in the hell is a Black man gonna play the Race card?You Idiots keep hoping that you can win by arguing that you will not vote for Obama and what you don't understand is that you LOST not because you didn't vote for Obama you LOST because you came with weak DUMB arguments about somebody Black playing a Race card. Now if you Idiots had an argument that made any sense(any sense at all)then you might have a chance, but making DUMB and ridiculous arguments will cause you to LOSE each and everytime. And again,by NOT supporting Barack Obama you are forefiting any chance you might have of getting a bone tossed your way once he's elected(you freakin' Idiots).

Posted by: Realbrother | August 27, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Real Brother here.

3rdParty I disagree.I think only the White Racists and Supremacists don't want Race to be an issue in this election.Whites have perpetrated 450 years of Slavery, Oppression, Discrimination and Racism against Blacks BECAUSE OF RACE and now they want to act like Race should NOT be an issue? F-that.No, Race SHOULD be an issue its high time the MYTH of White genetic and intellectual Superiority be DONE with. Nobody wants to admit it but the Racism and White Supremacy and the elevation of Idiots simply because they are White is very much part of the problem and Barack Obama can bring an end to that.The fact that he has a Black wife and Black children and Black Pastor and Black name(loves fried chicken and basketball) is also important.Blacks need to stop hating our Race and Culture as much as White people need to stop trying to hold on to the MYTH of White Supremacy. I understand how White Racists and Supremacists resist the end of White Racism and Supremacy but its simply not working for this Country and needs to be done away with and Barack Obama is the ONLY person running that could effectively do that and yes his RACE and how he embraces and represents it is a major factor.

Posted by: Realbrother | August 28, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Look, if we are voting based on "experience," no one has more "presidential" experience than George W. Bush and I sure as heck wouldn't want him to be president again. "Experience," whatever that means, has nothing to do with whether you can run the country or not. Stewardship in small things matters more. Barack Obama has shown that he is responsible, wise, and makes good decisions--from the time he's been in government to the efficient, masterfully well-organized campaign he's run. What good is "experience" if you make bad decisions? Or how about this--what good is experience if you have the wrong kind of experience? John Mccain doesn't know what it's like to have a pre-existing life threatening medical condition and be denied health coverage because he's had government health insurance paid by my taxes his whole life. He says he wants to to abolish the tax break that companies get to offer their workers health care and have people buy health care on their own. Sorry, but no health insurance company will give health insurance to a patient with breast cancer, or MS or juvenile diabetes. His experience puts hime out of touch with normal, working people.

Posted by: Cynthia | August 28, 2008 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Based on the DNA analysis, geneticists have concluded that we are all cousins so what does appearance have to do with picking a president? What is important is to pick a person who has the smarts tempered by empathy and heart. That describes Barack Obama. It is often heard that people don't know him. Just substitute some TV time and read his books and you will know him.

Posted by: wilad1 | August 28, 2008 1:30 AM | Report abuse

I am tired of being told that I am racist because I chose to vote Barack Obama. I had time to review HC and BO at my leisure since the NC primaries were so late on the calendar. Originally I was a Hillary supporter, but as the primaries slogged on I began to change my mind. Guess what, Hillary didn't work to keep my vote. I watched the debates, read newpaper article, and most importantly read blogs daily. That is how most people decide who to vote for. Contrary to popular belief, blacks do not have a herd mentality, and generally once our minds our made up we don't change. Fortunately for us we had all the nice white people telling us how stupid and racist we were in our voting patterns. Nevermind that we are one of the most consistent voting blocks in the party. Have any considiered that the DNC could have nominated just about anyone and we would have supported them? Just remember that the bile and vitriol that is spewed by others is remembered, and affects what others may do in the future!

Posted by: nc mom | August 28, 2008 1:52 AM | Report abuse

From one of the posts above:
"To me this race is about sexism and particularly the sexism shown by Obama and his supporters towards a female candidate.

I was horrified when I saw Obama's close friend and associate, Father Flegler, doing a gross parody of a white woman crying. But the deal was sealed for me by the loud laughter and thunderous applause of Obama's church. Since then the hate filled blogs, commentaries, and media coverage has only reinforced my impression of Obama as an oppressor and sexist.

As a white working class woman I cannot vote for this candidate who clearly aligned himself with individuals and groups that were openly disrespectful of women, and white women in particular.

For me there is only one choice for my future and the future of my two daughters - not Obama."


McCain Woman Democrat, you do realize you're playing into the hands of Karl Rove & Co, don't you?

and now my own take on this dialogue:

Karl Rove didn't force Obama to go for 20 years to that church which wildly cheered guest minister Father Pfleger's anti-white rants. (Which were especially weird since the man himself is white.)

Rove didn't force Obama to pay his own female campaign workers substantially less than his male campaign workers. (Hillary and McCain paid their female workers the same amount of money as their male workers.)

Rove didn't force Obama to pretend (over and over and over) that Bill Clinton's presidency was no better than either of the Bush presidencies.

Rove didn't force Obama to pick Biden for VP -- who so far is only helping Obama's numbers to go down in the polls -- instead of Hillary Clinton. (Biden who way too often sounds like a closet racist and who certainly is sexist.)

And Rove CERTAINLY didn't force Obama to send me two emails now, where he's asking me to send letters to the editor about McCain -- which in and of itself would be okay, except that in both cases Obama is LYING about McCain's positions, in order to make McCain look bad.

It's finally down to this -- if Obama can start talking about making good use of the incredibly talented Democrats we have in our political arena, if he can start developing a realistic program, rather than the fluffy pie-in-the-sky stuff that's currently on his website -- then he'll probably persuade enough Americans to vote for him so that he'll become our next president.

Posted by: V. J. Homer | August 28, 2008 6:28 AM | Report abuse

I have several issues with comments likes Homer’s last entry. First, I’ve been to both McCain’s and Obama’s websites. Obama’s website offers more details on policy issues, while McCain’s site is very nonspecific (when have we not heard vague promises of cutting government waste in an election). Second, you criticize Obama for remarks by Father Pfleger's--which Obama renounced; while you give a pass to McCain for embracing Rev. John Hagee--an early McCain supporter anti-Catholic and antisemitic remarks. The difference between McCain and Obama--Father Pfleger’s remarks came after Obama embraced Father Pleger; McCain embraced John Hagee well after Rev Hagee expressed his anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic views. Third, I could only find information about Obama paying his staff more or less based upon gender on right wing site and blogs--so that would most likely be the work of Rove and his ilk! Fourth, Obama has a history of supporting women’s and feminists’ issues; McCain does not share the same history.

Lastly, I get tired of people saying Obama is inexperienced. As stated before, Obama has just as much experience as either Ronald Reagan or Lincoln before these men took office. During his time, Lincoln was said to be mentally unstable. Very few people today think Lincoln was a bad president.

People who support Hillary because of the issues should throw their support to Obama. Hillary and Obama are very similar on the key issues. Hillary and McCain differ on many of key issues. Yet Homer supports McCain.

So, was Homer’s support for Hillary just based upon gender? If you were a Hillary support and switched your support to McCain. Wake-up…be honest with yourself…either race or age is a factor in your decision to support McCain over Obama.

Posted by: Prof Mar | August 28, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Can't anyone see america is falling into the same old trap thats been going on election year after election year. I mean if it isent one thing its another to argue over and nothing gets acomplished. Its just like what goes on in politics its self right now....look at congress and the white house both. The american people got to wake up and come to the understanding we are ALL americans.... black and white, brown and yellow, blue states and red states, liberals and conservatives and the biggest divide of all Democrats and Republicans. And we have to see the lack of leadership that is right there in front of us. What I'm talking about is if we had anyone with anykind of leadership ability what so ever on either side of the political arena bringing this country together would be the hall mark of their election platform. There wouldent be any of this mud slinging crap that both side do year after year,there wouldent any red or blue states or liberals and conservatives. A presidents job is to make his country whole and come together as one. It makes me ashamed to be an american at times and sooner or later it will have to stop or there wont be a country to be president of. Abe Lincoln said it a long time ago....A house divided can not stand and he understood division better then anyone. He was the epitome of leadership but what we have now going on in either the Democrat or Republican party is so far from what anyone could call leadership its a waunder we still have a goverment or country at all. And the american people keep fooling themselves into thinking our system is working. Well its not and it wont last....not at this rate.

Posted by: Garywayne1961 | August 28, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Everyone is talking about race! If you watch the way Hilary ran her campaign there was a lot of stuff that wasn't right that could be considered racism. I am a black woman and I am voting for Obama, not because he is black but because I will support someone who can make a good decision based on good information. He supports somethings I believe in. Everything he says or does I will not always agree but he has the best interest of everyone. Not just blacks. The media and his opponents have been subtly throwing out the race card, not him. Let's get it straight, I have been following the news before the 1st woman speaker Pelosi. Be honest for your reasons for choosing a president not what politically sounds correct. 23 yrs old black woman, married and successful signing out!

Posted by: manetric | August 28, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

If a mob of Democratic Bigots lynched a Black Republican in the forest, would anyone hear it? Or care?

Posted by: Lodie | August 29, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

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