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Candidates address issue of race

The debate opens on race and Sen. Clinton gets the first swing at the question. She referenced the progress that has been made on race by pointing out that on the stage tonight are an African American, a Latino and a woman -- a subtle rhetorical device aimed at casting herself as well as Sen. Obama and Gov. Richardson as historic choices. Clinton also evoked the language of the civil rights movement, insisting "the march is not finished."

Obama is clearly the crowd favorite and struck a nice note by pointing out that it was at Howard University where the legal strategy for Brown vs. Board of Education was crafted. Those men and women realized "for us to achieve racial equality was not just good for African Americans but it was good for the nation as a whole," said Obama. His answer trailed off somewhat toward the end but he still drew loud applause.

Edwards used the question to sound his two Americas theme and drew particular applause for his call to keep elections fair.

And more news from our nation's capital -- the Washington Wizards select Nick Young, a guard from USC. I like the pick. Young is an athletic guard. He reminds me a bit of Gilbert Arenas.

-- Chris Cillizza

By Eric Pianin  |  June 28, 2007; 9:30 PM ET
 
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