The Race CardAs sad as it is, I think everyone watching the 2008 presidential race knew that at some point Barack Obama was going to try and paint every political attack made against him as race-based. Further, that John McCain would respond to this playing of the race card by accusing the Obama campaign of-playing the race card:
But now the combustible issue of Barack Obama's racial identity has been thrust squarely into the heated political battle of the 2008 race. Obama Wednesday warned voters that John McCain or his allies would try to "scare" them with his race, and McCain campaign manager Rick Davis responded furiously on Thursday, accusing Obama of playing the race card.
Obama’s aim, in the view of the McCain camp: "to delegitimize any line of
attack against him," said McCain aide Steve Schmidt. He said he saw that potential trap being sprung when Obama predicted in Missouri Wednesday that the GOP
nominee would attack the Democrat because he "doesn't look like all those other
presidents on the dollar bills."
"‘The most negative, abhorrent, nasty, vicious comment made in this race
was the insinuation by Barack Obama that John McCain was going to run a racist
campaign,’ Steve Schmidt, McCain's chief strategist, said in an interview. ‘The
McCain campaign will not stand for it. There is no evidence of it. It's not
true, and we will rebut it.’
I am thoroughly disappointed in the Obama campaign for playing the race card, which he clearly did. I have previously written in this space that while I do not agree with Obama's political views and will not support him, I admired the fact that his campaign has not attempted to manipulate "white guilt" in a Jesse Jacksonesque fashion. It made me think we were moving on to something new where this kind of talk wasn't going to be a part of our political dialogue. Apparently, I spoke and wrote too soon. Barack Obama plans to play the race card and manipulate white guilt-he'll just wait to do so until he thinks it benefits him.
The good (and in some ways bad) news is that if race remains in the news, it hurts the Obama campaign:
Let's get something straight: Anytime race is THE topic du jour in the campaign,
it's a bad day for Obama. Period. There are a lot of voters out there who don't
want to have their vote judged through the prism of race. (If somehow a swing
voter in Ohio, Pennsylvania or Michigan is made to feel that voting against
Obama will make them a racist, they'll be resentful.) While today's papers are
filled with "who played the race card first?" allegations between the two
campaigns, know this fact: The Obama campaign doesn't want the race issue to
become an overarching theme of the campaign.
It is shameful that Barack Obama would use race as leverage, especially when the swing voters he needs may turn tail and run on him if they think Obama is in any way saying that they won't vote for him because they are racists.
However, it is just plain sad that Barack Obama's disgusting sudden willingness to use his race as an issue will result in political advantage for John McCain.
...And yes, I want Obama to lose.
We were supposed to be beyond this in 2008.