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August 02, 2008

Can Obama Be Trusted? UPDATE: No, He Can't

Well, someone is finally pointing out the obvious -- sort of.

A dispute over whether black U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama has played the "race card" won't swing the election but could make it harder for voters to trust him, analysts said on Friday.

No African American has ever been elected to the White House and in a country where memories of racial strife and discrimination against the minority are still fresh, Obama must work harder to overcome his doubters, they said on Friday.

References to the Democratic senator's race, if they are seen as clumsy, do not help Obama make the case that he is the most reliable choice to lead the country as it struggles with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and an ailing economy.

No let's begin with certain caveats here.


  1. There are individuals out there whose rejection of Barack Obama is based upon his race.
  2. There are also individuals -- especially among African-Americans -- whose support for Obama is based upon his race.

Those points taken together, though, do not add up to this being a campaign based upon race -- at least not on the Republican side. I've not met a Republican whose objections to Barack Obama are based upon anything other than his ideology and his inexperience. Indeed, a great many of us find Obama to be a charming, interesting man with whom we would love to sit down and toss back a couple of adult beverages of our choice. We just don't think that he is the right guy for America in 2008. Opposition to his candidacy does not equate to personal animus -- and certainly not to racial animus.

However, in recent days we have seen Obama (and his surrogates) make specific claims of racial politics against John McCain and his campaign. But as quickly as he made the accusation, he denied it.

I was in Union, Mo., which is 98 percent white a rural, conservative [town]. and what I said was what I think everybody knows, which is that I don't look like I came out of central casting when it comes to presidential candidates. But that I think that what people are really concerned about, what they're looking for is fundamental change on the economy, things that are going to help their families live out the American dream.

There was nobody there who thought at all that I was trying to inject race in this. What this has become I think is a typical pattern from the McCain campaign, whether it's Paris Hilton or Britney or this phony allegation that I wouldn't visit troops. They seem to be focused on a negative campaign, [when] what I think our campaign wants to do is focus on the issues that matter to American families.

Oh, so it was all about negative campaigning, Senator?

Then explain this.

But Obama's chief strategist, David Axelrod, acknowledged on "Good Morning America" Friday that the candidate was referring, at least in part, to his ethnic background.

When pressed to explain the comment, Axelrod told "GMA" it meant, "He's not from central casting when it comes to candidates for president of the United States. He's new to Washington. Yes, he's African-American."

Excuse me -- those two comments just don't square up. Either it was an accusation that the McCain campaign is making race-based appeals, or it wasn't. it can't be both -- and you can't find a wishy-washy middle ground between these two statements.

Which is just the latest reason that Americans are going to have a trust issue involving Obama.

"I don't think he (Obama) did himself any good with these comments. What he did ... is inject back into this context the idea about (voters') ... comfort level," said [political commentator Terry] Madonna of Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania.

"What he said is not exactly rap talk, black speak, but that is something that Obama has to be very careful about. He just can't let people believe that they can't trust him."

And that is what conflicting messages on this issue creates -- an indication that Barack Obama can't be trusted. But then again, given his flip-flops on virtually every issue, can we really trust the man anyway?

Hot Air offers a particularly interesting analysis of the Obama campaign on this point -- and the slavish devotion of the True Believers at the New York Times. They also point out the more independent coverage at the Washington Post.

UPDATE: Looks like Barry Hussein can't stick to the same story from one interview to the next.

I dont think its accurate to say that my comments have nothing to do with race, Obama said.

I guess that would be change he' hopes the American people will not notice -- or will buy into despite it contradicting his earlier denial.

H/T Sister Toldjah, LGF





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Comments on Can Obama Be Trusted? UPDATE: No, He Can't

The article also repeats a common mistake and one that has been endlessly repeated during the campaign and election cycle with very few even attempting to correct those making the error.

I also notice that you didn't do it either. Make the correction, that is.

Obama is not black. He's not African American. He's mixed race...or mulatto if you like. He should be referred to as a mixed race candidate. For him to only identify with one side of his heritage, and for the media and his supporters to do so is incredibly racist.

It's the same thing that is done to anyone of mixed ethnic heritage. Only the minority part is identified and celebrated. It's wrong, it's racist and it needs to stop. For a 'post-racial' candidate, people seem awfully keen on making a racial distinction.

|| Posted by Ryan, August 2, 2008 02:52 PM ||

Given that race is, in the end, something of a social construct rather than a scientific classification, I'm not going to argue with how Obama chooses to classify himself.

From where I (and the human genetic code) stand, it seems to me that the only actual race is "human" -- but if someone wants to plug themselves into a particular ethnic identity, that is their privilege. It is why my darling god-daughter identifies herself as Irish, despite the Mexican sperm donor by whom her mother conceived -- and why I would personally beat the crap out of anyone who dared to suggest that she has no right to do so.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, August 2, 2008 03:35 PM ||
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