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Stacked Deck? McCain Camp Says Obama Played Race Card

Well there you have it — the first overt infusion of race into the general election. Barack Obama's comments at a town hall meeting yesterday, warning voters against scare tactics, caused McCain's camp to allege that Obama "played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck." Here's what Obama said:

Nobody thinks that Bush and McCain have a real answer to the challenges we face. So what they're going to try to do is make you scared of me. You know, he's not patriotic enough, he's got a funny name, you know, he doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.

Obama's side says that Obama wasn't talking about his race, rather he was referring more generally to all the things that make him a different sort of candidate like his age, newcomer status, and overall background. For more on the controversial issue of race, and how Obama might not actually be the first "black" president,


Even if Obama was talking about his race, I'm wondering what is so offensive about it. Perhaps some think Obama is using his race as an unfair advantage or that his choice of words inferred that Bush or McCain are racist. But overall is it off limits for Obama to speak frankly about possible insecurities his race might bring about in voters? There is no doubt that some see Obama as too "different" and that opponents might seize these insecurities and use them to their advantage. (Barack actually isn't that different, as five previous presidents had African ancestry.)

Whether you agree with Obama on the issues or not, do you worry that Obama's race could turn voters off from him?


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PinkNC PinkNC 8 years
I don't care what race Obama is, as long as he can make a better change for us all. McCain is just ignorant in so many categories.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I have to admit I am "corrupting" her though. She is leaning more to the middle every year. By the time she's in her 50's, I should be able to remove the "flaming" tag. ;)
stephley stephley 8 years
OMG Dave, she must be a saint!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
It does specifically state a fundraising truce, though. Maybe he had talked about the truce you are referring to at a different time.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
That's not how I understood the truce. Like I said, it doesn't matter to me that he changed his mind, but he did change it. And like I said, I do think he played the race card, but I don't necessarily view that as a bad thing. To me, you should play all of the cards in your deck.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
Ultimately I would like to get back to the main issue, is it really playing a card to simply describe yourself as different??
Jillness Jillness 8 years
I think the truce was about forces that are branches of a campaign..controlling 527s and ads by the RNC and DNC.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
And since my wife is a flaming liberal, you two would probably get along famousily. ;)
stephley stephley 8 years
Definitely send the wife - we could hang out together, visit eco-houses, look for handsome movie stars. Definitely, I'll take care of the fam, you get to work!
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Steph :rotfl: I'd be happy to send my kids to California. The problem is if I did, I'd probably be out with the wife. SHould I send her out as well?
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
And McCain is no longer raising funds for the general election, so he has held up with the fundraising truce. The three conditions of Obama's plan have been met by McCain.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Actually, Jill, that is a complete lie about McCain. McCain thought about accepting public financing for the primary election but chose not to. He then accepted it for the general election.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
Remember, McCain opted for public financing, he opted out, and then he opted back in again. Secondly, it clearly says that they needed to come to an agreement and have a truce. Obama's staff met with McCain's staff and they said they weren't going to budge on key points, so no agreement was reached.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
That last comment may come off in an offensive manner; I didn't mean it that way, I honestly just figured you already knew because I am guessing you have read the whole questionnaire.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Which I'm sure you know, Jill, but for others who are reading.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Oh, the question was: If you are nominated for President in 2008 and your major opponents agree to forgo private funding in the general election campaign, will you participate in the presidential public financing system?
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Here's the entire response: Yes. I have been a long-time advocate for public financing of campaigns combined with free television and radio time as a way to reduce the influence of moneyed special interests. I introduced public financing legislation in the Illinois State Senate, and am the only 2008 candidate to have sponsored Senator Russ Feingold’s (D-WI) bill to reform the presidential public financing system. In February 2007, I proposed a novel way to preserve the strength of the public financing system in the 2008 election. My plan requires both major party candidates to agree on a fundraising truce, return excess money from donors, and stay within the public financing system for the general election. My proposal followed announcements by some presidential candidates that they would forgo public financing so they could raise unlimited funds in the general election. The Federal Election Commission ruled the proposal legal, and Senator John McCain (r-AZ) has already pledged to accept this fundraising pledge. If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election. What conditions of that were not met? He even admits that McCain already agreed to accept the pledge.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
I don't see where any of his conditions were not met, especially considering that he never even met with McCain to discuss it.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
I said some of his supporters for a reason, Jill. I'm sorry if many things I say offend you, but frankly, you say a lot of things that offend me as well, I just don't feel the need to always point them out. And I have read the entire answer; Obama did change his mind.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
Lilkimbo, I never said anyone was a moron, and frankly that is offensive. Secondly, you are wrong about the public financing. That sentance you used was one of a 200 word answer that detailed his specifications. Yes, the media didn't report the full answer, just the last sentence, but I guess the news is more exciting when it appears that people have changed their minds. I have the full answer somewhere...let me try and find it.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Obama directly stated that he would
aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election
and that he would
sit down with Sen. John McCain and make sure that we have a system that works for everybody.
He never sat down with McCain to discuss it, nor did he aggressively pursue it. I don't think it's a big deal, I'm just stating that he did change his mind.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
"is clearly a race card and he's gonna ride it till the fat lady sings" He never said the words "black", "African American" or "mixed", etc. So what you are saying is that anytime someone points out they are different, they are talking about race. Would it make you feel better if he just pretended to be white for the remainder of the campaign? Since when did acknowledging one part of you become taboo? Not only can we not say specific race related words, now we can't even make reference to being different!?!?!? Talk about PC Sensitivity overload!! He has mentioned that he is gangly before too, does that offend you as well?
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
He said he would work aggressively to pursue a deal with the Republican nominee to accept public funding. The Republican nominee is accepting public funding. Frankly, I don't care that Obama's not. It bothers me that he and some of his supporters continue to act like the rest of us are morons. I wish he would just come out and say that circumstances changed and he is now raising a ton of money, so he has changed his mind; on something like that, there is nothing wrong with changing your mind. He could even make it seem noble by saying that his election is still publicly funded because it's largely funded by small donors. But, I believe that the conditions not being met thing is completely false.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
What criteria were not met?
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