The AP reports:
Democrat Barack Obama, the first black candidate with a shot at winning the White House, says John McCain and his Republican allies will try to scare them by saying Obama “doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.”
Stumping in an economically challenged battleground state, Obama argued Wednesday that President Bush and McCain will resort to scare tactics to maintain their hold on the White House because they have little else to offer voters.
“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,” Obama said. “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.”
(ASIDE: Setting the race card aside, “other people” might be more apt than “other presidents”, since Obama is not a president, and neither were Hamilton or Franklin.)
The left is getting on the bandwagon, as witnessed by this Josh Marshall post, where he argues that John McCain’s “Celebrity” ad’s allusions to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton are presumptively racist, and that criticizing Obama for pretending he’s the president when he’s not is also presumptively racist:
I note with interest today, John McCain’s new tactic of associating Barack Obama with oversexed and/or promiscuous young white women. . . Presumably, a la Harold Ford 2006, this will be one of those strategies that will be a matter of deep dispute during the campaign and later treated as transparent and obvious once the campaign is concluded.
But what I’m most interested in today is the new meme the McCain campaign has been pushing for the last few weeks that Obama is presumptuous, arrogant and well … just a bit uppity.
(Via the Corner.)
When the left is willing to see racism in cases like this, where there is not a hint of it, the game plan is clear. Any criticism of Obama will be castigated as racism. There’s no reason it will end with the election either. If Obama is elected president, for the next eight-to-ten years anyone who opposes to his radical program will be charged with racism. Naturally, many will still oppose him — particularly when his policies bring disaster — and the ensuing racism charges will leave America much more racially divided than today.
UPDATE: The Obama campaign tries to backpedal:
Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said Thursday that the senator was not referring to race.
“What Barack Obama was talking about was that he didn’t get here after spending decades in Washington,” Gibbs said. “There is nothing more to this than the fact that he was describing that he was new to the political scene. He was referring to the fact that he didn’t come into the race with the history of others. It is not about race.”
Obama often makes references to his distinctions as a candidate, such as saying there are doubts among some voters because he has “a funny name.” At times he refers to his race as well, saying he looks different from any previous candidate but then adding that the differences are not just about race. Addressing supporters Wednesday night at a fundraiser in Springfield, Mo., he said, “It’s a leap, electing a 46-year-old black guy named Barack Obama.”
UPDATE: In case anyone takes this seriously, this was Obama last month:
The choice is clear. Most of all we can choose between hope and fear. It is going to be very difficult for Republicans to run on their stewardship of the economy or their outstanding foreign policy. We know what kind of campaign they’re going to run. They’re going to try to make you afraid. They’re going to try to make you afraid of me. He’s young and inexperienced and he’s got a funny name. And did I mention he’s black?
This is the same riff, almost point for point: Republicans have no ideas, they’ll try to scare you, funny name, black. If it weren’t obvious from his actual remarks that he was referring to race, it is certainly obvious from the way he’s phrased those same remarks in the past.
(Via the Corner.)
UPDATE: The Obama campaign finally concedes the obvious.