Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Race Race: The Final Lap

As his campaign dances at the edge of the subject, John McCain shies away but it is the Obama campaign that is confronting the racial issue directly.

After John Lewis' blunderbuss approach backfired last weekend, it is AFL-CIO leaders who are encouraging "blunt face-to-face encounter(s) to deal with those who say they can't support the Democratic presidential nominee because of the color of his skin."

In Ohio, the president of a government workers' union tells a rally: "(I)t comes out like this: 'I can't vote for him because he is a black man. He's not one of us.' Well, sisters and brothers, when you hear that, you know what you ought to say? This is what I say: 'That is bullshit! That is total, absolute bullshit!'"

The AFL-CIO campaign will make 70 million phone calls to union households in key presidential and congressional battlegrounds and mail 25 million pieces to rebut rumors that Obama isn't a Christian, wasn't born in the United States or was sworn into the Senate with his hand on a Quran. (Mailings show Obama being sworn by Dick Cheney, his hand on a Bible.)

Meanwhile, McCain dithers about race, joining in the William Ayers attacks but dodging questions about hitting Obama with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, as less fastidious conservatives like Tucker Carlson are urging him to do.

At tomorrow night's debate, the subject is sure to come up and both candidates will have a chance to drag it out into the open once and for all.

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