Friday, August 01, 2008

Did Obama Play The Race Card?

Did Obama play the race card when he was in Springfield earlier this week? I received the following email this morning:

From: "NBC First Read"
Subject: First Read: When race becomes an issue

First Read: The day in politics by NBC News for NBC News


*** When Race Becomes An Issue: 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. How do we know this? Check out the very defensive Obama campaign response to Rick Davis's sledgehammer against Obama. So as you follow this back-and-forth, it's worth knowing the Obama campaign is going to do their best to downplay race, and the McCain campaign is going to walk a line on the issue. They certainly know if they look like they are injecting it into the campaign, it'll cost them with swing women voters -- but they also know McCain could benefit from a backlash. The thing that galls McCain and many Republicans is what they believe is a double standard. They don't understand how Obama and Dems in general get away with playing the race card to fire up black voters without getting called on it. It's messy politics and catnip for the media, but the cold hard analysis is the cold hard analysis.

*** The Bear Hug: When the McCain folks hit "Send" on that Rick Davis email at 11:46 am ET charging the Obama campaign with playing the race card, what it did was knock Obama's message of the day -- hitting McCain on Exxon's quarterly profits -- off the political front burner. (After all, what are we talking about today? Exxon? Or race?) And in a way, it appears that the larger strategy behind the negative ads, Britney and Paris, Landstuhl, etc., is to knock Obama off his message of the day
and keep him busy responding to these charges. Compare this week, for instance, with last week, when Obama controlled the message. As the McCain campaign and RNC folks are touting, they've won the week, if you count winning the week as controlling the message (by the way, check out how many views the "Celeb" ad has gotten on YouTube). To use a boxing analogy, McCain is putting Obama into a bear hug -- making it nearly
impossible for the Illinois senator to move (in the polls?) or land a punch. But as a big boxing aficionado, McCain also must realize that the fans often don't take too kindly to boxers who constantly bear hug their opponent. And at some point, the refs break up the bear hugging and the boxing match is forced. But for now, the McCain campaign appears to have a way to knock Obama off message. The only problem for McCain, he's still not on any message of his own, other than "not-Obama." The campaign believes their energy message did break through. Time will tell.


Anonymous said...

Of course Obama didn't play the race card ... it was McCain who played the "race card card."

Same old Republican horse manure .... demonize the opponent until he's unelectable, then go back to four more years of denying reality, enriching the oil companies, screwing poor people, killing furriners, torturing the innocent and ignoring the issues.

Another great day for the GOP!

Jason said...

Sorry, person hiding behind the anonymous choice, Obama's strategist admitted it:

Will you anonymously apologize to the GOP now? ;)

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