Not So Black and White: Will Racial Politics Foil Obama?

Obama supporter Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., offered Obama this historically inaccurate compliment at a news conference today, saying that "what this man has done, Barack Obama, is, he, for the first time I think, as a black leader in America, has come to the American people not as a victim but rather as a leader. To say to white people who have legitimate resentments about racial politics in this country and black people who have understanding about bitterness and anger, especially older black Americans who lived through some of those times where they were told that drinking fountain isn't good enough for them."

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said today that Obama could "bridge the divide of religious extremism" and "in some cases go around their dictator leaders to the people and inspire the people in ways that we can't otherwise."

But when questioned about what made Obama so capable of such a large task, Kerry pointed to a surprisingly thin qualification -- "because he's African-American," the Massachusetts senator said. "Because he's a black man. Who has come from a place of oppression and repression through the years in our own country."

Nationally, there was nationally much discussion about race today, but perhaps not what Barack Obama had in mind.

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