Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Who's Playing The Race Card - Obama Or McCain?


Two weeks ago, Obama was in Europe capturing the media's full attention. McCain did all he could to get some publicity. Obama returned to the states on Sunday, July 27, 2008. The next day, the McCain camp released a fallible ad. The ad which shows Obama shooting a basketball narrates "and now he made time to go to the gym, but cancelled a visit with wounded troops. It seems the Pentagon wouldn't allow him to bring cameras."



The first thing wrong with this ad is that clip was taken when he was at a gym during his visit with troops in the Middle East -- NOT GERMANY. As a matter of fact, blurred in the background of the clip, the troops are watching him. Secondly, his visit with troops in Germany was cancelled because Pentagon & White House informed his campaign just a day prior that he would not be able to visit without the House Delegation (Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. & Jack Reed, D-R.I.). Otherwise, it would have been in violation of campaign rules as it relates to funding of the trip and viewed as a campaign trip funded with taxpayers money. In order to be compliant, he did not visit the troops, which in turn, gave McCain the opportunity to seize upon the cancellation.

When they realized that this particular ad campaign was not working, on Wednesday McCain release the "Celeb" ad mocking Obama's celebrity.



The first time I saw it, I laughed. My reaction was "is he serious." Obama's response to McCain was "is that the best you can come up with?"



I recently saw an Obama supporter noting that this ad had a subliminal message for white southerners who would have an issue with the ad pinning Obama with two white women (Britney Spears & Paris Hilton). I think the reason for his analysis is because of a negative ad ran in the 2006 Senate race with Harold Ford of Tennessee.



There was an implication that he likes white women which would be a deal killer in Tennessee.

The irony of the Celeb ad is that Paris' parents, Rick & Kathy Hilton are contributors to McCain's campaign. When the ad was released, Kathy Hilton was offended (see article). She said "it is a complete waste of the country's time and attention at the very moment when millions of people are losing their homes and their jobs, and it is a completely frivolous way to choose the next president of the United States." Oh yeah, in addition, Paris has released her own response to McCain in a "presidential-like" ad where she implies that McCain is old.

See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die

I wonder if the Hiltons are still supporting McCain.

On Sunday, ABC's This Week with George Stephanpoulos featured a roundtable with George Will, Donna Brazile, Jake Tapper & David Gergen. While everyone was attempting to be politically correct regarding McCain's ad, David Gergen was the most candid. He said that "as a native of the south, I can tell you when you see the Charlton Heston---The One (released Friday) -- That's code for he's uppity. He ought to stay in his place. Everybody gets that who's from a southern background. We all understand that."





Basically, Gergen is saying that although McCain is not overt, the code remains the same for the white viewer especially those with a southern background. McCain realizes that there are voters who are still straddling the fence between two candidates -- one who is viewed as another Bush administration and the other is BLACK. Although Obama had a very successful trip to Europe, he did not get a substantial jump in the polls. The reason for this is race. Voters want change, they want the war to end and a better economy, but are afraid to be led by someone who is different than any president of the past. That is scary for many and described as risky by Republican pundits

To be honest, I'm disappointed in McCain. In 2000, McCain was my favorite Republican. As a matter of fact, I was hoping that he would beat Bush in the Republican Primary that year. I was rooting for a Gore v. McCain runoff. McCain was very moderate. In this election, he is taking plays from the Karl Rove game book. He will do anything to appease the conservative base, who do not necessarily like him either. That is why he is practicing the same ol' politics.

For the past few months, Obama has used the same phrase "so what they are going to try to do is make you scared of me. He's not patriotic enough. He's got a funny name. He doesn't look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills."



Obama was making these statements as a matter of fact. As we all know, he doesn't look like anyone who has held the office in the past and he doesn't have a mainstream name. Does that mean this is racial? McCain's camp has decided to do a prexemptive strike and flip the script by saying that based on this comment, Obama is playing the race card. It appears that when every other strategy fails, the race card always works. What McCain, the media and even the Clintons forgot is that, although Obama identifies as Black, he still remains half-White. Which card is McCain implying is being played -- the Black card or the White card? With that said, how does someone who is bi-racial (equally mixed) play the race card?