John McCampaign this weekend-ish accused Barack Obama of playing the "race card". This would mean he deliberately invoked race to imply that the negative attack ads the McCain campaign uses are racist in tone. The reason they said this was because they were seizing on something Obama said in reference to appearances--in that he did not "look like" those other presidents on US currency.
But what came first?
Now, leave aside that Obama can not help but address race because he shows up with his own face and his heritage written on it. The fact is that calling attention to race just isn't helpful. If race is meaningless or even prejudicial, well, it does him no favors to point out his color. It would only be beneficial to highlight race to turn off people who would see his race as a disincentive to vote for him. Therefore, a racial message would be far more likely to come from his opponent's campaign.
As a campaign message, the issue is this: the McCain campaign has been extremely negative lately, and they have addressed legitimate policy issues. But to the extent that there have been topics regarding Obama's (or his wife's) patriotism being brought into question, or the subtle undertones of "difference" in the "Troops" and "The One" spot, which seem to imply he thinks he's "better than..."
Who, exactly? Both of these spots rely on great gaping lies, but who? Is. The ad. Suggesting. That. Obama. Feels. Elitist. Towards?
Here is a simple and easy to understand fact--Barack Obama has a few reasons to believe he is better suited than John McCain to the Office of the Presidency. For what it is worth, I agree with him. The McCain Campaign had decided it would be simply awful if anyone ever accused them of using race in this campaign--
As if stating up-front that they were not racist and would not use racism would inoculate them from any charge coming from the media or the blogosphere (again, it won't directly come from Obama's campaign.) But they failed to watch. They weren't paying attention.
Bill Clinton was once called our first "black president". Hillary herself said nothing really suspect--but even the suggestion that they used racial overtones in the primaries was a downer for her. The claim it was not so did not prevent people from considering certain campaign quotes through that filter.
Now that the McCampaign has come out in front of the race issue, though, indicating that they would not ever use it--I am sure they realize that must now scruple to maintain message discipline. Even for the candidate. And not ever even walk the line. Given the luck they've had with message discipline...
Well, uh, good luck with that guys. I don't believe in luck, myself, but, well...