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January 14, 2008
MORE ON OBAMA AND RACE, from Brendan Loy:
He is, it turns out, perfectly willing to let this racial stew fester, so long as he thinks it will work to his advantage -- even though the controversy is totally baseless, and he knows it. That suggests to me that, as president, he would let any racial controversy fester if he deems it politically advantageous.
The last thing we need is a President who encourages festering racial controversies.
You know, I've noted before that if Hillary attacks Obama too hard she risks losing black supporters -- and others who've invested in Obama. But it works both ways -- if Obama looks too much like Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson, or even like he's too close to those two politically, he'll lose a lot of people who've rallied to him precisely because he promised "a new kind of politics." You can't run as a uniter, and engage in racial politicking at the same time. Well, you can -- but it won't work very well.
Here are some sort-of-related thoughts from Reihan Salam.