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Race has been injected into the campaign.

Let us be clear. Change in this country does not come without a struggle. At times throughout this very long campaign we’ve seen the best of Americans and we have seen the worst of Americans. Recently we’ve seen some pretty hideous things. For example, a black bear was killed, shot in the head, and placed in front of the Western Carolina University administration building. The bear had two Barack Obama campaign signs taped together to make some sort of a hat. The young bear cub was clearly a symbol. The police have figured out who perpetrated this crime but, interestingly, they have labeled as a “prank.”

A young campaign worker for John McCain was supposedly chased down by a 6’4″ black man. The man reportedly beat the young woman, who just happened to be white. He raped her and then carved the letter “B” onto the young woman’s right cheek. This incident occurred in Pittsburgh, in the swing state of Pennsylvania. The right wing bloggers jumped on the story with Matt Drudge leading the way. As with most stories like this, with just a little investigation, Ashley Todd’s story began to fall apart. The real twist in the story was the fact that John McCain’s campaign pointed to this incident and somehow tried to link it to Barack Obama, the implication being that Barack Obama either encouraged it or looked the other way when this type of behavior occurred. This is a ridiculous and ludicrous claim. John Moody, executive vice president at Fox News stated on his blog that “if the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain’s quest for the presidency is over, for ever linked to race baiting.” This quote is particularly interesting, since the story seems to have fallen apart and Ashley Todd has been arrested.

More racially-based incidents can be found here.

For anyone who’s followed politics over the last eight to 10 years, it’s really quite remarkable how Barack Obama has managed to avoid the pitfalls. He has clearly learned from those who have fallen before him. His campaign has consistently taken the high road. Keith Olbermann has more.

More from TPM – McCain campaign simply made stuff up and fed it to reporters –

John McCain’s Pennsylvania communications director told reporters in the state an incendiary version of the hoax story about the attack on a McCain volunteer well before the facts of the case were known or established — and even told reporters outright that the “B” carved into the victim’s cheek stood for “Barack,” according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions.

John Verrilli, the news director for KDKA in Pittsburgh, told TPM Election Central that McCain’s Pennsylvania campaign communications director gave one of his reporters a detailed version of the attack that included a claim that the alleged attacker said, “You’re with the McCain campaign? I’m going to teach you a lesson.”

Verrilli also told TPM that the McCain spokesperson had claimed that the “B” stood for Barack. According to Verrilli, the spokesperson also told KDKA that Sarah Palin had called the victim of the alleged attack, who has since admitted the story was a hoax.

By |2008-10-24T22:00:32-04:00October 24th, 2008|Election 2008, Race|Comments Off on Race has been injected into the campaign.

A victory in a big State

Barack Obama speaks. Less than 200 delegates away from the nomination.

What Barack said (I added emphasis):

You know, some were saying that North Carolina would be a game-changer in this election. But today, what North Carolina decided is that the only game that needs changing is the one in Washington, DC.

I want to start by congratulating Senator Clinton on her victory in the state of Indiana. And I want to thank the people of North Carolina for giving us a victory in a big state, a swing state, and a state where we will compete to win if I am the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

When this campaign began, Washington didn’t give us much of a chance. But because you came out in the bitter cold, and knocked on doors, and enlisted your friends and neighbors in this cause; because you stood up to the cynics, and the doubters, and the nay-sayers when we were up and when we were down; because you still believe that this is our moment, and our time, for change – tonight we stand less than two hundred delegates away from securing the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.

More importantly, because of you, we have seen that it’s possible to overcome the politics of division and distraction; that it’s possible to overcome the same old negative attacks that are always about scoring points and never about solving our problems. We’ve seen that the American people aren’t looking for more spin or more gimmicks, but honest answers about the challenges we face. That’s what you’ve accomplished in this campaign, and that’s how we’ll change this country together.

This has been one of the longest, most closely fought contests in history. And that’s partly because we have such a formidable opponent in Senator Hillary Clinton. Tonight, many of the pundits have suggested that this party is inalterably divided – that Senator Clinton’s supporters will not support me, and that my supporters will not support her.

Well I’m here tonight to tell you that I don’t believe it. Yes, there have been bruised feelings on both sides. Yes, each side desperately wants their candidate to win. But ultimately, this race is not about Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama or John McCain. This election is about you – the American people – and whether we will have a president and a party that can lead us toward a brighter future.

This primary season may not be over, but when it is, we will have to remember who we are as Democrats – that we are the party of Jefferson and Jackson; of Roosevelt and Kennedy; and that we are at our best when we lead with principle; when we lead with conviction; when we summon an entire nation around a common purpose – a higher purpose. This fall, we intend to march forward as one Democratic Party, united by a common vision for this country. Because we all agree that at this defining moment in history – a moment when we’re facing two wars, an economy in turmoil, a planet in peril – we can’t afford to give John McCain the chance to serve out George Bush’s third term. We need change in America.


By |2008-05-06T21:54:15-04:00May 6th, 2008|Election 2008|1 Comment
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