What Does Race Have To Do With It?

by James Kirchick | August 28, 2008

Andrew Sullivan writes:

I guess some of the McCain team believe that announcing his veep choice tonight as a way to step on Obama's acceptance speech is brilliant politics. I'm not sure that denying the first black candidate a clear shot at making his case on the anniversary of the March on Washington is such a great idea. It just looks cheap and a little desperate; and it robs the next morning of any real drama. But it wouldn't surprise me, given the immature mood-swings of the McCain camp so far. McCain is not acting like a statesman these days - more like a Yaffer of old.

One can certainly argue that McCain announcing his VP pick tonight so as to pre-empt Obama's speech is "immature" and "desperate." But either way, how would McCain's doing this in any way amount to "denying the first black candidate a clear shot at making his case on the anniversary of the March on Washington?" Since when was it the rule that the nation's undivided attention be forced upon a candidate's acceptance speech? This is rough and tumble politics, and race has nothing to do with it. Indeed, arguing that Obama should be treated differently because of his race seems to go against the very principles Obama supporters frequently claim are being violated by the McCain camp.  

Update: The McCain campaign released the ad a half hour ago, and congratulates Obama for what "is truly a good day for America." So much for immature and desperate.

--James Kirchick

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/the-plank/what-does-race-have-do-it