Thursday, February 01, 2007

Biden and Barack

Senator Joseph Biden said this to a reporter about Barack Obama:
"I mean, you've got the first sort of mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a story-book, man,"
Abama later released a statement:
"I didn't take Sen. Biden's comments personally, but obviously they were historically inaccurate," Obama said. "African-American presidential candidates like Jesse Jackson, Shirley Chisholm, Carol Moseley Braun and Al Sharpton gave a voice to many important issues through their campaigns, and no one would call them inarticulate."
Ok, they are articulate, but no one would call them mainstream. Jackson was the only one to win any states in the primaries. The others ran vanity campaigns - they knew that they had no chance but they ran because it got them into the debates with the real candidates. To seize on the word "articulate" without acknowledging the weakness of these other candidates is also historically inaccurate.

While Biden seems to be the one who took the initial damage, it opens some questions:

  1. Is Obama really so thin-skinned and race-conscious that he would take a compliment and turn it into an insult against previous black leaders?
  2. Is Obama really just trying to curry favor with black leaders who previously haven't cared for him?
  3. Is Obama fighting dirty by making an opponent's remark seem racially unaware?

None of these questons reflect well on Obama's canidacy.

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