Re "Obama faces hurdles bigger than his race," May 11
So political strategists and analysts say Barack Obama's race is less a problem to overcome to win over white voters in November than his inexperience and a liberal, elitist tag?
Hogwash! Obama has exactly half as many Ivy League degrees as our current president, who, you might recall, was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and was not raised by a single mother on food stamps. Yet no one ever called George W. Bush an elitist.
Shouldn't the leader of the richest and most advanced society in history be smarter and more sophisticated than the rest of us? Why do working-class whites have difficulty relating to a black man who dares to speak the language better than they do? Let's stop pussyfooting around these so-called hurdles, which are all code for "reasons not to vote for the black guy."
Too young? Too inexperienced? Too liberal? Hardly. Too dark? Apparently.
Charles Q. Clay III
So the first Sunday after Obama basically wraps up the nomination, the lead story in The Times is a laundry list of his negatives. Not an analysis of how he won, not a look at how a young African American came to be the first of his race to top a national ticket, not even speculation on who might be his vice presidential pick. No, it's a regurgitation of Republican talking points, somewhat disingenuously presented as what Democrats are "worried" about.
Maybe I missed it, but I don't recall the lead story the Sunday after John McCain wrapped it up in Texas being thousands of words about how he is saddled with the failure of the Bush presidency, has changed positions on everything from Iraq to abortion, has violated the campaign finance law he himself wrote, is a lousy campaigner and has a campaign stacked to the ceiling with lobbyists.
To anyone who thinks that Obama's "elitism" and intellectualism might have a negative effect on his run for the presidency, consider this: For almost eight years, we have had the opposite of an elite and an intellectual in the White House, and look where it has gotten us.
It's pretty depressing to contemplate that America is apparently now a country in which, if you are running for its highest office, being smart might be thought of as a liability.