Is it or is it NOT about race, Barack?

Mike Gallagher

2/12/2007 7:51:14 AM - Mike Gallagher

You know the old expression that when someone says "it's not really about the money" it's ALWAYS about the money?

I keep hearing from the Barack Obama camp that his campaign won't really be about race.  You know what's coming, right?

The first telling sign about how the Illinois senator wants to make sure his campaign is definitely about race came during last night's "60 Minutes" love letter.  Both Sen. Obama and his wife made almost passing references to racial issues that a careful listener would have caught.

First off, Obama was asked something about being "black enough."  He made a brief reference to how difficult it is for him to catch a taxicab when he tries to hail one. 

Secondly, Mrs. Obama was asked about the risks her husband faces to his safety by running for president since he's black.  She replied that "as a black man" any time he goes to the store, he risks getting shot.

First off, any of us who take cabs on a regular basis have a deep cynicism that a man wearing a two thousand dollar camel-haired coat and carrying a briefcase would have a tough time hailing a cab, black or white.

And secondly, I'm not sure if Mrs. Obama has ever researched whether or not a black man runs a bigger risk of getting shot while simply "going to the store" than a non-black.

In both cases, the Obamas used gratituous examples of race, indicating that we'd better be ready for a racially-charged campaign.

In other words, when the Obama people say "this campaign won't be about race", we need to remember that that's up the candidate -- and his wife.