The Clinton's are being blamed for playing the race card, but that is not how it appears to be.
In South Carolina, the AP reported Obama "playfully breaks into a black vernacular, which seems to amuse him and his audiences greatly."
"'I need you to grab Cousin Pookie to vote,' he told a crowd in Kingstree on Thursday. 'I need you to get Ray-Ray to vote.'
"At a similar rally in Dillon, Obama said Clinton was ducking the need to shore up Social Security. 'There are some things that aren't right,' he said 'and some things that just ain't right. And that ain't right!'
"He chuckled, the crowd laughed and cheered. 'In Washington,' he added with another big grin, 'that's how they do' (Obama Navigates Racial Minefield.)"
Obama is a full player in the Washington where Obama says things "ain't right." When he makes his ingratiating comment -- "In Washington, that's how they do!" -- he is indicting himself.
If Obama is not exploiting his race, why is he talking like a field hand? Did they teach Obama to speak like that at the madrasa in Indonesia, or in Hawaii? Perhaps it was on the Harvard Law Review? It is doubtful he speaks that way during his briefings.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who really does hail from the background Obama is mimicking, would never exploit the idiom of his youth. Obama is trying to come across as one of y'all, even though he is not.
Obama seems a candidate willing to exploit every angle, and that is politics as usual. But this is emanating from the horse's mouth, so let's not pin it elsewhere.
The liberal talking heads are all too pleased with themselves that they could identify the "call-and-response" idiom of the black spirituals. It feels cool and hip, but how many of them have ever attended a church service with a primarily black congregation? Obama is more than happy to exploit the hypnotic trance induced by such sessions.
In Sumter, S.C. he assured such a crowd, that he "pray[s] to Jesus, with [his] Bible" (When Obama Calls, They Respond.) What is so different here from Romney's protestations, George W. Bush's and the lot of them? It is short on the sort of substance America needs if it is to restablish itself on the world stage.
Now Edward Kennedy has thrown his support to Obama. "Mr. Kennedy was [also] impressed at how Mr. Obama was not defined as a black candidate. . . (Kennedy Chooses Obama.)"
Uh, is he defined as an "uppity, middle-aged white broad"? I think everyone is pretty happy painting Obama as our "first black president." But thank goodness race is not an issue.
Why this charade?
Clinton's precision is derided as "wonkish." Don't say what you really think, without first couching it in 100 verbal arabesques to obscure your true intention. If you don't, you are deemed a "loose-cannon," "not a team player," "wingnut and wacko," and political cartoonists will depict you being beamed aboard a UFO.
Today, in our media-saturated and wired society, the candidate must reflect who we think we are: erudite -- but not too much so, charming and positive, with a bit of swagger and mystique -- but not cocky, slim and attractive. Cinton pere once owned this magnetism, as did JFK and Reagan.
However, at one time we also allowed for non-runway contenders. Think Richard Nixon and 320-pounder William Howard Taft. More than ever, if one cannot pass under the image bar of attractiveness, one is an outsider. This is the New Prejudice, and it transcends and replaces race; perhaps, gender.
It is certainly more cruel to the female gender, members of whom become shrewish as they age. She is no longer able to obscure her competence beneath a socially acceptable veneer of beauty, whereas her male colleague only gains in sagacity as he lays on wrinkles.
Look at Edward Kennedy, fully a reprobate himself. But as Neely Tucker in the WaPo says, while yearning for Camelot is not the time for talking of such things.