Hey, Barack Obama has picked up another endorsement: Halfrican American actress Halle Berry. "As a Halfrican American, I am honored to have Ms. Berry's support, as well as the support of other Halfrican Americans," Obama said.
He didn't say it, but -- anyway, there are those out there -- greetings.
And then, more recently:
Okay, back to our Barack Obama Audio Sound Bite Marathon. What are we up to now? Let’s see. Oh, yeah. Obama just said he wasn’t sure that he decided he was black, that if you look African-American in this society, you’re treated as an African-American, and when you’re a child in particular that’s how you begin to identify yourself. If you don’t like it, you can switch. Well, that’s the way I see it. He’s got 50-50 in there. Say, “No, I’m white.”
After discussing this online in various forums with people on the right, I think I've figured it out. Because they're blinded by partisanship, they don't get Obama's mystique. They latch on to the one thing they can think of that makes him unique and think he's popular because he's black. If they can take his blackness away, they think he'll just be some ordinary one-term Senator and the press will shut up about him and nobody will care.
They're wrong, though. Obama's a political rock star. He's a young Kennedy or Bill Clinton, combining a first-rate intellect with uncommon charisma. (Reagan had the charisma too, if not the intellect.) Kennedy wasn't a great candidate because he had been a Congressman and Senator and it wasn't Clinton's experience as governor of Arkansas that made people sit up and pay attention to him. Ronald Reagan didn't make it because of his acting ability or even experience as governor. Kennedy, Reagan, and Clinton simply had what it takes to make people love them. So does Obama.
Obama's blackness makes for a great story, of course, and the press is bound to get caught up in that. But even if he were white, he'd be a major player in the Democratic primaries.
The only difference is we wouldn't have to worry about whether America is ready to elect a black man.