International Herald Tribune: Al Hunt: Little but a national security crisis might help McCain now

International Herald Tribune: Al Hunt

Little but a national security crisis might help McCain now

The McCain camp has signaled it will escalate its personal attacks on Obama, including the Democrat’s tenuous ties to William Ayers, a one-time radical, and to his former pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright Jr. It’s not McCain’s instinct to play the race card, which is at the core of the Wright issue. It would be red meat, however, for some of the Karl Rove acolytes populating the Republican presidential campaign team.

A case in point: The television commercial linking Frank Raines, the former Fannie Mae chairman, to Obama. It’s totally bogus; Raines has played no role in the campaign. He is, however, black, and the visual of two African-Americans on the screen with implications of seedy conduct was not subtle.

Still, most of the closet-bigot vote is already settled. Obama isn’t a radical, either in temperament or ideology. Going back to his Harvard Law School days, he has worked to bridge racial divides.

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