Nashville Post: Will race enter the race?

Nashville Post

Will race enter the race?

What we have heard thus far is that many whites will not vote for Obama because he is African-American and many African-American’s won’t vote for McCain because he is not the African-American candidate. Both statements seemingly are true.

The reason Obama has gotten this far and this close to the presidency is because of how he has played the game. 

A lot of people have said that he has reached this level because he is just as strong an orator as former presidents like John F. Kennedy or Ronald Reagan. Yes, he can give a hell of a speech but if there is anyone whose style he has truly emulated it is that of the late baseball player Jackie Robinson.

Robinson broke the baseball color barrier in 1947 when he was signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers. When he signed he also agreed with Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey not to retaliate when racial slurs came his way but answer with intensity on the field. In other words, he’d make the people forget to look at skin color and look at how well the game is played instead.

Now 60 years later, Obama does not face the same level of overt racism that Robinson did. But he has played the political game the same way — in his case make them concentrate on his political beliefs and not his skin color, which was a contributing factor in his Democratic primary win over Hillary Clinton.

Going into the final stretch of this campaign, Obama has continued to play the game like Robinson. But unlike a baseball game, the final score will be impacted by the color of his skin. Obama will bring an expected increase in African-American turnout because he is at the top of the ticket, but on the negative side, there will be people who won’t vote for him because of his skin color. 

It will cut both ways on Election Day, but the question remains: Which cut will be deeper and will it be the difference maker?

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