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March 18th, 2008
01:39 PM ET

Does Obama’s race matter?

 Senator Barack Obama speaks to supporters at the Community College of Beaver County yesterday in Monaca, Pennsylvania.

Senator Barack Obama speaks to supporters at the Community College of Beaver County yesterday in Monaca, Pennsylvania.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Barack Obama's speech today on race may have been a blessing in disguise.

Perhaps the biggest question surrounding the senator from Illinois was whether he had the stomach for the kind of bare knuckle campaign he is likely to face at the hands of the Republicans if he is the nominee. Pastor Jeremiah Wright gave Obama the chance to "show us the money."

In the face of a withering barrage of taped replays by the media of Wright's comments, Obama had little choice but to suck it up and face the issue head on.

Obama wrote the speech himself. No speechwriters. At one point he said that while he absolutely disagrees with some of the things Reverend Wright said, he can't disown his pastor anymore than he can his white grandmother… a woman he says sacrificed for him and helped raise him, but who also confessed her fear of black men who walked by her on the street and who used racial stereotypes. Obama said, "These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love."

In retrospect, this episode may have given us all a chance to see how Obama responds when the going gets a little rougher than what he's probably used to. The Pastor Wright incident may have been the baptism by fire that Obama needed to seal his credentials to make the run for the White House.

Here’s my question to you: Does Barack Obama’s race matter to you?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Len from Washington writes:
No, Jack, his race doesn't matter to me one bit. I'm a 60-year-old white guy who thinks that this morning I may have heard the best comments by anyone in my adult lifetime about this topic. Regardless of what may happen with his candidacy, Mr. Obama brought eloquence and vision to millions of Americans today – things that have been sorely missing from our leaders for decades.

Jo Ann from Iowa writes:
Obama's race does not matter to me. I was a precinct captain for Obama in Iowa and I am white. Race was not an issue in the Iowa caucuses. Obama doesn't want race to be an issue now, but the media keeps talking about it and how it affects the nomination and who supports which candidate. Over and over, endlessly. The media needs to stop dividing us.

Clinton from Memphis, Tennessee writes:
Yes, it does matter and to say it doesn’t would be ignoring the facts. I have heard it out of people’s mouths. They say “I am not voting for a black guy.”

Ruby writes:
Obama's race does not matter to me, but who he associates with does matter. We Democrats cannot criticize Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson for their incendiary remarks and then give Obama a pass. He was a member of the church for 20 years and this surely is not the first time he has heard Wright preach hate against a whole group of people. Just as I would not support someone who belonged to a Neo Nazi group I cannot support someone who listens and obviously silently agrees with Rev. Wright's sermons.

Mike from Wisconsin writes:
No, Obama's race doesn't matter at all except for his "race" to the White House. Obama's speech this morning was brilliant and addressed the very serious issue of the continuing race problem in this country. He appeared presidential and in control. Shortly after his speech, I watched Hillary's press conference. How dare she act like the already-elected president? Her arrogance is beyond belief.

Coady from Winter Springs, Florida writes:
Jack, The fact that you have to ask proves it does.


Filed under: Barack Obama
soundoff (494 Responses)
  1. Ellen

    Jack...Barack Obama's race should not matter. However, those who say it doesn't are being disingenuous. That is a fact borne out by the number of African Americans (approximately 90%) supporting him. It defies belief that record numbers of African Americans are voting for him for his Iraq policy or because he gives a great speech. Race matters.

    March 18, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  2. Female Republican from Ohio

    Of course his race matters Jack. Everything about all the candidates matter. That is part of what makes them who they are. The inspiring thing about race and Obama is that he doesn't bring it up as a tool. He recognizes that his is a family of many races, and he relishes that. I hope the American people will see him for the PERSON that he is and not the color of his skin. But, the color of his skin did help define his beliefs and, I believe, his fundamental fairness. Just as it defines each and every one of us. Thankfully he took the things in his life that would have held him back, and made them challenges to overcome. In my opinion he was successful.

    March 18, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  3. rick hubbard

    BRUSH THIS PASTOR TO THE SIDE I DO NOT THINK SO. IF WE DO THAN THIS FAKE FAST TALKER OBAMA AND HIS PASTOR WOULD HAVE FOOL ALL OF US.IN MY HEART OF HEARTS I HOPE WE ARE NOT THAT DUMB, BLACK OR WHITE OR ANY COLOR OR RACE,THANK YOU

    March 18, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  4. Callie, Cleveland OH

    No Jack,
    After hearing his speech, the best political speech I have ever heard by any candidate of any race, my answer is No his race doesn't matter to me.
    My Black son is serving in The U. S. Navy and is married to a Palestian girl and they have a brand new baby, my beautiful Grandson. I must tell you that her family threatened to be-head her, they have disowned her. My son has had his life threatened, he has been rejected by her family. They both have continued to love each other in spite of everyone's else's problem with them. I must tell you that I have called their relationship the new bi-racial dilemma, that is until I heard Senator Obama's speech.

    March 18, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  5. Doug Pierson Tohatchi, NM

    It does not matter to me, at all. I know it does to some and that is sad. Race and gender do not belong in the presidential discussion. All that really matters are the issues, and perhaps moving in a direction that is less divisive and less intolerant of others' politics, race, gender etc. etc. etc.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  6. Chuck in Alabma

    His race doesn't matter to me as much as it seems to matter to him.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  7. Karen Fulster

    Barack Obama's race matters only in it's ability for him to unflinchingly understand the positions of so many. We are all in this together. Barack is the 'Best of Two Worlds', except for he and Dick Cheney's common ancestor, of course. We all have skeletons in our family closet. I forgive him his Cheney connection.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  8. JimM

    No His race only matters to him and the thousands of blacks voting for him. What matters JACK is the future of this country.
    Everyone must put aside their hates/loves/likes/dislikes of the candidates and vote for what is best for their country. JACK.
    We are left with only 3 candidates whether we wish it or not. I for one JACK am voting for my country not a candidate.
    Why don't you ask does the sex of a candidate matter. And remind them this is not their mother they are voting for or against. This is a much more interesting question.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  9. Kenn Stewart

    Jack,
    As a nation run into the ground, soon to be a third world nation, by rich "white guys", perhaps a candidate of another race or gender would treat us just a tad better. I am certainly hoping so. Our nation has been destroyed by the Bush family and their cronies. Time for someone besides the "Old Boy Club" (White republicans) to have a chance at leading our once great nation.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  10. David Hennessy

    Barack Obama's bi-racial lineage gives him a perspective from which he can speak with great insight about race in America. As he showed in today's speech, he's thoughful and empathetic to sentiments on both sides of the racial divide.

    I was struck by how cogently he discussed resentments among many working class whites who feel they've been marginalized in society, as well about an older generation of blacks who still see the lingering effects of racism and segregation.

    Altogether, I was pleasantly surprised by Obama's speech on race today. He dealt with this touchy topic in a way that elevates the social discourse and may actually allow for progress on race relations in America. He also showed an intellectual side that elevates him above conventional politics.

    It will be a real relief to have a thoughtful, well-spoken intellectual presence in the White House. It's been decades since we've experienced that.

    -David Hennessy
    Plantation, FL

    March 18, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  11. Darcy Stonesifer

    Yes, his race matters. I am a 70+ year old woman and to see a person of color raise to the higest office in the land shows me that we are a better America than we have been over half of my lifetime. Barack Obama represents my hope for the future. United we stand, divided we fall.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  12. William Smalley

    America is racist. Katrina victims are proof. Majority of people liven in New Orleans are black poor people. It took President Bush approximately three to five days to send Katrina victims aid. Katrina victims are still waiting. High percentage of Katrina victims are homeless, liven in tents. Republican Party is harder on minorities that Democrat. When the military is looking for volunteers, racists isn't the issue. All races are welcome. Other than the military, black people find it harder on finding jobs than other racists of people. Black neighborhood school districts do not receive equal amount of funding toward education. That one of the main reason black have the problem finding high paying jobs.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  13. Anne

    No, Obama's race does not matter to me. What matters to me is honesty. Obama has been caught in many little lies lately. First there was no meeting in Canada, then there was. First Rezko raised a little money, then a lot. First he never heard any controversial comments from Rev Wright, then he did. Obama's affiliation controversial figures is divisive, not his race....
    My vote is for Hillary.
    Rochester, NY

    March 18, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  14. Angie

    No. Obama race doesn't matter to me. But, to some people, mainly white, yes. This is America and I think Obama and his supporters would be naive to think that it didn't There are people who never want to see a black or female president. They will use something like the Rev. Wright incident as an excuse to say...."see, I told you those people can't be trusted". I've watch television and the various news programs the last four days and there are those conservative salivating at the mouth hoping and praying this incident will derail Obama's campaign.

    It is obvious race is still a big problem in America. This is why Ferraro's comments were so untrue. Obama's race will most likely be the reason why he WON'T be president of the United States. Much more than his policies and agenda. The Clintons have been playing on the fears of uneducated and low income whites and hispanics for a long time and I think she will continue in her quest to win at all cost.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  15. karen from va

    Obama's race matters to me only in so much as it defines part of his experience as a person. I believe that, as he was raised by a highly intelligent woman who clearly believed that the measure of a person's worth was not defined by the color of their skin, Obama is neither blind to skin color nor soley defined by it. What matters to me is the person I see rising out of the maelstrom of the vetting process, and I hear his message becoming clearer, direct and and more forward thinking. This is a leader who can lead us away from the injustices of race, gender and age, if we allow him.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  16. Lee from Jacksonville, FL

    If we look back over the course of this election, apparently race does matter. I agree wholeheartedly that this discussion—as painful as it is—is one we have needed to have. So many of us are sick of the division and the way anger, fear, and resentment are used against us for political ends. I have spent many years living abroad and I love the messy, imperfect uniqueness that is the United States. Our country is great because of its diversity. We need to have the courage now to face issues that still stand in our way. We have a choice as individuals and as a country. We can cling to the anger or move forward to create a future that does not reinforce past mistakes.

    Thank you for your question, Jack. I would really appreciate more dialogue and less diatribe from the media.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  17. Mary - Santee CA

    Absolutely NOT! I find this question to be annoying. I am a 69 year old white female. I have not committed to any candidate, but race will have nothing to do with my choice. I want a President that is honest, has intregrity, and most of all wants to serve the citizens of this country and not special interest groups, big corporations (who have led us into this financial nightmare), foreign governments, etc. If I find that Barrack Obama fills these criteria and others, than he will certainly get my vote.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  18. rbrannan

    Obama's race matters to me only because Obama/Obama camp have strategically used it to unfairly taint Hillary Clinton's campaign. Examples: After every primary/caucus, newscasters analyze the candidate's win or loss by breaking down the exit polls in bases of race, gender, religion, etc. When Bill Clinton 'analyzed' Obama's like J. Jackson's win in S.C. as understandable in part due to the natural large base of African American voters there, Obama/Obama camp immediately turned it into a racist comment to use against Hillary's campaign.When Hillary made her LBJ/MLK remark, she was pointing out that an idea (like Civil Rights) might be a good idea but it still takes the power of the Presidency (LBJ was President) to enact/make that good idea happen. Because LBJ happened to be white, and MLK happened to be black, Obama camp immediately made it racist.RBPA

    March 18, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  19. David T., Toronto Canada

    Jack, I think you hit the proverbial nail on the head. Obama is many ways is a metaphor, a proxy for all the Americans that are burdened by this issue of race – on either side. And it may very well be his most important role in uniting the country; speaking on behalf of those disparate parts that function out of fear of the other, the unknown, stereotypes having been bought wholesale.

    It's time America made the next move toward maturity, and what better person to assist than Obama. He has the stage, let's all hope the best can come of it.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  20. Justin, PDX

    It's not his race, but the promise of change, that i find inspiring. The worst case scenario is that he'll turn out to be just the same type of focus-group politician as McCain or Clinton, so I've got nothing to lose by voting for him. However, I do think is race and upbringing will give him more credibility internationally than Clinton and McCain.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  21. Mary Lou Richardson

    No, his race doesn't matter, but his relationship with Rev. Wright and subscribing to his teaching for twenty years does matter a great deal. He's as big a hiprocrite as Spitzer.

    You won't air this, because you one of those who's inclined to get Obama a free pass no matter what. There is no way, even those he's a real smooth talker, that he could win in the general election.

    He himself said,"not just words, words matter."

    March 18, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  22. La Forest Faulkner/Silver Spring, MD

    As an American (born in the USA) and a Christian, neither Obama's or any other person's race matters to me. I accept people for WHO they are, not WHO I want them to be. Every person is a unique individual, with individual differences. We should value our differences instead of trying to mold people into what or who we want them to be–if we are to return this country to its role as a respected leader in the world. I believe Obama is as qualified to be President of the United States as any person who seek this office. His Church and Pastor has not defined WHO he is–he has defined himself!

    March 18, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  23. Dave/HI

    The race issue has always been a factor in our daily lives. It is because of ignorance and constant comments from some of the conservative right. Especially, these conservative politicians and their pundants will continuously bring out racial comments and slur to try to divide the nation. I quess, this is the only way the righteous party must operate to convey their political policies. These conservatives constantly preach Christian values. But. yet can not walk the walk to their religious views. Please give me a break.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  24. Grant from Reno, NV

    Jack, did you see his speech earlier today? Has anyone ever heard of a politician with this kind of a message? Someone who can so openly and elequently discuss concerns we all have felt, but were perhaps afraid to discuss? If Obama is not the nominee, the only race that will matter to me will be the one I go through to move past the Clinton supporters in-line and write his name in on the ballot.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  25. Patricia

    hi Jack,

    this is not about race – if only because it keeps shifting fromblack man who lives like me to white man who is attached to blacks, deoending on the moment.

    Like the man says, this is about judgment.

    what matters to me is that this preacher is not a blood relative, he's an associate by obama's choice. And he was the one whose probity and philosophy prompted pbama to convert, and to entrust his daughters' religious upbringing to hisjudgmrnt. The presentation by obama leads me to say; This is not about race, it's about judgment. And it call to mind another 'leader' who says 'Let's all just get along' – cause clearly, you're doin' a heck of a job, rev."

    Patricia
    Massachusetts

    'you're doin' a heck of a job, Rev

    March 18, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  26. Victoria

    No.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  27. Carol Myers

    When the race first started, I thought we had two great leaders to choose from. Now after listening to Obama's pastor's ranting against whites, I wonder if Obama after being in th pew all those years and hearing these statements. First he says he didn't hear anything and now he says yes he did. Well we have a president now that tells us all the reasons for being in Iraq and they were all lies. Bush lied and people died. I don't want that to happen again.
    Carol Scio Oh.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  28. Mark - NJ

    If anyone tells you that Obama's race does not matter, then I would ask you to consider the validity of the source. Obama's RACE matters as much as Clinton's GENDER does. When I see Obama, I see a black man. When I see Hillary, I see a white woman. When I see Mccain, I see an old white man. It's ok for race, gender, and age to matter. It's not ok to ignore it! Keep up the good work Jack!

    March 18, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  29. Michigander

    I live in Nicholasville, KY......Barack's race is not an issue for me. I'm Native American with some Scotch married to a German Scottish man. I have nephews who are Native American and hispanic, a black brother in law, a Swedish brother in law, a German brother in law...........its a global world.........it is high time to get beyond race issues.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  30. Laurent Duchesne, Rockville, MD

    Fields can only be observed as shapes in empty space. They are in fact, apparitions, lines of force. Matter comes from the condensations of these fields. But these fields are not the ultimate irreducible reality, they are disturbances in the homogeneos metric, a product of the isometric aether. Disturbances caused by the appearance of mass, mass being the product of energy, of motion... of process, the process of becoming. The ultimate irreducible reality is the 'empty space' (its rightful name is aether) in which the field sits. And 'empty space', like a point, is dimensionless. All you can say about it without the possibility of being incoherent is that it is one and very real.

    "Being is a relative invariant in the process of becoming..." - Basil Hiley

    Obama gets it, we are one. What we do on to others we are doing to ourselves, lets be our brothers keepers!

    -
    Laurent, MD

    March 18, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  31. tonyh

    No, it doesn't matter to me. And it didn't matter to those who elected him to the Senate when they supposedly knew that he attended Wright's church and nobody cared. Now the pundits from the Republican party care!!! Dirty politics. They want the weaker candidate from the Rep party. And that's why they are trying to get Sen. Obama out of the race asap.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  32. Mike

    Jack,
    It is his character and his qualifications that matter. In just watching him deliver this speech, I see he is:
    Calm but direct. Brilliant in speech, brilliant in intellect. Able and willing to address the most emotional of issues head-on, factually, fairly, fully understanding of the complexities, and with compassion for all sides. Focused on principles. Able to inspire others to reach for positive goals. Focused on problem solving. Focused on making the Union more perfect.

    This is the candidate that I want to be my president.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  33. Robert, Columbia, MO

    It does. And it does not. It does, because, if elected, BHO will be a bell weather, a sign that this country is ready to be the united people it has always had the capacity to be. It does, because, if elected, a bi-racial president of his background and his gifts will be able to take that readiness and translate it into real progress. It does because it unify, not only the people of this country, but this country with other countries, who look to us for leadership, who worry about our true mettle and who may no longer trust our embrace of liberty and opportunity. And, of course, his race does not matter, because the race of a president is only a sign, a point of inspiration, an indication of something that might already be there in our political consciousness at this time, and might, perhaps with great difficulty, be tapped by another.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  34. Vickie

    no it doesent,he is a plain politition like all the rest no difference,he lies and uses every thing he can to get elected,he wants the black vote and the white vote,he knows what kind of church he chose,i guess that is why his wife said that this is the first time she has ever been proud of her country,i know why now,,,,,,,vickie louisiana

    March 18, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  35. Character Counts

    No. What matters is character.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  36. Gayle

    Can't wait to hear from Jack today...Hillary Clinton blah blah blah. Jack ,watch your commentary last night on the panel. When you speak of Obama your whole demeanor changes. You are sooo soothing. You guys are NO better than Fox now. I hope it's worth it.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  37. AndyZ

    No, his race does not matter at all. The last time I looked there was only one race here and that is the human race. What matters to me is his attempt to promise everything to everyone and not suggest how he intends to pay for it. I find that terrfying.

    Fairfax, VA

    March 18, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  38. Lisa Leighton, Dublin OH

    No. And wasn't that whole point of his speech earlier today? That differences among us at the end of the day are surface at best?
    I'm a whole lot more concerned with what he believes, not how he looks. If he can get this nation to start looking at itself as one nation instead of a lot of frightened, ignorant subsects, I wouldn't care if the man's skin came in checks, stripes or paisley. I think it is his very unique background that makes him so level-headed regarding issues that shouldn't BE issues anymore.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  39. Raul from KY

    Although it is not a good thing for our country, I think that many people do look at him as a black politician instead of just a politician. The same can be said about Hillary. The only positive element on Hillary's side is that most American voters are women themselves, so if the campaign becomes divisive on gender at some point, it will actually be an advantage for her. It is sad that these differences can play a significant role though, given that these can shadow the character of the best candidate that we have had in decades.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  40. William Smalley

    on cnn.com cafferty file the question was asked? Does Obama race matter? My answer it shouldn't matter.
    America is racist. Katrina victims are proof. Majority of people liven in New Orleans are black poor people. It took President Bush approximately three to five days to send Katrina victims aid. Katrina victims are still waiting. High percentage of Katrina victims are homeless, liven in tents. Republican Party is harder on minorities that Democrat. When the military is looking for volunteers, racists isn't the issue. All races are welcome. Other than the military, black people find it harder on finding jobs than other racists of people. Black neighborhood school districts do not receive equal amount of funding toward education. That one of the main reason black have the problem finding high paying jobs.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  41. Ram

    No, not at all. What we need now is the right leadership. Barrack has the charm, intelligence, good judgement, integrity, tolerence & compassion. From his background he understands the real world much better than his competitors. I believe that Hillary & McCain are also compassionate to other races.
    California.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  42. Nancy in Dallas TX

    As long as Pastor Wrights comments are termed "fiery" instead of racist, yes Obama's race matters to me.
    He will NEVER receive my vote. Thank God Hillary didn't withdraw from the race.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  43. Cheryl From Mexico, NY

    Jack,
    Wouldn't it be grand if Obama's race did not matter to anyone? What a Country we could be if no-ones race mattered, but unfortunately we all know racists. Barrack Obama is by far the least racist and most diverse candidate of all. It people could just look past the color of ones skin maybe just maybe we could unite this country. Obama has brought a new kind of hope to the American people and I truly believe it would be a tragedy to judge him solely based on the color of his skin.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  44. Sarah

    I never noticed his race, as a white woman, until Geraldine Ferraro made a scene about it.

    But I wasn't raised to think in terms of race, and grew up in Hawaii.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  45. Joe in DE

    I think that it would be a positive step forward to elect a black person, but the cainidate's race would not influence me as long as they make no overt use of race.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  46. John

    Yes. I am a white guy and I love the fact that we, as a country, have finally gotten to the point where an African-American can run for the highest office and win. This is symbolic of one of greatest achievements of the United States in last half decade. We have lifted an entire ethnic class of people from political and economic marginalization to economic and political empowerment. For the first time in the 20 years of my adult life, I am REALLY proud to be an American.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  47. Deb in PA

    No...his race doesn't matter to me. He is an inspiration. He is trying to bring the people (All of the people) of America together to fix our problems and work in unity. He is asking us all to hope together and work together. I would love to see him help turn our government around into the kind of government our founding fathers intended. I think he represents the hope and promise of America. I hope that people can drop their cynical views and see the promise in what he could bring to our country and to the world!

    March 18, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  48. Patricia

    No Jack, Sen. Obama's race doesn't matter to me. I know it does frighten some whites. But, to those of us who actually think, Sen. Obama is a standard for us to live up to & maybe proof that we can change.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  49. Jerry

    Jack

    No It doesn't and shouldn't matter what his race is.
    Why in the world in the 21st. century are we still talking about it, or
    do we still have to fill 24 hours of radio and cable TV talking
    heads and pundits.
    Why is it that only Blacks have to defend their religion?

    March 18, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  50. O. A. Eze a.k.a OGB in Austell, GA

    Jack,

    My friend, Barack Obama's race does not matter to me one bit. What matters to me is that he is qualified and has the knack and witty creativity to bring back this great country to full bloom from the precipice and brink of utter collapse in all ramifications.

    What matters to me is that he has the adequate capacity to make the right judgment when the need arises. That is what is needed by the Commander-in-Chief of this great nation and its people, whose hope and trust in its Leadership is gradually waning because of many reasons that are quite evident.

    Jack, my friend, the issue of racial characterization is totally poppycock to me. A fair skinned man inhales oxygen, so also does the man of color. A light skinned man dies, so also does the man of color. We have one common thing that unites all human beings and that is "breath."

    Jack, to me, 'we are all one.' Barack Obama's race does not bother me. He is a great candidate and I would be glad to see him sit in the Oval Office. If we Americans can just have this kind of mindset, we will progress and accomplish so much more.

    "Divided we fall, United we stand."

    God bless America!

    March 18, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  51. YMR

    Hello Jack:

    Today, Barak Obama gave the speech of his life. Most importantly, it is America's speech to the World- of and for its life.

    Lou Dobbs will agree.

    With best wishes

    ymr

    March 18, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  52. Helen

    Everyone seems to forget that Barack is just as WHITE as he is BLACK. Which race should matter? The white oppressive part or the black slave part? Can't we move past all our pasts and focus on the present. We need an intelligent person willing to adjust, reach out and know that times have changed. That is why that, even if, Hillary pulls off some kind of scam to claim the nomination, come November I will still vote for Obama... I'll just write his name in. If enough of us do that, Hillary will learn all her schemes can't stop the people's will.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  53. robert-New Jersey

    This was one of the greatest speeches in my life time so far dealing with this issue.He covered all bases.
    If people still have questions after this speec h and or sitting on the fence about Barack,Well you weren't going to vote for him anyway and you were the people he was talking to.

    Will McCain make this same kind of speech about his accepting the endorsement of John Hagee?Or will he continue to get the pass on the subject that he's been getting?

    March 18, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  54. Troy

    Not at all Jack. Black, White, or Both, he still sucks.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  55. Trisha, Michigan

    Senator Obama's race matters as little to me as Senator Clinton's gender. I think that it is sad that someone like Senator Obama who has such outstanding characteristics is being defined by his race. There are many other talking points that help define someone aside form one's ethnicity.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  56. John

    I think Obama’s speech this morning was one of the most candid and profound I’ve heard in decades. Its thoughtful approach to a sensitive issue and can-do attitude toward the possibilities of the future is at the heart of what makes me proud to be an American. The malignant cynicism I’m hearing from Obama’s detractors is frankly pretty sickening.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  57. Jennifer

    As a woman of mixed race who is not African American, I found Sen. Obama’s speech this morning both disappointing and disturbing. Both Sen. Obama and the CNN commentators, tried to portray the discrimination and hate crimes in this country as a Black-White issue. Sen. Obama’s references to other minorities were few and seemed forced. His only reference to Native Americans was 24 minutes into his speech.

    The issue is not that the forefathers and their offspring tolerated slavery and discriminated against African Americans. They mistreated and discriminated against many racial and ethnic groups as well. Both Sen. Obama and CNN commentator focus on the divisions between the African American and white communities as if they are the core of racial issues in America. This xenophobic view is disturbing to those minorities left on the outside.

    The problem at the core of these issues is the acceptance of the discrimination and violence regional majorities impose upon those different from themselves. As long as our society nurtures fear of those different from ourselves, we will suffer from racial, ethnic and cultural divides. Until Americans learn to respect and embrace our diversity we will face these divides. To hear Sen. Obama limit his discussion of race and politics to Black and White differences raised concerns about his understanding of other issues of discrimination and violence.

    I am a life long democrat who thought she could support Sen. Obama if he won the nomination. I am beginning to have grave doubts. It is not that Sen. Obama’s race matters as his seeming insensitivity to non-African American racial issues.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  58. Mark - Gilbert, AZ

    No, and I could care less what a candidates religion is either. I try to not be racists, sexists, or discriminate in any other manner. No one's perfect though and we all make mistakes from time to time.

    That being said, what does matter is a candidate's vision for the future. Ultimately no one knows if the candidate will be able to follow thru with their vision but it's important to start on the right foot and go from there.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  59. Heather

    Honestly no Jack. His race has never been an issue with me concerning this primary or the general election should he win the nomination. I have been more concerned with the issues and how each of the candidates plan on dealing with them. Neither color nor gender should be a part of this. Quit beating that poor dead horse, it's glue already...just get back to the true issues at stake here.

    Heather in Missouri

    March 18, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  60. Denese, San Antonio, Texas

    Sen Obama's race matters to me only because he is the first Black man to be aserious candidate for President. Other than that, I do not see "color" when I think of this man. His message is inclusive of every person and every issue in America. He wants the best for all Americans, that is what makes him so unique. I think he wisely brought the issue of race to the forefront today, when he reminded us that we all have folks we know that have said things that we do not agree with. Senator Obama will not be a Black President he will be a Great President.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  61. Sharon

    If this speech was given on his own, without having Pastor-Gate force it, it may have impacted me. It is the same old political games. I know the Obama camp wants to blame Hillary for everything, but if her Pastor was racist, she would be crowned the most evil witch of a candidate by the media. Once again, not only do you and the media as a whole give Barrack a pass, but you go further and praise his speech. By the way he wrote most the speech, but not all of it. Let's not revisit his plagaristic past.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  62. Gloria in Texas

    No, his race does not matter to me, he is biracial. What matters to me is his credibility. Too many times he has not told the absolute truth about things he has been questioned about.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  63. TaMara - Colorado

    Senator Obama's race does not matter to me anymore than Senator Clinton's gender matters to me. My job is to research and vote for the candidate that I feel can best lead this country. What his race does, what her gender does, is give me hope that we have finally moved forward. Long overdue baby steps, mind you, but movement nonetheless. And in these times, hope cannot be under estimated.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  64. yao

    Jack,

    All I can say is I just love your commentry and opinions. fearless, just fearless bold and "maddening". Please keep calling it as it is. Priceless the look on Wolf's face when you start dishing it out. He must love it because he does not have the balls to speak truth to power and challenge it or he is a bald face liar and hypocrite.

    love your takes.......

    yao

    March 18, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  65. Texas Independent Ft. Worth Tx

    Obama's race didn't matter at all and still doesn't. I strongly suspicion that what we have at work here is Clinton's ploy of triangulation.

    Geraldine Ferraro's comments brought racial slurs front and center in this campaign. They were closely followed by more racial slurs from Rev Wright.

    Unfortunately, it seems now we are only concerned with "WHO MADE THE WORSE SLUR". What we should be concerned with is WHY any RACIAL SLUR WAS MADE AT ALL.. It clearly has no place in politics. I place blame squarely on the Clintons for it continuing to be an issue in this campaign.

    Racial bias is now spilling over into religios convictions. Our founding fathers chose to have spearation of church and state.
    I'm not black, so I would not begin to try and judge how extreme Rev. Wright's comments may or may not have been. I would not choose him for a pastor, but I do not condem someone who does. I would not want to be called racist because I support Obama and I will not consider someone racist simply because of which church they attend.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  66. Mary Whartnaby -California

    Race and religion are big items in the country and should not be "tacked on" to a presidential candidate. Obama's background should not concern anyone as long as he has the qualifications to be the next President.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  67. John Bragman in Miami, FL

    Not in the least. I think O'Bama is a fine IRISH lad. His blood is red, as anyone else's. Except for him erroneously lumping Lou Dobbs with Rush Limbaugh (no way!!), the senator reminds me of Bobby Kennedy. Let's hope that no idiot tries to shoot him.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  68. Lori Sadowski

    Barack Obama showed us today in his speech that he is best candidate to move this country forward. His experiences growing up helped make him compassionate to all races. Let's give up on the attacks of his race and let Obama talk about the issues that are really important to this country.

    Lori from Battle Creek, MI

    March 18, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  69. Cathy

    Jack,
    Barack is already doing great works to help heal this nation, surpass obstacles and move forward. (this IS presidential work!) His work and his words are pure genius! He has tried to not make race an issue in his campaign because internally, he has already done the work of healing within himself. That is why he can listen to people that he disagrees with and can grow from it. By addressing race honestly and intelligently, with all of America and with the world through current circumstances and with this speech, he is helping us to move forward also....if we allow him. My heart is certainly open and in need of this change that happens from the ground up with each and everyone of us.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  70. Bill

    In the same way that Hillary's gender does. I think its time that this country begins to practice what it preaches as far as equality goes, and the first way to do that is to have a black or female president or both. That having been said, his charisma, message, and ability to unite is why I have and will vote for him. Obama can be a historically great president; we've seen this already. This speech today was not the speech of a candidate looking for votes. It was the speech of a leader who, even before being elected, is already working to unite and heal wounds from over a century ago. The words he spoke today should go down in our nation's history. Finally, he was able to put aside the worry that his race will lose him votes and embraced his mixed roots - the same roots that make him the perfect person to unite the races. The only one's who will still question this man's integrity and patriotism will be the truly racist at heart.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  71. june

    Barack Obama's race shouldn't matter to anyone. I'm fortunate to have never felt prejudice toward any other race and I feel sorry for people who do. If anyone has a problem with Barack Obama's race, are they against him for being black or for being white?

    June

    Virginia

    March 18, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  72. Jane

    No race does not matter. It's about who has the best qualifications to run the Country. Whoever wins this nomination has a daunting task ahead of them. The Country needs the best person for the job black or white, man or woman.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  73. Ginger

    Jack,
    Does Obama think that we do not know that there is racism in this country. I have known that all my life. Obama condons racism by sitting in that church for 20 years. The church that he is still a member of. The same church where the new Pastor defends Wright last Sunday in his sermon. Obama himself defends him by using slavery. What a joke !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  74. Carmen

    It does not matter to me, but it is sad that in 2008 he has to defend his race and specially when he is running against such an experience person. I thought such and experience person would have moved beyond race or even the notion of using that card. The same goes for Ferraro. I thought his speech was GREAT! I too have had priests that have made comments that are of the wall, or acted in an unappropiate way, but as far as I am concern they do not speak for me and that does not make me a bad person. Fixing this mess that Bush and his administration have created, and changing our direction is what is important.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  75. Jeannie Douglas

    No, his race does not matter to me at all. I am a mostly white woman raised in East Tennessee in the 60s whose parents taught me not to see race–perhaps because we have our own family history of mixed ancestry of Indian, Melungeon and Scot-Irish. I love that he challenged Americans to "stay above it". And I think that is possible. But I have a greater concern, can the media let this go or will they play clips over and over until we all turn off of everything you say. Jack, can you at CNN stay above it?

    Greeneville, Tennessee

    March 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  76. Turner

    His race doesn't matter, but hate-speak does, no matter the source. I thought his speech was a fabulous civil rights leader speech, and he was honest in telling us who he is. It is honest of him to stand by his minister and mentor, but standing by him and his father-figure's venomous rhetoric means that I will not be voting for Senator Obama as I was going to. He has made his choice, and so shall I.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  77. BERNICE ANDERSON

    When the candidates first announced their intentions to run, I thought how great to see a woman and a black man running for President. Finally the country might be able to see and go in a different direction, well I don't see any chance of that now. I'm completely and totally dis-
    enchanted with the entire election process. With the entire world's eyes upon us right now, it sure wasn't the time for 2 states being unable to have the voices heard and now Obama.

    He literally injected the race card by being dishonest about his long-time association with a pastor that is blatantly a racist and a radical one at that.

    His speech today did nothing to deter my decision that he was trying to hide his assocation. He did more to divide this country than Rev. Wright because whites and blacks and all other races were counting on him to hopefully bring this country together but who can believe him now?

    What about his other association he has with Resco? He was supposed to comment on that in his speech today according to news sources last night. There is a lot more to that too, especially his home that was sold to by Resco for way under market value. I suppose he's someone else that is like an uncle to him.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  78. jean jos Ormond beach, fl

    Obama has cleverly used race to divert the attention from his lack of experience and past affiliations. He has done more to hurt race relations than anyone in the last forty rears. His Svengali influence on the American peoplescares me.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  79. Helen from Mifflin County, PA

    Obama is unique because his race has shaped him but he is not defined by his race alone. Every piece of his past has shaped him into the person who is most able to enter difficult situations and be able to hear more than the 'wealthy, white male' perspective. In Obama we have a presidential candidate person who can hear other voices respectfully. His speech today will be torn apart and he will be torn apart because analysts will say he is not doing the right thing politically. But Obama answers to a higher authority who does not reject people because they are flawed. In that every American has hope if Obama is elected to serve as President.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  80. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    Not to us angry white old men who have learned the truth.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  81. Amie H.

    His race doesn't matter & neither does Sen. Clinton's gender.
    When it comes to leading America, It is character and vision that matter, and Sen. Obama is leagues ahead on both.
    Sen. Obama has risen to the challenge and shown why, once again, he is the leading candidate for president of the UNITED States of America. Not Red States or Blue states, Big states or small states, Black states or white states. His cause is the cause of this country, to form a more to perfect union to ensure liberty and justice for all. That is something every American can get behind.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  82. Joanne

    I have always been concerned that he would be extremely pressured to deliver special favors to the black race. i drew this conclusion from the extremely emotional crowds that surrounded him. They expect too much from this man. It would be impossible to expect objecitivity. He would be expected to suddenly undo all the wrongs of the past and It just can't be done without extreme repercussions.

    Joanne

    March 18, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  83. PAUL, Pennington Gap, VA

    Has it ever occured to the MSM to question the pastor regarding his politically and racially charged statements ? Wasn't he the one who said all those things ?
    THIS IS GOING TO THE MOMENT-OF-TRUTH, AMERICA !
    Is this nation going to rise above petty 'gutter-politics' of smear OR are we going to let this issue define this election and once again be victims of divisivenss ?

    March 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  84. VALERIE

    Race does not matter. What matters is judgement. How can Obama stand and support a man who would embrace a church and a man who spews such hate. If i were in a church that spoke of my country and fellow citizens; white, black or otherwise in the way that Wright has spoken I would walk out from this church and never return.

    Lets also look at the things that Obama has said. He NEVER heard such things, but today we hear that he did. What kind of leader is he to never call his pastor on such remarks. Obama is a candidate of convenience. It was convenient when he needed his black community to embrace Wright, but now that it is not he says he is appalled by such remarks.

    I once liked Obama and thought one day he might be ready for the Presidency, though i did not believe he was at this time. Now i can honestly say that I am a Republican who supports Clinton, but will vote for McCain if it is an Obama/McCain race. I firmly belive that Obama is the one who has deftly instilled race into these primaries and it is shameful how our voices have been stifled. If anyone questions Obama we are racist. Any and all attacks on McCain and Clinton (age and gender) are fair game.

    Unfotunately because of the media and the biases displayed we will end up with a McCain presidency.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  85. Claudia Wallace

    No, his race does not matter, but, what has become so obvious is that there is still a racial divide and I strongly believe that he has sound principles for uniting this country once and for and to be a nation who will be a shing and glorious beacon of peace in the Global community.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  86. IFEANYI AZUBIKE Houston, Texas

    If I say that Obama's race is not important to me, then I am not only blind but a bad liar. However just like I looked beyond race to support Bill Clinton, Obama means much more than race to me. He more than everything else represent the hope that no matter where I started, I can aspire to whatever height I desire and for me that is the real America. I would still have supported any person of equal presentation irrespective of their race if they had come with like appeal. For me, the injection of race in this campaign by Reverend Wright, Ferraro, Parsley, the press etc rather than than undo Obama, highlights the other America that we are all witnesses to but very scared to confront. I hope that we can all look ahead now and only cast glances behind to remind us of the unpleasant past and why we should treasure the present.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  87. Brian From Fort Mill, S.C.

    As an African American, I will say that his race does matter to me, but not for the reasons you might think.

    You see, we all need to have someone like us that we can look up to. This is also true with whites. The only difference is, since we're the minority, we can't afford to take anything for granted.

    For example, if you ask a white person when slavery was ended, he or she will say somewhere near 1863.

    If you ask a black person the same question, he or she will say, "It hasn't ended. It's still going on." Slavery has simply morphed into different forms, such as inferior education, limited business opportunities, etc. Many of us see no way out of the quagmire we're in, so we sometimetimes medicate ourselves with drugs, and become slaves to them.

    The hard part is to get whites to walk a mile in our shoes. After all, who in their right mind would want to?

    March 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  88. Pete

    Jack,
    His race does indeed matter. He is bi-racial and bi-cultural; additionally he is the most qualified, most highly educated and most inspirational minority candidate in US history. He is literally a one in a million phenomena!
    How any racial or cultural minority can listen to this man and not be impressed is astounding to me! Do they not realize that if this man cannot be elected, that it will probably take another 100 years or more to elect ANY minority candidate to the presidential office?

    Pete,
    Alberta, Canada

    March 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  89. Channell

    To some his race matters, just like to others Hillary's gender matters, but not a lot of people willing to admit that. I respect any person's right to vote for who they want but to hear people say "If Obama becomes the candidate I won't vote or I will vote for McCain" or "If Hillary wins I will vote for McCain...." Its hard to believe that its not personal for some people in some aspect, especially since the candidates clearly share the same view on most of the issues.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  90. Keith Irving, Texas

    Does Barack Obama’s race matter to you?

    No it doesn't, Jack.

    I want our next president to be someone who I believe has the best chance of restoring our nation's economic strenght (for ALL Americans who are able to and willing to work), as well as someone who can restore our good name around the world.

    This can only be done by beginning to bring the majority of Americans together. We, as voters, just have to decide who best offers us these possibilities.

    No hype, no lies, no fear, no backroom deals... Honesty for a change.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  91. yiayia

    doesn't matter to me..what matters are the issues of today, which for a good reason has been put on the back burners..enough already..let him get cooking , so that the meal at the end will satisfy all those seated of all family faiths dinners..and obama looks like he can put out the fire in the kitchen, go on with the receipes he prepared and present the balanced meal for the critics, supporters, friends and those just sitting because its free...GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES!!!

    March 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  92. Josephine, Eastbourne, United Kingdom

    I am English, I can honestly say that Mr Obama's colour has never been an issue to me – I listen to his words, not his skin colour...
    I have been watching both him and Mrs Clinton with great interest from over this side of the big pond aka the Atlantic . I have, for a while now come to this conclusion that whereas Obama can be seen to be a convincing "Uniter" but Mrs C is a divider...
    Of course I cannot vote in the USA – but my vote would go to Obama, and I am a white, over sixty female that still has hope in the Humanity of the Human Species...
    josephine
    ps I enjoy your rhetoric too! 🙂

    March 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  93. vince more

    plainly, the speech was such a loser i can almost hear karl rove's and roger ailes' guffaws. it was understandable to those already in the know, but unintelligible to those who need to know. he spoke to william buckley or doris kearns goodwin, when he needed to explain to larry the cable guy. and, please, the message is the medium here - pick any snippet of that speech which will counteract any 60-second replay of the wright rant on youtube, not to mention the thousands of replays by rush, drudge and the echo chamber.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  94. Bruce from Sugar Loaf, NY

    Although I am an African-Ameerican male, race does not matter to me. That fact that he has to answer to what his pastor preached (at a sermon almost 7 years ago) speaks to the point that race still matters in alot of people's minds in this country. Here we have a man who is a gifted orator, who runs an excellent campaign, who has won more states, more delegates and more of the popular vote than the establishment candidate, Hillary Clinton, speaks to his ability to be Commander-n-Chief...not his "race"...but for who he is...the next President of the United States of America...who happends to be Black.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  95. Lenore

    His race doesn't bother me in the least....but it sure seems to drive him. At first listen, today's speech appeared uplifting and all inclusive. The beauty of tivo is the one of replay. He seems to speak a lot about the spoken and unspoken anger of blacks – and oh, btw all other races as well. His solution is to bring all that anger to light, correct all the causes and then sing 'Jesus loves me'. Everyone comments on how even keeled he his – 'calm cool collected' – and how when everyone around him is angry or panicked he remains starkly composed. Almost makes one think that the 20 years of Wright brainwashing has taught him superhuman self-control until he attains the power necessary to 'even the score' for Wright's perceived wrongs. You're right Jack – its a side we've never seen before!

    March 18, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  96. Brian

    Jack,

    His race alone does not matter to me, but how he's handling the race issue certainly matters to me.

    Obama's race in some ways led to the Wright controversy, which in many ways led to the astonishingly brave speech Obama gave this morning. His speech was the most inspiring speech he's given to date, and it's the most inspiring and inspired speech I've heard in my 25-year lifetime. I was shaken to the core by the qualities he showed America today. He was gutsy, he attacked the issues head-on and left no stone unturned or question unanswered. He effectively laid to rest every possible concern I could have about him, his church and his approach to the race issue today, tomorrow and throughout the rest of his political career.

    If Obama had to be black for this all to unfold – what I think is a major turning point in the discussion of race in America on a timeless scale – then I suppose his race matters to me. Because these things needed to be said by someone, and Barack Obama is the perfect person to deliver the message.

    This indeed was his baptism-by-fire moment, and he has emerged a newer, braver and bolder person as a result of it. What an outstanding person, and how lucky we are to be able to vote for him for president.

    Brian
    Idaho

    March 18, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  97. Craig

    " I had to destroy the village to save it. " Can we get this over with.
    Hiram Rapids, Oh.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  98. PAUL, Pennington Gap, VA

    Has it ever occured to the MSM to question the pastor regarding his politically and racialy charged statements ? Wasn't he the one who said all those things ?
    THIS IS GOING TO BE THE MOMENT-OF-TRUTH, AMERICA !
    Is this nation going to rise above petty 'gutter-politics' of smear OR are we going to let this issue define this election and once again be victims of divisivenss ?

    March 18, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  99. Nuwan Samaranayake

    Not at all. But the real question is that how much does it matter to African Americans ? If the prime motivation for them to vote for Obama is his race, then those votes would be racially motivated. I don't think that is a good trend because then this "race" will be an issue in this campaign. As an Asian American, my vote was cast based on issues not based on race. Can the same be said for African Americans ? Can they put the race behind as past and think as equals ? If the answer is yes to both those question, I think we as a nation is ready to move beyond this argument.

    Nuwan from Houston, Texas

    March 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  100. Donna

    I have listened today with much interest to Obama. The comment that Obama made about his grandmother being afraid of "black men" that seemed to offend him so much I think should have been a personal matter between him and his grandmother. It seems that the terrible "white folk" that raised him, while the black side of his family seemed to have been absent, are now for the last twenty years been segregated out of his life, via his church??? What did he do with the white side of his family when he was married? Or when the children were baptized? I believe that the true side of Obama is just starting to come out and it is that he is a segregationist and not what we want for a President, but no one wants to say it our loud. His life has been all about segregating it from his white and back to all black ways. No one wants to ask the tough questions. He is a pretender. The Republicans will take this and destroy him come elections. If he really cares about the Democrat Party he will bow out now a save us from ruin.
    Perhaps his grandmother had a reason to be afraid of a black man, did he ever ask her why she was afraid? Shame on him!!

    March 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  101. Carey from Richmond, KY

    No it doesn't. He is not running on the color of his race. He is running on the issues that affects Americans of every color. If a family member needed a life saving transplant or blood, it wouldn't matter now would it?

    March 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  102. California Voter

    Jack, I don't care what race a candidate is. I do care that for the past 20 years Obama has been going to and influenced by a church that is racist. Check out the Trinity United Church of Christ webiste and the section "about us".

    March 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  103. Jane,NY

    No, race does not matter. It's about who has the best qualification to run the Country. Whoever wins this election has a daunting task ahead of them. The Country needs the best person for the job, black or white, man or woman.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  104. C.N. , West Fargo, N.D..

    No, his race doesn't seem to matter to me, however, as one contributor has already said, it seems to matter to him; he is the one who keeps playing the race card constantly keeping it in the news. I'm tired of hearing about it. I also think it was unfair for the news channels to air his speech today. Are they giving Hillary equal air time to give a speech so she can show the American public what an eloquent speaker she is? For some reason I doubt it as the news channels seem to be favoring Obama in this election.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  105. Brian Reed

    Of course Obama's race matters. Aside from being historic in significance his being black is the fastest route to improving our perception on the world stage. It will show to the world that we are finally moving into the future instead of always seeing a old white guy running our country. My fear is that the extremists in our own nation will not accept a Black President. Will the white supremicists say O.K. to that? Why don't you ask that as a question to viewers? Are parts of our society still too backwards for a Black President?

    March 18, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  106. clare

    His race does not matter. It's a shame we have to view the comments of Rev. Wright repeatedly. Obama needs our prayers. At this moment I am more concerned with, the bears buyout, the economy, people losing their homes, and the war. Although, we can't vote for the presidential candidates in the Virgin Islands, we are effected by everything that happens in the United Statesl.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  107. Donna

    No, His race doesnt matter to me.
    What matters is his understanding of the racial divide we keep running from in this country.

    What matters to me is his ability to approach the subject without .
    just saying anything to get elected .

    Barack Obama is a real person, a real american and a real Man!

    I know he will make a Real President of these United States Of America.

    Thank You Senator Obama you are a breath of Fresh Air for those of us who have ben choking on this foul stinch!

    March 18, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  108. Jed from Chico, CA

    His race, nay, race-es regrettably play a part of this campaign. His ancestry belongs to both Europe and Africa, and through marriage, Southeast Asia. Obama gave a speech today that he hoped he didn't have to give regarding our arbitrary assignment of race. He is equally African and European yet he has been labeled as black rather than white simply because he has slightly darker skintones. With that in mind the contents and context of his speech today tell us we have come far as a nation since 1787 yet we have not come far enough. Geraldine Ferraro and those who republish the comments of Reverand right show that we have not come to the point where race is not and should not be an issue. His heritage means little to me but it means far too much to far too many.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  109. Michael Bower

    Jack,

    Anyone who thinks that race is not an issue in this country is living in a dream world. That this man is willing to risk his run for president to speak to this issue directly is a testament to his earnest desire to work toward real change and begin the healing that is long overdue in this country. No, his race does not matter as far as his credentials to be the next president, but yes, his race does matter when we talk about healing the social and racial rift. I truly feel this man can bring people together and begin (maybe not accomplish outright) the long slow healing that this country is longing for.

    Amen!
    Michael Bower
    Rocky Hill, CT

    March 18, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  110. Jonathan from Canada

    Race holds absolutely no weight to me in politics. When reading between the lines, Obama still holds a straight-edge personality.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  111. Maria, Corpus Christi

    No, race does not matter. It's the person that matters. It's a shame that in 2008 it is such a big deal with so many people. This speech was needed because the race issue needs to be confronted head on for this country to move forward.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  112. Mick

    Jack I respect you, but your employers are afraid to air his speech in it's entirety for all to see other than this morning. Obama is the best thing that ever happened to your country. So the world is getting scared, we know your past and how your elite and media work together and the consequences of it. I am suprised he is lasting this long....it gives even more credit to him. God bless him and the majority of people in your country who can't be heard or can't seem to clearly be given any respect after 12 straight victories for Obama earlier.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  113. Rick from Upper Montclair, NJ

    His race doesn't matter to me. Of course, people seem to think it matters to him. well, his race does matter to him ... both his races. People seem to forget this man's mother was white. He's as much white as he is black. His appearance, however, suggests he's black and he had to grow up with that on his plate. Nevertheless, he does not emobody that typical race card player. People that would condemn the man for things his preacher said are just looking for an excuse to do exactly that. Again, he is half-white. Which also makes his children part-white. He wouldn't sit in a church while the preacher blasted whites. Besides, he's too smart a politician. He's knows better. He knows something like that would come back to bite him. I think this surprised him as much as anyone. It's a shame that people have to resort to exposing this stuff to further certain agendas. I mean, really ... can't we all just get along?

    March 18, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  114. chuck cornett

    Jack,the race of a person doesnt matter at all to me but the content of the inner person especially where his heart is and how much he cares for people it seems to me this is the right person for the job more than the other two.GOD bless Barack Obama!!!!!!!!

    March 18, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  115. Richard Sternagel

    Jack, no it does not matter to me! Obama's speech was fantastic! He showed a wide range of American History especially regarding race! His comments on Rev. Wright were enlightening! Obama's statements were from the heart! When have we ever had a Presidential candidate who speaks from the heart and who speaks the truth? Obama does! Go Obama!

    March 18, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  116. Mitchell Orlando,Fl

    Jack, the answer is no, Senator Obama's race matters to me about as much as logic and reason matter to the Republicans.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  117. Nikki in New Jersey

    Of course it matters!!!!

    His race....for PRESIDENT... that is.
    He better WIN it!
    I've wanted change for a HOT minute!

    Obama 2008.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  118. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    His race is what it is. It plays no role in how I will vote, nor should it play a role in how anyone will vote. This man has what it takes to become a great leader. We need only to have the courage to follow.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  119. Don Fort Wayne

    Obama's race matters to me only to the extent that his election will indicate tremendous progress in our necessary goal of racial equality. His speech today was outstanding and caused a switch in my support to him.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  120. Mary

    His race doesn't matter at all to me and I am born and raised in Alabama and am a white woman to boot. I think in his stirring speech today he hit the nail on the head. I think he is absolutely magnificent and hope he gets in the White House.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  121. George, Somerville NJ

    Jack it is 2008 and it is pretty damn sad that this issue still has legs. There are so many other problems in America such as health care, rising gas prices, and outsourcing of jobs that this race stuff just gets in the way of getting down to what matters. Majority of Americans just want to be treated right and to have a fair opprotunity to obtain the American deam. I do not care if a candidate was born with alligator skin as long as he/she is running to look after the American people and not the special interest group that run Washington today.

    Does Obama's race matter. HELL NO!!!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  122. Kathleen in Albuquerque

    Why is it if Barack Obama has a white mother and a black father is he considered more black than white? It is the shallowness of a portion of the less than human condition and the propencity of the media to revel in this racial conflict that forces Seator Obama to have to address this head on. It is way past time to move beyond differences. In my opinion, he is the perfect balance that can help this country heal and rise above the many difficulties we face, race included.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  123. onenibble

    No Jack, race doesn't matter but Obama's actions speak louder than words. Obama has attended Rev. Wrights church for 20 years and he can't seem to remember how much money Rezco gave to his campaign.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  124. monica

    No, his race does not matter, but here’s what does, I am a black female and a Hillary Clinton supporter and if she did not win the nomination I would definitely vote for Barack because at the end of the day I still feel that he would make a better commander in chief than John McCain. I have certainly endured some of the things that Barack Obama’s talked about to the point where I felt like simply giving up at times; however I have never felt that all white people were insensitive or hateful. If Barack Obama had said that from listening to some of the negative speeches Pastor Wright had given he had come to the realization that the pastor was stuck in time and doing an injustice to the upcoming generation by not informing them of how much things had changed for the better from since he (Pastor Wright) was a child and that possibly hearing some of the negative rhetoric from Pastor Wright he was compelled him to run on a platform of hope, then maybe I would have been inspired by the speech he gave today. I simply do not find Barack Obama credible. There is absolutely no way that he can convince me that he wasn't aware of the comments made by his pastor. Race was not the only degrading thing that Pastor Wright spoke on. Barack Obama said Pastor Wright was only a spiritual advisor, however in one of his sermons he could be seen and heard preaching to his congregation on how Fmr. Pres Bill Clinton did to the blacks the same thing he did to Monica Lewinsky and actually moving his body in a vulgar way, how appalling, and to speak of a man who along with his wife has done so much for minorities in this country. Tell me that his criticism of Bill Clinton wasn't because he was trying to make sure that they did not vote for Hillary Clinton, and tell me that Barack Obama didn't know he gave this speech on behalf of him and then I will believe that dogs can actually fly.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  125. Sharon, Indiana

    His race doesn't matter, but his pattern of avoiding difficult questions does. Although you give him great credit for addressing this issue, he really should have addressed Pastor Wright long ago. He also should have addressed Rezko long ago. His anwers seem to come out slowly in an evolving manner (NAFTA, Rezko, Wright).

    March 18, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  126. sali from Memphis Tennesse

    Absolutely not Jack. I mean the guy has energized the country especially young people like to get involved in politics. This guy has given Politics its true meaning, I mean listen to what he's said this morning. I skipped a class and I have cried when he drew the comparison between his pastor and his grandmother. This guy is the hope of the United States in the 21th century. So, I don't think his race matter to me. I know for some it does which is unfortunate.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  127. clinton muehlenbrock

    Yes it does matter and to say it doesn't would be ignoring the facts. I have heard it out of peoples mouths. They say "i am not voting for a black guy:

    March 18, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  128. Deborah

    His race matters in the sense that it opened an opportunity to initiate this dialogue about race that we have fought to avoid in this country.

    Honest brokers will hear this speech and know the truth and courage of what Obama is saying. Truth, because he acknowledged not just how many people of color in this country view our collective history, but in also giving voice to many disaffected white, working class citizens' feelings about the state of their communities. COURAGE, because no other politicians in either the Democratic nor Republican parties will dare touch the 3rd rail of race relations in this country-nor have they done so in decades. And Obama is not only talking about it, he is choosing to be blunt and honest in doing so.

    Honest brokers will understand that this is almost a once in a generation opportunity to look realistically at our nation's history of racial, gender and economic division, have a realistic dialogue about it and try to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Obama's very life, along with his unifying message, is a testament to the choices he has made regarding the diversity of opinion / information that has crossed his path throughout his lifetime.

    Closed minds and entrenched spirits will continue to stay mired in narrow, accusatory politics and let this message and this opportunity sail right on over their heads.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  129. Mike, Toronto

    To me Obama's race doesn't matter at all, but I can tell you Jack that the message his election would send to the international community would be tremendous. It would signal that America has left racial issues behind, a little something that Europeans, for example, can only wish for. African states would percieve America as a friendly giant, and this would help the country's stature on the international scene. Not to mention the positive reaction Obama's middle name would generate in the Middle East and Indonesia, for example, zones where Al Quaeda operates.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  130. Bob from Traverse city Michigan

    No Jack. Senator Obama's race does not matter to me. If that were the yardstick by which I measured whom I vote for, rich, white men are now forever to be considered ineligible for public office because recent history has shown them to be inept,corrupt, and incompetent. Senator McCain will face his own guilt by association crises soon when his political marriage to the cheney/bush surfaces in the feeding frenzy pool and he will be hard pressed to exhibit the class and sensitivity this black man did in his speech today

    March 18, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  131. Brenda, NC

    No. But it does matter to Reverend Wright. The hateful words of Reverend Wright are shocking and disturbing. Slavery was a terrible wrong and racism and discrimination are wrong but dwelling on these wrongs only leads to anger, resentment and hate. Neither Whites nor Blacks should participate in hate mongering. Inflammatory language about race perpetuates racial tensions. This is not setting a good example for children and the future of the country. I am surprised that Senator Obama is closely associated with this pastor and attended this church for nearly 20 years. Barack Obama seems to have his head and heart in the right place. But his association with Jeremiah Wright makes you wonder what Barack and Michelle Obama are really thinking. There is a double standard going on here—Blacks can say anything about Whites and it’s not considered racist nor wrong. The news media and Obama’s campaign and supporters are too quick to jump on Hillary and her supporters and accuse them of racism. You cannot compare Geraldine Ferraro’s and Bill Clinton’s comments with Reverend Wright’s anti-America, anti-white hate-filled words. It is unbelievable that Barack Obama has not heard Wright say anything divisive or racially derogatory or been at a sermon where incendiary remarks were made. The hate-filled rantings of Reverend Wright are unacceptable and is no way to unite the country. Yes, anger and bitterness because of slavery and discrimination is understandable but holding grudges against Whites and America does not help to bring positive changes for anyone. Unfortunately, Reverend Wright has made race a huge issue as well as Obama’s campaign and this reflects badly on Senator Obama.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  132. Lewis

    Hi Jack

    No Jack, his race does not matter. What does matter is his message that we ( ALL) need to take our pain, hurt and anger to the foot of the cross and leave them there. I am a 57 years old black male and I understand those feelings of pastor Wright. Yet, on September 11 2001,I cried and I hurt that day the same as when Dr King was killed and the day Bobby was killed. Let us the people out here in this land called America hear the words that egcos from the past. That we must live togather as brothers and sisters or die as fools.

    West Harwich ,MA

    March 18, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  133. Chris

    As a multi-ethnic child myself, the son of a white man and a Cape Verdean woman, I can honestly say that I understand what it means to be in Barack's position. And through my life experience and being questioned about being too much of one ethnicity and not enough of another, I have realized that race doesn't matter, be it Barack's or anyone else's. When I look around me, and within my own ethnically diverse family, I see people. Not races. The sooner everyone is able to see that way, the sooner we will be able to heal from the wounds of our past and present.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  134. winston

    Yes, as a person of mixed descent, he is the ONLY candidate or POTUS uniquely qualified to address the issue of race, having lived in both words.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  135. Dick from Indiana

    Race matter – nah – but I think the other candidates deserve equal time on all the news networks. Today's speech was a politcal ad pure and simple. If Kermit the Frog was running would he get free air time to tell why it's not easy being green?

    March 18, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  136. James George

    Barrack's race, name, religeon doesn't matter. What matters is his ability to lead and unite the nation. By the way, the interest rate cut helps, but we need a leader who will cut the waste of this stupid war in Iraq and get us out of the mess Bush has made in the world discracing America.

    JAG

    March 18, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  137. lulu

    Jack,
    Obama's race was never an issue to me and after today I have no doubt that more people will feel the same way. Win or lose, Obama will always be my president.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  138. Ilsa from Bergen County, NJ

    Race does not matter to me. Obama's race is obvious – as is the fact that Hillary is a woman. What is not obvious is the facade behind which McCain hides – and is protected by you all in the media. He is not a nice, ethical man. He turned his back on his first wife- who was at home with the family you never hear about – when she was crippled in an accident. He committed adultery when he returned home. His second wife stole drugs and did net receive punishment for it – His crude jokes about Chelsea when she was still a child – his votes against veteran's benefits – his involvement in the original Savings and Loan situation. If you are going to sensationalize some stories about candidates – then you ought to at least report the rest of the information

    March 18, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  139. Cynthia Armour

    Yes,as an elderly white woman, Obama's race does matter to me. The media is always talking about the fact that he's black, so what in the world makes me think he's half white? What matters to me is that we've finally become civilized enough to realize that Dr.Martin Luther King was right when he said that what matters is the content of a person's character, not the color of their skin. In my opinion, Barack Obama has enough character, intelligence, ability to articulate, along with basic decency and honesty to sink the other contenders. The fact that they are reduced to swiftboating shows how much of a threat he is to his opponents. It was my privilege to vote for him in the primary. I hope and pray that I will be able to vote for him in November.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  140. Bob L. Philadelphia, PA

    I do not support Obama for President. It has nothing to do with his pastor or anyone in his campaign calling another candidate a monster. It has nothing to do with his race. I may just be one of very few Americans who vote because of the issues. I do not care if someone is a Democrat or Republican. I have voted for both. I do not care if someone is black, white, Hispanic, or any other race. I voted for Michael Nutter (someone who is black, while I am white) because he was the best candidate for Mayor of Philadelphia. I do not care if someone is gay or straight. I do not care who supports a certain candidate. I care about the issues. And on the issues, Hillary Clinton is the best candidate. Period!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  141. Joel

    His race does not matter to me at all.
    What does matter is that his entire time in this church he never spoke out against these kind of speeches. I beleive that in 2007 the Church's Magazine picked Louis Farrakhan as their Man of the Year, even then Barck Obama said nothing about this selection. By this time he had decided to run for Prsident and still did not speak out on the choice of Farrakhan as the man of the year. Obama is clearly the most visible member if the congretion. It is really his obligation to speak out against what he beleives is right. It seems strange to me that he chooses to speak on thse issues onlywhen the poltical prssure dictates that he do so.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  142. Thomas , Michigan

    No. It's his intellect. And how badly do we need that in a president!
    He's a statesmen. How about that for a change?

    March 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  143. R.S. in Ohio

    It seems to matter to him is the point .He has family like his wife tell us she is just now proud to be an american.And his pastor has said GOD DAMN AMERICA. And he dosent put his hand over his heart .What it means to me is that he is trying to make people belive a anti-american is not that way,

    March 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  144. Eric, Suburban Detroit, Michigan

    Jack,
    Senator Obama's race is of much importance to me. His race is my race, every American's race. It should matter to everyone. It is not the color of his skin that I am speaking of, it is the race for the nomination of the democratic party, and hence for the presidency. He is my candidate, regardless of his race. The american people see what I see when I look at Senator Obama, that is an American that can bring everyone in this nation together, someone who sees past race, gender, political ideology, someone who can lead us to a better tomarrow.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  145. Coko

    Does his race matter?!

    Jack,

    What race is Barack Obama? He is both African-American, as well as, he is Caucasian. Somehow, this is overlooked. Otherwise, we would be giving credibility to the 1 drop rule.

    Race does not matter and it does not have a place in politics. This is the absurdity of the media's obsession of race and racial matters. This is a non-issue unless America is willing to have real dialogue.

    I am interested in him as a President of the United States of America; we are a mixture of all ethnicities. All Americans will do well to remember this.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  146. Tone

    In some communities, Obama is going to be damned if he does and damned if he doesnt. I find it remarkable that some of the very people who have taken offense to what his pastor says, are the very people who wouldnt vote for Obama anyway, simply because he is black.

    Obama has had to work twice as hard as McCain did to refute his pastor and twice as hard as Romney did to defend his pastor and its painfully obvious that Obama is being held to a higher standard.

    Hillary has tapped into the mainstream of Americans who will not vote for a black man regardless, you know the Archie Bunker types as described as “union members making less than $50,000 a year” otherwise known as the voters who vote based on race and emotions rather than educating themselves about any candidate.

    “Did Race play a role? In Ohio, 27 percent of working class male voters said race did play a role in choosing Clinton.”

    You dang right race plays a role regardless if we are calling Obama, Hussein, Muslim, racist or whatever because all these white men need is a seemingly rational excuse to justify narrow minded bigotry

    It was only a matter of time before the Clintons could find something that would stick. The votes of white men is indeed important, as well as hillarys need for black voters, to bad the majority of us will stay home in Nov. when hillary is against McCain.

    The democratic party has become a new haven for bigots that the republican party once was. I intend to Vote McCain should he get the nod, i’ll just find a seemingly rational excuse to not vote for hillary simply because she’s a woman.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  147. Jeff, Galena, MO

    The only thing about Barack Obama’s race that matters to me is that he wins it. He is in a race for the White House... right? Oh, you mean the fact that he’s an African American? Is he? I hadn’t noticed.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  148. Bonnie/New Port Richey FL

    No it does not. I do wish he would be truthful about it and own up to being a black and white, or white and black man and not just a black man. I think inferring that his blackness negates his whiteness is a slap in the face to his mother and grandparents who raised him. I think he is a very intelligent, likeable and savey man. I think he will eventually make a great president. Right after Hillary...

    March 18, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  149. vic

    Hi Jack,

    No, it does not matter and even if it did matter, it should help him because he can see through many different lenses that an ordinary person can not. He can hear the words of his paster through the ears of his caucasian american mother and his african american father, and having latinos and asians in his extended family gives him the unique perspective to analyze this issue properly and a real oppurtunity to bring all the races, white, black, and brown together. He did just that in his speech.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  150. Maureen

    Obama's race does not matter to me, but his background does. The fact that he has so many pieces of America inside him (black father, white mother, family members of several nationalities and ethnicities, experience living in one of the poorest countries in the world, schooling at some of the finest universities in America...) makes him uniquely qualified to give the speech he gave today. The fact that it came from him, not speechwriters, only further proves his authenticity. Those that dislike Obama will be always be able to find fault with him somehow. But the fact that he confronted this issue head on in the manner he did shows great leadership. I want someone like that as my President.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  151. A.M. Saqib

    Jack:

    WOW! What a speech! If there would an opportune time to have an 'African American' President of United States, this is it!. This man souds like, looks like, a man from heaven and a prefect solution for us, the American of so mixed of ethnicity. He is going to makes us, the Americans, proude of our diversity.

    Go ' Obama' go!

    A.M. Saqib
    Houston, Texas

    March 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  152. Michael Fermanich

    Jack; The bleak economy is grandstanding my opinions of the last two years via we have experts that are reality idiots. Yes my call on "expert idiot " focus is supported by a President that did not think we have economic problems, a man posing as a expert financial Investor on a tv show ranting about hanging on to a bank going under and a "bimbo" of international acclaim assuming that "gold" and "oil" are a good investment, Dah? Yes I am feeling good about my thesis on Economic Idiotism.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  153. Dennis in IA

    No, race does not matter! I am a 43 yr old white male in Iowa, you know the state that does not matter to Hillary! It is the person that matters it is what is inside of you that shows more than what the color of you skin is. I have been on board for Barack since day 1, he is new, different and is challenging our American pride to bounce back to be the leader of the free world not the bully that is we now are. Barack is seeing the future of the great USA and if we do not follow his lead we are headed down the same path as Greece, Roman Empire, and the British. We need someone to step us and be the guide to unite and inspire and that man is Barack Obama.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  154. Brenda Crow

    Jack,

    Obama's race only matters to me in that it has given him a much broader and deeper understanding of the complexities within our American society. The experience that he has navigating our racial divide, coming to terms with both the good and the bad and confronting them head on has clearly contributed to his effectiveness as a leader that can represent all of us, regardless of our skin tone.

    Portland, OR

    March 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  155. jojo in mass

    Race has never been an issue to me nor should it be in the election but obama brought this all on himself and he should be ashamed of his pastor and himself for sitting through the sermons listening to the filth coming out of that mans mouth

    March 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  156. Tracy

    I personally do not believe that Sen. Obama's race should be an issue. People should vote for him if they agree with his stance on the issues. Should people not vote for him because of his race, they are simply ignorant and fail to see the man that actually stands before them.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  157. Billy, MI

    His race does matter to me because he is a mix of two races that have a history of hatred toward one another. To me he is proof that the union of these two races can provide this country with possibly one of its greatest leaders.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  158. Jerry Wilson

    It does today. after Rice's racial diatribe, and Baracks attempt to distance himself from his mentor's remarks. Baracks real challenge is to explain how a person like Rice became his mentor, and minister.
    How could Barack have been oblivious to Rice's racial mind set?

    March 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  159. Bright

    His race has only been made to matter by the media and commentators seeking ratings. He came out and confronted the issue head on like a president should do. Unfortunately, some people cannot be pleased no matter what. CNN and co need to stop perpetuating stories that do not help change the lives of poor people.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  160. marjorie, va

    At the beginning of the race I didn't think it would matter until Obama starting having racial issues with Hilliary and Bill's comments-comments were not intended to be racial. i.e. Hilliary"s tribute to Martin Luther King that the Obama camp sought to view as an insult to Rev. King. Anyone really listening to the speech would hear her respect for the late Dr. King. From there on, many speeches made were taken in the context that she or Bill were downgrading the blacks. You say Obama has run a clean campaign, is it a clean campaign when he keeps a racist on his campaign-Rev, Wright-but finds insults where insults were never meant. Hilliary was put in the position of trying to disprove a negative, something that is almost impossible to do.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  161. Susan S. Guertin

    The question asked: Whether race makes a difference to me in the campaign for the president of the United States

    It does not in any way make a difference. I am an independent, voted for Romney in primary and will vote for Obama for president. He is reserved, honest, well spoken and will do amazing things to bring a broken country together. While I would love to have a women president, there is no way that I would vote for Hillary. I do not want the Clintons back in the White House. I want to respect my president and hold him or her in the highest regards and this is not how I feel about the Clintons. They embarrassed this great country.

    As far as the argument about who has the most experience, no one has the experience for this job until they are in it. Hillary cannot say this – she was not in highly secretive meetings. When she traveled abroad with her husband, she was sitting down for tea with the wives of leaders – this is not experience!

    I want to be proud to be an American again. I do not believe that Jack Kennedy had the experience either when he entered the office – but how he brought the country up!

    I highly respect McCain, but I think he is too old for such a tough job. I am 66 years of age and work 50-60 hours a week and know how tired I am at night – he will work 24 hours a day and many nights not sleep at all – I think it is too much for him!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  162. Ruby Henley

    Obama's race does not matter to me but who he associates with does matter. We Democrats cannot criticize Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson for their incendiary remarks and then give Obama a pass. He was a member fo the church for 20 years and this surely is not the first time he has heard Wright preach hate against a whole group of people. Just as I would not support someone who belonged to a Neo Nazi group I cannot support someone who listens and obviously silently agrees with Rev Wright's sermons. If the Obama supporters do not believe that this will come back this fall as a Willie Horton or Swift Boat type add then they are living in dreamland.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  163. Arianna

    Obama's speech was right on. He brought out into the open what we ALL know is talked about behind closed doors. We can get past this idiotic race issues but we have to deal with our past mistakes to move forward.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  164. Dem in KY

    No. It doesn't matter to me. What matters is his ability to lead this country as a President. I don't see that in either other candidate. All I see there is the same old same old....We need new life in our Presidency and Barack Obama is that life.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  165. Coady - Winter Springs, FL

    Jack,

    The fact that you have to ask proves it does. The fact, as stated in this powerful speech, is we need to face it and someday erase it.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  166. JoAnn Hardy in Iowa

    Obama's race does not matter to me. I was a precinct captain for Obama in Iowa and I am white. Race was not an issue in the Iowa caucuses. Obama doesn't want race to be an issue now, but the media keeps talking about it and how it affects the nomination and who supports which candidate. Over and over and endlessly. The media needs to stop dividing us. Obama's speech today was brilliant–as is he!

    The controversy about Jeremiah Wright has sickened me. To destroy this retired pastor's long legacy over some 30 second sound bites by people who were not a part of that community of believers is so very unfair. I appreciated Obama's comment that if those soundbites were all he knew about Rev. Wright, he wouldn't have joined the church. The fact is that Rev. Wright is a very gifted, prophetic pastor who grew a large, diverse, loving church over a long career. Those snippets are not the totality of who Rev Wright is, and Barack Obama has rejected those statements, but not his pastor or his church or his community. Enough said. Move on.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  167. Renee

    Race does not matter to me. When you take away the layer of skin, we are all the same color. Barack's speech was the most moving and well said speech I have ever heard from since Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a Dream".

    March 18, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  168. California Independent

    No, but his inexperience, his inability to be truthful on Nafta, Iraq, his knowledge of what was happening in his church, his poor choice of campaign surrogates from his campaign manager to his economic advisor, his poor choice in friends, his getting opponents kicked off the ballot in Illinois, his willingness to ignore the voters in MI and FL, those matter.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  169. Julius, Austin TX

    Jack, Obama's race does not matter. He is black and white. That is America. By addressing this issue, Obama has identified himself as a brave American who can lead a divided Nation. America is a conglomerate. A union with different races who come together for a common purpose...to be a great Nation. Thats what we need to focus on and keep a way from what comments various people would make on their own volition.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  170. Len in Washington

    No, Jack, his Race doesn't matter to me one bit. I'm a 60 year old "White Guy" that thinks that this morning I may have heard the best comments by anyone in my adult lifetime about this topic. Regardless of what may happen with his candidacy, Mr. Obama brought elequence and vision to millions of Americans today. Things that have been sorely missing from our leaders for decades.
    Racial issues have for too long divided our country and kept us from advancing our culture to a higher plain. Perhaps his speech today can begin to head us all in a better direction. I can only hope....

    Len in Washington

    March 18, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  171. B.B.

    No, his race does not matter to me.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  172. Mike from Wisconsin

    No, Obama's race doesn't matter at all except for his "race" to the White House. Obama's speech this morning was brilliant and addressed the very serious issue of the continuing race problem in this country. He appeared presidential and in control. Shortly after his speech, I watched Hillary's press conference. How dare she act like the already elected president. Her arrogance is beyond belief. Obama will loose this primary, not because he is not qualified but because our political establishment will eat him alive. Even though he has more delegates and the popular vote majority, the super delegates will cave in and vote for Hillary. We don't live in a democracy, we live in a politically controlled hell whole where it is indeed the survival of the dirty politicians.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  173. Kim in Ohio

    I have always believed in "all men are created equal". To me that means everyone...black, white, green, purple. Who cares what's on the outside anyways. I want to know if someone is honest, caring and loving. That should be what the American people look at when voting. It's not about who his pastor is and what that pastor said in a sermon. As for color...what on earth has that got to do with anything? As a nurse, I know for a fact that EVERY human being on the planet bleeds the same color.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  174. Tina Ft Worth

    To a liberal white woman like me no. To all the other bigots out there you better believe. They feel like if a black man wins the election it will be pay back time and as a black man he will make the white folks get paid back for what our ancestors did to people of color. It is a sad state we are allowing ourselves to become. What happened to being a good Christian and not seeing color but seeing human beings as one?

    March 18, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  175. East Coast Canadian

    His race doesn't matter to me. He is intelligent, has character and would be good for the country. What does matter to me is some of the postings that spew pure ignorant hatred and the fact that these witless people are allowed to vote.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  176. Jordan, VT

    I would like to think that our country has grown up enough to get past the color of someone's skin, their gender, or their religion. Other countries elect their officials based on their ability to lead and the policies they speak for, yet we have to comb through every last hair of our candidates to try to find something wrong, and it is generally at some personal level that does not belong in a presidential, or any, election.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  177. Scott

    Absolutely not. I honestly thought we as a society were beyond this. it doesn't matter one bit to me what a person's race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion is. All that matters is how well we believe he or she will do in office. I'm looking for an honest, realistic, and unifying leader who will repair our destroyed reputation in the international community. Race isn't even on my radar.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  178. Sam

    His race doesn't matter to me, I am Arabic, what matters to me i want somebody to say GOD BLESS AMERICA and do you think i want somebody in the W.H his Spiritual leader does say GOD BLESS AMERICA.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  179. Ruby Henley

    Previous message is from Fort Worth Texas

    March 18, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  180. Frank

    I simply cannot understand why Conservative Christian leaders are not held to the same standards regarding their outrageous comments. Falwell, Robertson, Graham, etc. have constantly preached hate and disrespect without the withering scrutiny that Reverend Wright has suffered. This is typical of the medias bias towards the right. Lets air out all the homophobic and zenaphobic rants that McCain endorsee, Hagee has dished out.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  181. Lisa

    No. His race does not matter but the company he keeps does.
    I believe his church is dangerous. Even if Rev. Wright is of the old school, there is no good reason to listen to hate mongering in the year 2008 or subject his children to it. No, race does not matter.
    Idealogy does.

    Lisa

    March 18, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  182. Catherine Fredericks

    Jack, of course Obamas race matters to me because it gives me a chance to tell you what a phoney you are. Obamas speech is a blessing in disguise? I think not. He has been listening to this minister spewing out anti-white venom obviously for a good many years. if Hillary was in this situation you personally would have her pillorized. Its obvious you wont let up on her because you hate her with a vengeance. You and little Wolfie are a pair of two faced hyprocites. Save your breath we love our Hillary and she is going to win.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  183. Roy Munroe

    Jack it would be nice if this country's citizens let their fears of race, color or creed not hold sway over their decisions about who to vote for. It is about time that we as a unified country put our prejudice's aside and do what is right for this country. In this day and age it's time for us all to grow up and get rid of our archaic notions of judgeing others by what we percieve from just an outward appearance.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  184. Olga Dobson

    His race does not matter to me – nor does his religion. What it important however is honesty, integrity and convictions.
    Yes the speech was very good and sincere however his speech did not calm my uneasiness about the fact he attended this divisive church for 20 years and did nothing to influence his pastor's message.
    What makes me even more uneasy is that he takes his children to this church so his children will grow up influenced by Wright's sermons of hate and divisiveness.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  185. Abeer

    Barack Obama's race does not matter. He is a unifying figure that can actually bring Americans closer to each other. His speech proved to me that he can face tough challenges and continue to march for what he believes in through the fire.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  186. BobW Rochester, NY

    If you don't think race matters, you have to be living in La-la Land. Race is an illness that still pervades our social and political consciousness as demonstrated in the hostile and polarizing comments made here and everywhere else on the web.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  187. lucyna

    Those who criticize Obama for his speech certainly did not get his message. They must be Hillary's voters because she collects only votes from stupid people.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  188. Tom in Ct

    No his race does not matter to me. Just another Ivy League'er.
    Great speech though. Very inspiring

    March 18, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  189. Mukhtar Ainashe

    Race matters but not as much as the bigots would like us believe.

    I agree with you jack that “Wright gave Obama the chance to “show us the money.”. In any even, it is getting ugly in the campaign.

    Thank you.

    Mukhtar Ainashe

    Falls Church City, VA

    March 18, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  190. Nalaka Dias

    What matters is the individual’s ability to do the job. Race, gender who he or she associates does not matter. Recently it’s all about his pastor. What can Barack do as he has no control as to what the others say or do? Just look at it like this…the entire world knows that George Bush the President is an idiot…does that mean all Americans are the same????? We should see through all these and welcome or recognize the man for who he is…not what others say or do….

    March 18, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  191. Aleksandra, Ottawa

    Jack, I have been posting my comments regularly but for some reason you never post them. Please do so this time.
    Obama’s race means nothing to me in any significant sense. I am an Eastern European immigrant and my history, culture and personal background could not be further removed from the American experience of racial divide and injustice. But, I have been brought up on what should be a universal principle, the principle that the measure of a man is not the color of his skin, which God he worships or how much money he has. The only distinction I make in life is between good and bad and even those judgments do not and should not come easy and without responsibility. Because of that, when I see and hear Obama I do not see and hear a black man but a man who speaks to the possibility of bettering lives of all Americans. It pains me to see that some people harbor such negativity towards him because of something he himself never said, thought or meant, and that they are ready to denounce him for what they see as his own failure to denounce Rev. Wright. That is a blind, small minded mentality that cannot see the forest for the trees. If we were all to be held accountable for someone else’s mistakes and blunders, it would not be the fault of the current President and the administration that Americans die in a doomed and misguided war, that the economy is failing and that American image in the world is worse than it has ever been. It would be the fault of those who trusted them and continue to do so, of those who empowered them and brought them into office. But this clearly cannot be the case. Obama should not be burdened by Wright’s lack of judgment as much as the American people cannot be blamed because of the lack of judgment and foresight of their current President. Anyone out there with even an ounce of intellectual responsibility, a sense of history in the making and a sense of fairness knows full well that Obama should be judged on his own words. And those who heard his words today should have no doubt about his integrity, honesty, humility and a true desire, willingness and the capacity to move this country beyond racial problems.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  192. Eugene

    Obama has tread lightly around race his entire campaign. He has not pandered to blacks or whites – his entire campaign really has been a wind of hope, change, and ideal, things that are universally human. His race hasn't mattered to him or his campaigners, but now he has been forced by his enemies to tackle it head on.

    This issue with pastor Wright really was a hidden blessing, as he has produced a speech that will forever change the stage of national discussion on race and social issues, whether he is elected or not. In elections past, we have dwelled on picking the lesser of two evils. For the first time in a long time, we have the opportunity to choose greatness instead. I hope people listen.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  193. Geri Britt

    Though I'm a white female, someone's race has never mattered to me. Actually I've never understood racism. I've always thought it rather silly, probably because as a woman I have been discriminated against. At the age of thirteen I was introduced to James Baldwin's Master of Falconhurst series, and I read everyone of those books. Quite an education about the way whites treated blacks back in the day. I was as ashamed of my white race over this treatment of blacks as I was ashamed of us for treating the native Americans, by killing them off with smallpox on their blankets and breaking treaty after treaty. In fact of late, I have wondered if all of these super strains of germs might not be hitching a ride out of the jungles in far off places due to globalization and illegal immigration. Hey! I just got out of the hospital due to a superbug illness myself. God's ultimate leveler of the playing field: What goes around comes around. This may be why the white race is becoming extinct or is it that each race gets their turn. For as civilization began in the Southern Hemisphere, perhaps we have come full circle and it is their turn again. Besides, I have one daughter-in-law who is an African American, and is a very good wife to our son and a really good mother. I can't ask for more than this.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  194. Angeline, Silver spring, MD

    Only if Hillary's gender matters

    March 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  195. Cher

    Yes, his race does matter to me. As a white woman in America, I believe that as a bi-racial candidate he has a unique perspective on one of the most decisive issues this country has to face. Race has come to the forefront of this race because it is a major problem in and for this country. Barack Obama can help lead us into the 21st century with a fresh perspective and allow the archaic thinkers like Rev. Wright and Rush Limbaugh to silently fade to gray (excuse the pun)

    March 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  196. Mark from Wappingers Falls NY

    Why should it, but when you are a black man it definitely does, I mean we have Blacks who will never vote for a republican and Whites who will never vote for a black man so as you can see it does matter.

    The truth is someone is using race as a vote getter , if his opponent were to be the nominee today she would still get the black votes as much as Obama will get them. Mccain? No he wouldn't because he is a republican, but some would vote Mccain because Obama is black. Though I think he can still win because it seems a lot of Whites are over that page in our history and are willing to make a decision based on issues.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  197. Christian Chicago, IL

    Jack, Obama's race doesn't matter to me. However, I think that it does matter to a great number of people. How else do you explain Obama winning close to 90% of the black vote in southern states; a place where racism is still, unfortunately, an issue. Exhibit A: The town of Jena. I understand the feelings of mistrust that blacks have toward whites, but just as Martin Luther King said, we must look at the person inside, not at the color of his skin. Likewise many others are voting for Obama because he is not a white man, and they thing that signifies the "change" that this country needs. Let's take a look at the candidates based on their merits, not their spouses, not their political surrogates, not the color of their skin, not their gender, and let's vote based on that, and that alone.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  198. Dan B. from Akron, Ohio

    As a black man, I must confess that Obama's race does matter to me. However, it is not the reason I would vote for him. His race is not a motivation for me to vote for him, rather it is because I believe he is the best candidate and the most capable of accomplishing what he promises. If he didn't have any substance, he wouldn't have my vote. His race is just icing on the cake for me. The way that he is handling himself is a compliment to African Americans as it goes against the stereotype of how I believe America perceives us as a people. Go Barack!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  199. Janet

    No, it does not. But this country is still has people hiding in the racism closet. It is amazing to me what people will refuse to let go of. Racism is an old fashioned idea created from fear of the unknown. Today, it is just a sign of ignorance. If a person cannot see that Obama is great candidate for the presidency, then he/she must have voted for G. W. Bush – twice.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  200. Arlene Brumfield

    Obama's race does not matter one bit, but his living in denial, is more than I can comprehend. He claims good judgement, and WORDS, are his strong points. If that were so, then how come his judgement, and words of a Father figure Preacher, would not have led himself, and those little children, out the door of that radical church ,P.D.Q. ? I would never listen to such hate, in a CHURCH - Gods house !!! Obama is an embarrassment to AMERICA, and the Democratic Party !!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  201. Herb Kaye

    His race doesn't matter, but his rhetoric does. A few days ago he denied ever hearing his pastor making these inflammatory statements and in his speech he contradicts that statement. This is not the first time he has been caught making contradictory statements(NAFTA and position on Iraq). This is not what he calls his new politics of hope and change. I voted for him in the primaries,buy not in the general election.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  202. Seth

    It does matter to me. I'm white, and I am glad that Obama is of both African and American heritage. Obama truly is from two different worlds – having lived abroad in Kenya, in inner-city Chicago, and at Harvard, he is uniquely positioned to see racial and foreign policy issues from all sides. I believe this makes him an invaluable candidate.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  203. R. Rivers

    No it does not matter to me. What worry me is when are all white candidate going yo be ask the same questions as have SENATOR Obama. Also why do Black always have to explain their position on race and White get a pass?

    R. Rivers
    SC

    March 18, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  204. Carolyn

    Which race...he is white and black, neither of which matter to me as our country has hit such a bottom that we should look to who can help us, not what they look like. He took a huge risk today politically...this speech may sadly ferret out and energize those who are threatened by any talk of race. The danger is many will be quick to tag the speech as "racist" merely because he calls on us to speak of race. I hope America surprises me and responds favorably, but my fear is – it won't. What a shame.

    Carolyn, Chicago Suburbs

    March 18, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  205. Karen

    As a presidential candidate no race doesn't matter if Barack Obama was John McCain and black he still would not get my vote. However, the fact that he is black and the man that he is stand as a beacon of hope for ALL American's that one day we may actually become the great nation we claim to the rest of the world that we are.
    Maryland

    March 18, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  206. Shane in TX

    Anyone who thinks "race" doesn't matter in this race to the nomination is an idiot! I call it like I see it. He's a suck pig . . . not white and not "black enough" as he says himself. I HAVE to agree with Ferraro (sp?) on this one. If Obama wasn't black, it is doubtful he'd have the attention he does. I'm a realist. I can tell you now, and I'm no prophet , if Obama is the democratic nominee, our next president will be John McCain. And that to me is unimaginable almost as much as having a black president with a Muslim middle name and a Kenyan last name. America will lose face value and I agree that Al Queda will be dancing in the streets on the slight chance Obama would win the presidency. Fat chance!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  207. Joe Marczewski

    No, race does not matter me. I firmly believe Obama can bring our country together. Yes, I think the Clinton's would do anything to win. Going back to the past wouldn't solve this country's problems.

    Joe

    March 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  208. Mary Lea

    The fact that Obama won't disown Rev. Wright says to me that he has more character than I originally thought. The expediant thing to do would have been to repudiate the Reverand for political gain, he didn't take the easy way out. I respect that. I will still vote for Obama.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  209. Barb Neafcy (Pronounced Nayfcy)

    I doesn't matter at all to me, except for the fact that his biracial heritage allows him to have empathy for the postions of blacks who are hurting and whites who hold onto unhealthy stereotypes. He has an iside track to both sides. I for wone find him remarkably courageous articulate and inspring. I did from the getgo. I'm so glad that this "Baptism by fire" is helping show the greatness of his spirit.
    Anyone who chooses to get offended by this is just not dealing with their own unadmitted prejudice or fear.

    I'm a 60 year old white grandma from Iowa and I want this guy for my president!!!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  210. Cheryl Summerville

    I believe he is trying to smooth things over. I can not imagine sitting and listening to hate mongers such as Mr. Wright. If Obama can sit at the same table with this man and not be sickened by his comments, and walk away and not look back. This is a coward.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  211. ATL in Houston

    Does it matter in the sense that his race determines his capabilities? No, not at all. Nor does Clinton's gender or McCain's age or handicap. Does it help define who he is and give us perspective on the person and his past and his heritage? Absolutely. Again, same as gender and age – characteristics that help define who they are right now.

    Personally, I marvel that the forthcoming election will produce either the first black president in US history, the first woman president in US history or the first handicapped president since FDR.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  212. Kim, Pasadena, CA

    I am deeply disappointed that so many of us cannot set aside our support for a particular candidate and simply hear the words of Senator Obama. After I heard his words, I had this moment of joy believing that no-one could dismiss the great truths he expressed. Acknowledging the truth of his words, folks, does not mean you cannot continue to support a different candidate! What is wrong with you people? I simply refuse to believe so many of you are hopelessly biased. Instead I will conclude that you are incapable of listening simply because you want a different candidate to win. Perhaps we should make "listening" a course in elementary school. Listening will not hurt you. Understanding is not a character flaw. Try and let the light in; I swear it is healthier in the sunlight with your ears open and your mind working.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  213. June Francis

    Jack,

    Color? Does Barack have a color? I thought he was just an American like the rest of us......not white, black, yellow, brown or whatever!

    June

    March 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  214. SuYou

    the republicans will eat him alive, no matter his race. This is a little, tiny tip of the iceberg.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  215. Marie, Charleston, SC

    His race does matter to me. Hillary's gender matters to me too. I think those things are part of a person's total package. Race and gender are assets for each candidate in that they will allow Senators Obama and Clinton to bring a fresh perspective to the office of the President. They are not the only things that matter, nor are they the most important.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  216. john

    Brilliant, moving speech. I’m through worrying about how Barack Obama will handle things. I think he just secured the Democratic nomination, and I think we are very close to having a truly great president.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  217. Ryan, Champaign IL

    Race only matters to me insomuch as the media insists that it matters. What's unfortunate is that the media conversation is obsessed with scandal and fallout, but not with the important issues underlying this story.

    Jack, Reverend Wright's (cherry-picked) ramblings are disagreeable, however it's an opportunity for us to talk about how much of the world sees our actions abroad. The media is chattering away about race and repudiation, but missing the point (as usual): All of these issues are deeply complex, and deserving of careful exploration. Do we want to discard a serious chance in Obama to address these issues by refusing to calmly address who we are?

    March 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  218. Red Dog from ND but now in Floida

    No, only his views and in some aspects his party affiliation. Only the republicans would consider a persons race as a factor. Just ask the old gay fat man limberger: his opinions stinks just a bad.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  219. Art

    Hi Jack, first time responding to a blog.
    My own personal opinion on this is Obama isnt going to show his true colors on this race issue because IF he does, he lost any chance at all of obtaining the democratic nomination.
    20 years of listening and learning and possibly agreeing with his ministers sermons in private inside his church? Im sorry, as a Dem myself and a white working male american, im voting for Hillary, i do NOT believe some of those Hateful race baiting sermons, did not sink in

    March 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  220. Joan in Penna.

    I have been very distressed these last days over the terrible things Rev. Wright said which have been replayed over and over on TV. The speech today by Senator Obama solidified my belief that he is a visionary and a man for all people in this country. I have not seen a candidate of this caliber in my entire life. What a blessing he is and what a president he would be.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  221. perry jones

    Jack obamas race dose not matter to any on execpt his self and the media, but his past in his church dose matter if he was not a racesed him self he would have got up and left the church. And too compound his statts as a racest he should have had an answer to this question in an hour not a week to prepare for a lie.
    If Mr obama realy wanted to show the citizens of this countery he was not a racest he would condem mr write, mr jackson, mr sharpton and all others who use race as a fear card to gain there way into the miends of persons of there race they place the question of raceisem. With this act they in turn create racissem aginest other than black. With all this the more you tell some one they are something the more they become what you want so I will do my best to become a racest for these four folls ..

    Regards perry j
    Council bluffs Iowa

    March 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  222. Sharon from Michigan

    I never judged Barack Obama by his race. I considered him a candidate with the greatest of qualities. This campaign has been an eye opener. I think it's time to get on with the campaign and drop the racial issues. Barack Obama is not his pastor. He will make a brilliant President....

    March 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  223. Terry plano tx.

    I'm a white male and I think Obama did great.(notice I brought race into it to justify my response) The problem lies, he never brought race into it. But the race card was brought to him. And he handled it with class.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  224. keith

    if there is a preset description of what the American president should look like,and being black,or a woman does'nt fit the bill,then the America i have heard of is merely a dream. Sorry Martin Luthur King Jr. I thought a man should be judged by his words and actions,not another mans' words,nor the color of his skin.Now i'm dreaming.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  225. Edna

    No it doesn't I believe he is one of the most intelligent men around these days. I thank God my mother raised me to look at the inner person and not the outer person.

    How much more fun it is, what a great variety of associates develop, and what a relaxed atmosphere when people are view from the inside out instead of the outside in.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  226. Brian

    His race does not matter, BUT, with the type past this country has it was bound to become an issue sooner or later. And I think Obama did a wonderful job of addressing it. It should not be an issue compared with the other huge problems our country is facing, BUT, it is a deep seeded issue that I'm sure no other candidate will touch if they didn't have to. People say that his words are just that, words. That they cannot bring about the change he keeps talking about. But if they'd only listen carefully to his words, it just might. This nation will fail if it does not stick together to help bring about the change we need. Otherwise, we have already lost.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  227. B. Amie

    His race makes no difference to me, but it most certainly seems to be something he has had in the back of his mind all along. I for one have left a church that preached things I did not agree with, and I also happen to believe that he well should have done that same thing himself. This paster what not his grandmother, far from it. Further more, this election is about the economy, the war, and health care for all, it is not about race relations. He should have moved away from that pastor if he thought the teachings were wrong.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  228. Lee

    Jack,

    Barack Obama has delivered one of the best speeches in political history.

    I am a black woman and my nephew fell in love and married an Indian woman. Her family called our family every ugly name in the book and they disowned her and stripped her of her inheritance. Please not people this is Indians (from India) hating blacks.

    I lived in New York for over 27 years and when I got ready to move to the South I had my WHITE boss warn me that I should take seriously into account that I was making a move to the SOUTH and that my experience would be somewhat different from the experience I then had living in Brooklyn. I moved to the SOUTH in 1991 and my first few weeks in Charlotte, North Carolina I had a man yell out of his window at me "NIGER". The reason for his outrage was because I did not let him go ahead of me in traffic. This was the first time in my life that I had ever been called a niger and I promised myself that if that ever happened to me again that I would not allow myself to feel the way I felt when that man yelled that word with such hatred and anger.

    We can all go ahead and pretend that this ugly sentiment does not exist. Barack Obama has had the courage to address this issue in such personal terms and I believe his sincerity. He is indeed a courageous human being and once again he has earned my respect. There are those who still will not get it and there are some who will continue to pretend that it does not exist. I wish we can move forward and try to address the serious issues facing our country and put this ugly incident to rest. The images of his pastor being plastered all over the media does not serve our country well. Barack Obama cannot be held responsible for what his pastors says.

    There is much to be said about the Federal Reserve bailing out Bear Stearns with tax payers money and the President of the United States sees this as a good thing. Then on the other hand the President of the United States has no more relief for the working class people of America who are loosing their homes on a daily basis, because they cannot pay their mortgages. Why is this injustice not being played and replayed, these are the real issues and this speaks to the heart of the troubles facing working American families.

    I hope Barack Obama becomes the nominee of the Democratic party and goes on to be the President of the United States. If he does I think that these United States of America will begin to heal and begin to be honest in its dealings will all people.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  229. Nesa

    Jack: Senator Obama is an eloquent speaker, but today, I saw a man speaking from his heart about his dream of how he perceived the American dream, and the future of the American children to be. I was crying all through the speech. I was so moved.. Senator Obama is the future of this great nation.

    Tampa, Florida

    March 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  230. JT from TN

    It doesn't matter to me, I grew up in a multi raced neighborhood. O' bama's race doesn't scare me, but what scares me is the people such as: Al Sharpton, Reverend Jackson, and others who have made racial comments at one time or another and white racial people against blacks I just hope he picks a well respected VP.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  231. James in Hamburg NY

    Jack,
    Race doesn't matter PERIOD.!!!!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  232. Chris MA

    ...YES in the way he looks at it because of the way it has affected him. The lessons he has learned because of it. It should be a lesson to all .

    March 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  233. Greg

    Thank you Chuck in Alabama! That's probably the most concise and accurate summary of my position that I've heard yet. "His race doesn’t matter to me as much as it seems to matter to him."

    March 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  234. Charles, Jupiter Florida

    Jack, let me tell you what matters. Obama's speech on race displayed an eloquence and courage that the Clintons can only dream of.It marked the moral turning point in the contest for the Democratic nomination. Obama has won.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  235. susan v. Mansfield, Ohio

    He said it all in his speech. To paraphrase, it only matters to the "ignorant" whose living experience (i.e., "luck of the draw" when they were born) has made them into whoever they are today. That living experience has formed their worldview and built their adgenda on how they will react to the world.

    You can't really blame a person for their worldview, you can only try to understand where it's coming from and "do unto them as you would have them do unto you." We're all just people who want the same things. I look forward to the day when the subject won't even come up.

    susan v.
    Mansfield, Ohio

    March 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  236. Judy Texas

    No the race issue is not what matters but his back tracking does. Lie never heard his rev. say anything contriversal while he sat in the pew. Then he said he has. Always calling Clinton supporters remarks racial while not calling his own supporters remarks racial. Give me a break he is using his own brand of old politics.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  237. Grog

    His race does not bother me one tinly little bit. The fact that his politics are to the extreme left wing of Marx & Engles and that he is pandering to the illegal alien, amnesty for all lobby does.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  238. Brandon

    In a way race does matter. As much as gender, social status, sexual orientation, etc. When people are different there will be those that will try to make them feel small. Racism, sexism and all the other forms of discrimination out there is the shame of America. The Dream is when those things will no longer matter as much as they seem to now. Obama has taken a step in that direction and the irony is that is HIllary wasn't being so negative she could as well.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  239. Pam in Maryland

    Senator Obama's race does matter to me. Just as every race matters. The fact that Barack Obama is bi-racial, in my opinion has enabled him to be a real uniter and an informed man.
    Barack has beared his soul today yet again. He has intrigued me since his 2004 Democratic convention speech. He is a proud American. He offers sound judgement. He actually cares about all people not just from his ethnic background.
    The question should be, Is America ready for this authentic, honest, open, brilliant man?
    Barack you have my admiration, hope and more importantly my vote.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  240. Vicki, Richmond, VA

    Race doesn't matter at all. The issue is whether his long term and close relationship someone who "preaches" anti-American rhetoric matters. It most certainly does when he has repeatedly calls this man his "mentor". That matters a great deal.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  241. Tom Huntington,NY

    The first time I heard of Barack Obama was when he gave the keynote speech at the last Democratic convention. I came away from that speech thinking the guy gets it as to what this country is or should be about. I have followed him since then and still feel that he gets it. Todays speech doesn't change my mind. I am a 57 year old white Irish Catholic and his race doesn't matter to me. That is not the reason I have voted for him. The reason is HE GETS IT. According to the demographis I should be for Hillary but this country needs a complete change of direction.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  242. Dmurphy

    Not at all. While I am not African American, I am nonetheless, a twenty-six year old woman of color and I cannot recall in recent memory any person–politician or not–who has so eloquently, sensitively and above all, accurately describe the state of race in this 21st Century America. I’m glad he chose to speak about this controversial subject because his unique ability to reach people is unprecedented and his message was, as always, one of hope and unity and speaks to his extraordinary ability to lead by example. Something sorely missing in today’s politics.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  243. DJ

    Race does not matter, but what matters is that Obama had built his presidential bid based on words of UNITY HOPE CHANGE
    a different kind of politics. And what we have no discovered is that he is
    the same kind of politics, he is divisive, he has lied repeatedly to the American public of all colors.

    No i am afraid Obama lost respect from America based on his lack of Judgment, participating in status quo politics, and by deceit of his own admission

    March 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  244. Sonal, Chicago

    Jack-

    Race does not matter, however anti-American remarks from his Pastor/mentor do matter.

    Also, Jack, you clearly are anti-Hillary and your bias is so evident. Can you please do us a favor and keep your bias an prefrences to yourself and so some independent report, and let people make up their own minds!

    I cannot beleive CNN has let you go on for soo long. We don't have any place for heavily biased reporting, the kind that you do.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  245. Gordon Las Vegas

    There's only one thing that matters.
    Can this candidate win the Presidency for the Democrats?
    I suggest that he cannot.
    Therefore I'm for Hillary Clinton

    March 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  246. Roy Birdzell

    It isn’t his race that matters to me; it is his racial hypocrisy. Obama went overboard a couple of days ago distancing himself from his pastor, his church, and Pastor Wright’s statements. That angered the black community, so today he had to backtrack and tried to make amends. So much for his vaulted judgment superiority! No one asked him to leave his church, no one ask him to disavow his pastor’s statements, no one ask him to describe his pastor as old uncle making crazy statements, he did that himself. Now he regrets saying all that, and what he wants now, is to given special consideration leeway because that’s the way of his church’s ministry.
    Roy in Florida

    March 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  247. carlo, baker louisiana

    I don't see why his race should matter to anyone except the Archie Bunkers of America. I figure if I, as a black woman, have given every white presidential candidate my vote, why can't white people give him theirs?

    As far as Rev. Wright, I have family members, both white and black, who have said a lot worse and I still love them. People who are so ticked off about the Rev. Wright comments either weren't going to vote for Obama anyway, or needed an excuse to salve their conscience when they say he "really offended them." Yeah, right.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  248. Celia Ann

    Yes, his race matters but his Diversity and ablity to related to others really matters. It is invaluabe. Neither of the other candidates have that quality. Further, his intelligence matters more. Anyone who denies that he is an exceptionally intelligent mind is in denial.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  249. Gary Weber

    What race? The human race? Those who are most interested in race are the bigots and talking heads. Obama is a leader who has shown he has what it takes to be the person we need to support.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  250. Dmurphy

    Not at all. While I am not African American, I am nonetheless, a twenty-six year old woman of color and I cannot recall in recent memory any person–politician or not–who has so eloquently, sensitively and above all, accurately describe the state of race in this 21st Century America. I’m glad he chose to speak about this controversial subject because his unique ability to reach people is unprecedented and his message was, as always, one of hope and unity and speaks to his extraordinary ability to lead by example. Something sorely missing in today’s politics.

    Dana
    NY, NY

    March 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  251. Brandon

    In a way race does matter. As much as gender, social status, sexual orientation, etc. When people are different there will be those that will try to make them feel small. Racism, sexism and all the other forms of discrimination out there is the shame of America. The Dream is when those things will no longer matter as much as they seem to now. Obama has taken a step in that direction and the irony is that if Hillary wasn't being so negative she could as well.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  252. Wayne

    Race nor gender matter in this election, but as a nation they both matter. Being the melting pot we are and the issues we have, we must find a way to have an open dialogue about serious issues that are divisive. Feelings will be hurt and people will be upset, but having a "talk" is the only way to understand and hopefully bridge the two sides. Too often the discussions are based in either/or issues and solutions. There must become a time for the both/and for everyone to prosper.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  253. Marco Polo

    Mr. Obama's race is not an issue. His speech was excellent, and it is great to know he wrote it himself. Why he waited 20 years to publicly argue with his pastor, rather than privately take him to task (as the Bible teaches) is quite hard to understand. Making excuses for his pastor's obvious hatred is not how Christ would deal with sin. Comparing Ferraro's comments to Mr. Wright's is a very unfair blow to someone who has served many years. Her comments are nowhere near the kind of comments his "like family" member made, and her relationship to Mrs. Clinton is not nearly as close.

    It is relevant that Mr. Obama has been part of a church with the kind of views espoused on this church's website, which are far more offbeat that Mitt Romney's mormonism. There are many people of all races who have had bad experiences and are not filled with hatred. These are the people who should be the advisors and friends of our next President.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  254. Michael Arlington, Tx

    Yes, it does matter to me. It's a part of his message of an approaching unity and it's a part of his story of a richly diverse background that has educated him about this world. It is his race that teaches him that Wright's comments are blind to the progress of race.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  255. John L., Seattle

    Like Jack said, the speech gives Barack the chance to frame any race "debates" on his own terms, and not in response to a Rovian political tactic. Undoubtedly, those who don't want any Dem elected would have/will try to enflame racism in the coming months. Barack may have set it all aside by April.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  256. Rosalynd

    Senator Obama’s race should not matter in his pursuit for the Presidency but as he indicated in his speech today from Philadelphia it would be naive to think in this presidential election in 2008 it does not matter. It is hard to believe that the first slaves came to these shores in 1619 and America still has a race problem. America calls itself the leader of the free world. The interesting thing is the world has gotten a lot smaller and the whole world is watching. What kind of signal are we sending to the world!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  257. Darrian in South Holland,Il.

    Yes his race does matter because he represents a vast majority of nationalities.His father is black.,mother white and lets not forget his cousin the Vice President of The United States of America is white.Also for thoses who want to get credit for exposing this issue of race and religion remember this, He Who Is With Out Sin Let Him Cast The First Stone.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  258. Paulina Williams

    Senator Obama's race does not matter to me. He seems like an intelligent and capable candidate. However, I thought his speech today was brilliant.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  259. Ike U

    This may seeem like a very tough time for the campaign,but this is a discussion we must have as Americans.To move forward as one nation,we must trasncend the racial divdide that has continued to hunt us for a long time.We must address the system that created the Rev.Wrights in our society.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  260. Kim, Pasadena, CA

    Senator Obama's race does not matter to me. Nobody's human categorization label of race is relevant. No, I am not pretending to be Stephen Colbert. We are all part of the human race, inexorably connected. Science has proven it with DNA testing and Religion has taught this for decades. Senator Obama is calling us to come together, hold him accountable, and work together to finally solve festering problems like failing public education, soaring health care costs and ending a rash, careless war.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  261. Michael in Ohio

    Jack,

    My answer is "NO" and simply because I have been where Barak is now, knowing that a man has started him on a path of changing his life and then at some point the negativity of that person comes out in the forefront and forces you to pick your battles, and what I see is this; his loyalty is with God and the american people. We as a nation should not concerned about Baracks loyalty to a man when things go wrong, but where is his loyalty to the God he serves and the american people when things do go wrong. We as a nation say "In God We Trust" I dont know about you but I want a President that trust in God and with the american people rather in a man or woman with his or her own political and/or religious agenda.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  262. Teri - Leesburg VA

    Race has never mattered to me, in anything. Queens born and raised, I have lived all over the country – Las Vegas to Marrietta GA – and the joys I have had and wonders I have learned from diversity. However, I am a realist and there is an extreme right-winged faction in our society that has not reared it's ugly head yet. I fear that if that small portion of our society does unite and compiles the 'army' they need, that we could be in for an ugly historical time. I hope that they never get the power to do any harm to anyone - but it is a consideration.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  263. LionHeart (Ft Worth)

    Rick,
    For whatever you may believe, Rev Wright was addressing his comments to those who have shown negative feelings & attitudes to black Americans and was not addressing the entire white race as a whole. White bigots that spew nonsensical b/s and are in positions to affect the livelihoods of blacks are the reasons why Wright had such angry sermons even though he needs to learn how to ignore such ignorance and concentrate more on whites who do believe that an America can exist that truly accepts each person for what he is and not based on color. I don't expect you or anyone who thinks like you to understand because you haven't been degraded ever solely because of the color of your skin. You see it as hate. I don't feel hatred from Rev Wright but I do feel a lot of pain. There is a big difference.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  264. Joan in Southern Illinois

    We finally have someone who seems to have a chance to help this country get on the right track. The things he says are the right things for this country. What difference does race make? When you find a really good thing does it really matter how it is wrapped?

    March 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  265. Danny Cox

    I don't see color in any of the candidates or in my daily life ; however, Obama did not answer the questions with this speech. What he said is nothing new, we all know what has happened and is currently happening in the USA. My problem with Obama is that he has not been forthcoming with the comments from rev. Wright nor the Canadian meeting. Now he had to say today that he has heard comments from rev. Wright when only just a few days ago he denied hearing any of the comments. What else has he told the American people that is not quite right.

    He has failed again, he is finished.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  266. Calvin Raleigh, NC

    Its does not matter to me. Race should not matter in this day and age. The US has made lots of gains in race and sex. However, racism and sexism still exists. Black men earn less the white men, white women, ane black women. Women are still view as sex objects in society. They are tools used to divide and conquer people. Tools used to pit people against each other. Behaving ignorantly over race and sex does nothing to solve the real life problems that America is facing. However, the sad thing is that people have more in common than they do not have common usually. Its not unamerican to point out racism and sexism that still hides in the shadows of America. Plus, Obama is a multicultural and interracical. Isn't that what American should be about?

    March 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  267. Chris MA

    ...Jack I don't know about ANYTHING but, she would do and has done some things that someone whom I would vote for would not do...

    March 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  268. Craig

    The first thing I usually notice when I read these comment sections on the ticker and elsewhere is that the more ignorant a person's statement is, the more likely their comments are to be in ALL CAPS. I wonder if there is a correlation between angry ugly people and the caps lock button... Perhaps I should not read these. They are often discouraging, and seem to me to indicate that people do not want to engage in the debate, but merely to spout the talking points they have been fed. Someone showed anger about the mention of Geraldine Ferraro in Obama's speech, calling it a cheap shot, and I couldn't help but think that this is the way the professional commentators do it as well. NO one ever quite bothers to examine the context of these statements, even to the point where you have major nightly news shows completely misinterpreting some very simple social satire by comedy shows, and broadcasting this as somehow being political news. The question "does Obama's race matter to you" is entirely beside the point. How does what he said affect your view of race relations in America? Do you think his message is realistic? These seem like better questions to me. If the news were actually to focus on content rather than the horse-race, my thinking is we wouldn't be so accustomed to accepting the shallow decontextualized attacks that seem to pervade campaign rhetoric.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  269. Kenneth Haak

    Bush says the economy is going to be just fine. He has been covering up,misleading and lying to us since day one. I'm sure he believes he can keep it up till he can go back tiptoeing thru the sagebrush and cactus.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  270. Nancy Schultz

    Barack Obamas color doesn't mean a thing to me anymore then all of Bill clintons girlfriends don't mean anything to Hillarys supporters. I am a 51 year old white female and I'm tired of hearing about race. Why can't we get on with the real issues that are tearing our country apart everyday.I actually admire Obama very much, afterall, who in the world would want to clean up the mess made by the Bush Admin.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  271. LJD

    No his race does not matter to me!!!!!!!!!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  272. George Hanna

    Barack Obama's race doesn't matter to me. However, he hasn't
    satisfactorily responded to Pastor Wright's comments simply
    because there is no satisfactory response he can make. The
    pastor's comments, specifically "God damn America", are going
    to end Obama's candidacy. That sound bite will be seen over and
    over till the cows come home. Watch the next poll.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  273. Sandra

    His race does not matter. However, his judgement does. Mr " I have better judgement" seems to have some very wide cracks there. Where was that judgement when HE SAID he was not aware of Pastor Wright's inflammatory comments, then said in his speech today that had been "in the pew" when similar inflammatory comments were made. Then there's the judgement of staying in that church for 20 years and listening to who knows how many similar tirades. Ah yes, I forgot, he put up with it for political gain.

    Fairmont, WV

    March 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  274. Ralph Taliercio - Long Island, NY

    Not to me, but unfortunately I do not feel that is the truth in the hearts of very many Americans. And that even more sadly is a major obstacle to America truely being a nation where all men are created equal..

    March 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  275. Incredulous

    His race does not matter to me. His ACTIONS do. What he says and what he does are two different things. This would NEVER be tolerated in reverse, nor should it be.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  276. vicky ballantine

    Obama's race means nothing to me. The fact that he got MEGA free air time did. He's still the media's darling.

    Canada

    March 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  277. ann

    i think its time we moved away from race and prejudice .What matters is our views onn issues are, what we believe, and our morals.Any graet person deserves credit with regardless of what race we are and with this we dont stand a chance of losing great minds and people in our society.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  278. Damian

    IT SHOULDN'T!

    But when you or your supporters go round playing the race card... calling you opponents racist. Even the ones that have a proven record of working for the African-American community for over two decades. It's kinda' disgusting.

    It is very sad to say, but Obama’s made his race matter.

    Shame on him.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  279. Tom

    It shouldn't matter, but unfortunatly for many people it does. Its about who can lead this country not about who is white, black, green or yellow. At the end of the day its his/her character that will matter not their race.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  280. Steve Lee from California

    Jack,

    Personally to me, Barack Obama's race is not an issue. From my perspective, looking at features and qualities that one has no control over, (such as race and gender) should be disregarded when it comes to qualifying an individual.

    However, that purist perspective that I entertain is but a dream in this world. Although my personal perspective doesn't qualify things such as race and gender to be defining and important qualities, the world hardly sees the issue in the same light.

    I may personally not care what his race and ethnic background may be, but to say that the rest of the country, and a large portion of Obama's constituency, doesn't acknowledge his race as an issue is 100% purely ludicrous.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  281. Scott

    Chuck from Alabma posted above "His race doesn’t matter to me as much as it seems to matter to him"

    Please watch his speech, you REAALY need to

    March 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  282. ron

    Barack did a great job and anyone who takes something negative from this speech is not really ready for a better America. I will say this – if media and others continue to attack this pastor and church – this is going to get very ugly and become a much greater issue than Barack Obama and a major set back for this country. Of cousre his race matters, the fact that were talking about this proves it.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  283. mattie

    Race doesn't matter to me, I think the speech was brilliant and he needed to do that, it wasn't only one speech it was "THE SPEECH" Thanks Obama for talking about issues that no one want to talk about. My husband, who served 30 years in the US Military and my entire family along with friends and neighboors will vote for you 10 times if we could.
    OBAMA President

    March 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  284. Sam Philadelphia,PA

    No Jack, his race does not matter. But for some people it does. Some people will vote him just because he is black and some people will not for him because he is black.
    What matters to me is that he says he's going to run a clean, not silly campaign but he does anyways. The people just think he's clean because the media doesn't air the bad stuff about him because they're just in love with god's gift to the world, the arrogant Barack Obama.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  285. Freedom Lawrence

    This shows me more that Obama is very real and good to work with...Where i feel for most Americans is that they do not know that is not just having president...We need to pick one who can speak the language the world understand and that is Obama..... Bush doesnt understand this language and we all have seen where he has taken american's pride.... he has taken america's name to the lowest and is pity that those with the light are still in the darkness.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  286. Isaiah

    Obama is one of a kind person, his race does not matter. We need candidate like him who can move this country forward. Let stop talking about race and take about health care, economy, the war and other important things! Final you the media are to be blamed for are this race issues.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  287. Randle Bate

    Senator Obama's race does not matter to me; unfortunately it does matter to the majority population. I hope the nation is at last sophisticated and intelligent enough to put the matter of race aside when choosing on their party's nominee. I do wonder though, why is it that Obama is perceived by all to be black. His mother is white, doesn't that count for something? Is there some historic perspective that, if a person has one drop of black blood, in them, that person is black.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  288. Jack M.

    Jack
    His race doesn't matter when the problems we face as human beings are the issue. If we are to judge people by their associates, then we may need to look in our own circle of friends first! Barack has inspired people to look beyond the sillyness of color,creed, and age, and focus on the 'hope' of a better tomorrow. He earned my vote even more today because he addressed this issue with dignity and poise. BARACK THE VOTE!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  289. Kay Tuner, Columbus Ohio

    It matters in Ohio. may be in Pennsylvania.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  290. LD

    Obama convinces me that he's the best and the best candidate in this race. People of PA, Mr. Obama is choice for a change in America. Don't miss that chance.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  291. Kathy from Florida

    Senator Obama's race only matters in that he represents little pieces of all of us ... he is a terrific profile of the best of America. He is a perfect combination of us all. The media needs to MOVE ON and focus on the issues that matter. Senator Obama showed that he can take a punch and react in a sound and reasoned way. It almost felt like a State of the Union speech to me, complete with audience applause. I would imagine that the rest of the world is thinking how wonderful it would be to be an American today - and they would be correct.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  292. Emily

    Hi Jack, race is not important, the main thing the American people need to be focusing on is which candidate can do for the American people, and that candidate is Barack Obama, he is very concerned about the people and the state of the economy, its so time for a change in Washington.

    Obama 08

    March 18, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  293. Chris from NJ

    Race is a non issue to me and should not influence anyones vote black or white.
    If a candidate supports the issues I do or will make an impact on changing the policies that matter to me, they could be orange and I would vote for them without hesitation.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  294. Robert in Gerogia

    Interestingly enough that this video pops up right after issues concerning race surfaces in the Clinton campaign. Can you say "Ace in the hole" Clinton campaign.......His race does not matter to me but how he handles himself in tough spots really shows what a candidate can do. If you want to play the political mud slinging game ( Clinton campaign) stand up and say you released the tape and stop trying to look innocent. This racial divide has gone to far and has distracted America from what is important..... us, the American People and what we need. The race or gender of a candidate does not matter. Someone please just fix America.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  295. Karen

    The question that should concern us the most, who is the best candidate for the Presidency and the American people. This political race is a joke. When are the american people going to wake up and really see what is out there. The Pastor was way out of line by those comments. He is supposed to be setting examples for us and our children. Race and Gender cannot be the issue here, there is no room for it. What is best for America!!!!! Americans do your homework!!!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  296. Bob from Richmond VA

    Jack,
    I am a white Obama supporter and while I am aware of his race, it is his message that I find most compelling. Both of the other candidates will almost assuredly use the position of President to beat up on the other party. I believe Obama is sincere in his belief that he can change the national conversation to something more positive and fruitful for our great Country. And if his race can somehow help him in that effort, then his race matters to me.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  297. stessy

    His race doesn't matter to me – but it seems to matter to many people on each side of the contest; The sad thing is that the majority seem to be evaluating each candidate on their race and sex and not on what matters – their ability.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  298. Ann, Princeton, NJ

    Hi Jack,

    Race does not matter to me. But I can't understand how Barack Obama would not have known the various speeches his pastor has made in the last 20 years. It is hard for me to comprehend how can he not have realized that his pastor and church have different views. Barack says he is not racist but his church and Pastor is. How can you continue to have any association with someone who is racist and preaches racism? This does not sti well with me.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  299. Kelin

    His race matters only to the people who want to continue to divide this country based on race, party lines, religion, and gender...all the while gas prices skyrocket, war casulties continue, threats to Iran flow freely, health care cost continue to rise, drop rates continue to cripple young men, and more importantly NOTHING gets done in this country because we make minor issue major problems.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  300. Jon Parker

    Jack, it's Obama's race for the presidency of the United States that really matters. May it be a transformational and healing process for our nation. If you thought today's speech was inspiring, imagine Obama's acceptance speech at the 2008 Democratic Convention on August 28th. The date happens to be the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech on August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial. Here's one old man hoping to bear witness to both that speech and to the process of change we so desperately need and deserve in our country.

    – Jon in Durham, NC

    March 18, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  301. Jingo Jones

    After listening to is speech today,i really see in him a true commander in chief.U said,he write the speech himself.This is the Kind of people we need in our country.That can stand up when things are though.Any body that think these issue will bring him down has even created a hero out of him.This is one of the best peach he has ever given.The clintons are trying all there best to divid the country with their( old politics) this Obama will unite the country.Before he has lost my vote.But now i will vote for obama.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  302. sandy

    No it does not. All that matters is that we have finally found someone who can relate to us in every way possible. Who isn't afraid to stand up for all of us, regardless of the consequences. Who can admit to his imperfection and who can learn from his mistakes. This is the type of President we need to carry us forth. He can relate to blacks and whites because he has lived on both sides of the fence. Thank you Cafferty, for not been bias. Keep up the good work!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  303. AJ in Illinois

    JACK,

    Does Obama's race matter? It doesn't to me, but I think the media keeps forgetting that Obama is both "white" and "black". I am only concerned that Obama is apart of the human race. I judge people based on their personality and character, because jerks can come in all colors.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  304. Judy, Texas

    No, race does not matter, but his honesty about himself and
    his pastor is wonderful. I hope he win the election because
    he can unite everyone after listening to his speech.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  305. Mike

    Barrak Obama's race doesn't matter to me but it will matter to countless white americans. More than we would like to admitt it race stills plays a big part in america today and that is a shame. One reason it does is because we live in a very hippocritical society. We condemn and condon in the same breathe. We say that we should disown those that are near us that have issues with race but I think that we need to educate them as well as our children not to hate then and only then will the race of a man not matter. At the end of the day we are all one race the human race. maybe one day we will truley believe that.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  306. Kenny Martin

    It astounds me on how ignorant and gullible some of us are! Sen. Obama and Rev. Wright are to different people with some like views. Just because the Rev is spewing out these comments, this does not mean Sen. Obama feels this way. I associate with certain people who have Skewed views on certain things, that doesn't mean I fell the same way. The media is blowing this entire situation out of proportion. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  307. Tamara in Michigan

    We are all part of the human race and his experience is our experience. So does it matter...well let's see: Is it going to get us a better healthcare system? Better schools? End to the war in Iraq? Fix our Economy?

    CNN and all other media have answered the question for us when you decided to break down the exit polls by race...what percentage of whites voted for McCain versus blacks for Huckabee in South Carolina? Sorry I missed that exit poll...that's right you were too busy stirring the race pot to asked yourself if you should.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  308. john from oregon

    His race matters as he has not used it to make an issue until attacked about it. He took a issue that has not been talked about in any real and meaningful way and turned it into one of the best speaches in American History. This is a bench mark event.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  309. Carol Taylor

    Jack,
    In one word.....NO

    Come on, I am a 48 year old white woman from Michigan and am so sick of hearing the snippets of Senator Obama's pastor being played over and over again on television. Let's not make this election about race or religion and risk loosing the best candidate we have had come along in YEARS. I could care less about Senator Obama's religious beliefs, the only thing I want out of my candidate is one that cares about our country, MY country, and I believe Senator Obama is that man.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  310. Sabrina, Las Vegas, NV

    We all would like to say, no. However, the reality is, Sen Obama's race does matter. And, in America, race matters. Case in point, the racially divided polls, the fact that the media has focused on it, and the fact that people don't want to talk about the ills of America.

    I believe Sen Obama is a good man, through and through. It's sad that others may never know that. Simply because, they can't look pass the color of his skin. People claim to want change, but, do they really? I see the same old politics and bias behavior of the past.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  311. Susan from New Jersey

    His aloof temperament and epic immaturity matter to me, not his race. When he said "You're likable ENOUGH" to Clinton during an early debate, he clearly showed himself to be the patronizing snob I always suspected he was. Then about 6 weeks later, when he was standing next to Ted Kennedy, he very purposefully turned his back on Clinton while she shook Kennedy's hand, just like a petulant child might do, and I again saw the man for what he is. And this after he WON Kennedy's endorsement!! This guy just does not have the temperament to be POTUS. He needs to grow up first.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  312. pastjob

    what a speech! I'm white and a republican and I will be voting for Obama. He took the bull by the horns and ran with it. straight from the heart he spoke and deliveered one of the best speeches I have ever heard. Jack please tell everyone at CNN to stop playing those tapes of the pastor. enough is enough already. let's move on. I promise to change the channel everytime that pastor is played.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  313. paul W.Dc

    Jack,

    race no but I'm thinking the gender thing does. if you look around at all the recent scandals its always guys in power messing things up. So is there more change if the president is another guy of a different race or if the president is a gal. Give the women a chance and make a real change.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  314. James E. Elder

    To the posters who found Barack speech to be disingenuous, as difficult as this may be for you to understand, Reverend Wright was born in a time when lynching was not only an occurrence, but, happened on a daily in many parts of the south. He grew up during the time when Emmit Till, a Chicagoan was lynched just for purportedly looking at a white woman; the men who lynched not only bragged about but took pictures and were subsequently acquitted for the crime. When black men were called boy and subsequently emasculated in front of their sons, their daughters, their wives. Yes, there is anger and yes that anger will manifest itself it places like churches, barbershops. So I ask you, do not judge him, Rev. Wright until you have lived and experienced his life, his pain. As for Senator Obama you want him to disown this man, I say he shouldn’t because while Sen. Obama may not have lived his pain he can certainly understand it, as can I.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  315. Curtis

    Cleary his race does matter or we wouldn't still be talking about it. However, I can honestly say that I am so proud of America right now. It is really great to see that while race may still matter, it does matter enough, or he wouldn't be leading in delagates and the popular vote. I love America, let's keep moving forward.

    Curtis
    Atlanta, GA

    March 18, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  316. Janice Brice

    I believe Mr. Obama did an admirable job today addressing the concern about his relationship with his pastor and the black community. I agree with him that it is time for us as a party to come together. And who better to lead the way than one who understands both sides of racial disparities. So yes, his bi-racial status does matter

    March 18, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  317. Jane, College Park, MD

    What race Jack?
    The White in him, or the Black in Him?
    The EEOC needs to add another category BI-RACIAL; Because i know quite a few people who fall in that category.

    To Turner @ 2.50: If you truly heard Sen Obama's speech, you would have heard him say that though he strongly disagreed with both his White Grandma and his Black Pastor for their unacceptable utterances, he cannot disown them because they are basically victims of history, and they are family.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  318. Karen in New Mexico

    If his face were green I would vote for Barack Obama because of his dignity, leadership, and intellect. However, it occurs to me that race also matters in this election because it offers the American people an opportunity to think more broadly about our diversity and because the fact of Senator Obama's campaign has caused millions of Americans to become engaged in the political process for the first time.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  319. Adam Mercer

    Sadly it does still matter, otherwise it would not be the issue that so many people are trying so hard to ignore. I think the important thing is not that it matters, but that so many want it not to...that is where I think the real hope for the future is.

    Just for the record I would love to see the man in the White House, but in hoping for it, I think it would be unrealistic to assume that the single most divisive issue in American History is going to disappear simply because we want it to...as with many other things it will take a long time and effort.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  320. Barbara Hutchinson

    Of course race matters to me. I am an African-American, age 61. I grew up with race being an issue in my life. In America, we identify ourselves by ethnic groups. Race matters in this society and I think Sen. Obama addressed the matter forthrightly today. We have made progress but we have a way to go before race doesn't matter.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  321. H. Gardner of Hernando, Fl

    Based on the last several months of the desperation shown my Hillary and her minnons, I am convinced that Hillary would do anything short of killing her mom and tosing Bill under the bus to win this nomination. The more I see of her the more I am convinced that she is not the president that I want to sit at the desk or by the phone at 3.a.m.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  322. Kerry in Fort Worth, Texas

    Senator Obama's race does not matter to me, but after watching his speech today and all the responses from CNN and other news outlets it obviously must matter a great deal. I had hoped that this election would be about issues and plans, but it no longer looks that way. What a shame that our country cannot or is hesitant to work for the most important race...the human race!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  323. I.D.

    Race matters to everyone. It is one of the many characteristics that make us all who we are.

    Unfortunately, too many in our society have been conditioned to consider differences in race from narrow-minded perspectives. As such, what should be a source of pride and admiration, too often stirs sentiments of shame and divisiveness.

    So, though race DOES matter, we must be wary of those who view its significance as a means of measuring the level of respect with which they treat others; and we must be suspect of those who claim it doesn't matter at all.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  324. I.D.

    By the way, I.D. is from Brooklyn, NY.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  325. Ralph from NY

    Jack, when the race first began, Obama looked like a man who wanted to ignore race and bring the country together. While on one hand he pretends to discredit the sayings of his pastor and of Farrakan - men who have preached what is hurtful to other religions as well as to the nation itself - now, he starts to act just like another Black Panther. He has a glass jaw when TV makes fun of him, and he is too weak to look away from Black influence beit hurtful to our country. I have hoped for a Democratic Presidential victory this year, but if Obama is the Presidential candidate for the Democrats, my vote will go for McCain.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  326. Roland Madore, Fort Collins, CO

    Sir,

    Barack Obama is bi-racial, and he, and what he says about race, matters. Actually, this new kind of leader transcends race, and what he said today had to be said, and made those of us who support him know more fully why we do. We made history today!

    Barack Obama's speech, on race and politics in America today, was enthralling, a balanced historic document. a brilliant stroke, presidential, and so 'right on!' I got it! No one with an ounce of intelligence listening/viewing, or later reading this speech should need it broken down for them, although the talking heads are feverishly doing so as I write. My God, will they ever be put out of business?!? I guess not.

    Our next president offered America two choices today, and not only will a majority of reasonable Americans choose the latter, Barack Obama won the nomination today, Hiliary will drop out, and God help John McCain.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  327. Scott Harman

    I very strongly feel that his race DOES NOT matter, it is not because he is African American that I will vote for him, it is because I feel he has better ideas for the country. Issues over race. Every time.

    Thanks,

    Scott

    March 18, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  328. Ray

    Jack, I thought today's speech by Barach Obama was the best of the candidates to date. It was thoughtful and comprehensive, perhaps too comprehensive and eloquent for many to understand. He challenged us to look into the mirror to do a little self analysis instead of dissing others. His reminder of the "Golden Rule" should be taken to heart.
    I believe he is the only candidate that has any chance of effecting change. Isn't that sad.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  329. Terry

    Yes it matters to me. If Obama really did not agree with these kinds of statements and can not disown his pastor like he can not disown his grandmother, then why didn't he establish boundaries so his children would not be exposed to these inflammatory messages being taught at his church. And if Obama still worships with his wife and children at Trinity, then how do we really know that he does not secretly embrace many of the teachings taught at his church. It makes no sense to me that a man who loves his children and wants to raise them in a wholesome moral and ethical environment, who finds statements made by his pastor inflammatory, would continue to take his family to the same church for 20 years. He could attend another church without disowning his pastor. The retirement of his pastor appears to be forced, so in a sense his pastor has been rejected and disowned so that Obama has a better chance to win the nomination.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  330. Frits van de Sande

    Jack, the whole point is being able to see beyond race. To realize that discrimination hurts all. Last time I checked besides the color of our skin we are incredibly alike. The suffering of one is the suffering of the other. If we really want to move forward we finally have to accept that yes the other guy or other girl can be as stupid or clever as yourself while at the same time he/she faces the same problems and challenges. Together we stand, together we can achieve. It would be nice for a change if the media would focus on that as well instead of trying to politicize an honest analysis and would think of her responsibility in enabling the bridge to eachother to be built

    March 18, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  331. Rosemary, California

    Not, at all. Obama has transcended race. It is the media, the Talking Political Pundits and the Clinton Campaign that tries to make him look like a Black Man. All he has done in the race is tried to look like a candidate running for the President of the United States who happens to be black. What other Candidate has addressed this issue or was forced to address other than Barack. Even Bill Clinton was not forced to address it in the same way.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  332. Michelle

    Absolutely not!! I have been an Obama supporter from day 1 and even though this whole issue with Rev. Jeremiah Wright did deliver doubts about the kind of person and or morals he has, I think that his speech hit exactly every question and doubt that this whole controversey produced. It shows that he has what it takes to be a President under pressure and yes, he's the one to answer that phone at 3am.
    Michelle
    Tacoma,Wa.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  333. JD

    After reading other comments, I am shocked that these people are so gullible. Didn’t they learn anything from the last election? Race doesn't matter, but character, judgment and experience do. Do these people actually read or listen to the candidates? How anyone could vote for him is astounding to me.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  334. Sandi McBride

    Actually his race and her gender mean nothing to me. I am not a Hillary fan because everyone I hear talk about her can't say her name without Bill's and I frankly don't want to see him anywhere near the White House again. If she were to put him to the curb, like last nights trash, maybe. I think that Obama is lying if he says he hasn't heard his pastor speak those hateful words before...I want him to just admit it, bigots are everywhere and he can't help what they say when they put their mouths in motion before putting their brains in gear. I did like that he admitted to having a foot in both white and black worlds...that was a wise move, one he should do more of. If John McCain would pick Joe Lieberman for his running mate, I'd vote for him without a second thought.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  335. Gerry Stewart

    I don't understand. If Barack Obama's father was black and his mother white then he is 50% white. So why is he called black? Why is he not just as white? I think he is just a man who wants to serve his country and that is what living in a free society is all about.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  336. JE

    Please send Hillary and Bill back to Arkanas on the next Greyhound bus! They are so incredible disingenuous, so incredibly backward even after so many years of grooming. It’s most disgusting that they believe that their particular brand of politics will win them another four years in the White House!

    How dare Hillary say that she has not heard Obama’s speech, yet come out a mere few hours (appearing like a response) and speak about race and other issues. Her remarks were quite pale in comparison. (As seen by the draining of blood from her face. She looks beat!) Barak addressed the issue of race so beautifully, so profoundly in a way that make our nation and the world is so very proud. She heard the speech! It’s like Bill “didn’t inhale” and “had no sexual relations with that woman.” Enough already!

    Did I say that we should send them back to Arkansas on the next Greyhound bus? (No offense to the people of Arkansas. I feel sorry for you. Surely these are not the best of what your state offers.)

    And Jack…please tell Wolf that election is not about his witty and informed questions or responses. Every since the claim that Barack was given a ride by the press, he has become soft on Hillary– so much so that he could even not give an intelligent response to the speech moments thereafter. What’s wrong with you, Wolf?

    The anchor obviously went to Wolf first after the speech because he was undoubtedly the chief among the others, yet it was the comments that came thereafter that struck the deepest cord. Please tell Wolf that it is not about him and to go back to thinking on his feet, go back to his gut responses. His eloquence and demure will remain. What we’re doing is greater than him, even greater than the election itself.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  337. Luis in Sao Paulo, Brazil

    Race and gender do not matter Jack. A lesson to be learned by Reverend Wright and the Trinity United Church of Crist in Chicago.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  338. Carol

    No, his race does not matter, what matters is that he stated he was not aware of the Pastor saying these types of things. Well, I ain't buying it, if he was so involved in this Church, and a member for 20 years, he should have known, and found another parish to belong to. Anyone who believes that, I got a bridge I can sell you in Arizona.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  339. E. Christine Green

    No race doesn't matter, but the church that he has been a member and attending does for the last 20 years. Oprah doesn't attend there any more so why does he when says over and over WORDS MATTER!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  340. Amy O'Flaherty

    Race never has and never will matter to me. Barack Obama has proven himself a true gentleman, as well as a worthy opponent. I respect and admire his position on maintaining his friendship with his pastor. For once, someone has come forward and said what they feel, not what people may expect or want to hear. I challenge our nation to LISTEN to what he's saying and allow him a clear path to the White House. Never in my life have I supported a candidate as I support Barack Obama.

    Amy O'Flaherty
    Reno, Nevada

    March 18, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  341. Joy, Chicago IL

    Well Jack, it depends on which race you're referring to. Barack Obama is after all bi-racial. The message that Obama has instilled in many voters is that he does not want to be defined by race and he does not want other to be defined by race. But the reality is that old prejudices die hard. The few minutes of sound bites put out in the media of Reverend Wright, forced the issue of race relations. I am so grateful that Senator Obama took the opportunity in his speech today to discuss race relations and place it front and center for national dialogue.

    When Geraldine Ferraro made equally ridiculous remarks as the Rev. Wright, Hillary Clinton waited to respond to the public outcry. Although she eventually dismissed the comments the same way she did the South Carolina comments from her husband, she decided to just move on. Instead Obama took an opportunity to address an issue that needs to be discussed, whether we do it in our homes, our offices or in the pews of our own churches.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  342. snoopy

    His race does not matter to me, but his association with a radical "pastor" does. His background was not of a poor black person raised in poverty. He was raised in Hawaii and attended a prep school and Harvard. He is not a living example of how poor blacks were raised. He may not agree with the "pastor" of his church but he has gone along with him by calling him his friend, mentor and family. There is no way he would ever get my vote and it has nothing to do with race. i could vote for Colin Powell or Charlie Wrangle but NOT for obama. His wife is racist and his pastor is racist and he can not separate himself from them.
    I doubt that you print this Jack as you are such an obama supporter that you don't like negative things said about him.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  343. earl illingsworth

    Yes ,"Race Matter's",I'm sorry for Obama but this is a " Death Nail ",a raw self- sustained undercut by his own admission. Remember, not so long ago Mrs. Obama( Michelle's) paraphrasing Rev. Wright in her controversial statement about America? Please realize that their isn't a graet deal of "wiggle room",for this racial outing. The one positive you can take from all this would be to eccept the V.P. offer before it's to late, and the Republican and Hillary tear the Obama Campaign apart!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  344. Cody Johnson

    Obama has mastered talking his way out of sticky situations and he is damn good at it. He and his family attended a church for many years that preached morals and beliefs that were contradictory to their own. Now that he no longer attends that church, he and his family feel like Americans again. Who does he think he is fooling?

    March 18, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  345. SHAPEARL -CHICAGO

    Jack,
    I personally don't think that race matters but it is a problem for some people who have not opened their minds to the possibility of change. What I know for sure, racism is taught. So we have to begin to analyze what message we are sending our children. And I pray that as our children grow they look at people through their own minds and not the closed minds of their parents.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  346. Steven

    Obama's race does not matter to me. What is problematic about this whole ordeal is that Obama aligned himself with a man who he now says has entirely different views from his own. He idolized the man when he was a law student, listening to tapes of Rev. Wright's sermons. He fostered a friendship with Wright when he moved to Chicago, later calling Wright a "mentor" and "spiritual advisor." And ultimately he put the man on his African American Religious Council. For having such strong disagreements with Wright's views, Obama certainly did think a lot of the man. My question is not how much does Obama's race matter, but how has his idol's Anti-American, conspiracy driven, hate-mongering speeches influenced him and his family? If he didn't agree with the views of this pastor, then why commit to the man's church for the last twenty years? Perhaps it was to build the voter base he needed to get into the Illinois state senate. I simply don't trust Obama to be the man he says he is.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  347. Dawn- Oregon

    A politician is a politician regardless of color. Race and gender do matter in this election; if only as a visual aid to the "change" the people of our country are clearly looking for.

    On a personal note, race does not matter. Seeing real people, who have faced and overcome real obstacles seriously running for President is refreshing.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  348. Yetunde

    His race should not matter to anyone and he should not be responsible for what his pastor says or thinks. Condeminh him for it would only ascertain the race issues his pastor said on the pulpit.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  349. Marie Critchlow Toronto Canada

    My sister- in -law in Ohio calls him Moses, my Architect in Toronto, Canada calls him "The wheel that cannot be stopped", my niece in Staten Island New York calls him "New life". Yes Jack his race matters to me, it offers the diversity that will be the glue to solidify nations thus, I call him the "Hope of the world".

    March 18, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  350. Daniel Corsivo, Pooler GA

    Jack,

    It's not his race that is of concern to me, it's his moral core. Under the mentoship of Reverend Wright for over twenty years. You cannot realisticly believe that some of this mans teachings have not manifested themselves in some way, shape or form and become a part of his moral core.

    Of cousre he is going to deny that he has any of these negative values. He's running for president. If you think he is going to stop and say, "Okay, I have more in common with Reverend Wright than iIinitially led you to believe." If he said that, his campaign would be over. He has no choice but to deny it if he's to have any realistic chance of obtaining the the Presidency.

    I am sure that throughout the rest of this process, he will be having his fingers crossed in hopes that this will just blow over.

    That's just my two cents...

    March 18, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  351. Eileen Walsh

    As a white mother of a black (now adult) daughter, I say YES.
    He is uniquely qualified to understand both sides of the continued racial divide. He doesn't deny race. He embraces us all.
    Those who have one black and one white parent have cultural insights that are valuable.
    Peace

    March 18, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  352. Brandi

    no race doesnt matter to me personally, but im 21 and wasnt raised to judge ones character by their skin color. on the other hand it does matter because im for obama and if it effects his campaign then and only then does it matter to me.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  353. Kelly in Chicago, IL

    I don't care what race Obama is or isn't, but it's clear that he has become the man he is today partly due to being bi-racial. He's seen the struggles, and he's heard the anger. His speech today proved that he is better qualified than any other candidate to really unify our country - because he knows what's out there, he's seen it with his own two eyes, and he understands what needs to be done.

    Some speeches are just speeches. This one seemed more like a statement of personal philosophy. I was very impressed - he didn't tackle this like a politician would, attempting to spin it or finesse it or sweep it under the carpet. He addressed it head-on, and he spoke honestly and candidly. Remarkable. I am convinced now more than ever that this is the person we need to be our president.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  354. Mike

    No. He is simply the best individual for the job!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  355. K from Atlanta, Georgia

    No Senator Obama's race doesn't matter. What matters is that people (read through your blog as proof) are not willing to except that he is not his Pastor. His Pastor is his own person and has the right of free speech to say what he feels. As a paritioner in a church you may not like it, but so what. Rev. Wright has made hundreds maybe thousands of speeches from his pulpit. I am sure most of them are not about anything that would be considered bad. The media found a few and aired them, over and over again. I believe trying to discredit Senator Obama. Senator Obama does not have to denounce and separate himself from his Pastor anymore than any President or politician has had to separate themselves from Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson who have both said things than can be viewed as racist. This country conducts themselves with a double edged sword. One rule for some, another rule for others. If we plan to be a united country, we have to have the same rules for everyone. I think Seantor Obama was very forthcoming and honest about his feelings today in his speech and I have a better measure of what kind of man we are dealing with. God Bless America, but we've got a lot of work to do.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  356. bo kansas city

    Of course it matters, so does his name, and also the rumor that he is a muslim. ALL OF IT MATTERS. That is what politics are. Everyone claims it doesn't matter and all we care about is the issues, but it's obvious by what the media reports on, their race, sex, religion etc... it matters. That is all WE as a nation care about. It really is unfortunate.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  357. Marie

    HIs race doesn't matter. I'm a 23 year old african american female. At first I was on Clinton's wagon. After some time of listening and debating within myself I was persuaded otherwise and became a supporter of Obama.

    I'm not voting for him because he's of one ethnicity or another and I think it's small minded of the populace to think that the "they" that they refer to the entire african american race as would do so. That's ignorant.

    The pastor's comments shouldn't hang on the candidate. I don't believe what he said has relevance on Obama, Obama didn't say it. If his grandmother had said it would we be condemning him for her statement? I'm in College and there are professors that I've had for 4 years who've said some morally degrading things but I didn't drop the class because of their statement. They were good at what they do and my character shouldn't be judged because of what my professor said 2 or 3 years ago.

    Come on America–grow up and get focused (you to media!)

    March 18, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  358. Pam Bates

    No his race doesn't matter. It's time for a new direction for this country and he is for the right person for this time. This is what America needs and we need it Now!!!.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  359. Armone

    I am so happy that finally some has delt with the elephant in the room. I'm 32 white and a Obama supporter. This is truely reality politics at its best. We are looking at history. We have the first African American, first woman and the usual old white male. So sooner or later we were going to have to deal with race. But will it be discussed or just dealt to the side like america's past government has done. It is time for us white & black to heal this racial divide that we all know exisit; so we can a achieve as a United American People. We will be stronger and can achieve more together than divided. A walk in this direction is a walk towards the "understanding of man".

    Emmanuel
    Atlanta Ga.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  360. Max (Miami)

    Race doesn't matter to me; however, I find Senator Obama to be "an empty suit". I listened to his speech today and he can really "talk the talk".
    He admitted to hearing some of Rev. Wright controversial sermons and the other day he said he hasn't......
    He lied....
    That really bothers me and I'm not the only American who feels that way.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  361. Clara Berger

    Barack Obama gave an awesome speech today. When he took the podium, I thought he looked like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders (almost sad), but he delivered a speech that answered all questions except for fat blowhards like Rush. If this is how Obama would be as a president, I think we have reason to hope.
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    March 18, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  362. Alison

    His race does not matter to me, nor does it matter to him. He is a man made up of many ethnic backgrounds and has not wanted to play on this to win his presidency. I believe he was forced to discuss race when Bill Clinton made race comments that were not necessary in N. Carolina.
    He is the only canidate that wants to unit all parties in the country! I am only for him and if he does not win I will not vote for the first time in my life, along with my mother. We are both white and feel he is on the way to winning. If Hillary wins, I feel the system is bought and corrupt. By the ways CNN needs to quit favoring her all these months!!!!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  363. Doug Holmes

    While I've followed Obama's campaign with curiosity and interest, it wasn't until I heard this speech that I've decided to unabashedly support him. His sincerity and his clarity of vision absolutely struck me to the core. I found myself saying, "This guy's the real deal. He CAN make a difference." He's a leader I would be proud to call my President.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  364. Jo Ann

    I am so gratefuly Obama address this issue so the news media can find something else to nail to the cross. Why should Obama be held accountable for the words of his pastor? We hear statements everyday from politics, pastors, news media that we don't agree with but we don't run the people of town because it was their opinon. We all live in glass houses and if the spot light shines on us what will come to the surface. I also think that Fox news is so distored in their reporting of this.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  365. Elsa from Canada

    Jack,
    Obama's race does not matter but hate is hate, regardless of colour!
    How could he sit there for twenty years listening to all of this and even expose his children to it? We are not just discussing sound bites but rather attitudes that promote fear, mistrust, and hate when they should be promoting peace and understanding. I venture to guess that the pastor made many of these sermons over his time at Trinity Church. As soon as Obama realized that he had political ambitions, he should have distanced himself from these messages of hate. I would have had more respect for him then. Instead, he put his pastor to work on his campaign. Are these the qualities that we admire in a mentor? Apparently, Obama thinks so!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  366. sabrina NC

    Jack, I like your honesty. Race does not matter, but truth and strength
    does. I was bought to tears by OBAMA's speech, it is unfortunate that in this day and age people are still judged by their skin color, and have to give a speech to prove themselves to be noble. Barack Obama is a good man, and attending a church and someone speaking out about something you agree or disagree upon should not be something he has to defend, how many of us work on a job where things are not as they should be, but yet we clock in everyday. I think some of these holier than GOD people need to get off their angelic pew and be careful of judging another. Stand Obama, stand!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  367. Rick, Ellwood City PA

    His race means nothing to me. It is his style and vision that I hope will help transform the way Washington and our Country do business and are perceived by the rest of the world. Hillary is more old-school Washington politics. It is time for some new, honest, decent blood in Washington and Barack is clearly the only choice.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  368. jojo in mass

    Gordon................i have to agree with you.........he is TOTALLY unqualified to run this country and not because he is black - it is called EXPERIENCE of which he has NONE

    March 18, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  369. Ivan

    His race doesn't matter to me and shouldn't to any right thinking American. That said had this speech been given over a year ago before events forced him to do it then it would have been effective. He has run on the new politics of inclusion but the timing of this speech shows him to be rather than a different politician just the same kind of politician his rabid supporters think he is not. He has pulled the wool over their eyes but not over dispassionate and honest viewers who recognize that while he is an effective politician and a powerful orator he does not have the depth or experience to lead at this time in his life. In my mind there are only two candidates running with the requisite experience and they are Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Comparing those two there is only one clear choice for the country and it is Hillary Clinton. Mr. Obama is not ready for prime time in this election cycle.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  370. Daniel

    As a Korean with children that are bi-racial and bi-cultural, I would say that race should not be an issue. However, the reality is that race is still the pink elephant that people are unwilling to fully discuss. I find it quite ironic that with politics it comes down to race and gender. All polls taken are about gender, Hispanics, African-Americans, and socio-ecomonics of the Caucasians. Do other ethnic groups not exist in this debate? I have not seen any politicians nor media interview others ethnic groups or have minimize them. I wonder why Asians have been classified as the "silent minority." Why haven't we been brought into this discussion?

    March 18, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  371. Carmelle

    Race does not matter. Today Barack has proven to the American people why he should be the president of the United States. It takes a special man to do what he's done. Other candidates would reject and denounce and move on. But to confront this situation head on and to be honest and sincere about a sensitive topic is exceptional. Those who are truly open minded and want to make a difference will truly understand and take this as a challenge.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  372. Juice-Canyon Lake

    Jack, any person with reasonable intelligence would say that a person's race does not matter in this instance because after all God made us all difference colors and races for a purpose. I personally look at what the candidate's platform is and if most of what they say matches my beliefs then he or she has my vote.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  373. Miles

    Jack,

    I am shocked by the speech Obama made today! His Grandmother and his former Pastor is an old American Mohaawayeya sprint. This a new America and if Obama wants to be elected next president of our great national; he better start talking about on the very real issue Americans concern, before it become too late. Otherwise next January he will be refereeing boxing match (Gama vs. Pastor)...ALI Bom baa yey!!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  374. Carolyn Jones

    Our bad economy, healthcare insurance system, high number of home forclosures, and death and horrible injuries from a war we should have never entered are not discrimimating based on race. This and much more will have a devastating impact on Americans regardless of our race. We cannot afford to consider race in this presidential campaign. We need to wake up, unite and face our real issues and enemies.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  375. Erik Rosenthal

    Obama's race is irrelevant; his integrity is what matters. His speech this morning was deeply personal and obviously genuine and reminded us all of our shared and often painful history. Who is better prepared to bring unity to a divided country?

    I am a 63-year-old white male, and one of the most important of his messages was that we all need to learn to accept people, even while acknowledging their frailties. The racism that I have recently heard from the Clinton campaign led me to feel that I could never vote for her, even if she manages to get the nomination. Obama's speech made me rethink that position, even as I support him more strongly than ever.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  376. Jim Wilder

    In the sense that his race will give him a prospective many of us can't have, yes it matters and will allow him an understanding and compassion seldom seen in the Bush White House.
    He said his race helped shape him and his views. We could all benefit from what he has learned.
    I was not attracted to Barack Obama because or inspite of his race, rather I found in him a person who thinks we are inherently better than the present government has given us credit for being.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  377. eddie

    His race doesn't matter, but his putting up with a preacher of 20 years that spews racist and anti-american remarks, does.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  378. Janet

    Race does matter...the Human Race!!! Obama is clearly destined
    become a much beloved world leader. America is blessed to have someone of his quality and character running for President.
    I have such high hopes for us all!

    Nothing against McCain or Hillary...

    March 18, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  379. Bill in Quarryville Pennsylvania

    The race of a candidate shouldn't become an issue. But some how it has become an issue by both races whites and blacks. Then you have the news media that won't leave it go. Here we are with wars on two fronts the economy ready to go over a cliff, and all we seem to be interested in is race. We need to hear all three candidates tell us how they plan to save is from all the damage that was done from eight years of George Bush. We don't need to discuss race right now because if we don't focus on the problems facing our country right now everybody in it will suffer, even people with pink skins.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  380. Greg in Leavenworth Kansas

    After reading/scanning every posted blog on this issue its interesting to see that none of America's so-called racist stepped forward to be heard. No one used a negative context to say that Obama's race matters. Every single blog either says that Obama's race doesn't matter, or that his race does matter only in that Obama has become a role model for many Americans.

    Sadly I agree with many others in that racism isn't dead in America yet, but I'm wondering why none of them have voiced their opinion here? Could this be the beginning of the end to America's racism?

    Way to go Jack! And "NO" Obama's race doesn't matter nor does Hillary's gender. It's what's inside that matters!

    Greg

    March 18, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  381. Cindy, Nebraska

    No. His race does not matter!

    His speech moved me to tears because you could tell it was from his heart. My vote goes to Barrack Obama. He has very high integrity and that's what I've been looking for.

    Ex-republican.

    GO BARRACK!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  382. Alice Fried

    For weeks now, the pundits and Hillary have been harping on whether or not Obama is ready to be President. Any man or woman, black or white, willing to confront Americans on race relations in this country is ready for anything. What that man did today, risking his candidacy with honesty and straight talk has not only crossed the so-called threshold as Hillary likes to describe it, but re-defined it. If he loses this nomination, then we can come away knowing that it's not because he's not ready, but because America isn't ready. How sad would that be. Especially for all the young people who have already proved that they are ready.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  383. kelly

    HIS RACE DOESN"T MATTER TO ME AS MUCH AS MINE SEEMS TO MATTER TO HIM AND HIS PASTOR.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  384. Tom

    Hey Jack,

    No, Barack Obama's race does not matter. What does matter is that Obama maintained a 20 year relationship with a man who traveled to Libya with Louis Farrakhan and Qaddafi. A man who gave a medal of honor to Louis Farakhan. A man who said that aids was created by white people. There is simply no excuse for maintaining a relationship with this man. Simply on a personal level this is wrong, and on a political level it is impossible to overlook as a voter. I don't care what good Rev. Wright has done, i can't look past this.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  385. Ebrima

    No,his race does matter what mater is who has the capacity and the capability to run the afaires of the state,many including myself are convince that he can do it.people have confident in him that he can unite americans and the entire world,he is sane,politically powerful and an intelectual for that,he diserve white House mandate.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  386. janice

    His race does not matter to me. His ability to be the leader of this great country has just been proven. Someone with his character does not come around very often. He has my vote.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  387. Richard

    Jack,

    Yes race matters. However, it shouldn't to the point where we would do anything to bring down someone of another race. Pastor Wright is still stuck in the fortys and fiftys Barack has been running on the hope that we can and should come together. There are some among us who would do anything to keep the races apart and for those people no matter what is said and done they will continue to try that's how they make their living. I think it's past time that we at least try to live up to the creed "All are created equal" those who are not willing to try are the obstacles to our progress. It's funny how we all played a part in building this country yet only some has the right to claim it as theirs.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  388. Netsai

    I think the people of Americans will be silly to vote for Obama. I am originally from Zimbabwe and am a black Zimbabwean. Zimbabwe was great when it was handed over to us by the white minority rulers but look what it has become.
    I can tell you I don't hate my own race, but black people are not good rulers. They are always corrupt, favouritism, and nepotism. Do you want your country to be like Africa? I bet not.
    I really think Obama's Pastor is showing you the real Obama to you. I only hope all democrats will realise the truth and vote for Clinton who I think will make a good President.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  389. Pam

    In answer to your question: "Does Obama's Race Matter to You?" My response to this answer is unequivocally – NO.

    Pam
    Dallas, TX

    March 18, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  390. Missy - Denver,CO

    His race is not at issue. His character, his integrity, and experience are at issue. Obama has repeatedly colored the truth to get past the early contests. As we get closer to the GE he starts to come clean. There's an old saying it goes like this: "Show me your friends and I'll tell you who you are."

    March 18, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  391. Marlon Stephen, Toronto, ON Canada

    I hope that folks take the time to consume the speech in its entirety instead of consuming it through the prism of a media that has already begun to write incendiary headlines that do not reflect the essence of the message...

    The speech was a provocative challenge to all who heard it to examine their own sometimes flawed view of cultures and traditions other than their own...

    The American society would be enhanced by a leader who embraces a challenge and turns it into a glorious opportunity as Sen. Obama did with such a transcendent speech... It was a progressive step in realizing Dr. King's Dream...

    March 18, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  392. Pam Bates

    No his race doesn't matter. It's time for a new direction for this country and he is the right person for this time. This is what America needs and we need it Now!!!.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  393. Angela

    Yes, his race matters in so far as I think his experience as a Black man raised by his white mother and grandparents and having lived in an Asian country is uniquely unifying and gives him a perspective that can not be matched by any of the other candidates. Listening to his speech today was one of those moments (and there have been many others) that I was proud of my country. If we as a country do not elect this man to be the next president of the United States, then we do not deserve him. A leader such as this only comes once in a generation. This is our moment, America. Wake up!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  394. Ernestine Perry, FL

    No race does not matter! Barak's speech today showed a man of integrity and strength. A candidate who spoke the truth, who stood strong in the midst of adversity, and a man who can sympathize with the American people on the real issues that are facing America. Healthcare, the economic crisis, and a War that should have never taken place, and unfortunately race. He is the man that will change the White House.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  395. thelma

    the color don't matter but i think he is just like his pastor and that scares me . I think he stayed with the pastor to long and now he still want leave his side. If people don't stand up against this man now they will be sorry later.don't you think the blacks should be mad him? it makes all black churches look bad.......VOTE CLINTON 08... thelma...ky.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  396. Carol deProsse

    Why should race matter? I've never understood why a person would be judged by the color of their skin. Let those to whom such matters provoke fear alone for in a way we must have sympathy for their frightened lives. We are all like Barack Obama, though perhaps in different degrees, if we trace our ancestry back far enough and with honesty. My father, who was born in Arkansas often told me, "Honey, if you don't think we have some black blood in us you aren't thinking logically." So, no, race does not matter, any more than gender does.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  397. DShawn233, LaVergne, Tn

    Mr. Cafferty,
    Senator Obamas race does not matter to me and anyone that wishes to make this an issue along the lines of "No Black Person Will Run My Country" is clearly showing a desire to cut their nose off despite their face.
    We do not produce "perfect" candidates, but, I would rather see a candidate with a positive message, even if he is orange with blue streaks, if he shows an honest desire to clean up the mess of the last 28 years with a Bush or Clinton involved in White House operations.
    During the 2004 Presidential race Former President Clinton went to a John Kerry event and told the crowd that that they should vote for a candidate that speaks of hope vs. one that does not. I don't recall President Clinton giving a race qualification with that statement.

    Thanks and keep up the good work.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  398. April in texas

    Race has never played an issue in regards to him and his canidacy to me. I vote for the best canidate and not on race religion or gender. I won't say race has never entered my realm but he has made me realize the United States is indeed in need of work in regards to the racial issue.

    Obama 08

    March 18, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  399. Tara in Ohio

    Yes Obama's race matters very much. The deep seated anger held and promoted in the black churches, as Obama described in his speech, are not productive answers to the issues facing America. Obama by association and race is beholden to these negative ideals. There are people dying for these ingrates so that they have their freedoms.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  400. Monique

    As a 38 year old, middle class, white, married woman from racially unbalanced North Dakota, I can unequivocally say "No Barack Obama's race does not matter to me." The first time I heard him speak I knew there was something different and special about this politician. As I listen to his speeches and watch his interviews, I don't notice the color of his skin but instead hear the message of hope and change I believe this country can work to obtain. I hope to raise my 2 year old to also not let skin color be the judge of her views. So far it must to be working. When she sees or hears Barack Obama on television she will smile and chant "Obama, Obama" She has no clue about presidential races or candidates, but she does know something special when she sees it.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  401. Lori Iowa

    Jack Obama is your man!!!!!!

    Go Hillary Go!!!!!

    March 18, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  402. Gwen White

    Jack if more people felt like Obama in this country then we wouldn't having the problems we're having now. If everyone forget what color they are and work together, this United States would be even greater than it is now.
    So Jack, no race dosen't matter!!!!

    March 18, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  403. Tammy Tisher

    I don't care if Obama is from Mars, he's better than Billary.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  404. Michael from Notre Dame

    No! I would vote for this brilliant man if he was a green martian. The values he stands for transcend any race, religion, nation, or planet.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  405. Marie, West Bloomfield, MI

    Race does not matter to me, but I would be naive to think that it doesn't matter to some people. It's time for those people to look beyond race and see the man and what he says he will do for the country and the people. Leave race where it belongs – not in this election.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  406. Joe Money

    Jack,
    Its not his race that bothers me as much as his pick for a pastor. Amercia don't think for one second Barack Obama never heard this racism from his pastor & that he doesn't feel the same way. We go to church because we believe whats being said RIGHT! Wake Up America.... Nice try Barack it didn't work.....

    Joe M

    March 18, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  407. Mary Ann

    His race doesn't matter to me. I do believe that it matters to many Americans, both white and non-white. I'm white and looking forward to voting for Barack Obama.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  408. Darryl

    His race doesn't bother me Jack. His mentor and what his mentor may have encouraged in him for 20 years bothers me. I don't have an old aunt like his pastor and if I did, she wouldn't be preaching in front of thousands of people for decades. I might have felt better if Obama had denounced him.

    I know you won't believe it but i really was an Obama supporter. Now I will have to stay home on election day. I just have an ill feeling.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  409. M Radford

    It is not Obama's race that matters. It is his worldview and his patriotism. He has said that we see the world as it is and can change the world to what it should be. Rev. Wright has helped us understand Obama's worldview, which is very different from that of many Americans. Obama never repudiates any particular comment, but he leaves it to the viewer to pick and choose what they want him to reject.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  410. Susan, State College, PA

    No, Jack, his race (or races) has never been an issue for me at all, and I grew up where being white was being the minority, in a family full of racial prejudice.

    I agree with Barack – the experience of people born later is much different than those who came before us.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  411. Mary lou Dudley

    Obama's race does not matter at all. In college no one but no one thought of him as black or white. He was just Obama, ethical, kind, humorous, incredibly brilliant, a decent person and a good friend.
    He will make a great president because he is so intelligent, so knowledable, so able to rise above the political infighting and heal the democratic paper. He brings no baggage along (as Clinton does).

    March 18, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  412. Laura- Charlotte NC

    Jack,
    So far Obama seems to be doing alright as the Jr. Senator from Illinois. I truly believe you need to pay your dues before you reach the top however. This job is too important for an amateur.
    I have plenty of "hope and vision" in my life. I don't need politicians for that. I couldn't possibly, in good conscience, help elect someone with limited experience and questionable past acquaintances to the highest office in the country.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  413. Nikky Finney

    Of course his race matters. My race matters and yours too. Americans
    never ever want to admit that race matters. Race matters when you walk into a bank and when you hold a door for an old lady and when you weep at fellow human beings (of your same race) abandoned on top of a building for three days. What no one in the media wants to give Obama credit for is today he said, unequivocally, I am a man who is a card carrying member of the human race, first and foremost. But that's not news. That won't sell papers or keep the pundits and polls up at night. There's no wicked mysterious angle on that. But that's what he said; like or not, that's what he said in sterling silver human language.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  414. Norman Silk

    Its time we embrace our differences. A majority of Americans want to live and let live. Labels are wong and hurtful. Lets change our attitude and move on.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  415. Steve Baker, East Lyme,CT

    Senator Obama represents the "American Melting Pot" more than any other candidate. His multiethnic background describes what has made America the country it is. First he is an American as am I, after that our backgrounds differ. I am of "Pilgrim-Slovak" descent and could care less about race. It's the brain inside the body that matters, not the cover.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  416. Catherine Sonnenberg

    I care very much about Barak Obama's run for office I have donated 50 dollars several times. I Don't know why everyone makes such a big deal about Baraks loyalty to his church Family. My Pastor is not perfect but I am not going to leave him or my church family where I have spent 24 years. No one is perfect and I am glad that Barak can forgive him and not agree with him but still love him. I think this just shows what a good man Barak is. His speech was wonderful I hope this ends this distraction.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  417. Walter S. Hrynkiw

    The totality of every person running for office must be taken into account. The problem with Obama is that he really does not have
    a background in experience to examine. If he had completed a term as a senator and produced some valid legistation he would certainly be a very good candidate. A speech in 2002 condeming the war is not the same as having to vote in the senate. The vote on the Itanian military group was most important. He did not vote. This says alot about Obama. As president you can not vote present.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  418. Sandi

    Race does not matter in this race. What should matter to the majority of voters is the length of time that he has associated with different people in his life from his former pastor, a terrorist friend, and his neighbor who is on trial in IL for proposed wrong doing in many areas.

    I believe that the people that you surround yourself with does say something about him.

    Voters don't know enough about him at this point. This is another factor that bothers me. We, as voters, don't research our candidates nearly enough.

    All said, the above factors are troubling to me as a voter and keep me from trusting his judgment governing our nation.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  419. Edward Scott

    It is 2008 and race should not matter. Yet if is funny how the furture has a strange way of dragging us back through our past. America is a great nation but unless we confront this demon called race that hides in us all we will never live out the true meaning of our creed that all men are created equal. We are a glowing bright light to the world. The world is now watching us to see how we as Americans deal with this age old issue. Remember that the world is watching us all. United we will stand. Divided we will fall.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  420. Karen

    I am a white female who was raised on the south side of Chicago. To me race does not matter. What matters is having a president who can bring this country together, who knows what it is like to live in a thrid world nation and has the courage to stand up and address his critics head on. Yes I am for Obama and I am 61 years old.

    Karen
    Seattle

    March 18, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  421. MAX WASSERMAN, FROM ORLANDO

    Green, Blue, Red, Yellow!! What are we playing?

    I'm a 40 year old man, with five kids, my mortgage payment is $3,500.00, my food is $1,200 a month, my ligth is $640 a month, gas is $500 plus my water is $240 not to mention car payments and credit crads. I do not have health insurance, and although for the last few years I have done well, I havent' earned more than 40K in the last 8 months. Do I care You ask?

    I just need someone that get's it. Dont they see. that America is suking wind and we only want someone to direct the greates nation of all and get us on the rigth track

    Color or Race, As far that I am concerns he could be Greenand from Jupiter!!!!!

    March 18, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  422. steve

    Since he start running for president, I forgot he was black. This the speech that the country needed. It shows we are moving beyond color as hard as it is and focus on the country. if you heard his speech today, you are proud that he is running for president. Change, he is the change. I hope the entire country votes for him. We now have a man that understands both black, white and hispanic.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  423. Nancy, Cunningham, TN

    I think the amount of support that Obama has received all over this country shows race does not matter to a lot of people. What does matter to people is how the candidate feels about all races of people. Does Obama have feelings of hate and distrust for the white people of the United States that his church has preached to him for 20 years. Is this what he meant in his first acceptance speech after Iowa, "They said this day would never come?" Listen to the speech again and in light of all that has come out, do you hear a different meaning in the speech. Later in the same speech, he talks about the sit-ins at the lunch counters during the 60's. Does he have feelings of resentment that are hidden? Take the challenge, listen again to the Iowa acceptance speech again. Someone needs to ask the question in the next debates about how he feels about reparations.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  424. Julia Spagnoli

    All men (and women) are created equal. Let's get over the race issue, and judge every person on their own merit. My parents raised me without racial bias.....a big thing considering that I was born in 1940. Racism is a learned response, and I learned a few over the years. However, I never forgot to judge people solely on who they are.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  425. Michael

    Yes, Race does matter. It is an issue of perception. Early on in the campaign race was really not an issue. It has now become the central focus. I had assumed that Obama was a moderate black unlike past black radical candidates. I wont use the "R" word in regard to Obama but he does seem more like a black activist and I find this troubling. I would bet that there are a lot of white voters out there who voted for Obama that would now like to have there vote back. This racial back and forth can only make him a less attractive candidate in the general election. This is not so much because of substance of his message but because of the appearance of racial activism.

    Michael
    Santa Rosa,CA

    March 18, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  426. John Laverdure

    I am a middle class white male from chicago who has not had a good cry in a while. HE GETS IT! His race does not matter because he is a true American who showed a lot of guts today. One of the most sophisticated speeches i have ever heard.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  427. Dennis MacDonald

    Yes, race matters to me considering Barack Obama. I'm a white man and I couldn't be prouder of him. We in America got past Tiger Woods on the golf course didn't we? That's the hope for everyone now. Bush's war is pushing us together in this country for our betterment.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  428. VJ

    Reverend Wright, made the statement why is Obama responsible for what Reverend Wright said?

    March 18, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  429. gam

    Close your eyes and listen to his speech. This was an incredible speech to the world. Close your eyes and listen when our current president speaks. Notice the goose bumps when Obama speaks and notice the embarrassment when Bush speaks. Obama my kind of American.

    Grace

    Charlotte NC

    March 18, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  430. Melisa

    YES his race matters, his race for the White House that is.

    Senator Obama has already and will continue to help bring about our more perfect union. He has been our families' choice for over a year and he continues to be our choice. He has shown today he will be a terrific president.

    ~ Melisa from Montana

    March 18, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  431. Guthrie

    Jack – Obama's race has nothing to do with running for President, as all the other Politicians are of another race, and have nothing to do with the ordinary person in America. The Pastor's remarks are his and not Obama's, just as Hillary has nothing to do with other people's remarks. Obama has shown he can take the heat and stay in the Kitchen.

    Guthrie – New Jersey (does this hurt me)

    March 18, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  432. Mark

    Jack

    No, his race makes no difference to me. Nor does his religion, or gender – or any other candidate's in this election for that matter.

    A candidate's ability to make wise, rational, educated decisions – decisions that will lead this country and our people. That is what should propel Sen. Obama – or Sens. Clinton or McCain to the presidency – not their race or gender.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  433. Art

    No, but what does matter to me is the growing ignorance in this country of those who watch and abide by everything talking heads on TV & Radio tell them to believe. The questions asked on this and other supposed news networks over the past five days regarding race have me more outraged than the comments made by Obama's pastor. What do you people in the media take us for? A bunch of idiots? We have friends and family, black & white. We are more than capable of making up our minds ourselves and don't need you ignoramuses trying to polarize us with such leading and divisive questions. What I wouldn't do for just one honest news organization without professional BS artists. Jack, if you win the lottery, maybe you can start your own.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  434. harry

    senator obama,s race whether he is black or white does not matter but what matters is that:
    In his speech Senator obama has admitted having listened to sermons of his pastor all those years, wherein the pastor has expostulated the social injustice done to the black community.
    The question is how much resentment does senator obama carry in his heart of heart regarding this, if any, and how will it affect his presidency, if he gets elected as president. The voters have to make up their mind sooner than later regarding this unknown inner feeling of senator obama, and the voters have no way to know this till the reality unfolds in future.
    HARRY

    March 18, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  435. Kay Rose`

    Jack, race should not matter. The colour of a person's skin should not matter any more than the colour of a persons eyes, to quote a line from Bob Marley. The only thing that Sen. Obama should be judged on is the same credentials we judge other politicians on, whether they are capable of the job for which they are applying. There should not be any doubt that Sen. Obama is more than capable, he can and will unite this country as we have never been united. His personal history makes it possible for him to see the issues in perspectives which other candidated cannot. Yes, he has my vote, and has had my vote from the beginning, not about to change that!

    March 18, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  436. Ron - Bethesda, MD

    The real question is not does his race matter; the real question is can America get past the fact that he is a true African-American (he represents both Africa and America). His race only matters when it is uncomfortable for the individual looking and critiquing him. As a Black man who has served my country for 8 years in the US Army within the Military Intelligence field and fought in the first Gulf War and served in Bosnia-Herzegovina even within the large army I saw segregation based off my career field within Department of Defense.

    Today living in a community within the United States this is 90% white even though I live only 4 miles from Washington D.C. (Bethesda, MD) – race matters to each of us individually. My son has been the only black child in his elementary school from Kindergarten through the 5th grade – race matters.

    But it matters again to us individually and we will all look at Barack Obama through our own lenses – so to answer your question – yes, if we were all honest.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  437. Bonnie

    Race does not and should not matter to anyone in any part of our lives. Even as a choice as the leader of our nation. I also believe each person has the right to own opinion and the right to voice that opinion as they wish. No one has to agree with it, even the closest person to them may or may not agree, but they have the right to have that opinion. You can say yes as I can say no, as we have the right to do so. Obama has the same right as does his preacher. I hope more people will open their eyes today to see what is fair for one is fair for another.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  438. Vanessa Davis Griggs

    Jack, in a word–No. It doesn't matter because the outside is not what matters, it's what's on the inside. Today Barack caused a wave of emotions to wash over me as I heard him put into context what America is all about. People with experiences who desire the best of, from and for America. We may come from different places but ultimately I believe we're ready for change. Just like the army, we want America and Americans to be all we can be. It's time to get some things done and I wouldn't care if Barack was green or purple, we need someone with vision and love for this country who knows that we're only as strong as our weakest link. Let's strengthen the weakest and demonstrate the strength of what it is to be American.

    Vanessa Davis Griggs
    Birmingham, AL

    March 18, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  439. Steven D.

    Jack,
    The Unites States has long been plagued by the issue of race. It is time we as citizens of this great nation enter the 21st century. Race should paly no role in politics, education, jobs and other sectors of our society. I am an American of Italian backround. I remember my Granparents who came through Ellis island telling me of the prejudice they faced upon arriving in this country. Prejudice, in any form is a scourge upon our nation and now is the time for all Americans to understand the impact this has left and work toward a positive and much needed change. Senator Obama's race is not a factor in my opinion of him or any others running for public office.

    Steve D.
    Ballwin, MO.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  440. Dorothy Peterson

    No, and neither does anyone else's. The underlying cause of all conflict is rooted in jealousy, envy, greed, and intolerance. We're all guilty. So I would say we're gray or multi-colored. I grew up in a racially divided home. We were all "white". My father grew up in Indiana in the 1920's to 1930's; my mother in rural Alabama. There are 6 children who are pretty much split in our beliefs. I have learned over 50 years, our belief systems can change. The desire comes from deep spiritual motivation. I would be honored to call Barack Obama "brother".

    Dorothy
    Alabama

    March 18, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  441. Erin

    Race is a talking point the "blind" can't get beyond. What about $4 dollar gas, an unending war, or corporatism... just a thought.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  442. Ella in Florida

    I didn't think it matters until I have seen that for black people it does matter, hugely. I've realized that it could be or become a huge issue stirred by the various African American religious leaders around the country. I don't think our country is ready for a black president; the wounds in the black community haven't been healed completelyt. I am not comfortable with what the outcome of this racial issue could be. I prefer a woman president to a black president at this point in time. However, to me, Obama's race doesn't matter at all.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  443. marge simmons

    Jack,as a white person race does'nt matter.it is the man,and i truly beleive that Barack Obama sees all the problems we have in this country and will unite us and will take this country to a better place then we have seen in many,many years.
    Marge in illinois

    March 18, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  444. Dennis B

    No senator Obama race does not matter. He is running with fresh objectives to get this country back in the light of the true democracy that it is. The old ways don't work anymore. This country cannot succeed on programs that are over decades old. This is 2008 and this country must adjust with the times. I beleive that Obama is the new blood with new ways of thinking to get this country back on it's feet here and around the world. He will have a big job to do and I beleive he is the only person that will be the best commander and chief to accomplish this.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  445. Sharon

    No, his race does not matter to me–but I believe it does matter to those who chose to divide us, those who cannot get past their own racial biases.

    This speech today was the best speech regarding race relations since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I thank Senator Obama for framing the message, placing it front and center on the national stage as something that must be addressed,

    Absolutely no one could have done a better job than Senator Obama because he understands both worlds and has that advantage over most of us! Congratulations, Barack Obama is a gift to this country.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  446. herb

    It realy doesnt matter. he is a mutiracial man

    March 18, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  447. Robert Lauer

    Today Senator Obama proved that his race matters. And thank God for that. He also had the guts to say the things we are all afraid to say. Senator Obama and his white Grandmother endured a love which tolerated unfortunate realities. Realities, that Senator Obama...because of his experience, passion and intellect can change for us all. Of course his race matters. So does yours and so does mine. Isn't that pretty much what he promised to remind us of every day when he is president? Why do we elect any leader? To lead. Today, Obama led.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  448. Mariann Megna

    No Jack,
    But thanks so much for asking. Barack Obama is the symbol of our American dream realized; he is everyman. He is black, he is white, he is educated, spiritual, giving service and makes me proud. I loved his speech today, and it's refreshing honesty once again struck my heart. I am a 50ish white woman from New York, and no one should stereotype me or assume anything about my choices. I pray the country is listening today, and dares to hope with me. We don't need a fighter, we certainly cannot afford to keep the status quo, we finally have a choice and he is a mosaic of us all.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  449. Julie

    Absolutely not. Senator Obama has demonstrated today, in a profound way, what his campaign is about. He is the ONLY candidate runing for the President of the United States that has the compassion, inherint skills and ability of bring all of the country together. These atributes can also transend to unite in a peaceful way the world. You can not solve problems by pretending people do not exist. I was taught in school that there is a separation of state and church in this country. Senator Obama's church should be a private matter as is all the other candidates in this race. I am sure we can find someone in everybody's past that we do not totally agree with but that has brought value to our growth. Everyone's past is the crust of who they are today. You can chose to throw away people we disagree with or we can embrace they, grow from them and try to influence their lives. Communication is the key to peaceful resolution and I commend Senator Obama for his embracement of this concept.....

    March 18, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  450. Marie

    Which race? Mr. Next president is beyond the nerrow minded people who can not see far from the skin colour!!!

    March 18, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  451. Dee Douglas

    No, it doesn't matter!! What matters is that he is uniquely qualified to
    understand all sides, and that is exactly what we need right now.
    After the speech, I went straight to my computer and donated to his
    campaign.
    Dee Douglas
    Rio Linda, California

    March 18, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  452. Augustine from Atlanta

    Jack,there a just a handfull of you in this nonsense media of ours,who understands the extend to which the media defines or affect society.Youthful America,and most seniors resent any form of racism,but there is a small group of people who still believe they find themselves where they are because another man was limited to get there.
    Obama will win the democratic normination,and go on to win the White House.Only then will the minority,who thinks their race puts them where they are join the music.
    Bad journalism is responsible for our racial woes,and all the problems we currently find ourselves in.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  453. Steve

    Jack,

    I Digg your style.. Im A white male and I could care less of Baracks color. If he was purple and did the correct things; all is well with me. I do however think our own Government causes racial tension. With the fuel of government and media. A man... is a man ...is a man.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  454. DJ, Detroit

    Obama's race does and will matter...unless those people to whom it matters understood today's message...we can and have to get past all of this race stuff....we won't solve all of the problems or fill the racial divise in our lifetimes, but we must, as a society, be committed to taking the next step...together.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  455. Tamika-Lorain, Ohio

    No Jack. It shouldnt. Yet it does. While i continue to support this man..i am not so ignorant as to believe the worse is over for him. I can only hope and pray that America wakes up and see that his race or his affiliations do not make him who he is or will be as President, but what he stands for: Change We can Believe In.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  456. Ryan from Hollywood. Florida

    His race doesnt matter to me in the least, I was raised better than that. But I also believe that him being a minority candidate does not automatically make him more qualified to be president. I find it interesting that in his speech today he said "We should move on from this incident", but later on said this was an issue "we cannot ignore". While the man has great enthusiasm for the future of America and holds ideals I agree with, I will always be skittish about the people he associates himself with, which can be categorized as "unsavory" at best. While I will vote for him in Novemeber, I will always wonder why he sees anti-gay and anti-semitic pastors and ministers as "valuable members of [his] campaign"

    March 18, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  457. marc

    Captain Jack
    Senator Obama Has my full attention. I am the moderate conservitive white guy that will most likely vote for McCain. Senator Obama however is gaining more ground as of 1:00 PM today, I think it was handled perfectly.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  458. Ralph

    His race does not matter. What I saw today was honesty. unlike some other candinates,he did not say what some people want to hear for political gain. he said what he feels. I think America whants an honest president.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  459. TERRY LINDSEY

    NO!!!!!! TODAY SENATOR OBAMA HAS MAD (HIMSELF) A BELIEVER OUT OF ME. HE'S A REAL PERSON NOT A POLITICAIN..

    P.S. IF HE WAS GREEN IN COLOR I WOULD STILL VOTE FOR HIM

    March 18, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  460. Sandra

    With all that is going on with Obama, he could be labeled the antichrist.
    There is just something that doesn't seem just right with this man.
    I have a gut feeling that he will be worse than George Bush once he is in the the white house. Will we have to call it the black house then so we do not discriminate?

    March 18, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  461. J. Ryles

    Jack let me say, you are the reason I tune in as often as I do, as you keep things grounded and worthy of viewing. Now to the question of does Obama's race matter, in a word no. I see this man as a presidential candidate for all people and that is the beauty of his candidacy for me. Together we stand, divided we will surely fall. By the way, why is the picture of Obama and Rev. Wright in the upper right hand corner of the screen while part of Obama's speech is being re-run? Is that a subliminal message to hear the man, but see the picture?

    March 18, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  462. Steve Zaiser

    Dear Jack,

    If this country is to hold true to the creeds laid out by our country's forefathersas a country of immigrants, we need to live true to the Declaration of Independence crafted by Thomas Jefferson. He wrote that ALL people of this great land ought to be treated equally under the law granted the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness among many other worthy principals.

    If we are to really move on as a country in search of a more perfect union by building upon what we already have, it is imperative that we fervently embark on these ideals now.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  463. Jane Hyatt

    what chilled me about the pastor's speech was the sight of hundreds of people in the congregation mindlessly clapping and cheering throughout the entire speech and afterwards. I've seen this too many times over sixty plus years. You stand up and walk out on this type of hate speech in protest, you don't applaud. Obama missed the point, and seems to be the type to whom it is more important to appease and placate than to stand up on principle. I am so disappointed.

    Jane Hyatt
    Kittery, Maine

    March 18, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  464. Kate Leslie

    Not even a little. Whatever doubts I might have had about his ability to address the issues directly and without equivocation were put to rest in his comments today. My hope now is that he and Senator Clinton will reconcile their own differences and run together on the Democratic ticket.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  465. Ruth A. Kelly

    Oh please – give me a break. If a white man was railing against this country, no matter how he was related to the candidate, we would all think he was just plain crazy and run so fast in the other direction your head would spin!! Race doesn't really "matter", it just IS what his experience has been. Ulysses, remember said it all, "I am a part of all that I have met yet all experience is an arch wherefore gleams that untraveled world forever and forever as I move...". Impossible to break away from all that hatred being spewed. And by the way, does Hillary get equal time – with all the "presidential" pomp and circumstance as assumed "President Obama" did. If this was her pastor saying "damn America" can you imagine what would have happened? She'd be on the We network answering questions posed about her husband! Yeah – please, please....give me a break!!!

    March 18, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  466. Chas

    No, Obama's race does not matter. The ultimate test of all politicians is the difference between their words and their deeds. Obama's speech, while meritorious for its forthrightness about what race means to Obama, did not persuade me that he does not share the views of his church, which has a long history of ethnocentrism– its mission is about being "unashamedly black." What he calls "Liberation Theology" is politics, not spirituality. And that is why Barack's long time membership, and his continued membership in that church with a new minister who shares the views of the outgoing minister, should matter to voters, and will still matter to those of us in the middle of the political spectrum. If I went to a church that preached any philosophy with which I disagreed so strongly as racial bias, a church that honors anti-semtism, I would be looking for another church, one that is spiritual and not political. What makes me still uneasy is why Barack has not done so.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  467. James Johnson

    Yes, he race does matter.

    Race isn't something to ignore, it is to be cherished. Race just like pears, leaves, raindrops, butterflies and all of the flora and fauna on our beloved planet. Earth flies with abundant life in the cold-darkness of space. Race is just another one of the beautiful elements that makes for the diversity of this small blue dot in space called the planet earth.

    What a sad place our planet would be without diversity. I consider everyone as my brother and sister, from the people that I work with, to the likes of the KKK. You might try to ignore the fact, but we are all brothers and sisters and we are all EARTH-AFRICANS.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  468. David Hallin

    I thought Barak Obama's speech today was right on target. What Reverand Wright said last December pales in comparision to what some white bigots say, and have said for years, within their own company. We need to start the new day with a new paradiem and stop trying to live in accordance with the perceptions of our grand parents. Obama has it right. His color doesn't matter; his ideas matter.

    David Hallin
    Memphis, TN

    March 18, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  469. dennis from Michigan

    Obamas' race means little to me.As my wife proclaims,we are "race
    indifferent". What matters is that finally I have a candidate who evokes
    a level of enthusiasm I have never before experienced in my 64 years.
    Finally,not having to vote for the lesser of two evils!

    March 18, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  470. Carl Douglas

    Jack:

    No his race does not matter to me. His inability to admit the truth does! Reverend Wright does not need Barack to defend him; he is most capable of doing that himself.

    I find it appalling that those off you in the media who constantly raise race as an issue, but never address it factually have made an issue of Reverend Wright's opinions in the campaign. Why do you not report on the diferences in sentencing for like crimes, the failure of our government to address poverty, lack of healthcare, lack of economic opportunity, education, and other issues affecting poor people in this country.

    Senator Obama needs to walk his talk. He needs to stop inserting the race card. Perhaps he could explain why his own campaign staff is the least diverse stafff of ll the Democratic candidates who were originally in the race. Why he talks about change but always sides with the same old regimes such as Daley in Chicago to further his political rise.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  471. Greg

    His race doesn't matter, but his ties to controversial people who preach anti-American sermons certainly does.

    Greg in Florida

    March 18, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  472. Courtney in Florida

    After that powerful speech, Barack Obama deserves to be our next president. No, race does not matter, and if I could vote for him a thousand times over, I would. He is a man that you can believe in. I am a proud Obama supporter.

    Courtney Anne from Ft.Myers, FL

    March 18, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  473. ed

    NOT ONE BIT!

    Race is an issue in the US though it should not be. We need a person, man or woman, of vision to lead us out of the horrors of the Bush-Cheney years.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  474. DG

    Jack
    I am a black man and black doctor. I thought after I got out of medical school almost 30 years ago, things would be better for me. Not so. Board certified in 2 specialties, the largest bank loan I have been able to get is $2,500. My classmates have huge luxury offices and drive fine cars. Race matters in every aspect in America. White people could face their disease called racism if they didn't focus so much on every other races' pathology other than their own. Most whites can't look at themselves for who they are and their past because they live with their heads buried between their legs hoping it would go away.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  475. John Hill

    I am an Australian, and a Minister of a mainline denomination living and working in Minnesota. I have come to love this wonderful country – but my love for the United States does not blind me to the flaws and failures of its own history.

    I listened, spell bound at what Barak Obama did this morning.

    In words of grace and majesty, he elevated the debate by reminding us that it is especially America which has held the ideals of human rights at the heart of its life; and the struggle has always been to realise those ideals. Any one who has ever visited, or lived in, or come to love this land and admire her history and ethics, must applaud those who can transcend the differences and hold before us all the vision of the founders of the nation.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  476. cheryl robinson

    Yes, race does matter to me. This is a man who understands the plight of many Americans, and what it might take that would lead to a new understanding. I'm a white woman but I believe that by electing this sensitive , intelligent human being , we could be doing our country a great service!

    March 18, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  477. patricia

    Yes, it matters in a good way. That he was a black Harvard Law Review president and went to Chicago to work as a community organizer says a lot about his values and commitments. That he is biracial and feels comfortable in different setting and with different people, that his personal history includes loving relationships with people of different races and histories, all speak to his ability to hear people differently and to see the world differently. Our politics are completely polarized right now. He is someone who can hear other sides and recognize what is common among them, and then hopefully build on that to make progress on pressing and critical issues like the war, health care, and climate change

    March 18, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  478. Jan Collins

    Race has never been an issue with me regarding Obama's Campaign until now, and I'm certainly hoping it doesn't slow his momentum. He needed to address the issue and hopefully put his pastor's diatribe in it's proper perpespective. I'm more in his corner than ever before.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  479. L. Wilson

    It would not matter to me if Obama was purple, orange, green, or any other color. It is time for America as a nation to become one. This is the only way that our great country will continue to stand. The seperation of the races (not just black & white) will be the downfall of this country. It took something so destructive as Sept. 11th for all of us to catch a glimpse of how truly great we can be when our skin color doesnt matter. Without all races joining together the way that we did we could not have rebounded so quickly. But once we rebounded it was back to the same old ways. I have never seen anyone black, white, red, yellow, brown, politician, religous leader, civil rights leader, etc. that has the ability to bring all Americans together like Senator Obama. When coming together is the only way for America to move forward, reclaim our standing in the world, and pass on the legacy of GREATNESS to our children and grandchildren race is te last thing on my mind

    March 18, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  480. AT

    As a liberal his race does not matter at all. What matters however is his judgement. He sat and listened quietly for 20 years to someone spewing venom. If we accept his past behavior than why has he dumped his pastor now. He wants to have it both ways.
    Further I consider his equating prejudices of his grandmother, a woman who helped bring up. and a racist pastor preaching hate in very poor taste.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  481. pat ludwick

    I would like to know how a day or two ago he said he was never in the pews when these words were spoken, and then today he says he has been in the church. Second I also heard he talk to reporters from I believe chiago paper about this rackettering man he knows. Supposely being more involved with him then he owned up too.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  482. Robin Glover

    No ! Race does not matter and should not ! People put " limits" on thinghs or people that they don't understand or have deep seeded "ideas" that cause them not to grow their own character.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  483. Claudia

    Senator Barack Obama race does not matter to me. I am part of a biracial family and i am blessed with nieces and nephews who are biracial. Why don't we all get along for the good of the country and the world. We are all God's children. Senator Barack Obama is very unique a God's sent healer...he will help to heal this country.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  484. Ron

    Yes, race matters to me, as a white male, I feel that if a black man or woman gets into the oval office, it will be an end to the rights that whites currently have. We already lose jobs to minorities, if we take a civil service exam, whites get second priority in job placement, you get more points if you are a minority, so the job goes to a less qualified person due to race, kind of like the white house race. I would not vote for him if it meant taking my last breath.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  485. Ed Gaskin

    Does his race matter? Yes and No. Yes as I am an African American I am proud to have him represent me. And no as I want to vote for the most qualified person no matter what the color. I think Hillary missed the opportunity to give the same speech a week ago when Rep. Steve King said terrorists would be "dancing in the streets" if Democratic candidate Barrack Obama were to win the presidency in part because of and his middle name, Hussein. As a professor of racism, I think Obama's speech was the best I have ever heard on race in America. The fact he wrote it is powerful, the fact he believes it is inspiring. That was not the type of speech traditional advisors or crisis managers would have advised, which makes it all the more powerful and demonstrates Obama is a different type of politician.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  486. Jane

    An Obama Presidency would be a disaster. If he thinks he alone can heal the racial divide in this country then I've got river front property to sell you in Arizona.Obama is NOT the second coming of Christ.He is a smooth talking liar who has a vast number of people believing him. My vote is for Hillary.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  487. Mecca

    The race does not matter, it's the unsaid words that matter. First he said he never heard the pastor preach against whites or any other matter which affected him and his beliefs. Now he says yes, he did hear things said while attending services that he did not agreee with. Then with the Canada trade issue, he did the same. First he said he knew nothing of the meeting or denied same, then admitted it. This is what worries me!

    March 18, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  488. Lynne Black

    Obama's race matters to me because I think it shaped who he is. Only a person who has spent time looking at who they are and what shaped their life can offer the people of this country what he did today: The chance to engage in an honest dialog about the differences that divide us; race, gender, religion and political – it is only when we start to discuss these issues openly will we start to heal.

    Lynne B Reno Nv

    March 18, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  489. Maribeth Blum Tuton

    Race is not an issue for me. I cried when I heard Barack Obama's speech this morning. I truely believe he is a man of integrity and also a man of great importance for our country. Since race is not an issue, I'm not going to tell you what mine is.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  490. Lynne Strong

    Why is it alright to preach racism in a black church? What I heard would be considered racism if the same words were spoken in a white church. I don't agree that just because its the black way that makes it right. It wasn't right for white people to talk that way, perhaps this is why we are not moving past racism in America, because of teachings like the reverends and other churches that support preaching like his church. Teaching your children, and letting your children be present in these situations tells me that this is your ideals, otherwise you would not allow your children to listen to teachings you supposedly don't support. Why, why, why, is it alright and allowable for any American to speak this way in any church, school, anywhere........this is a double standard...that is one sided.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  491. Ocie H. Burton II

    I grew up learning that there is only 1 race, The Human Race. Having said that I understand that there are many ethnic groups, cultures and nation's of people that inhabit and populate our Earth. Because of our human weaknesses, ignorances and injustices towrds each other since the beginning of man's development on Earth – YES Sen. Obama's ethnicity matters to some and I hope they will learn that there is an appointed time for each Nation to lead. It is my hope that Americans will find it in their hearts and minds to offer Sen. Obama that oppurtunity. Our search for solutions to the current mess that has amassed over time just may be found within the heart & soul of Sen. Barack Obama, WHY NOT GIVE A BROTHER A CHANCE?

    March 18, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  492. John Visser

    No, Obama's race does not matter to me at all. Aren't we better than that? To think that we have spent so much time on something so superficial as the color of a man's skin sickens me. I believe most of the world's problems extend from the racial, religious and other divisions we create amongst ourselves. If we could only get past those differences, imagine how much time and other resources we would have to tackle the real problems of the world like global warming, health care and poverty. It is a sad reflecton of the human race that we even have to ask that question.

    John Visser
    Smithfield, NC

    March 18, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  493. Mary

    Mary.
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
    Jack, no race does not matter. I am a white female senior citizen with ancestors from Ireland. My Grandmother was an indentured slave to a black doctor. She served almost 20 years before he released her from her service. I was raised living in a community that was diverse. Race has never mattered to me until I became a grown-up and started a full-time job and was subjected to the urban African American and I was discriminated against at that time both personally and in the work force. Should I feel sorry for Obama because he is both black and white? (NO) absolutely not. I feel sad that he uses his race to forward his own agenda. I also fear he will not be the president of all the people.
    My vote will be for Hillary.

    Again, you have stopped publishing my comments on the blog.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  494. ruth mosley

    Jack I am a 65 year old white female who lives in a very small rural community in Tn. It is just a pin dot on the map. I have been for him since day one, even aganist my husband who is a Hillery supporter. I think today was a sad day for him ,to have to give a speech on race in this day and time. I am so thankful that future genarations will not have to make such disgusting choices for president based on what color their skin is..

    March 18, 2008 at 4:35 pm |