[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/03/18/art.townhall.pa.gi.jpg caption=" 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.”
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.