May 13th, 2008
02:05 PM ET

How big an issue will race be in November?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Barack Obama has generated an excitement and hope not seen in American politics in years, perhaps even decades. But behind the scenes, some of his field workers and volunteers are coming face-to-face with something very different: racism.

The Washington Post reports about what it calls "raw racism and hostility that have gone largely unnoticed – and unreported" in this election. Obama volunteers have had doors slammed in their faces, and have been called racially derogatory names. Some Americans apparently can't deal with the idea that Obama might become our first African-American president.

One volunteer reports being chased by dogs while canvassing in Indiana. Another woman in Pennsylvania gave up on phone-bank duty after one night... because of the negative responses from voters in her county, which is 98% white. Drivers yelled out racial slurs as they passed a group of black high school students holding up Obama signs in Indiana.

The campaign says these are isolated incidents and that most volunteers and staffers have had positive experiences. It says the election has reinforced Obama's view that "this country is not as divided as our politics." As for the candidate himself, he doesn't talk much about race.

He doesn't have to. Obama has won 30 of the 50 contests so far, including 5 of 12 primaries where blacks made up less than 10% of the voters. He also won in caucus states that are overwhelmingly white – places like Iowa, Idaho and Wyoming.

Here’s my question to you: Now that it looks like it will be Barack Obama against John McCain, how big an issue will race become?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Kel from Auburn, Alabama writes:
Being a black man, I'll tell you racism sometimes seems to show up in the most subtle ways, even in today's society. I just hope that the smarter part of America will vote for the best candidate, not let their ignorance keep the man for the job out of the office.

Mary from Wethersfield, Connecticut writes:
If Obama loses the election, the media will say it's because the U.S. is racist. There will be no talk of his lack of experience, his long-standing association with Wright, his lack of substantive realistic ideas. We'll all just be a bunch of racists who couldn't bring themselves to vote for the black guy.

Jenny from Boston writes:
It depends who answers your question. It is not an issue for me, but for the ones who are voting today, it might be!

J. writes:
Race was not an issue and Obama started his campaign as a champion of all people. Then came the Clintons and her surrogates, such as Bob Johnson and Bill himself. I can just see the talking heads tonight bloviating on this issue and what it all means. It means that certain parts of this country are bigots. It would have happened had Hillary won and they would never accept a woman. Only she voted for the Iraq war. Wonder how many West Virginian men and women died for Hillary's Bush policy on Iraq?

Bill from New London, Connecticut writes:
Huge. Race has been huge all along. Ever wonder why Obama can't secure older voters and "blue collar" white voters? It’s because he's black. Polls won't show it, but we all know there are just some people who won't vote for a black man. Sad but true.

Nic writes:
I really hope it doesn't matter. Bush fit the perfect stereotype that was "safe" to vote for and look at the mess he got us into. If people are so blinded by race and hate that that is the ONLY reason they don't vote for Barack Obama, then they deserve whatever they get.

Filed under: Barack Obama • John McCain • Race
soundoff (329 Responses)
  1. Carol c.


    I would like to think people could get beyond race and look at how each candidate is going to address the problems which to me seem so huge that I can't imagine anyone would want the job.

    But then I hear people making statements about him being muslim and such idiotic things that I wonder if they are using that as an excuse to keep from admitting they can't get past race.

    What a shame if our country with all the issues can't sit down and actually listen to a debate or two and get answers instead of getting everything from a blog! And we think we are educated! HA!

    Knoxville, TN

    May 13, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  2. Martha Lynne -- Los Angeles, CA

    Hopefully without the Clintons' scorched earth policy at work in the general, overt racism will fade away, and we'll be back to business as usual in America, which of course still includes aspects of racism. But I for one pledge to try hard not to hold his pale skin or long-time AARP benefits against John McCain.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  3. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Why are we still talking about race? I don't like being called a racist because I don't support Obama. I don't support him because I don't like his ideas. It's as simple as that! Let it go.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  4. Linda Rogers

    As big as the media makes it, much like the Rev. Wright issue.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  5. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    It will be much larger than most people are willing to admit. Some whites will not vote for a black man regardless of his ability to change the direction of Washington and our economic situation. Just like if Hillary would somehow get the nomination, some men will not vote for a woman.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  6. Mark, Berwyn, PA

    I think it may be bigger than it should be. If the Democratic primary is any indication, many older, white Democrats will vote against Obama only because he is black. And most, if not all, black voters will vote for Obama and never even listen to a thing McCain has to offer. Hillary used race very effectively in getting older, white voters out in force to vote for her, and I regret to feel that most of them will never vote for a black man. That is truly unfortunate as this election, and the sorry state of our country, hangs in the balance.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  7. Simone MN

    It shouldn't be a factor. If it is, it will only be for campaigning reasons. So far he is ahead, so can't be too inportant.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  8. joan from vermont

    There has not been a word about the war in Iraq for at least 2-3 days. It's almost as if someone has said to the media quit talking about the war but I am sure that could never be. It's all about the campaign. What do you think, Jack?

    May 13, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  9. Lance in Texas

    While I don't think race or ethnicity will be an overt issue during the fall campaign, I fear that it will, unfortunately, become a significant undercurrent. Rumors and untruths are already well-known and disseminated through the internet. I fear these will become more cited by 'shadowy' "Swift-Boat" type organizations as the campaign progresses. To borrow from the title of a New York Times bestseller, "It's (going to get) Ugly Out There."

    May 13, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  10. Jan

    Hopefully, neither race or age will be an issue in November because neither one of them will solve any of the problems facing this country. I don't want to see any man windsurfing either !!

    May 13, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  11. Tanya, from TX

    You know Jack, I don't know that race will be an issue. I sure hope it isn't!!!! Although I'm not a McCain supporter, I do think he is above a few issues the media would like to push. Now if he comes out and says something like 'Some of my closest friends are African-American' I'll die of laughter because I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt here. For a statement like that will surely be his downfall: if other issues like his affiliation with Bush, his ideas on the economy (or lack thereof), and his current position on the war don't sink him first.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  12. Terry from North Carolina

    There will always be race issues, however I dont believe it will be a factor in determining the next president. Barack Obama has overcome these issues up to now, its not going to stop him in November.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  13. Lil from TN

    I certainly hope that race will not be an issue, but given the Republican party's dirty tactics in the last several presidential campaigns, I'm not putting anything past them.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  14. Steven-Ohio


    considering that history shows no party has retained the whitehouse after a poor Presidential term I think we'll know the answer to your question on the 2nd Wednesday of November. Until then we can just guess.

    My guess is that race will be a big factor. Obama is going to carry 99% of the African American vote but unlike Hillary will not call himself the Black peoples' candidate. I am white, a republican, and hold a doctorate; I'm currently on my third book about Obama and I'm ready to vote for Barak. However, I am sure there are other caucasions who will not vote for an African American no matter how qualified the candidate is. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm guessing I'm right.

    steven- ohio

    May 13, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  15. Roger, Nova Scotia

    If the US voting public has any sense it will see in Obama his mix of one white parent and one of colour. The prefect chance to get beyond the race card.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  16. Joy, Springfield, IL

    Of course race will be an issue in this election. The electorate have not been confronted with an African American presidential candidate before. Having said that, he has made tremendous inroads with people that I personally know who are going to vote for him and have surprised me. There are parts of the country that will never see the light of day on this issue, but I think it's not as prevalent as it once was and hopefully America will begin a new chapter in history this November.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  17. T.J. Marshall (Raleigh, NC)

    It will be an issue, Jack, but predominately in backward, redneck states (West Virginia, South Carolina) where Obama won't be terribly competitive anyway. In states where people are educated enough to look at policies and plans for our nation's future moreso than pigmentation, Obama will win voters: black, white, Asian, Latino, even plaid.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  18. Jenny


    It was either goining to be race or sex depending on which Democrat won. That is what has been so neat about this race. We are making history either way we go. That having been said I think that it will be a very big issue. Alot of people who do not realize how racist they areit at all are about to be face with the choice of electing a half black man to this nations highest office. I think that it will awaken many feelings about black people we thought had been dealt with.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  19. mitch martin arkansaw

    it will be huge!this rednecked white-boy,from arkansas,will be laughing my hill-billy, rear-end off,when obama gets more white votes than mccain.sen.mccain flip-flops more than a catfish ,on a canepole!

    May 13, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  20. Raymond Duke/Gatesville,Tx.

    Jack: it will be a very big issue. The republicans are not sissys and will have no problem pointing out the differences between Barrack's morals and John McCains. Only a fool believes that Reverend Wright will not be an issue,not counting "bitter , relgious Americans in rural areas and I'm finally proud of my country. Except for the liberal East and West coast and predominatly black states "Barack" is dead in the water. The reoublicans will and should make it an issue.The democrats as usual are stupid, should have gone with the easy winner for 2008.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  21. sarah, Indiana

    for me it is a non issue. i see only one race and that is the Human race. i wont vote for obama based on my belief that he is not qualified for the job. i am also revolted by the smug superior hateful attitude of his supporters, who unfailingly accuse anyone who does not worship THEIR candidate of being racist. oddly enough the most racist comment i have heard from anyone in the primary contest came from obama himself who referred to his own grandmother as a "typical white woman".

    May 13, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  22. Nuwan Sam

    Although many don't like to talk about it, I am very much certain that race is going to become an issues. This is a new situation. And we are unprepared. When African Americans are voting over 90% for Obama it means there is a big chunck of those votes are because of the race. CNN polls indicates that race matters more to African Americans than for White people. That could trigger and outrage among older more conservative white Americans. Democrats can not win without them. Having Obama/Clinton join ticket may be the only way to diffuse it, if it ever happens. This is the reality as I see it.

    Nuwan from Houston, TX

    May 13, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  23. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    None. Only for the narrowminded will it be an issue, but ti would be that way for a woman, a catholic, and any democrat. We need a third party.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  24. A Kraft Naples, FL

    it will be somewhat of an issue...hard core prejudices will always exist and as the population gets younger prejudices will die down...in view of George Bush and his past 8 years it will not be as much of an issue as it might have been...McCain's age will play as much of a part as race issues

    May 13, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  25. Ben David

    ALL the polls basically say the same. "white Democrats with a college degree prefer Obama by 59 percent. But white Democrats without a college degree prefer Obama by 36 percent."
    So, in the non-degreed white majority, only 36% will vote for Obama? Does that make anyone else a little nervous?

    May 13, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  26. Lynda K

    Race will be a huge issue. No one will own up to it but it will be. As much as we try to pretend that things have changed in this country, I don't belive they have changed enough for us to vote a black man into the Presidential office. It is lurking... the distrust and bigotry... just below the surface... as we all pretend to be so tolerant and accepting. Just wait until November. If Obama is the nominee... McCain will be the President.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  27. Michelle, Baltimore

    Unfortunately, I believe that race will be a major issue in November. There are so many people in this country that cannot look past skin color. As an AA female, never in my wildest dreams did I think that there would be a viable Black candidate for president. Many people on this site are saying that AA are racist because we are voting overwhelmingly for Obama but the truth is that we are proud. There are very few things outside of our own family interest that we can be proud about but this is one. But don't forget AA's are not the only one's voting for him. We only make up about 15-20% of the nation's population, so I guess we are not the only one's feeling a sense of pride.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  28. Patricia

    Race is not going to be a problem for me Jack. Although my choice was John Edwards I can without a moments hesitation vote for Sen. Obama. I do not want a George Bush 3rd term & there is nothing & I mean nothing that John McCain could possibly say that will ever change my mind. "Obama Now Change America"!!!!
    Palmdale, Ca.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  29. Larrry Daffern

    Hillary says she should be the nominee because she won the big states, the uneducated white vote, maybe the popular vote and some other categories. Why doesn't she add that she has more hair than Obama, can bowl better than him and doesn't have a spiritual advisor to get her into hot water. She can't understand that the only thing that matters is the vote count yet she continues her "Mutually Assured Destruction" (MAD) to take Obama down with her.

    Larry Daffern
    Houston, Texas

    May 13, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  30. Allan,Cameron Park, Ca.

    I think it will be a big deal with Obama running. With over 90% of A.A.'s voting for Obama mostly because he is "one of them" and not on qualifications. He has no qualifications as his voting record in Illinois and the Senate shows. They make a big mistake because Clinton has and will be better for A.A.'s.
    He will not be the "Role Model " that they deserve.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  31. Bob L. Philadelphia, PA

    Now that it looks like Obama is going to win. Jack? You and the rest of the Obamedia called for his win after he won Iowa and you have slammed Clinton ever since she won New Hampshire.

    Race will have nothing to do with it, Jack. The win will come off of how many passes the Obamedia gives Barack Obama and how much they harp on the little and big things about John McCain.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  32. Beartrack Truckee,CA

    Unfortunately it will play a big role. After the Clinton's played the race card, the media has made a big deal of it. What we are seeing in places like West Virginia is that the uneducated, low income, bigoted whites in this country are still stuck in the past, and probably won't vote for Obama because he is black. They should remember that his mother was a low income struggling white woman. We've come far but, not far enough.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  33. Oracle99 in Boston

    Why do you say become? It's always been the 1000 pound Elephant in the room that people try to ignore. Race will continue to become a big issue for the people that it bothers now. These people can't see beyond a person's color so they won't be able to get past their prejudices to vote for any black candidate. Thank God that it's not a majority of the population.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  34. Joe in DE

    Dpends on the canidates. If Obama is one, itwill be BIG.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  35. cy gardner

    There are brain dead, narrow minded Americans who will vote against Obama solely because of the color of his skin. Unfortunately Jack, they are not watching you, they are listening to Bill O'Reilly give them restaurant reviews over on the GOP Propaganda Ministry. Hopefully, a majority of Americans will see a choice between a Harvard educated man trying to change a bad direction for this country and another old white Republican who thinks 45 million uninsured is no big deal, 100 years in Iraq is acceptable and tax cuts for the rich is the answer for everything. Cy Gardner Arlington, va

    May 13, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  36. Louis, Canada

    It will be the perfect test to see if the people of the "greatest country on earth" is racist !

    May 13, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  37. Bill, Quarryville, PA

    There are too many other important problems for me to worry about then the race of my next president. I will be voting for Obama when he gets the nomination because of where he stands on the Iraq war and taking away the tax breaks for their rich and giving more tax relief to the average working men and women.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  38. Debbie,NJ

    Jack, I think when people start weighing their choices, (1) having a black man as president versus (2) having McCain as president and the possibility of losing their social security, higher taxes for the middle class, losing their jobs, no or little health care, no way to send kids to college and the possibility of a draft, I think they'll choose the black man.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  39. Mike from Canada

    Race should not even be an issue if the candidates want to be perceived as integrators. The voting should be about getting the most votes. This cannot be done by using a spreadsheet to put Americans into categories. The votes need to be viewed holistically as AMERICANS and not divisive. It will be a stretch for most politicians because they will do whatever is necessary to kill the other party. All americans need to join together and become the powerful team that it can be and take on the world. Leave the baggage outside the door or China will be your boss.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  40. Wayne in NH

    Jack, Just the fact that you have asked this question tells me that there will be some who have a problem with race, but there will be others who have problems with age, Over all I believe that it will be very small and balance each other out.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  41. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    Gee, that's a tough one. I think that the General Election will be a much more intense version of the Democratic Primaries. As a result, I believe that Barack Obama will overcome the race issue and win the General Election.

    Let's recap what has happened during the past few months.

    At first, race is not an issue at all, until Iowa. That's when everyone's surprised that Obama wins Iowa, even though there are few black voters.

    Next comes South Carolina. That's when Bill Clinton plays the race card by comparing him to Jesse Jackson. That's when blacks start to galvanize behind Obama, and away from Clinton.

    And then comes Rev. Wright, with his controversial, inflammatory sermons. Obama takes a hit, but bounces back.

    Later, Rev. Wright resurfaces, and Obama takes a bigger hit. But he bounces back again, and spanks Hillary in North Carolina.

    I have noticed that, every time someone plays the race card, Obama finds a way to rise above it.

    It's going to get a lot uglier in the fall, but I bet he'll rise above it all again, just in time for November.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  42. Cecil in Chester, VA

    From a historic perspective the things the media is currently obsessing on, race and gender, will be footnotes. This election is going to be seen as the beginning of TwentyFirstCentury politics. A politics where the people take back control of the government from the corporations. This is the end of TV advertising telling the people what to think in 30 second sound bites, and the beginning of the populous self organizing to take control of their government through the internet. Many think this is an Obama wave, it is not. It is a wave that has been building for twenty years. Obama saw the wave coming, and had the sense to get on its crest. It is the wave, not Obama, that is going to crush Hillary and McCain.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  43. Adale Smith

    I would like to know if someone has taken a pole in the past to ask why when some media refer to obama black votes received they refer to them as black voters, but when they refer to Hilary receiving white votes they don't refer to them as white voters but they call them white working class voters or blue collar voters.

    Is the news media trying to say that black people don't work or that they don't want to appear as being what they are (racists)

    I watch you all the time, I know you will tell the truth. Iam black and really want to know.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  44. Jamaal Kansas

    Race is Race some people are racist some are not some people are racist and will still vote for the canidate that has there best interest at heart and then there are racist that will never vote for a black person but times is changing and Barack has a Outstanding coalition of voter white and Black so Jack race is always going to be an issues but if we don't get over it now we will never. But Jack is is Normally the small town people in certain place that are racist it might because or there parents being racist that is why the young generation don't have that built up hate because we were not raised like that

    May 13, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  45. Ralph in New York

    Jack, race will be a big issue, even in states more accepting of African-Americans, because this would be the first someone of that race will be running for and could possibly win the White House. If Clinton was to become the candidate, gender would become a major issue in the general election– do not count her out until a chioice is finally made.

    May 13, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  46. cory,fl

    I'm so sick of the whole racism thing, I'm white and I would vote for Obama but everyone is acting like he isn't getting any white votes, come on people this is just a media ploy to get people riled up, if this was the case what about the black voters, why aren't they racists, as a group they voted for Obama about 90% what other race voted that way, for it to be that overwhelming it has to be only about race, but that's ok us whites will take the blame again

    May 13, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  47. cory,fl

    I think Obama's people will make it a big deal even though they have benefited from racism by getting 90% of the black vote, because they want to make white voters feel they have to vote for him

    May 13, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  48. cory,fl

    hey jack why dont you try doing both sides of a story for a change instead of your terrible views that makes the world seem like its a terrible place

    May 13, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  49. sweetinspiration

    Race will be a huge issue this fall. I like Obama and would vote for him anyway but I still have huge reservations whether this country can get past race and vote for someone on their merits. They have been saying Clinton's supporters won't vote for Obama but will vote for McCain and I think that is all about Obama being black. However, Obama is not just an African American man but he is also a Caucasian American man.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  50. Angela Lento, Tampa, FL

    I believe when it really comes down to it, Jack, its going to be about race and if it was Hillary its going to be about gender . . why are people so blindsided about this. I'm not saying its fair, but come on, I've seen it everywhere. Its no surprise. A lot of it is ignorance. when it comes down to it, its going to be how a person really feels when he's in the ballot box getting ready to cast his vote.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  51. Tam

    Despite the fact that Barack Obama is only 'half" black, race will definitely be the big "unspoken" issue – even to the point that some will say that the African-American community is being racist themselves. I don't think racism is going away anytime soon. You just can't get rid of these racist types. Growing up in the rural South, I've been around plenty. I just wasn't raised that way. "Love thy neighbor" in the Bible didn't come with any qualifiers on which neighbors.
    Some people just need to get their heads out of you-know-where and join the 21st century.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  52. John

    Well it is no surprize that we are talking the race card. Oh by the way race does not play a role unless you are a white person. Over 95 % of the blacks excuse me African Americans vote the racial line, when a black candiate it running. Barrack carried the early states before everyone started to see who surrounded him. But CNN will carry him on their back. I love your news coverage, but you are pathic on your poltics get a back bone and be fair once.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  53. Lois

    I think that we'll hear much more about racism in the next few months. We're coming down to the wire and the gloves will be off.
    And, by the way, your gushing over Obama needs to be toned down. I just want the facts, Jack.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  54. Wendy - Telford, PA

    I am a white woman from PA. For me race is not an issue and never has been. The fact that that it is even a question in the 2008 presidential election in the United States of America is outragous and honestly quite shameful. Why is this still an issue? Why are people still teaching intollerance to thier children? That is where this stems from. It is sad but true. Barack Obama is the most inspirational polititian that I have ever seen and the first time I have ever heard someone speak the things that I feel and want for this country. What the color of his skin has to do with any of the issues this country is currently facing I don't know. Media and politics have continued to try and divide the citizens of this country and it's about time that we stand up and say "enough". Obama should be judged on what he brings to the table not the color of his skin. PERIOD. Anyone not willing to vote for him because of his skin color should be ashamed of themselves. That is not what America is about.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |

    Jack, race is, has been and will be a factor in the November election. The Clintons have used it as a subtext in their campaign. It has, as you state, been largely ignored by the media and pollsters. My roots are in Mingo and Wetzel counties in West Virginia; I can tell you that relatives, who I love, are also bigots who I despise. Thank you for raising this important issue.


    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  56. Russ

    Define "issue" for me in this case. The vague way the question was worded–which may have been intentional–brings two possibilities to mind:

    1) People will vote against Senator Obama, primarily non-African-Americans, because he is associated with the African-American community because his father was African-American, and

    2) Most African-Americans will vote for Senator Obama solely because of his skin color without consider his stand on the issues and his proposed solutions.

    Like it or not, a great majority of votes have and will continue to be cast solely based on some nonsense such as skin color or gender. Then, despite the outcome, the finger pointing of blame will be associated with that same nonsense.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  57. Diane B

    Race will be as big an issue as the pundants will allow it to be. I, Mr. Cafferty am a born and raised New Yorker, White, over 60, female, no college degree, and earn $50,00/yr. Oh yes, I am Jewish. Please have a pollster call me. Thank you

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  58. Steve L New York

    Race will be HUGE. Despite Obama's primary victories in mostly-white states, the general election will reveal the latent racism that still exists in our country.

    And I fully expect the Republican attack machine to make it an issue, in their typical appeal to voters' worst instincts.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  59. Michael, Los Angeles

    Race is a far more nuanced problem than we normally give it credit for. Sen. Obama's race speech in Philadelphia was only unique because he candidly addressed concerns blacks and whites have that invoke race but are not necessarily "racist." There are obviously still the N-word-using bigots and white-hating black paranoids, but the greater issue will be how well we understand each others' more common race-related concerns. Obama can only deliver on his message of unity if he continues to stick to his convictions and helps us reach a little more understanding (and if the media follows suit rather than sticking to simplistic demographic breakdowns).

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  60. Yvette from OR

    BIG...race is an issue no matter how many white American's deny that it is not an issue. We have not seen anything yet.....

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  61. Billc Tampa, Fl.

    Hopefully America has come a long way and this will not be an issue. Unfortunately Jack, I don't have faith that pundits, surragates and others will let it go. We have come a long way, but we have an even further way to go.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  62. Steve in Las Vegas

    Why in this day and age is this even a question. What people should be looking at are the issues and not race. I guess that's why some people are informed voters and others vote on whether I could I have a beer with that person.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  63. Gina (mayfield heights, ohio)

    we the people should all be color blind in this great country and the world. unfortuantely there will always be racism due to ignorance. obviously we are ready to have a black president or obama would not have come this far. can you imagine if we were all the same color, gender, religion, ethnic backgrounds how boring life would be?!! thank god for diversity!!!

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  64. C. Chamberlain

    Sadly, if my grandmother is any indication, it will be big. I think that is mostly due to the older white democrats who will certainly vote for Clinton, but when faced with the general election between Barack and McCain, will be torn. Do they compromise their long help beliefs about race and vote with the party, or do they compromise their long held party loyalty to vote for a white man?

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  65. Sheila in CO

    Race will probably play a big part no doubt. But the question is will those "white blue collar" workers look at their situation for what it really is and just vote democrat; regardless of who the nominee is. I'm an Obama supporter but if Hillary were to take it I would vote for her. I'm no fool. I want my nephew home from Iraq, I want the ecomony to afford me the necesseties of life (gas, homes, food, etc...), a good education for my daughter. So no matter the face that help comes in, take it.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  66. Brad in SC

    Race will play some factor, but not as much in the past. There are still people in some of parts of the US that will never vote for a black person no matter what his or her views are. I am not surprised by revelations that some of his staffers had to deal with racists. The media has been slow to report it because many want to believe that US is beyond race. Sadly, this country has racial issues. It is better than in the 1960's but there is still a problem.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  67. jaime

    the media, all liberal media that is, seems they all want Barack Hussein Obama to win no matter what, but America will be getting what they deserve for electin a guy who is realy inexperienced he is just talk and with a wife who speaks with anger and resentment take that for bitter. specially this network wants Obama and they do not realize or do not care that all blacks are voting for him and a bunch of white liberals for him. this is a race issue that needs to be discussed and not overlooked.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  68. James W. Strahan, Jr.

    Jack, the Washington Post is correct. What other explanation makes since that would permit Hillary to win a 30 point victory in W. Virginia. Same can be said for Pennsylvania and Kentucky. They will not vote for a black person. Hillary gets the vote simply by being white and it has nothing to do with issues. It's a shame but it's a fact.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  69. Peter M., NYC

    Mr. Cafferty, Race will be a very big issue in this election and it will work strongly against Obama. I know a lot of people – liberals in NYC who will not vote for Obama but they would never say it was because he is black, though that is the reality. Then there are the people in other parts of the country – both red and blue states – who will never vote for a black candidate and are happy to admit it. It is a shame but no more a shame than people – white and black – voting for a candidate BECAUSE he is black and because he has a "hopeful message" – as if there is a politician running for office who doesn't sell a hopeful message. I would bet a lot of money that Obama loses in the general and the idea that we can't or shouldn't talk about race because it is wrong is not just silly, it's stupid. People are bashing Hillary because she admits that she appeals to white voters!

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  70. Carmen-Palmdale, CA

    Well now let's just see. . . You've got McCain, an experienced, older white man against Obama who is young, skinny and black. I guess it depends on how many people in this country are really hurting and want change for themselves and their country. McCain represents the old way of doing things that got us into this trouble and Obama is young, fresh, inspiring and has dedicated his life to uplifting people from their present circumstances. Race is such an OLD issue in this country. The white people who may be upset are just feeling guilty for all the injustices done to blacks in the past. I don't care if it's the purple people eater, anything but McCain and I believe most Americans will feel that way in November. Race is just not an issue any longer.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  71. Susan

    Race will not become an issue, if you don't make it an issue. I'm sure that many of the Clinton volunteers have also experienced prejudice. If you want to be part of this election you need to be able to take criticism of all kinds. If the media could stop sensationalizing every remark that is made this contest would be much more civil.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  72. mark in oramge county

    Of coarse race will be an issue. We all have the naive notion that his will not matter. Hogwash. Deep in the good ol' boy areas of this country, bringing up the notion of an African American President would be Blasphemy in their eyes. Even though McCain is not the best man for the job...he's white. Beleive me if they had a choice between Charles Manson and Barack Obama it would be a close race.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  73. Mary Texas

    Shame on us, Jack, After hundreds of years fo time to mature, we are not far from what we were in the 50's, We had a chance to improve our image in the world and we will blow it again. After almost 8 years of misery. we will have to endure 4 more if McCain wins. Please think folks. don't sell us out because of racism. How sad!

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  74. Neil Maxwell

    Narrow-minded bigots will always find ways to express their unhappy lot in life. They won't vote for blacks, women, Jews, Catholics, old men, young men, etc. We need the best of all of the above to make this world work.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  75. S A

    I believe that racism will always exist. It's part of society and quite frankly, I feel that the United States isn't as far "advanced" as a society as it would like to claim for in a world where the true majority is people of darker complexions, it would seem logical that white people would "wake up" and try to judge people by the content of their character rather than their skin color.

    Barack is clearly the only candidate who will make a change in the way politics are done in this country. There are as many poor whites as their are poor blacks in the country so logic would lead the dumbest of people to see that voting Republican is not in the "masses" best interest. If you are not in the top 1% in terms of wealth, you may as well vote for a Democrat because the Republicans only give a damn about you if you are rich.

    Wake up people. It's 2008!!! Gas is at an all time high, food is at an all time high and you all still want to act prejudice? That is just plain ignorance! You get what you deserve if you vote based on race alone.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  76. Patty Martin, North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania

    Hi Jack, I think race will be a huge issue. Wonder how many people in Iowa and some super Tuesday states wish they had their votes back since Rev. Wright, Ayres, Reczko the PLO and the Wood Foundation, and Bitter Gate. Obama is just to far left for a moderate Dem. like myself. Alot of us in PA will vote for McCain if Hillary isn't the nominee......not because of race.....but, because of the other associates of Mr. Obama, mostly Bill Ayres. How can a presidential candidate befriend anyone who stomps on the American Flag?

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  77. steve in mn

    Scientifically, I thought it had been determined that there is only one race; the human race. Why don't we all just accept this definition and move on?

    May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  78. A. Gonzalez-Betancourt Edinburg, Texas

    Race will be a huge issue. We all remember Obama's "bitter" remarks about whites, well what about african americans? It's been like what, a hundred and some years since slavery and they still groan and complain about race in America and about how we're not giving them enough welfare, etc. "just because they're black". Maybe it's just me but wouldn't that also be considered bitterness?

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  79. AS

    Hopefully it will be a non issue, but lets not forget what country that we live, a county that was founded on racism, and a country that have not moved passed it injustices to it people and suppressed countries around the world. It funny that some in the white community think that this country is their right because of the color of their skin. We are all a part of the human race, and should respect each other differences. But it goes further than that if people really knew that history of this country. Of course the right wing loons are going to spin this thing to polarize Americans to make this a race issue. I only hope that all americans are smart enough to look past the spin issues like (Wright, race) and vote for a positive change. So that we can change some of the Cronyism of the Bush era.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  80. Ellen

    In North Carolina many Obama supporters shouted obscene words including the B and C words at Hillary supporters. The reverse simply did not happen. Gender is much more an issue than race in this primary. I am disappointed that it is the same white elite (such as you, Jack) and Black coalition that killed the Equal Rights Amendment that is "doing in" the possibility for a woman president than I am pleased in any way to be a Democrat at the moment. I was in the trenches working for the ERA in Arizona and in Miami working on Civil Rights during the 60s and 70s. I too worked with Saul Alinksy and the sort of Marxist approach to organizing, as well as with his staff that Barrack did. I am sure you have read Rules for Radicals. It offers some terrific techniques - however it is based total and ruthlessly on the end justifies the means. Obama is succeeding in turning civil rights and equality for women back 30 years.

    Ellen from Asheville, NC

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  81. Ron (VA)

    What a shame that the person to make race an issue is a democrat. I thought the republicans were going to be the ones to do that, but I was wrong. Hillary Clinton (and Bill) should be ashamed of themselves. Party leaders should be ashamed of themselves for letting things get to this point. Just another reason why we don't need super delegates who are afraid to be "super"! If you're afraid to make a decision, quit. I don't care which side you pick, but pick one. In the Corps we have a saying "Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way!"

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  82. Rodney in Ohio

    Jack I am more afraid of the woman scorned factor. There are many women who blame Obama for not waiting his turn and derailing the bid of the first woman president. Because it is her birth right. They are the ones who will probably never vote for Obama because it is Obama's and everyone elses fault she lost. And not the fact of her lousy strategy of touting Washington experience when a whole nation was tired of washington and wanted change.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  83. vicki from charleston,sc

    i'm proud to be an obama mama. i don't know if i would have had the courage of the civil rights marchers of the 1960's but i appreciate the results they gave this nation; a highly intelligent, caring presidential candidant that happens to be african american. barack obama is the father figure that is so proud of this nation but also expects hard work from all of us. he makes you want to do your part.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  84. kenny cole

    Is only the old white,who does not have education that are still rasict american has gone pass all this no more devision where are moving forward..GO OBAMA08

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  85. Jared Yocam OCC

    I don't believe race will impact the election largely enough to turn the tide of the election. Yes, in some parts of the country Obama may not be successful due to racism, however the overall effect will be insignificant.

    Those that DO participate in elections (voters) are not the concentration of racists in the country.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  86. Reggie from Mississippi

    Rev. Wright, who supports Barack, makes absurd remarks, its all over the news and highly criticized. Hagee, who supports McCain, makes a absurd remark and The Catholic church forgives him and the conversation is over. Race is already a issue.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  87. kay

    Wouldn't have been but people like you have made race an issue just because someone is not supporting Obama.When 90% of the black vote is going to Obama isn't that racist.You in the media keep stirring the pot so you'll have something to flap jaws about.
    Obama is preaching to you in the choir and not dealing with issues.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  88. Sarah, AZ

    Racism won't be an issue by November. I"m a volunteer who's dealt with the type of racism you just described. People are fighting against the thought of Barack Obama becoming President, but it's time this country heals from our racial divide and Barack Obama is the one who can do this.

    He's an incredible man Fellow Americans, please stop looking at his skin color and start looking at his heart.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  89. Nancy in San Diego

    I don't think anyone will actually talk about it–same as usual. But it will be there. I have already encountered people who use the Wright issue to say that Obama is a racist. They will use anything to point the finger away from themselves. But it is obvious they want to find any reason not to vote for a black man. I know blacks who are for Obama who will not "come out" when in situations where whites are speaking negatively about Obama. When I try to refute what they are saying (I am white), I can see the blacks nod very indiscreetly, but they don't speak up. The race issue is still there, definitely. But no one wants to admit it. I think back to the movie "Gentlemen's Agreement" when Gregory Peck's character says, "If you don't speak out about it, you are allowing it to exist." This will be a test for our country.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  90. Sandra - WI

    How do you determine if it is race OR inexperience? When the black person votes for Obama, are they prejudiced against a white guy? Blacks by 93% back Obama... no matter what. Now that is prejudice without intelligence.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  91. Pattie

    I would hope that the media wouldn't report every expect concerning the election with a racial tone. I have never heard so much break down of what race is voting for whom, until now. It is proven with the results of this Primary, with Senator Obama leading, that many Americans don't have race on their minds when casting their votes. There are still many that allows race to consume their thoughts. I say to the media, let this group of people be the minority and not give any attention to a narrow way of thinking. It is time for a change in more ways than one.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  92. British Observer

    Hi Jack,

    I sincerely hope that Americans get behind their racial prejudice and vote for a candidate based on how he addressess the issues that face the country and not by his skin color. Sheesh!

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  93. Gus in Chicago

    If people are not mature enough to even entertain the thought of a candidate because of their race, then they are not mature enough to have a say in American Politics. Those of you (and you know who you are) who wont vote for Senator Obama because of the color of his skin, do all of us a favor and stay home this November.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  94. CVCK from Connecticut

    Jack, Racism in America is still enbeded in our American society and only those of us that want to be free from this spirit of the past will be able to over come it. Segregation had to give way to change in the South and the spirit of racism will change in greater America so that Red states will not be White states in our future.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  95. defcon360

    Rev. Wright asked God to (damn) America. The Republican Party and George W. Bush carried out the sentence. Guess who wins in November?

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  96. James W. Blevins

    As you said, racism has been largely ignored by the media, and that may remain the case. However, racism could easily cause Obama's defeat. The real concern are the racists that aren't honest about it. Recently a trivial sentence was given to a racially motivated stabbing in Steamboat Springs. You would never get the Judge to admit it, but clearly he is a racist. What is worse is that Republicans are far more racist than Democrats. Race will hurt Obama far more in the general election than it has hurt him in the Primaries.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  97. Lois Zimmerman

    For me race was never an issue, however, it is slowly becoming an issue in light of all of the negativity that is surrounding Obama at present. See, everyone talks about how he has won in 30 states, but that was before Reverend Wright, and all of the other negative energy that is currently surrounding Obama. if we did a revote right now, Obama would mainly win the African American vote, just like he did in North Carolina. Alot of white voters who were backing Obama several months ago, are no longer backing him.

    I for one, have a really big problem voting for someone who for one thing is inexperienced, is surrounded in life by anti white sentiment, as well as anti American sentiment, and someone who has a problem placing his hand on his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance. The saddest thing about this whole election is that Hillary Clinton is truly the right candidate for the job, but, has been torn down consistently by the media, while Obama has been put up on this false pedestal by the same media.

    Well, guess what? Obama will not win the election in November. Too much controversy surrounding him, and if Hillary does not win this nomination, we will be swearing in McCain come next January. Most of the people I know who support Hillary are voting for McCain if she doesn't get this nomination.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  98. Helen Roy

    I am looked at as racist because I do not want Obama in the White House. No matter how good my reasons I am told it is because he is black. He himself has caused alot of this

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  99. Mr. Singh

    Jack, a Black President, I'm not voting.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  100. Jerry, Fresno

    Integrity trumps race!

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  101. Th3rdpwr, NC

    Whether spoken or unspoken, race is always an issue at the national level. What do you think people have really meant by the blanket statement "He's unelectable!"?

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  102. Ed

    This is true and past politics. I refer this to ignorance and stupidity. Why media don't conderm these politics at highest tone. Most blacks or other ethinic groups have been voting for whites candidates for years and nobody questions them why did or keep doing so. In 2008, we have uneducated whites still drive issues of this country. When you don't have vision and lacking inclusive ideas, you stop to stupid ideas. Now, media and few people keep calling these groups "blue color workers" Media don't tell the true about these issues and it shows how media setting "power agenda"

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  103. Ken Pittsburgh

    Race will be a factor because this country has not fully come to grips
    with it own race relationship throughout history . I think that this question needs to asked . However the key point is that many hard working votesr 's of all races have voted already for OBAMA . If there are people out there who will not vote for a person because of their race or sex or age then this country is getting is getting worsed.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  104. Jane from DePere

    My daughter and I went thru racism most of her 22 years of life. Her
    deatbeat dad was allowed to not pay child support for years and now owes my daughter more than $40,000 is back support! Oh well was the response from Brown County Child Support! Because racism is
    silenced in my community! I took her out of school in fifth grade and taught her at home and always told her how really wonderful she is!
    Now she has a year left of college! And I am so proud of her! I made sure she was not influenced by racism.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  105. Jordan, New York

    Unfortunately, it will be more of an issue than some would like to believe. As a Hispanic-Jewish Obama supporter, it pains me to see people I know who cannot look beyond race. But when it comes down to it, a lot of Americans do not want to see an African-American become president.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  106. Martin

    Although I believe that race will prove to be a large talking point for the Republican Party and even larger that usual because of the terrible economy, I am more concerned with the problem of the Diebold voting machines and the practice of preventing eligible voters from casting their votes.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  107. Joy from Texas

    It will only be an issue of Clinton is our nominee because:

    1) She considers hard-working Americans to only include WHITE Americans. That is racist.
    2) If the nomination is taken away from Obama because she steals it and the DNC allows her to do it, then African Americans and other Obama Supporters of all ethnicities will naturally question the state of race in this country.
    3) Everyone knows that if Obama was in second place right now, the DNC would have run him out of town and the media would not be covering him at all. Because Clinton is white and political "royalty" she is allowed to carry on.

    Very sad.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  108. Staci from Walnut Creek

    Yes race will be a big issue. It's an issue that has been woven into the fabric of our society and will still be there for years to come. Politics is a big thread in that fabric. People can't help it.

    It's terribly sad, but true.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  109. Michelle Fistek

    Race will be a factor, but it is being made worse by Hillary Clinton's use of it to get votes to bolster her ego and ambition! She will use anything if it gets her a vote or two. She needs to quit and let Obama begin to pull the party together. Racism should never be a reason not to nominate Obama or any candidate–that would be giving into these haters. So what if Hillary gets their dirty votes.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  110. Marlon

    I would hope not... I suppose that is what we are all hoping for.

    But for the most part the press ignores all other substantive issues Senator Obama outlines. A great example of this fact, was his amazing speech on the economy in NYC shortly after his 'A More Perfect Union' speech.

    His economy speech, which a number of nobel prize winning economists applauded as brilliant, days later on financial channels, was mostly ignored by the press... While 'A More Perfect Union,' was lauded as a speech on par with the 'Gettysburgh Address,' or MLK's 'I have a dream.'

    This is to say that with all his accomplishments the characterization of Senator Obama has been one of style over substance... But I submit he is style with substance combined with Leadership, Wisdom and Humility... I hope I will be saying President Obama in January.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  111. Perry J

    As I see things race is not a problem as long as the person is a republican and not a left wing liberal who has no respect for the United States of America , no Race dose not matter . The problem is though the democrats have a race problem and the black race has a race problem the black candidate has been getting a very large share of the white vote in this election , but it seems the blacks have a problem with seeing a white candidate as a choice when 80 to 90 percent will not vote for any one white .

    With all respect to the people in this nation I feel that I should be a raciest and there should be no problem with it. When we have so many telling all of us whites we are raciest , al sharpten Jackson write Clinton the NAACP all the Mexicans and the arbis and the all nowing media helps them along

    perry j
    councl bluffs

    May 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  112. Bonita

    Race will be a BIG issue. It won't matter to small minded people that Sen. Obama's candadacy represents both Blacks and Whites in this country in that his mother was white and his father was black and he has strived to stay away from racial issues. These same people will only look at the color they see. While I believe this country has come a long way, we still have a ways to go as highlighted by Sen. Clinton's continual harping on the "hard working white people" of this country. Newsflash-Black people and other minorities work hard too! I guess Martin Luther King's dream has not come true-we still are judged by the color of our skin rather than the content of our character. That really is no news to me Oh by the way, Sen Obama is NOT a secret muslim.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  113. Rosalynd Florida

    Most voters will make a sensible vote based on economics and their dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq. Other voters will not be able to overcome their racism and will vote the other guy or stay home but those votes will not be enough to impact an Obama presidency.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  114. Sandra - WI

    May 13th, 2008 4:19 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    How do you determine if it is race OR inexperience? When the black person votes for Obama, are they prejudiced against a white guy? Blacks by 93% back Obama… no matter what. Now that is prejudice without intelligence.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  115. andrew w

    jack, hillary needs to let a little air out of her inflated ego, the votes she is getting now are primarily votes against obama, not for her. these are people who would never vote for a black man. she clearly has the redneck vote wrapped up. obama will undoubtedly have trouble swaying these racist voters in november.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  116. Sonny

    Why is Hillary supporters, pushing to have her as a vice president, everything that change means does not include old politics/old lugage,in the word "change", on the other hand, Hillarys supports would do anyting to win, all i would say is that Obama's day would be numbered so she can win at any costs.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  117. Tracy

    Jack, are you kidding me? Of course race will be in an issue in the fall. Our country has come a long way in terms of bringing together everyone for a common cause, but there will always be those that will not vote for Senator Obama because he is part African-American. They will continue to promote these divisive attitudes towards other cultures, and even with a Caucausian mother, that is still not enough. I say to those that is just plain ignorance. When this campaign began last year I was for Clinton, a white woman, and race never entered my mind, but when I continued to listen to the candidates, Obama inspired me and excited me like no other presidential candidate in my lifetime, and that is when I decided to rally behind him. Race nor gender never has been or will it be for me. Whomever the nominee (preferably Obama) I will continue to support my party.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  118. Sumi, Sacramento California

    It is very unfortunate, but it is what it is. It's about time the nation see's with their own eyes that racism still exists in our country. This is not just isolated to black people; it happens to asians, latino's, Arabic, white's, etc. It just so happens, the spot light is on racism against black people. However, we have definetly come a long way in the area of racism. The majority of this nation is not racist! Shame on those individuals who cannot accept diversity! We are all the same underneath the color of our skin! Thank you, CNN, for not hiding the reports from the volunteers. Too many people are in denial.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  119. Theresa

    Race won't be an issue unless the media makes it one. Obama certainly isn't going to make it one. McCain would be stupid if he did. What's he going to say about an Afro-American candidate in public?
    Theresa in Minneapolis

    May 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  120. Jeff E. Stone Mountain, GA

    Race is the 1000 pound gorilla that never left the room. The fact that Barack Obama has done so well in the primaries in various predominately white areas throughout the country is a symbol of the hope that he expounds upon so eloquently. More importantly, it reveals the ardent desire for a new formula for dissolving the partisanship that undermines real progress in Washington. However, if we know one thing about politics: never underestimate the ignorance of the american electorate.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  121. Mayra

    I dream for everyone to be colorblind, I want racism to stop in America. I am a white woman and that's why I am voting for Barack Obama so he can bring all americans together. I've been a republican all my life, but this time I voting for Obama because I know he is going to bring everyone together. I think he is going to be one of the best president in America. Like me a lot of people feel the same way, I hope race won't be a issue

    May 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  122. marie

    People say the West Virginia primaries will tell alot about Barrack and what problems he may have with whites, but I think it is just the opposite I think the West Virginia vote will tell Barrack what problems white America has with him. It is sad that in the year of 2008 a black man can not run for President and be treated like evry other candidate. Come November yes Jack race will play a big part he will the be the only candidate that have to constantly tell the world yes I love America even tho some Americans don't love me, yes I will wear a flag pin even tho the ones that are questioning me wearing one are not wearing one themselves, he would have to explain the place where he worship when others don't have to worship at all. Yes Jack race will play a big part but for all of our sakes I pray our economics, this unjust war, our health care plays a bigger part and we will do the right thing for America.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  123. Joyce, Fort Worth TX

    It's inevitable that race will be an issue, but what Obama needs to do is make up for it by maximizing voter turnout of younger voters, hispanics, blacks, asians and the vast majority of whites who obviously don't have qualms about a black president.
    Fort Worth, TX

    May 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  124. Bryan

    One last thing. I am against the war.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  125. fred

    race will only be as big as you make it so if mccain dont put it in it wount be in . obama hasnt use it and he wount but hillary did so its in

    May 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  126. Stan - San Francisco

    The result of the current election will be the bell weather to determine the actual amount of racial prejudice that is simmering under the surface of racial unity in this country.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  127. Mike from Birmingham, AL

    I lived through the Civil Rights Era and have seen a lot of progress, but race still permeates our political culture. That is why I doubt I will see a black candidate poll better than 35% in a statewide race in West Virginia in my lifetime. Seriously, Jack, how many voters are going to honestly tell you in their exit polls they are racists?

    May 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  128. Mark/ Temple, TX

    Race will be an issue for the uneducated rednecks who are following Hillary. As she says, the uneducated whites who aren't willing to listen. Still old core southern thinking.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  129. Ken

    Both Obama and Clinton took on traditional glass ceilings for the Presidency. Both for the first time have broken through those ceilings, which speaks well for this country.

    It would be careless, however, to believe that no one would vote against someone because they are a woman or person of color. What I want to see if if the McCain Gang can avoid playing the race card in the general election. I doubt if they will openly do it, but that it will be played big time by others for them.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  130. Barbara McDaniel

    Sadly to say race will always be an issue when a person of color runs for the most powerful office in the world, President of the United States. There is this sad perception that WE cannot do as good a job as a white man or woman. Hillary Clinton and her husband are trying to revive what appeared to be a non existent issue in many of the primary contests. Obama won in areas that have little or no Black voters, and he won those contests by a commanding margin. I see the attempts to raise these doubts based on race an attempt to revive Jim Crowism in Politics, something I thought had been laid to rest a long time ago, Shame on you Hillary Clinton for trying to widen the divide that Obama has managed to close between the races.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  131. Sabrina


    I'm African-American and the daughter of college educated parents who grew up in Pennsylvania during the civil rights movement. I have always listened to stories from the past from my family and felt like it was not my problem, that it didn't effect me until now. I grew up in a college town in the Midwest (Iowa) and have an entirely more optimistic view of race relations due to that but I do think race is a part of this election, and it's still out their thriving in our society on all fronts. I'm a 27-year-old college student and even here in Seattle I see racism on a very silent and efficient level. I hope that people of color in my generation will take away the lessons we have learned from all the stories and events of this election and see that we still have a lot of work to do.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  132. Joyce in Sugar Grove, WV

    Will race be an issue? You better believe it! The votes from Appalachia are an important indicator of prejudice. What is being referred to as the "white blue-collar" vote is better described as the "redneck" vote, although no one wants to say that. Those voters will go for McCain over Obama, no matter what the issues are. They don't vote issues. These are the same people who elected George Bush and moved WV into the "red" column.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  133. Joe, FLORIDA

    All white citizens who vote for Obama are well educated , smart and have gone beyond racism. In other words they are not red necks or full of hatred or still live in the 19th century.
    Those who send racial signals are just that, illiterate and ignorat.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  134. Luci Brown, South Bend, Indiana

    As much as my hope of over 50 years is for people to get passed the race issue I know that it will be an issue. We now have code words–"rural" "hard-working white Americans" and so on. I have been attempting to discuss the race issue with people I know and you can tell by they way they almost physically hold out their arms they are saying thesubject is off limits. Which tells me, yes, it is already an issue.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  135. manofhonor

    I think Obama is the right person for these troubled times. I am extremely concerned with the direction this nation has taken. Obama is polished and is a class act. Remember he is of mixed race and I believe this fact and his life experiences make him a better person, a fair and balanced person most importantly.
    To be perfectly honest as a white man myself I am disturbed how white people have conducted themselves and the examples they have been setting therefore I think we should keep our minds open and then we can perhaps learn a valuable lesson from someone with Obama's experience and we can then all become better human beings.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  136. juice-Canyon Lake

    Jack, to be racist is to be ignorant. So therefore, you will have some ignorant people out there casting their vote not for the best candidate but because of the color of the candidate's skin. Wonder why Hilliary is getting the uneducated vote and Barrack is getting the educated?

    May 13, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  137. Gene

    Even if it does come to an Obama versus McCain election I expect race will not be an issue unless the Media, i.e. CNN, makes it become an issue. I think the United States has evloved to a point that an African-American could be elected and supported by the majority of people. Sure we have guys like Sharpton, Wright, and a few others around, no one I know really takes them seriously thank goodness. It certainly would disappoint people should either of the political parties want to pursue some type of race agenda during the campaign. I would not expect that effort to be received well by the voters and the party may suffering a devastating impact in terms of votes. Even here in Appleton, WI I think an African-American could now get a victory in an election for the first time in my life.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  138. LA Woman

    Well the ones that won’t vote for obama because he’s black can vote for mccain, that's of course..if they don’t mind the fact that he forgets and has to read his speeches all the time. is it going to convince racist americans who won't vote for an african american to vote white and slow, instead of black and fast, and oh sooooo beautiful! hahahaha
    black latina for obama!!
    dear hillary,
    if you win win, come and obliterate me before i steal wild Bill from you!

    May 13, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  139. Michael from Boca Raton Florida

    I don't have a racist bone in my body, but unfortunately I think a lot of America does. They may not admit it but you will get your answer in November. If Obama does not win this election, don't kid yourself. Race has everything to do with it.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  140. Ze Santa-Rita

    The race is not over and neither is the race issue. Obama will have to deal with racism and so will Hillary. Strange to think that the Clintons who have always fought hard for the African American community suddenly are being accused of being racist and Hillary dismissed not because of policies but because of her race. Obama has ran well but has failed to get a large and significant portion of the traditional democratic constituency. That, rather than race, will be his challenge in the Fall. By the way, if Obama is the nominee he owes you a great debt of gratitude for the way you have ,directly or indirectly , attempted to push your anti-Clintonism on the rest of us.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  141. canada

    david san

    i am from canand and i love obama because he wants to uinte the country and he would be a good leader for the whole word because he understand and respect every one. Please give him a time. Most people around the world are excited because we can see that he could change how people see your conutry.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  142. Julian, New Orleans

    Race will be an issue but not such an issue where the American people will blindly vote for Mccain just because he's white. I think by now the American people are ready to move past these divisions and are ready to unite the country once an for all. Somehing the status-quo in Washington has adamantly fought to maintain. The Washington elites want us to stay divided, so they can get away with the crooked business they have been doing for decades. If the people actually got past the divisions and united around a common goal, then the status-quo will no longer be able to lie, cheat, and steal from the American people. For many in Washington, that is a frightening reality.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  143. willis jones jr.

    Racial devide has always and will always be a problem in the United States, as long as one race of people feel their better than others. Additionnaly Hillary Clinton is not helping the situation: especially since African Americans have always supported the Clintons. The world is too small to be devided. It is time for a CHANGE.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  144. Jazzy

    By the comments that I have been reading, it seems like the color of Senator Obama's skin is more important than the content of his character or the degree of his intellect. Why is it that a country that says we are all created equal (even if it took almost 50 years) to start to think in that realm is now so reluctant to have a bi-racial man in the White House. Senator Obama is the product of a mixed marriage. Both races should be proud that this man is running and winning the democratic race for it's party's nominee at this time. This could change before it's over. Be civilized to one another. We are, after all, a civilized society. These comments are all petty and without foundation.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  145. Harry

    Wakeup Jack!! What do you mean... "will" race become a factor??

    Bill Clinton brought up Jesse Jackson to remind white voters that Barack is not white, but a victim of white america. Hillary mentions that Barack cannot get the blue collar white vote and Geraldine Ferraro reminded us that Barack was probably a product of affirmative action.

    Fox News has become the 24 hour "Rev. Wright hates America" channel and let us not forget that Hillary said "as far as I know" when it came to Obama and his religion, potentially placing him in the Farrakhan group..

    About the only thing left is to have an ad with a blonde white woman.

    Go Obama!!


    May 13, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  146. Jack

    For me personally it won't be an issue but for the country as a whole race will be an issue. It is a shame that this country has not learned to look beyond color. If McCain is elected because white people are afraid of a black man as president – well they deserve what they get – 4 more years of Bush.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  147. Linda, Washington DC

    America has not come to grips with the very ugly legacy of slavery and I am doubtful if this country ever will. Black Americans have accepted that fact and we face and deal with racism and racist comments everyday of our lives,
    It doesn't come from the places that you expect it, like the deep South although racism is alive and well in many Southern towns. It comes from every state of the Union and from all types of folks, at all educational, economic and class levels.
    The best hope is that more people during this election may have examined their true feelings about race. Just maybe, more voices will be heard declaring that racism has no place in our society.and will not be tolerated. Maybe...

    May 13, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  148. Doris

    Race will be an issue for the racist.
    Race will not be an issue for those who value diversity.
    Dr. King stated "We must learn to live together or stay divided
    and perish as fools." Obama is the most qualified in the race.
    Americans know that. November will tell the world if we are
    intelligent Americans or racist Americans. Will we judge a man
    by the color of his skin or the content of his character?

    May 13, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  149. robert lemons texas

    hey jack , just a comment i think people who pretend , and say they are gonna vote for obama but really hate blacks , i think thats what i call racial. the people that close doors, are up front about there feelings. what do you think? love your coments keep uo the good work.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  150. Rob

    There will always be ignorant people like that, whether they hump goats in the Appalachians or whether they can't fathom a world outside of Central Park West or Laguna Beach. The great thing about America is that their numbers grow fewer with each passing year, and it becomes less and less acceptable to be that way.

    They are a very small part of the Democratic electorate–and let's face it, they probably weren't going to stay Democrat for long once they finally figured out (and it did take some of them quite a while) that Strom Thurmond's party had changed.

    Attitudes about race have historically been improving along with education levels, however, and as education declines, I hope we do not see a reverse trend in those attitudes as well. At any rate, you shouldn't need an education to make you realize that all people are created equal.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  151. Lucy Smith, Los Angeles


    Alot of African-Americans hold office. I don't think it is because of his race. Alot of people are uncomfortable with the fact that Obama belongs to a church that is very radical and preaches hate against America. It also has said some very harsh words about the white race. Also, alot of people are uncomfortable with some of comments that his wife has made on the campaign trail. The othere issue is his affliation with the weatherman. I think that all this will be a major issue in the upcoming election and the republicans will use this against him.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  152. Pete Gebe

    How can a person like Hillary Clinton be president when all she does is complain, blatantly lie (Bosnia story), and now stoop to the lowest level of dividing the country because of race and saying that white's will vote for her. At first, I was pro-Clinton but now I'm with Obama. Not because of all the great speeches he makes, but because of all the stupid crap Hillary says and do.

    Yes, I'm white male. But definitely and positively will not vote for Clinton or any of the Clinton clan anymore. The Clintons should be ashamed of themselves.

    Hillary, knowing she won't succeed, will stay on the race to raise some money so she can pay herself the millions she loaned to her campaign and the debt she owes to her million-dollar staffs.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  153. Christian Hamilton

    I have been worried about Barack from the time I realized he was going to be taken as a serious candidate by so many white Americans. I know that most of the hatered is coming from those same white uneducated voters that are voteing for clinton. Probably half of them are just voteing against haveing a black man as their president. I hope that the racism and Ignorance that still exist amongst many white and black people does not get the man killed if he sould become our first black president. Also I remmember when David Dinkins became the first black mayor of NY City, The minute he was swarn in people began to blame him for problems that existed for years before he took office. So there is more than one way to to bring a man down

    May 13, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  154. dan in mass

    That depends on you, Jack. As an Obama supporter you decide what's over the line when it comes to your candidate. Funny how it's never just a regular guy or gal from Anywhere, America commenting on race, it's always a T.V personality working for their candidate.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  155. Phyl

    Hard to tell, from my own prospective it would never be a problem. I feel the problem would be the person who was running not their race. for example, I would never vote for the obsessed Hillary Clinton, and I am a white woman.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  156. Liz in Houston

    Hi Jack –
    Speaking as a white woman who's been married to a black man for 20+ years, I can only pray that it won't be a big issue, but my gut tells me it will be a factor, but not the deciding one. I've seen America as a whole make great strides over the last 20-30 years, but there are still some people who just don't get the fact that people are just people, regardless of the color of their skin. I believe that the majority of Americans however, can go beyond all of that and vote for the person who is most qualified for the job, who brings vision to the job, who has challenged every one of us to get off our duffs and get involved in the government of our country. That would be Obama.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  157. Leon A. Williams

    “We are all tied together in a single garment of destiny,” say Dr. Martin Luther King. Americans have come to a crossroad. Do we want to continue being slaves to our own prejudice or join together for peace abroad and prosperity at home? The cross racial appeal of Sen. Obama indicates the road most American are taking.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  158. Ron

    Yes, race will be an issue this fall. If it wasn't then 95+ percent of African Americans would not be voting for Senator Obama.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  159. Chude

    I have volunteered for Senator Obama's campaign since December 13th 2007 and have done everything from recruit to register voters to phone banking and I have been nothing but moved by the response from my fellow citizens. Though I feel for my colleagues who experienced these few incidents of rabid racism I can safely say that they were not reported by the campaign (but which the media will I’m sure be more than happy to repeat till the cows come home) because they were drowned out by the swell of support we have experienced from people of all ages, races and genders across the nation. As my mother always said there's a rotten apple in every basket!
    -Chude (New York)

    May 13, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  160. Smiley from Conyers, GA


    I'd like to point out that Black people only make up about 12% of the population. Of that 12% about 2-3% are immigrants who aren't able to vote because they aren't naturalized citizens. Another 1-2% are felons and about 2-3% aren't even of voting age. It would be extremely difficult for Obama to be where he is today due solely to the black vote.

    I just wish people would stop touting race as an issue and see thing for what it really is – a Black man with a good chance to become President of the United States and many people can't get past that. It's hard for them to accept that the Black man will no longer be second best.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  161. Fritz S.

    Jack –

    Racism has no more of a place in our democratic system than ageism!

    Fritz S.
    Fredericksburg, VA

    May 13, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  162. Jerry P.

    Best Quote on Race

    "Race is never an issue, unless it is"

    May 13, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  163. sharon in louisiana

    Jack....Sadly it will be an issue. Some Americans just can't get past it. Hillary and Bill have even made it an issue in this primary campaign. What a great thing it says about us as Americans that we have nominated a bi-racial man to be our next President.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  164. Jackie Saner

    Jack, Race has always been an issue and comes in the guise of, "He doesn't have the experience to be president."

    May 13, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  165. Steven

    Hang on to your hats, folks. If you think Barack Obama has put the race issue behnd him just wait. Despite what the limousine liberals in the news media tells you– there is a serious racial divide in this country and the Republicans will exploit it. We're gonna see Jeremiah Wright's rants, Michelle Obama's first time pride and hear about Obama's "..typical White person." grandmother every night of the week. Accusing the Republicans of "playing the race card" will have no impact. They'll laugh in your faces.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  166. Donald in Florida

    Of course race will be an issue! I hope that it is the right race we are focusing on though, "the human race" . Humanity is in trouble across the globe with disaster after disaster. I hope Obama and all of the world leaders really start politicking for he Human race because humans all over the world are catching hell from failed foreign policies and a planet that is in peril because of inconsiderate human beings. Yes race will be a factior, The Human Race Factor.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  167. foo,AZ

    Jack, it's a shame that in a country looked upon as the most advanced democracy in the world, there still exist many who can't transcend racial divide.If some still view Senator Obama as a muslim , with all that he has said and what we know about the church he attended,one may question the honesty and hypocrisy of some of our compatriots.Are we more divisive or inclusive as a people? YES, we are inclusive and those who don't want this country to move foward will not succeed.Their machiavelic scheme is poised to fail.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  168. Audrey West Pt. GA

    Oh! here we are back to race again.I would hope Americans will wake up and grow up and pass the test for the world to see that we will no longer allow racism to present us from having the most quallified person who happens to be black elected to be President of the United States.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  169. JOHN

    Race will play a critical role, and the media will loves it. The key is how Obama handles it, which I think he can. The Clintons open the door, the media used it and will continue to use it to make ratings go up . Why wouldn't the republicans use it when the members of Obama's own party used it at all levels of the campaign. Lastly, I think its great for the country and present an opportunity to really address the racial divide ( remember New Orleans) and just maybe let the healing begin.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  170. Jeffrey in Minneapolis

    I find it amazing that this question is being asked at this point in the process when it is to late to do anything about it. It's impossible to measure the power of ignorance, but I believe and always have that racism will unseat Obamas' chance at the White House. Had the DNC and all the supporters of Obama had any foresight at all, they would have seen this coming months ago. So let's not pretend that racism isn't alive and well in the great United States of America. It could have been a sure win with Clinton, and Obama as the V.P. with a chance for the ignorant to get used to the idea of having an African American in a position of power. Now it's just a coin flip.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  171. Netta


    I don't think race will be important at all unless Obama and the 98% of the blacks that voted for him and the media can use it to make sure he gets elected. All of you in the media have been so obvious that you would do everything you could to make him look good and Clinton look bad. I saw an article yesterday about his advisor having a meeting with hamas and it hasn't even been mentioned. No matter what comes out about him, if it's brought up he plays the race card and everyone says "oops sorry Mr. Obama". I'm sure age will matter now since McCain will be running against him.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  172. Hilton


    It is very disappointing that some people could not see beyond themselves. I am ashame to hear that people still act that way in Pennsyvania and Indiana. That is what the CLINTON has caused us in this country. Those seeking for joint ticket are ignorant of what America stands in other Countries. I ask them to Travel out of U S and see what people thinks about this great country. the bad name we have today outside the U S is because of someone greedness to hang to power.
    Please Jack we are in Zimbabwe, we should show leadership by example.

    from California

    May 13, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  173. Gretchen


    Race will only be an 'issue' in the general election if you guys in the press want it to be.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  174. Jen, NC

    Mr. Cafferty:
    As an African-American female that strongly believed in Hillary not because of gender or race, but because I thought she had a pure heart towards all Americans. I will not vote for her if she steals the election. I was deeply saddened by Mrs. Clinton's comment regarding harding working Americans, White Americans. My greatest sorrow is for the White WVAs that she is exploiting that by her own words are White, Uneducated and Poor. I wonder if they believe The Clintons made 100 million associating with White, uneducated poor people. You think they will make their next million associating with them?....NO It won't work for McCain either...Americans are bigger!!

    May 13, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  175. Dwayne Genus


    I want to commend you. I have been listening to CNN all day to see if they would be discussing the article that you are referring to. You are the only who has dared to discuss these blatent injustices today. What the reason for this your guess is as good as mine. Maybe because Hillary is slated to win West Virgina today and such a report may influence last minute voters. I don't know but what I do know is that how the media deals with the issue of race will have a dramatic effect on how the public handles the issue. Personally I think they should take a que from you because you tell the truth even when it is unpopular. Your a good man Jack. Keep up the good work!!!!

    May 13, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  176. J Atlanta

    Wasn't it a Secretary of Interior a few years ago touting that he had working for him a black, a woman, and a cripple?

    How prophetic. Seems all are represented in this Presidential race, eh?

    May 13, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  177. ladylove

    Well isn't so sad that racism exist in the world and we cant be united. The US really need help with unity and I believe Obama can do that. The Clinton supporters have a hard time with Obama being the leader in the election. Beacuse of his color they have tried to pull him down with the Rev. Wright things and what ever else they can find. Obama will be fine because God do not like ugly acts.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  178. Bob

    Yes, I believe race and gender will be an issue. Thats the reason why people keep numbers on demographics. Demographics is the language that keeps the masses hopping. And its the media tool for keeping the masses informed regarding their demise.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  179. John Kelley

    Unless there is a statement by John McCain standing next to Barack Obama and pledging that racisim is unacceptable in the United States and in this race, you will have this disgusting form of political expression spread across the nation..
    It has to be stopped before it nurtures widespread acceptance.
    Being against a candidate based on the issues and the ability to win has nothing to do with racism.
    The internet is full of it and the number of people who accept some of this stuff is quite frankly frightening.
    This issue has not been helped by the Rev Wright sermon after 2001.
    And that has heated the issue. That is unfortunate.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  180. dennis

    I guess people in America need to be reminded that you dont vote for a person to be president because of there gender, race, religion, military service, age, party affiliation or any other superfacial reason that people come up with. You should vote for the person that will best improve the condition of our country.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  181. Walter Campbell

    EVERY black person in the US has experienced racism and must choose to develop thick skin,OR meet the racism with the choice to reciprocatethe racism;this rarely happens We are collectively raised as a very spiritual people!Barack has come this far being "one of the good ones!"Whites only accept the blacks who can show thatthey aren't like the rest of the blacks,He IS a member of the hard working Middle class,Hillary is NOT!The West Virginian racism shows the racism;30 states have already spoken,the average C student can see if everyone else has spoken uinanimously,"When in Rome!" should follow!He has earned this potential nomination leading to the Presidency!He can't possibly do any worse than Bush or Nixon,same !The President MUST care for it's citizens,and its just time for whites to stop mistreating black folks.Truth!Theres an overwhelming percentage of whites who that statement represents but "whose mature enough to say it!?"Not one,never in the history of the country!You say Hillary is tenacious;certainly a truth!She used to be quite lovely,she has time to retain that.Lets see her step up to the plate!I'm holding my breath!I'm black and a resident of Connecticut!God Bless you CNN and your viewers!Walter

    May 13, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  182. Dom Fruges

    Unfortunately, Jack, this is the “sleeping dinosaur” of the 2008 election. It’s just tragic that there are certain demographic segments – seniors and non-college, blue-collar whites – that are falling back on the only thing they know – race.

    We’ve got an economy that’s seriously ill, a never-ending war, and no magic bullet to create a new wave of economic stimulus. Yet, those two segments fall back to the most tragic of America’s faults. American voters need to look in the mirror and ask themselves what’s more important – skin color or ideas.

    We may be one generation away from being able to elect a Black person in America. We may have to wait until those 68 to 90-year olds move on to a more enlightened place.

    Dom F.
    South Brunswick, NJ

    May 13, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  183. Anaka

    Hi Jack.
    Race will be a huge issue in November ... as it should be. I feel like America has ignored the huge elephant in the room long enough. It's the type of thing we don't want to talk about, but it effects everyone.
    But one thing is certain, it can not be addressed until the reality of it is recognized. Many Americans that are not themselves direct targets of racist thinking may actually be unaware of its persistence influence in our society.
    My experience is that one in 30 Americans maintains strong prejudiced convictions, but that is all that it takes to cause toxic damage through their influence which maintains the social segregation and resentments so prevalent in our society. We are bigger than this, we need to move beyond it.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  184. Ginger M.

    Obama's largest support group is within the 18-65 age group – he covers every age group, race, gender, and a lot of disgruntled non-McCain Republicans.

    Most younger voters are not like yesterday's generation – prone to giving into racial and gender stereotypes. Today's generation is Obama's – and they do not see color as an issue.

    We are incredibly fortunate to have such a wise and incredibly forward-thinking youth in America today.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  185. Ern In Ca.

    Common Jack! Has race kept Obama down yet? The only ones who keep throwing race in our faces are those supporting Obama.
    So two dogs chased a campaign worker. I noticed there was no mention of an owner sicking the dogs on them! Maybe they were just mean dogs, like you Jack!
    I've slamed the door on campaigners in the past. The last one was campaigning for our local Sheriff. Just didn't want to listen to thier shpeel (sic) about thier candidate, expecially when I had a campaign sign for the other candidate on my front lawn.
    Ern, Turlock, Ca.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  186. Edson

    I am concern with the nomination and final presidency of Obama, might usher in another era of idots shooting presidents and civil rights leaders. I wonder if America would ever be healed from this plague of racisim.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  187. jennifer from Cape Cod

    it's all about competence, not complexion.
    Jen Cape Cod

    May 13, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  188. Darcy m

    Race will be huge factor

    I have been keeping busy on yahoo answers the past three months defending against the racist comments towards Obama...it has been unreal

    I can not remain silent against racism as doing so only has others make choices for you

    Clinton/McCain supporters have been the worst offenders...they call us raicist obaminaites..and say it is Obama lovers who are the worst....to verify how bad it has been one only needs to look into this section the past three months .....it has been unreal

    These types of sites can and are used as undercover where they can say whatever they want and would never say these things to a person face to face.....gone are the hoods instead it is the net

    Sad but true....race is about all they have on him

    May 13, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  189. Ron

    Race, will be a factor to a small degree. It always will. But, what really speaks volumes about the state of race in the United States, is that Barak Obama is where he is right now; and the melting pot of faces at his rallies and other engagements.

    There will always be isolated instances of racism, but overall, the people just want someone who can lead the country out of the mess it's in.


    Tipp City, Ohio

    May 13, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  190. Milton

    America, is the most diversed country in the world as far as different groups of people are concern and there is a deep embedded fear we have of each groups
    Each group shares some measure of contempt for the other. The more successful one group becomes the more they are feared.
    We as Americans have not come to term about the fact that we are all in this mess together.
    Until we recognize our common fate, we will always be divided. Thus Race will always be an issue.
    The light in our tunnel is that for a moment we can sometimes put our ethnocentricties aside for the good of all.
    In some states we will disgard our fears and in some states we won't; i believe that most of us will and Race won't matter.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  191. james WV

    just voted and just cant understand why they say it sound racist if she carries large percentage of white vote but not the same when he carries the large percentage of the black vote like in NC last week and by the way could you get an accurrate map of WV your leaving almost half of the Eastern Panhandle off every time you put it up on the screen with your multi billion dollar company looks like you could put the whole state up there

    May 13, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  192. Rob Kole NYC NY


    I think race is going to be a factor in the race if Obama is the Democratic nominee. The extent of which no one can predict as no person will tell a pollester that they will not vote for him out of fear of being seen as a racist. I wonder how many are supporting Obama now knowing that they won't vote for him in the general election.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  193. Chike, from Los Angeles

    Jack, the important question is not whether race will play a role in the election. The important question is what role race plays in our everyday lives. We need to tackle race in life as a whole. If we cannot deal with race in our lives your question remains moot. Sorry...

    May 13, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  194. Mona, Lake Villa Illinois

    Race won't be the issue – patriotism and security will! Obama is weak on foreign policy and wants to implement nuclear non-proliferation. This won't fly with Republicans, white or black, nor will it fly with Reagan Democrats, NRA members, Catholics, etc. Obama is too liberal to win in November. If the DNC insists on nominating Barack – I hope HRC goes Independent and takes a Republican VP. Forget about a racial divide, heal the Republican/Democrat Political divide and UNITE AMERICANS!

    May 13, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  195. VJ - Oswego


    If race is in any way a factor in selecting the next President of the United States, as opposed to qualifications such as sound judgement and world class leadership skills, given all that is so wrong in so many ways, then there is no way we deserve to be called the most powerful nation in the world. We are not. A nation is only as powerful as its people. All of its people.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  196. Iman Robinson

    I just spoke with a woman in her 60's, on myspace, who admits to being a racist and won't vote for Obama. I told her I would pray for and she said that she needs them and that she doesn't want to be racist. I have to tell you all, that the reason the 'younger' voters are coming out in droves for Obama, while the older generation votes for Hillary, is because, for the most part, they won' t even give a black man a second look. That generation is dying off though, not that I don't want them here, but I'm just so tired of race being a factor when dealing with something so important. He's the most qualified, has the most integrity and will fight hard for people who don't have a voice in America, that's enough for me and it should be enough for you too.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  197. John In Georgia

    Race will be a big issue and many of us will ignore it and vote for Obama.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  198. Darren S.

    As much as we'd like to pretend our government isn't racial in previous elections, we all no better - but Obama isn't only half black, he's also have white and maybe if more people concetrated on the latter half...

    May 13, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  199. Jesse



    Race becomes an issue when the ignorant are given a soap box to stand on!

    John McCain is a good man and even though many of war room may want to play the Rev Wright card hard and fast he may not. As well, playing this game may back fire on all of America... it's a chance no one should take.

    I also believe that Obama and McCain may actually bring back a sense of respect to the whole race in 2008... both are very strong willed and have a sense of fair play.

    Some where over the rainbow 😉

    May 13, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  200. Javier fromUpstate NY

    Jack I think Adale Smith is dead on!

    Is the news media trying to say that black people don’t work ?

    I'm Latino (Boricua), A Bank Manager and would be classified as “White collar” and College educated; BUT when I heard Hillary say these comments, It really bothered me that people are implying that "hard Working" individuals are for Hillary! The Working class, Blue collar, are (White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, ex...) Not Just WHITE!!! My mom worked hard so I can have the opportunity. I take great offense to people not calling Hillary out on this.

    So YES Race will be a factor for those who, have hate in their hearts. And no real democrat will vote for McCain, NOT at the expense of our children’s future and ours. Sad but people don’t see that Obama is BLACK & WHITE, but above that he is an AMERICAN. Just YouTube all the racist remarks, and threats.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  201. K from Philadelphia

    There are ignorent people who will vote against their interests because they can't bring themselves to vote for a black person or a woman. There are also people who will vote for a president because they wouldn't mind having a beer with him or her. There are still people who think Saddam Hussein had a hand in 9/11.

    The election and re-election of George W. Bush is clear evidence that we've been celebrating ignorance and dumbing down America at our own peril. An educated citizenry is not an elitist pipedream, it is the best hope for a democracy.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  202. Tony


    Race will be a huge issue, all the talking heads for the Democratic party is promising the party will be unified once the nomination is decided. NOT. I dont think those talking heads are going to know how to unify the party. Its not going to be pretty at all. And thats with out any help from the Republican party.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  203. Janice

    The double standard in this country is never ending. The race card was played in this race but not by Hillary Clinton. It was played when American people listen to Rev. Right, Louis Farracan, and all the hate for white America. Nothing was said when Barack carried NC because of black voters, but now the Hillary carries white WV it is all about race. I do not think so! Report the news and let America decide. I am from WV, and living in IN for 30 years now. I know the people in WV and it is not race it is jobs, supporting family is important to all of America even people is WV
    Janice Williams

    May 13, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  204. Jeff

    It will be huge.
    Nobody wants to talk about it not CNN, Not USA Today, Not MSNBC.
    Everyone is afraid to say it incase it offends African Americans on their panels but, when an African American man who has a mentor who seems racist towards whites and you have presidential candidate that is African American who listened to this hate for 20 years. Whites will be uneasy with his message of change. Whites who are ready to embrace an African American to run the counry will have 2nd thoughts when they get into that booth.
    Remember Obama won big primaries until Mr Wright came out and he has lost a huge amount of his appeal and whites are having 2nd thoughts

    May 13, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  205. maryann in New youk

    I do not think that prople are responding to just race. The issue is how American is Obama. the Reverend Wright philosopphy is part of OBAMA or else he could not sit in the congregation for 16 + years,> He alos worked for a slum landlord who is on trial and he is good friends with Ayers who is assocaited with the weathermen.

    There are hard working midddle class people who love this country and do not want a radical left wing socialist black or white in the White House. It is sad that the Democatic party is no longer the paty of the middle class. Maybe there is a need for a new party or mabe the Republicans will retunr to its roots and be the best party to represent the middle class..

    May 13, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  206. Laverne

    Race will be a big issue in this election for those who cling to the notion and belief of superiority and inferiority of the races. The advancement of the world is done a great disservice when people are devalued and set aside because of another group's sense of hierachy.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  207. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Race is inextricably linked in a statistically significant way to bad behavior among blacks, so that prejudice against them is to some extent rational. Until Obama starts addressing the root causes of black criminality and poverty the way Bill Cosby is doing, he is not confronting the social issues which bother people who must endure a subculture they believe is pathological.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  208. Netta

    It will only be an issue if Obama and the media can use it to his advantage. If 98% of the blacks voted for Obama that in its self is racist.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  209. Ron Van Der Maarel

    Race!!! Is anyone really surprised. This country is in BIG trouble and
    now that it looks like Obama is going to win, I HOPE!!, the race card is
    now opening its ugly, putrid head! I have been and will continue to be an Obama supporter because he offers a fresh breath of air and possibilities! I have no doubts that those that still harbour the thoughts that a black person is no good for anything will do whatever they can to make sure Obama does not get elected! What a total negative for a country that THOUGHT this issue was not important!
    In this day and age it is a sad commentary for our nation which was once a great and productive place to be!!! Better start building the bunkers again!!!!


    May 13, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  210. $daddyrich$ in Hawaii

    No, Jack! Race won't be an issue this November. Just keep flashing these words all over television: (The Republican Party and George W. Bush said Mission Accomplished in Iraq! Yeah it was Mission Accomplished alright......translation........Your lives will NEVER be the same!)

    May 13, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  211. holden

    Hopefully it will become a huge issue. What some seem to forget is that FROM THE BEGINING of United States history until recently, recently being during your lifetime Jack, non-Whites and especially African Americans have been considered less human at times. Let's not forget that the people who fought for civil rights are still alive and more importantly those powerful forces that fought against civil rights and equal treatment are still around as well. It's not as though they relinquished their power and authority and said fairness and equality for all. I believe that a lot of Sen. Obama's support comes from enlightened people that realize that previous monumental changes came from small groups that never relented and that his administration will help empower those forces that fight for what is just and right for all Americans.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  212. Alex Kissimmee FL

    If Obama is to campaign against Mccain, I believe race will not be much of an issue. A voter ignorant enough to make a decision based on race, will probably have the same problem voting for a women. This means the racists/male chauvanists have long had their mind made up. I have great respect for both democratic candidates' ability to overlook the negative energy fueled by ignorance and insist on remaining optimistic towards changing the White House and ultimately the Country for the better. Let the racists live in their box, we'll continue to live in the real world.
    Alexis Rodriguez,
    Kissimmee Florida

    May 13, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  213. M Phillips Ontario

    The real question is not only whether race is an issue but how the issue is defined.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  214. Mary

    It's the ECONOMY, stupid!! Race was only an issue when the Clintons decided it should be an issue. This country is ready to move on from race or gender; although there always will be some in the south that will never accept a black or a woman as this country's leader.....

    May 13, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  215. ruth

    Yes it will. People gravitate towards their own. For security. It takes a person who is truly secured in who / she is to look away from race.

    Black people will vote Obama, because for them this is their messiah. The answer to their prayers. Unfortunately the truth about a person that can sway anyone with words is no good... Look at Bush!!

    May 13, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  216. Kathie

    Race will be an issue as long as Hillary keeps talking about white voters (hardworking white voters) and how only she can get their votes. Of course she is pandering to them again with the gas tax holiday.......... And I heard her say 'sompin' instead of 'something' today. Why does she insist on talking down to people?

    May 13, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  217. Dave in Astoria

    Jack...All this talk of race, religion, bitter, mis-speaking, etc,etc, just makes me sad.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  218. JT in Louisville


    I watch CNN mainly so I can hear what you have to say. Of course, I like Anderson, Wolf & Lou (in that order, respectively) but I'm posting with hopes that you speak on this, which I'm sure you will. Question: how is it that half of Hillary Clinton's supporters say that they won't vote for Obama but believe Clinton should be vice president? What exactly does that mean? I suppose you could spin it into something pretty but let's call a spade a spade, eh? Now, I am no racist; I am a Black Man pursuing that same American Dream that Obama speaks of frequently. Do I expect to be a millionaire someday? Maybe, but I'm good to keep the lights on and gas in my truck right now. But tell me, how do you justify saying Obama's speeches have no substance (which is now commonplace to say) but agree that he and Clinton's policy proposals are virtually identical, and contrast heavily with that of McCain's? How is he good enough for vice president but not President? How do you vote for McCain if you were supporting Clinton if it were not for their policies? What do Clinton & McCain have in common, among other things? Need I say? When it comes to this election, RACE is ISSUE #1, despite what everyone's saying. There are people, mostly white I'd say, that simply DO NOT want their beloved country headed up by a Black Man, period. All this other nonsense about substance, experience, etc. is just a scapegoat for people who deep down simply cannot fathom being led by a Black Man. In my humble, in fact, that is what Hillary Clinton alluded to when she was saying Obama couldn't win the general. Maybe she's right but I'm glad to know that you for one have better judgment; I just wish more people did. That's all there is to it.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  219. David

    Since the Bush administration has done so much damage to USA image across the world and the majority of the world population is not American white or even non white, wouldn't it be beneficial for America to elect a non white President to more quickly heal the wounds of American bad additude as portrayed by the Bush/Cheney white House?

    May 13, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  220. glenda bartlett

    I think it will cause over half of Hillary supporters to vote Republican or Independant. For me its not race it just two many unanswered questions about who he really is. I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. If Colin Powell had ran in the last Presidential Election I would have voted for him.


    May 13, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  221. Matt K

    I think that it is a factor, but anyone that won't vote for Obama because he's black probably wouldn't have voted for him for his political views anyway. I have, however, spoken with many people who are concerned about McCain's age.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  222. Angela - Dodd City TX!

    Wow Jack. I'm surprised it's taken you so long for this to cross your mind. This entire nomination process has been about race. Haven't you been listening to your own media pundits yammering? Hate to say it but let's be realistic. There IS a reason, that is fairly obvious, as to why he can't "close" this deal with the middle class blue collar white voters. Like it or not this country is not as color blind as we would like to believe.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  223. majlinda

    Dear Jack,

    First, I would like to say that my family just loves watching you and Mr. Wolf and we watch you everyday. You make an amazing team together. Second, as per your question yes it is a racizm that is haunting Obama. What a shame. I am a white lady who fully supports Obama although I can't vote as a Canadian. He has really involveld people emotionally and politically on this race.He is a breath of fresh air in the White house and I tell you Jack he will change the face of world at this crucial time. If he choose Hillary as VP, he will loose what he stood for. Go Obama Go

    Calgary, Alberta

    May 13, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  224. Nancy

    Recent polls show that Barack Obama has a problem with race and I beg to differ. Mr. Obama does not have a problem with anyone’s race. Some whites have a problem with Mr. Obama’s race. It is because of an inherent fear of some whites that a black man with a white mother and black father can ascend to the most powerful position in the world. Obama’s name, his former pastor, and any myth are excuses for folk to use as to why they won’t vote for him.

    For all of the available historical facts to substantiate the many ills that blacks have overcome in this country – slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, etc. – it is amazing how much distrust exists among some whites because the majority of blacks have opted to boycott the prison system to become contributing members of society. Mr. Obama made his choice to become a productive citizen of this society. So who has a problem with race? Mr. Obama will not get every white vote nor will he get every black vote, but there are voters who will cast their ballot for him.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  225. Enlightened, NC

    Unfortunately for those in this country who "Make" race an issue, race "IS" an issue. But for those where race is an issue, they will just have to get over it, or make themselves miserable if they don't. BARACK OBAMA "WILL" be president of the United States in 2008. And as far as Hillary Clinton being on the ticket with him as VP, the country may as well forget that idea. Senator Obama won this nomination, without the help of Hillary Clinton. What he stands for is totally opposite of what Hillary Clinton stands for. He is for TRUTH and Transparency. She is for Anything but that. She is one "Albetrose" he "WILL NOT" drag around for at least the next (4) years. Nobody deserves that. Senator Obama deserves better. "There are too many qualified, capable people out there ( of any race) that "HE" can choose as his running mate. And I mean "HE" can choose. He will not allow someone to shove that "Albetrose" down his throat as a VP.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  226. NickNas


    We should all hang our heads low in the fact that it is 2008 and we still have to ask that question. Many countries in this world are shaking their heads at this argument within the country that is calls itself " Leader of the free world" In this area many have left us behind.

    Nick San Diego CA

    May 13, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  227. Brianna from Colorado

    Race may indeed be an issue for some people. Hopefully, however, there are enough enlightened people and enough black voters, that in the end it will make little difference. Then Barrack Obama can show those people for whom race was an issue the great folly of their ways. The times are a changin' and it's time prejudice people get with it.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  228. Sam

    I will tell you why Obama is a head of Clinton
    Because republicans are voting for him now so they (republicans) wont face Clinton in November.
    I am sorry to say that most of White American wont vote for Obama because of race ( like i said before i am Arabic and Proud of America )
    so in November all those people who voted for Obama now will vote for McCain.
    Here we go AGAIN BUSH II in the White House.
    that is why i am afraid of Obama to be the Nominee.
    America the will be WHITE & BLACK.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  229. Raquel

    I think Barack Obama is a joke of a canditate. How can he honestly state with a straight face that he is appaled by Rev. Wright 's comments? Rev. Wright was the preacher at the church Obama attended for over 20 years. Don't tell me that this is the first time Rev. Wright expressed extremists views. Obama's wife is equally disgraceful, just a few months ago her true colors accidentally slipped out when she said "This is the first time I've been proud of this country." Personally Obama would destroy the US even better than Bush could do if he had 8 more years. Obama is an extremist, like his preacher, and he would be a disgrace to this country in any capacity.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  230. Debbie in Massachusetts

    It will be an issue, unfortunately, however, it will be forgotten because we will be paying $4.50 for a tank of gas, groceries will be too costly for many people, the value of our houses will have continued to decline, not to mention that the cost of healthcare that will be out of reach to many. And lastly the Iraq war will continue to be a national tragedy of unspeakable proportions. At the end of the day, the over-riding factor will not be race but “the economy, stupid.”

    May 13, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  231. Rick-Minot North Dakota

    I hope very little. With all the problems we have it would be nice for a serious discussion of the issues and ideas that each candidate has. Then I vote on those plans and ideas. I'm afraid that up to 5% of the vote will leave Obama when the voters actually vote. The reason: a fear of the unknown that is really for all intents and purposes a fear of electing an African American president.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  232. Jose Puerto Rico

    It will be an issue, because it has always has been with the Republicans base....

    May 13, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  233. Matt in WV

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, all white people are racists, blah, blah, blah. I've heard it before Jack. But I've got a better question for you. How is Obama going to succeed when he can't seem to get by one little old woman from Arkansas. How is he going to be this great leader that will heal the deep divisions in this country when he can barely get half of his own party to back him. Every time he loses, like he's probably going to do here in WV, his supporters inevitably say that it's because the voters are racist! Will that be his foreign policy if he is elected. Everyone that opposes the U.S. is a racist? Yep, that will work. Pull the other leg Jack. That one's sore.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:35 pm |

    If Obamaa picks an Asian woman than he will cover all the bases. However just like you want the best -you chose a pure breed.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  235. Carole in Fort Lauderdale

    Race will be an rarely spoken-of-out-loud issue, and McCain will be the next president.

    The Democratic party has made many huge mistakes, with the help of the MSM, leading to the probability of Obama becoming a not-ready-for-prime-time presidential candidate, not the least of which has been disenfranchising the voters of Florida and Michigan.

    Obama's inexperience and lack of credentials or any proven record of accomplishment precede him and define him. The fact that he is black and showed poor judgment for 20 years in his choice of confidantes will ultimately derail him in a year when the Democrats should have been in a can't lose position.

    The senior supposed 'statesmen' of the Democratic party who are backing Obama think that they will control him if he gets elected; that's why they jumped on his bandwagon. I have no respect at all any more for Kennedy, Kerry, Carter, McGovern, Richardson, and Dodd - all either power-hungry thugs or old fogies striving to become or remain relevant.

    So far, it speaks well of Edwards, Gore, and Joe Biden that they have kept a respectable distance from this sickening and spiteful agenda.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  236. John (of Gaithersburg Maryland)

    Race won't become an issue, Jack. Rather, it already is an issue in the sense that it's regrettably a fixture in the American psyche. Barack Obama's meteoric ascendancy among the Democratic faithful is a inspiring testimonial to his appeal and to his integrity among an electorate ever more jaded and suspicious of the omnipresent crop of scandalous, hypocritical charlatans who flout their responsibilities under our social compact. Barack, for a change, embodies integrity and honesty, two virtues that we all know are in short supply in our nation nowadays. These are what the nation needs and for which it yearns.

    But come hell and high water in September, when the presidential race heats up, race will become an issue hotly debated throughout the land. I wish it weren't so, but, sadly to use the now-overblown cliche, "It is what it is."

    May 13, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  237. Charles Harris

    I haven't had one comment posted on CNN yet so I hope this one gets posted!!!! I do believe race will be an issue, I read people talking about experience, do they hold classes on how to be a president?, and didn't they say the same about Bill which is now going by the name of Bubba( I wonder why that is), and they also said the same about John F. Kennedy, and G.W. well enough said about him. But nothing can prepare you to be the President of the United States. Obama and Hillarys plans aren't much different, except for the issue of health care, and her voting for the war in Iraq(one of those 3 a.m phone call decisions). So if its not policies and its not experience than what else could it be?????

    May 13, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  238. Lynnise

    Jack, I would like to think that race won't be an issue, but its a phenomenon that seems to rear its ugly head when people or when the status quo is challenged. People resist change and the fact that a Black male is running for president with the potentiality of winning is frightening for many; for it represents a change, a change they aren't ready for, because then they'd be face with having to deal with their own demons and their own self-hatred.

    Los Angeles, Ca

    May 13, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  239. merle7

    Race may be an issue with the older voters,but no doubt the msm will keep it alive to divert from the main issues like the war ,economy and health care. I don't know who was surveyed about if america was ready for a black president,but I guess some of the people were less than honest. Race should not be an issue but I guess if one is not directly affected by the issues that plaque our country today; then they may tend to vote on racial lines.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  240. Garnet, Corning, Oh

    It will be, because I have heard it, I just say that I am not a redneck and I was not raised that way. But there a a lot of people out there who do not have the privilege that I now do to watch and listen to everything all day, that will only hear Fox News, or CNN, or Msnbc, for maybe 30 minutes, and we all know what they put out. The sad part of it is, we will all pay for their racism.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  241. Chuck Gardner

    Race is not an issue because there is no such thing as race in the human population. What is an issue, and does clearly exist, is racism – a superstitious belief that skin color is not just an adaptation to solar exposure. By splattering the term "race" every minute, hour and day of this election season, CNN and other broadcast media support and inflame racism in this country and perpetrate damage upon all of us that will endure beyond this presidential campaign. Switch your focus from "race" and Obama to racism and racists, and see how everything changes. For example, change your question to: "How big an influence will racists or racism have on this election?" (By the way, what "race" does Obama allegedly belong to?)

    May 13, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  242. Faith, Austin TX

    It will be for some older voters, but I think no more so than gender would be an issue for Sen. Clinton. The younger voters grew up in different times and were exposed to other races and cultures in schools, at work, via the media, etc. Minority populations have greatly increased over the years, and they've been a lot more involved and vocal in the political arena. Hopefully the media will not try to spin this into a negative issue this election!!

    May 13, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  243. SusaQ

    Race will be an issue, but not as big as big as you might think. I believe that Obama will benefit as much as he will find it to his detriment – so it should really more than balance out in his favour.
    Our country has moved through difficult issues before, but this doesn't mean that we can't succeed or that we shouldn't try. It's the only way forward really.
    I applaud Obama and his wife Michelle for their courage. And not to worry, there are plenty of people backing them, plenty of good hardworking Americans, white, black and brown, as evidenced already in the primaries.
    I am just really delighted that we have a good man running for the Presidency, who happens to reflect my overall values and is also a Democrat!

    May 13, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  244. roger dowdle lockhart, tx

    Yes, race will play a part in the election, particularly since the reps will do their best to bring it up, maybe even more than the clintons. But it may be offset by bringing up the idiocy factor of supporting and promising to continue the bush policies. For older white people, they need to remember that their children / grandchildren will be among those who feel the need to go into the military to have decent jobs/ training/ education, and end up acting as "pop-up targets" in Iraq. If they expect any kind of economic improvement they should bypass McCain and the bush economics.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  245. John Fracchia

    Race will certainly get mentioned in the media, because let's face it, they simply won't be able to help themselves. Will it lead to meaningful dialog? I hope so, but I doubt it. Of this I am certain. Racism continues to bubble under the surface in more parts of this country than we're willing to admit. In a time when there are so many critical issues to be dealt with, how sad that for too many, their point of focus remains skin color, gender, sexual orientation and religion.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  246. Kay, houston

    I don't think, it should if we Americans understand what it means to be in this recession situation. But if Americans feels to vote base on race is more important than to vote for who has better economic opportunities! then let them do that, they we suffer for the next 4years just as they do for the next 8 years.


    May 13, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  247. Rita

    Of course race will be an issue. It has been an issue since african-americans started to vote almost exclusively for Obama. The interesting, but unfortunate, thing is that the news media chose to ignore what has been glaring from the beginning, and that is, that Obama has not been a unifier, as he claims to want to be, but instead a divisive factor, racially, in this campaign.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  248. Don in Florida

    Jack, The republican party has always played the race card so why should this election be any different. Obama knew that going into the race there is a certain percentage of americans who wont vote for him because of the color of his skin only. We'll have to counter that with high voter turn out by registering scores of young and first time voters. America is a fair country and by and large the majority of Americans will vote for the candidate that they feel will best represent them no matter what color his skin is. But it's going to be interesting to see what the republicans throw at Obama that have nothing to do with the issues. It will backfire this time. The people will see through it this time.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  249. jeff bennett

    my name is Jeff. I am half white and half native American veteran I volunteered for the obama campaign in ShelbyNorth Carolina. I truly do not believe that raises is a major factor. I believe that the media makes thge big issue with race in this election.

    and personaly im sick and tired of this age.i am tired of always hearing the thing like hillary and the white vote and im tired of hearing that the black vote. this is simply an outward sign. its always white and black, well i want the media to understand that no one race elects our president. the people do. why does the media keep adding to the long line of race. we need to be together with unity. is it the plan of the media to creat a strong devide in the house and senate. lets get to the real issues and stop the dance

    May 13, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  250. Tatiana in Miami, Fl

    I think that race is an issue because the ignorant make it an issue. We are all here living and breathing the same air on the same planet. Can't people just get past color. Obama is half white and half black. I think that race will be a BIG issue in November, but Obama will rise and he will be the FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT of the United States. Its about time. We need him, this country needs him. As for the ignorant, they'll just have to deal with it and get over it.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  251. Ken

    Jack I know that most wouldn't want to think that race is a issue but Ive got to say it is and is gonna be down the road as well.
    We want to think that this world has growen from its mistakes and we just push on.All through these primaries theres been issue of race coming from both sides Clinton and Obama as well.
    Just wished they would join and take this democratic race by storm right to the general election.We have alot to learn about eboney and ivory can't we just get them to sing in harmoney

    May 13, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  252. Lutisha BeeBranch Ark

    I am African American born in Misssissippi, lived in California and now live in Arkansas and if I only voted along racial lines I would not have voted much get over it, you are suppose to vote for the best person for the job. Obama knows what it is like to have very little and to live the dream.

    Voting white got us Bush Twice ,Nixon and Yes Clinton he was ok until he realized he could do anything and get away with it even if it was in the closet. Now you want to vote for Hillary who can't even budget a campaign or watch her husband, NOOOOOOOOOO WAY!!!!!

    OBAMA 08

    May 13, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  253. DJ, Los Angeles

    It may not be as bad it seems. Largely the media is responsible for exaggerating race in this election. Every day we hear about exit polls that claim whites favor one candidate, or only whites that have college degrees favor the other, etc.

    When I volunteered to make calls for the Obama campaign to residents in Indiana...the people of IN were nothing but nice.

    Sure there are bigots and racists out there. But hasn't there always been those types in America? Eventually time heals old wounds and people learn to set aside xenophobia or bigotry.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  254. Carl, MI

    While I do believe race will continue to play a role in the election as Senator Clinton has proven with her comments. To hear her speak many people would infer that the only hard working Americans are white blue collar people. It seems as though these people have been hoodwinked into believing that this Wellesley graduate has anything in common with blue collar people with her also playing the race card. She's the one other than the media constantly reiterating her "core" voters.

    That being said; I think that the most harmful part of this will be if senator McCain like Clinton dosen't disavow publicly statements that will possibly be made like those of Mayor Norm Bell who is a Clinton backer and helped spread the "radical Muslim Hussein" message. Racism itself is not the problem, it's when people let it occur without commenting on it. Clinton has not only allowed it, she continues to us this now for selfish reasons just Like with her loosing that campaign has suddenly been empathetic to the hearts and minds of the voters in Florida and Michigan, when before Super Tuesday they were fine with the status quo and the DNC rulings. I hope Obama wins and McCain shows more Integrety then the Clinton's seem capable of.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  255. rosanne cohn

    Rosanne Cohn Redmond Washington
    Are you kidding?? Of course race is an issue, and well it should be. This is the most exciting step forward our country will have taken since JFK. It's past time that we should be able to acknowledge that everyone in America, regardless of race, has the ability to take us to new heights. We should be applauding the fact that we have reached this milestone.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  256. Marlo (Houston, Texas)

    The Media needs to call it just what it is, that he will not win certain states because of racist demographics and stop pretending that he's not able to reach hard working white people. People that are racist and will not vote will not do so no matter what he does or says, and regardless of them being wealthy, rich, middle class or poor, and the media knows that, but of course for Hillary Clinton, you all will run with whatever storyline she give you to run with, and try and make it a huge topic. First, all Americans are hard working regarding of race and/or gender. Stop feeding what has turned into this woman's pipe dream, and allow the Democractic Party to start healing for the General Election, because the Republican owed media knows that the Republicans doesn't have a chance in winning the election in November, so they are banking on the Democractic Party tearing itself apart. I was happy to read that Barr decided to join the race.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  257. Marian, Nashville, TN

    As BIG as BIG can get!!!! All of us who live in this nation of bigots and racist know that his skin color is the only thing some people will see. Otherwise you wouldn't ask this question, nor would you keep defining the votes of the whites as blue collar middle white working class individuals and make exclaimations about the percentage of blacks that vote for him versus Hillary, nor would you deliberately eliminate the fact that whites and other races in this nation are voting as a majority. I would truly appreciate if all the race baiting that goes on in the media would come to an end it's truly destructive and belittling I'm an AA that has worked two and three jobs at once so you classify me as a hard working individual OK. All of our lives we've had to work harder, harder than anyone, Barak is no different he's more than qualified for that job!!!!!!!

    May 13, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  258. D. McKinnon

    Jack, There is no need to talk about anything with Obama for he have it all mix blood,single mother asbent father, living on foodstamp, and can understand everyone he been there so it's should not be race it should be issues N.Y.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  259. Annie

    Jack –

    Unfortunately, race will be an issue...I see it falling this way

    Some will cast their vote out of pride and others will vote out of predjudice.

    Our country isn't as sophisticated as you'd like to believe.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  260. Noble Seattle

    Lets not forgot that the people who lived through segregation and civil rights movement are still alive. While these pattern of living was a fabric of thier living for a long time and cannot just be wished away instantly by a wave of revolution and changing dynamics, the truth is that its relevance is fading away and will continue to do so. The more children of the slave masters and of the slaves mix in schools, churches, market places and all endevors of life, the less racial relevance curve takes a nose dive and ONE AMERICA takes presidence. This will be the case come November.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  261. chris james

    Race is alive and kicking, those who has racist blood in their system will not seek dialysis treatment during novermber election, in either way black or white people will excise their prejudice on the poll boot. i have no doubt that obama will prevail, race or no race the choice and the path is clear, match forward for better future or remain behind to continue drinking the biter drink left in BUSH old wine bottle with john mccain.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  262. A.J. in Fla

    It is our guarded opinion that Hilary Clinton remains in the race because they already know ( specially Bill ) that they have enough Super Delegates in their side to overtake Barack Obama during the Convention procedures. What we perceive is that Hillary and Bill are in the process of analyzing what kind of impact it will have on the Democratic Party an the Afican American folks should they pulled off. If they feel that the effect will be at it worst marginal, I think that they will go for it.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  263. Jatovi, NC

    The sad part about it is the pollings that earlier said that the US is more willing to have a black man president over a woman are now being proven incorrect. A lot of individuals who were probably focusing their answer based on Hillary Clinton and not just a woman. The US still has an issue with race. Just look at the reasons behind the Rooney rule in the NFL, Affirmative Action, the fact that minorities are pulled over more, etc. etc.
    So to sum it up yes, race is still an issue here in the US and it will show up in the fall.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  264. Debby

    It will only be an issue to the African American if Obama loses the general, then you will have Sharpton and Jackson out there like idiots saying he was disenfranchised.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  265. Carol in Oklahoma

    Dear Jack,
    It is disturbing that some CNN show hosts seem to be determined to make sure race and/or gender will be a big issue in November. It is evident in the Situation Room - the host cannot hide his pro Republican and anti blacks and women inclinations. And anti Obamaism is also evident during the 6 p.m. and the 7 p.m. shows. The 6 p.m. show host is obviously anti blacks and Latinos. And it appears that the 7 p.m. show host is either following anti Obama orders because she is new, or allowing feminism to interfere with unbiased communication. What happened to the good old honest journalism?

    May 13, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  266. Jeffrey Wright

    If race was going to be an issue, I don't think Obama would be as far as he is today.

    What I don't understand are the constant CNN comparisons to the Bush/Kerry race versus where the democrats need to win in their race? Obviously, yes, this is the most recent Presidential campaign to draw from, but this is completely different.

    Republicans are beginning to vote for Democrats and Independents are leaning toward Democrats (in large part because our Republican President is at the lowest approval rating ever held by a U.S. President), so how do all of the stats and figures from the states that Bush or Kerry won influence our thinking of this race? Why should it, if the psychology behind the "game" has completely changed and much of what would normally be considered "in the bag" is actually "up in the air?"

    This is a Democratic/Presidential race that has NO stats to draw from because it is so unique that anything you put it up against doesn't really make sense.

    I think that's a much bigger issue than skin color.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  267. cory,fl

    why am i waiting for moderation for an hour...trying to keep me out

    May 13, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  268. LA Woman

    hey Jazzy, i agree with you! thanks for your intellect.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  269. Steve from Alabama

    It's not race Cafferty! Its Obama's lack of all of the above! no experience-not well known enough–basic distrust between him and main stream middle-class society-no actual plans for how he'll do things he promised-his questionable affiliations-he just wasn't ready to run for the Highest position in the land. Not to mention he'll be running against John Mccain a certified war hero....and Obama's nearest connection to the military is a grandfather? It all spells trouble for Obama's electability.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  270. Allen of Northeast GA

    Jack, remember the good old days of the 60s? What will happen when Obama gets the nomination might be the 60s all over again. I live in Georgia and I know what I see everyday, and it isn't the enlightened face that Southerners want the world to see.
    Hartwell, Georgia

    May 13, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  271. Jill

    Race is an issue. Gender is an issue putting the two together is idiotic unless they had totally different strengths that would make a strong case that good government that truly served the people not the candidates egos would result.

    The person should be a governor, or someone from the Western Part of the united States, probably someone who is not in the senate.
    Senators never win against non senators unless they are Jack Kennedy. or someone who is a natural like Barack Obama. So stop simply playing beltway games and think about the wellfare of the Country for a change. The Democrats are cooking their goose. We need a party that cares about people not East Coast deals and strategies to keep all the player at the trough. This is not about a better country its about taking care of East Coast Politicians and the Clintons. Which is depressing.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  272. Dan Quigley

    Jack, of course it will be big … with apologies to Laurence J. Peter; “American politics defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status.”

    May 13, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  273. Shirl

    Jack, the campaign started off on a good note. But, when Billary realized she could not or would not win, she has continually played the race card and so has a portion of the media. It's sad to believe that there are those so deep rooted in racism that they are will to sacrifice this country they claim to love so much by voting for a republican (Mccain) who they know is selling them false hope and lies. over a black man who wants to see this country come together and be the best it can be. It is no wonder that they would support Hillary; they are all a group of selfish, self serving, self centered peope.



    May 13, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  274. Kathy from NJ

    I think that once Hillary is out of the run for the nomination (and always out there making racial and race-baiting comments), that the test will then come down to the media.

    Is the media ready to stop making race an issue?

    Is the media ready to stop making religion an issue?

    Probably not – because it makes for such hot press, doesn't it?

    As for the American PEOPLE – I think most of us are ready to move beyond issues of race and religion, although there will always be that percentage of the people who are not. There is a lot of healing yet to do, and fortunately for America, Obama is the man, the person, and the president to create an atmosphere of healing.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  275. joseph Anderson

    It will be a big issue. The question is whether we will openly address is or pretend it isn't there. It isn't too hard to see the trap they are setting for Obama. The emerging argument is, people are more enthralled with the idea of a black president than the ideas Obama presents. This is untrue, Obama is proving to be a solid candidadte. He always bounces back no matter what they throw at him. Credit should be given when it is due and if we allow this subversive dialogue tinged with racism to become part of the maintream debate, we will have missed an opportunity to make great progress and judge a candidate on his credentials.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  276. Craig - TX

    Jack, With the high unemployment, high inflation, high gas prices, Iraq war; Afganastan war, Iran, China, Korea, droughts, wildfires, earthquakes, etc... we have way to many problems to worry about race. However, many will look at Obama as a man, not a Black man, that will have good ideas to lead this nation out of all the issues facing America. The problem is the poor whites are in the same situation as others, but will not recognize their own situation and would rather hurt themselves than vote for a Black man. In other words, they will cut off their nose to spite their face.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  277. Smart from London

    it will play any role that the propagators – Bill and Hillary wants it to play. If they are serious about 2012, they will probably let it be or fuel it to make Obama lose. However, if they decide to regain their dignity, they will smoulder it the same way they raised it.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  278. Sarah Arteaga

    Race has been an issue and will continue to be, an issue no one talks abouts or admits to – even news commentators. Unfortunately, after all this country has done to eliminate racial discrimination, there are still individuals who are so insecure they cannot envision someone who does not look like them to achieve the office of President of the United States. Many of the Eastern states do not have a clue about people who are of color. Some people in the Northeastern states have never known a black person, or a Mexican person, for that matter. Some even confuse Mexicans as black – they can't or don't know the difference. Those who refuse to vote for Obama because of his color, although he is half white, never admit it -publicly, . And those who vote for Clinton never admit their decision was because she is White. Even McCain vetoed making Martin Luther King's birthday a holiday in Arizona, although he now says he regrets it (of course!). The bottom reason is ignorance. And becoming sophisticated about cultures and races and genders (including alternative) is the only way a people will not classify others negatively, as a group, because of their color or culture. SA from Arizona

    May 13, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  279. Steve Matheson from Long island

    Big Jack. All those damn republicans are racist. But the counrty is due for change off the last 8 years of the Bush era, so all in all, Obama will be victorious!

    May 13, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  280. Jean in New York

    Race is definately a major issue in this race. When this election is over and the data is collected it will show for the first time in the history of this country that African Americans have finally come out to vote. One should ask why? Although statistics show that the number of Latino voters is greater than African Americans, this election will prove the race theory.

    Elections are based and run on statics and although many African Americans do not want to call this election a racial one, it is. The statics will prove it in the end.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  281. Hamzat

    Jack am an African American living in the UK,I can tell you that the majority of White Americans are not comfortable with having Obama as our President.
    Silently they cringe and yonder what is American turning too,but what they must remember is America is a nation of immigrants and one prayer they have secretly is a scandal will erupt and stain his character.
    One common statement we continuely hear is we dont know him very well, he has never been vetted,every person he has ever spoken to who does not measure to the national standards beomes a question in judgement ?

    May 13, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  282. Valerie - St. Louis, MO

    I can't seem to be able to get a posting on this board. I want to say that race is already an issue in the campaign it will just become a bigger issue in the general election. Barack Obama of mixed race but he is only considered to be black by the media and the electorate. He was raised by his white mother, doesn't that make him more white than black? White American cannot see past his African father whom he didn't know very well.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  283. Gene

    Hello Jack

    Race could be big. Much depends on how often the Clinton's play the white race card. Shades of George Wallace. No Democrat has had the gall to play the race card this way since then. Shame on the Clintons.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  284. Darr/Cleveland/Ohio

    The race issue will be as big as the media can make it.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  285. Russ,Pennsylvania

    It is sad ,that here in America ,we are still seeing color and not what a person can bring to the table. I fought with African-Americans in VietNam and I didn`t see color,I saw someone watching my back for me when it needed watching. I want to watch an African-American taking the Oath of Ofiice for President of the United States next January.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  286. John Sekera

    Dear Jack,
    When a dying Benjamin Franklin made that petition to Congress in 1788 – The veritable voice of the people. He had the great intention to end outright what the Founders wouldn't want to articulate at the time- Slavery.

    At last in this century the Americans, young, old, black, white, Asian, Latin and Native American, rich and not so rich seem to have made up their minds to reconcile and set a great example to this broken inveterate warring world of ours.

    I say, Only the Great Revolutionary Americans could pull off such a stupendous feat. Not the Canadians, not the Australians, not the New Zealanders, not the French nor the Germans or the Chinese or the Russians.

    That's why I want to be American. E Pluribus Unum

    Toronto, Canada

    May 13, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  287. LA Woman

    and the winner is...JAZZY
    for his most intelligent comment, jack give this guy a prize!

    By the comments that I have been reading, it seems like the color of Senator Obama’s skin is more important than the content of his character or the degree of his intellect. Why is it that a country that says we are all created equal (even if it took almost 50 years) to start to think in that realm is now so reluctant to have a bi-racial man in the White House. Senator Obama is the product of a mixed marriage. Both races should be proud that this man is running and winning the democratic race for it’s party’s nominee at this time. This could change before it’s over. Be civilized to one another. We are, after all, a civilized society. These comments are all petty and without foundation.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  288. George from Minneapolis

    For those bigots who can't except a black man being the president, they can always leave the country.

    I was a mover as a student and would be willing to assist them in their relocation.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  289. Sue Filutze

    Don't worry Jack it will be an issue, because there are a whole bunch of people using the "muslim, bitter, Rev Wright" issue as a cover for their racisim. It's much easier for them to invoke one of the above then to truly say how they feel! And of course both the Hillary Clinton Campaign and John McCain's will use it, they won't speak it themselves rather they will send out their mouthpieces to invoke it! Like I can win the middle class white hard working Americans vote!
    You know the "swiftboaters" are already writing their scripts as we speak!. Sad but some people will never make it into the 21st century their all stuck in the past, even though their very lively hood and perhaps future would depend on getting rid of the status quo!

    May 13, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  290. Mary Archer

    I wish it were not so, Jack, but I was born and raised in Mississippi and I know how white people feel. If colin Powell were runnng it would be different. But Obama is a young and sexy male and it is going to be absolutely impossible to ignore that fact if he does get the nomination. It is too bad he couldn't have been vice president first and given the public time to get to know and accept him. But now he is going to have to face the prejudice and fears of a hundred years.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  291. Indianapolis for Obama

    It will be bigger than it should be. As long as the demographics of our melting pot of a country are are continually split out into categories and exploited for positioning one person over another, it will continue to be an issue. The media can do something about this and not play into the racial fervor that has been raised. Unfortunately we are still a racist and a sexist society even though many have moved forward on this issue. I fear not enough will let go of whatever fears they have toward a man who has brown skin. Obama is a unique and very talented leader and we need that very very much.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  292. virginia voter

    it wont hurt obama at all in the general election.
    its only an issue now because hilary and her pundits made it an issue.
    i support obama and will anything necessary to make sure he is our next president.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  293. Rob

    It depends. If you look at the primary election as a predictor of the general election if an associate of John McCain makes a racist or radical comment it will get very little news coverage and will die down in a day or two such as the case with Hillary Clinton and remarks made by Bill Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro. There will be no expectation for him to address the issue repeatedly for weeks or months and he won't have to give a special news conference to repudiate or disown them.

    However if an associate of Barack Obama makes a racist or radical comment he will have to address it repeatedly and have his judgment questioned for weeks or months and campaign ads will be produced linking Obama to the individual before every election. Additionally the content of his character will be synonymous with the content of the character of the associate that made the comment. He'll even have to apologize if it was said when he was eight years old.

    Other than that race won't be an issue at all.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  294. Patty in Watsonville, CA

    No matter how many of us don't want race to be an issue, it will be for some. Hopefully, the future of our country is more important to Americans than the color of our leader. We need to show the world that we do not agree with our current administration. Obama is the best canidate to restore our global image.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  295. Mike

    Why does it need to be a factor at all? This is the media's call if they think the "Race card will sell", then they will help continue the "Racial Gap" in America! Then it will matter. If they don't (media) then it won't matter and Mcain will get smoked!

    May 13, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  296. Docb

    I need to add that the Demgraphic that clinton has as a base is the waning demo...Older white women –like me..well, my MD might separate me but I am still a older white female voting for Obama.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  297. virginia voter

    the clintons made it a race issue.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  298. Terry in San Antonio, TX

    "He has no qualifications as his voting record in Illinois and the Senate shows" is a quote I'd like to follow up on. During the current Sen Obama voted with his colleagues 96.7% of the time while Sen Clinton voted 97%, so that's a "wash". Sen Clinton has missed 31% of the votes during the current Congress while Sen Obama has missed 40%. Although his percentage is higher, keep in mind Sen Clinton had someone to start campaigning for her (Bill) while Sen Obama had to start earlier since he isn't married to a former president. Oh, and if anyone is interested, Sen McCain has missed 59% of the votes.

    "Clinton has and will be better for A.A.’s.
    He will not be the “Role Model ” that they deserve." So now others get to decide who is a better role model for A.A. people? As an educated Black man serving in the U.S. Air Force I think I can pick my own role models.

    Now on to the question... So Jack, race in this contest is BIG because some narrow -minded individuals have found a way to make it an issue, but I don't feel it will determine the outcome once the Dems get their act together and select their nominee

    May 13, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  299. Bradley in Missouri

    The "race" issue will be spun under the rug at first. But I think it should be blasted across every media outlet. Some people feel that in 2008 we should be over race issues by now, so lets NOT talk about it. I absolutely disagree. It is still an obvious problem in many parts of this country, and the world. Some people would like to ignore the three ton pink elephant in the middle of the room. Lets make it a HUGE issue, lets talk it out. As a nation we should put it all out there on the table and be done with it. However, as I write to you Sen. Obama is still not a Democratic nominee... so perhaps we should hold off our speculative sensationalistic hypotheticals until the first week of June.
    thanks Jack,
    Saint Joseph, Missouri

    May 13, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  300. Doreen

    I'm tired of hearing about "electability". This is country is divided by race and will not become unified until we have open and honest discussions about race. If Obama is so unelectable, how is it that he has won so many states? My problem with Sen. Clinton is that she only wants to count big states. America is composed of 50 states, not a few states. My voice and vote shouldn't count no less because I live in a smaller state. Also, Michacan and Florida knew the rules when they changed their primary date. Both Senators agreed to the rules when started their campaigns. Sen Clinton wasn't concerned with Florida and Michican votes when she was ahead. She planned to fail when she failed to plan for life after Iowa.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  301. Dan from Santa Barbara

    Huge. As each year passes the face of America is getting a tan. People vote for those who speak the same language.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  302. expat

    As white man from the working class and living on less than $40,000, I will vote for Obama but know that many of my peers will not. But let's celebrate this long journey from bigotry that we're passing through. No, we are not through it yet but we definately are moving in the right direction. I'm in my seventies and was in those first years of the integrated US Army and what incredible racists we were then. When blacks started fighting against it, it scared us badly and even hardened our hearts to their suffering. But education has done so much to make us a better nation. Race will be a real issue but hopefully we are far enough on our journey to overcome it.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  303. Michael from California

    This election will be a watershed moment in our country. It will be fortunate that John McCain will oppose Barack Obama, as I do not believe him to be a man that will exploit fears and hatred in some segments of the country (unlike Bush) however the remainder of the republican party will do so in an attempt to win at all costs.

    Race has been, is, and will continue to be an issue in this country as long as some segments of the population hold the beliefe that a person is less qualified simply because of the color of their skin, fortunately this segment of our country is shrinking, but not quick enough.

    A simple review of the posts to your question are a testament that race is still an issue in this country. look at how many people think that all African Americans voted for Barack Obama because of race – is it not possible that he inspires us? No one questions why so many women are supporting Hillary.......

    May 13, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  304. Carrie from Chicago

    Although I do think racism will play a role in this election, I do not think it will be as big as some people think. My uncle, who has never voted in his life and has said himself that he is a racist, will be voting for the first time in November for Obama. I think there are many people like that out there, who are more focused on who will be the best leader of our country and not what color their skin is. Also, there have been record numbers of young people who have come out to vote in the primaries, who, for the most part are able to look beyond skin color and vote for the change this country needs so badly.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  305. Pat in North Carolina

    Not an issue, Jack. The large majority of the populace have demonstrated that they have grown way past that. When you outgrow shoes or clothes, you don't go back trying to force yourself into them. You make or buy new ones. And so, people have moved on. Of course, in any 'march', the entire procession - imagine a marching band - does not cross the staging area at the same precise time.

    If this country is to recover and advance, so-called "race" has no place. It never really did, but not enough people realized it 'once upon a time.' Once you come out of the proverbial 'cave' and you experience the light, you are not going to live in the dark anymore. And while not everyone sees the light at once, the majority sees it, and that will advance the country until the others evolve.

    By the way, Jack, might I just add that I long for the day when our people can discuss cultures and cultural ways and ethnic customs rather than "race, race, race, color, color color." I find it astounding the number of people who still believe that there is really something called "race." More folks ought to take some Anthropology classes or something. And how about that documentary some fellows made a few years ago called, "There is No Such Thing as Race" - it was aired on PBS. More folks ought to look into reading more about other folks. Make use of your tax dollars and borrow great books from your public library and check out the Internet - just educate yourselves about folks other than yourselves and grow. To paraphrase Rodney King, Can we all just evolve?!

    May 13, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  306. Anderia

    I am an African-American woman and it truly saddens me to see the way many have begun to portray white Americans (without college degrees) in the media. While I realize that we do have a long way to go with race relations, I believe white americans are indeed able to weigh candidates and issues reasonably and make decisions that are based on more than race. I am certain that there will be attempts to divide Americans along racial lines but what I'm seeing right now in Senator Obama's campaign is truly inspiring! It demonstrates our willingness and ability to focus on the one thing that we all have in common, our humanity. 🙂

    Anderia – Kennesaw,GA

    May 13, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  307. Jeff in Sunnyvale, CA

    The sad truth is that America is a racist country and race will play a strong role in this election.

    May 13, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  308. Scooter

    If Obama gets the Dem nom, race will be an issue, the same as age will be an issue for McCain. Is one "ism" any worse than the other?

    Here's what bothers me about a lot of Obama supporters and the msm - Those who aren't Obama supporters are immediately ccused of being racist and of not wanting a black person in the White House.

    Is it possible to support someone other than Obama and not be racist ? And, can you support Obama and be racist at the same time?

    May 13, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  309. Gael

    Race wouldn't be an issue if a certain campaign didn't pick at it, like a scab.

    May 13, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  310. John

    I believe if Obama is nominated a loses race will be the leading issue. Hillary is already playing the race game, and I think people should be offend. She claims that she is a better candidate because she can get uneducated rural white voters. The state of the economy caused by a republican president this contest should be a blowout. I also believe that issues like Rev. Wright and his associates prove that he has a clean background because the media is creating issues from things that are nothing. Why hasn't the good deeds that Rev. Wright has done been played in the media. Why hasn't some of the other sermons that Rev. Wright preached been played. From reading a lot of different blogs you would think that he preached hate whites every Sunday. Things like this play on the fears of white people with Obama.

    May 13, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  311. J. from MI

    You know Jack, race will always be an issue til the end of time because people always make it an issue either good or bad. If the racist biggots would close their eyes, open their ears and shut their mouths they would hear that he is very intelligent and qualified for the job unlike Hillary Rodham-Clinton. (hmmm I wonder why she dropped the Rodham part...oh I know she wants to get to the top using her husband, his money and connections). I personally don't think this country is ready for a woman as President......AND I'M a woman! Okay .....maybe just not Hillary. One final note: I sure as heck don't want my uncommited vote for MI primary to go to her.

    May 13, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  312. Rich


    Color will be a huge issue this fall – not black or white, but the colour green. Obama's lack of experience, particularly in the foreign policy area, will be a big factor in spelling defeat for the Dems.

    May 13, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  313. Mary in CT

    Race plays and will continue to play a significant role, unfortunately. It's not always overt, but you hear it in comments like "He's too arrogant; he acts like he's better than everyone else." Have you ever heard this about a white candidate? I've followed politics closely for many years and had never heard that before. What politician doesn't have an air of self-assuredness? You don't become a presidential candidate by spending your days in a bowling alley - photo ops notwithstanding.

    May 13, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  314. Michael Means

    If prejudice did not exist, race would not matter. The important issue is: who are we being prejudiced against?
    Barack Obama was brought into this world by a white mother, and raised in a white home, if you can't see that, culturally, he's a white man, your'e blind. Every ancestor that he can point to, and he does quite often, in this country is white. His father was a black african; and, Barack Obama's ancestors in africa disowned him before he was born.
    Black Americans embrace Obama, because of the African blood that runs through his veins, while most whites turn their heads and pretend to be oblivious to Barack's whitness, even going so far as making Obama's value judgements againts his own grandmother off limits.
    The truth is nobody is willing to shout out "the emporor is necked." Nobody is willing to admit that this noble man represents the best of the white and black races.

    May 13, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  315. Debra Moore from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Matt in WV your post here makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Its not Obama's problem that he's black, that he cannot change, neither would want to, its people like you that see his blackness as a problem. You people there are decades behind the rest of the world in your thinking. Come up already! It doesn't take away from you to see another different from you as being capable, intelligent, and most definitely able to run this country. I think it will definitely boost foreign relations as well. For far too many years the presidents of the United States, foreign leaders have come to distrust. We need a new face, one with a little color can't hurt.

    May 13, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  316. RC in Illinois

    Jack, this country NEEDS to elect this black/multiracial president to put our racial prejudices behind us. We are ready for a black/multiracial President to end this cycle of whites being called racist and blacks blaming whites for their plight. Once America has elected this multiracial man, the older white generation will understand that color of skin is of no importance in judging a person and black americans can no longer feel like second class citizens....but instead, equal partners in this great country. Race NEEDS to be an issue and white americans need to understand the indirect benefits of electing Obama, cleansing our country of the racial bias. This intelligent, unbiased man will bring our country together...says this lifelong Republican Obama supporter.

    May 13, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  317. PCM01

    The departure of the Clinton's from the political arena, will bring a stop the racial card. The political dynamic between Mr. Obama and Mr. Mccain will be less dirty and dramatic.

    May 13, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  318. shola

    I think race is going to be a big issue, played mainly by supporters but not the nominees themselves. Racism is real in america today, but majority of americans are not racist. Not everyone will support Obama and he knows this, but what he needs is only the majority. It is a shame though, to hear people are still backward enough to decide to support a candidate based on skin color alone.

    May 13, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  319. Noble Seattle

    Lets not forgot that the people who lived through segregation and civil rights movement are still alive. While racial consideration was a pattern of living was a fabric of thier (now older men and women) living for a long time and cannot just be wished away instantly by a wave of revolution and changing dynamics, the truth is that race consideration in deciding what is good for America is fading away over time and will continue to do so. The more children of the former slave masters and of the slaves mix in schools, churches, market places and all endevors of life, the more racial relevance curve takes a nose dive and ONE AMERICA takes presidence. This will be the case come November.

    May 13, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  320. deb

    When the nomination is decided, whomever it is, the party will unite and we will have our next President! That is the way this process works. We seem to forget that during this process and that is just what this is a process we get to fuss and argue over who would be the better person to do the job. It is exciting and an opportunity to go to the polls and pick that person. It gives us a voice in this and we get to at times go to the coffee shops and the school gyms and meet this individuals and sometimes walk away with the feeling we have a better understanding of who they are.

    Now our person may not win the nomination, but being a democrate we will stick to our party and stand behind the person we decide upon as a whole. That is the process. That is the way it has been done for years and will be done for years to come. And black, white, male or female (what a pleasure to be able to say that!) we will be seeking change in the white house come November, and that is what is our goal. We must not forget the end to the means. We have to change or we will continue our downhill decline.

    We will change in November for the better. That is the goal. Not color specific.

    May 13, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  321. same old american

    I think at the end of the day there are alot of hard-working AMERICANS and the democrats have alot of work to do . Open your eyes there aren't many differences between clinton and obama trust me i've researched them both. For those who believe Clinton has so much experience fact is if she was already president we would still be fighting a war that shouldn't have been waged. What good is experience with no judgement?

    May 13, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  322. susie

    Obama out spent Clinton 2 to 1 in WV and he still will lose the state. How can that be?

    May 13, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  323. Ceaser

    When Obama hits Florida to campaign, he better be ready to answer on why the Delegates from the Sunshine State possibly will not be seated adn counted and the DNC convention and why he is not pushing to have Florida and Michigan counted now.

    May 13, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  324. misty

    If you do not believe that race AND gender will be an issue in the fall you are kidding yourself, what country do you think you are living in anyway?

    May 13, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  325. LA Woman

    that's it i'm tired of this blog, i'm going to go to my favorite dep. store and steal some jeans~

    May 13, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  326. Dismayed

    I am an African American. In the begining of this race I did not believe Obama would even be competitive, because of his race. Yet, through all the primaries and caucuses I was convinced that the country is not racist. Yet lately I just don't know. I know that the majority are not, yet I am still surprised that there are still so many that may be. I understand that many have stronf feelings for Hilliary Clinton and her name. I also know that there are many women who are emotional about her (I am also a woman). But as far as peopel who just would not vote for her b/c she is a woman,it just doesn't seem to be the case.
    People seem to come up with all sort of reasons why they won't vote for him, all of the reasons are contrary to facts. He is inexperience in WASHINGTON, yet he does have over twenty years of experience. I beleive that if he were a white man in the same situation, he would have wrapped up the nomination by now. It seems that it is his race that is causing people to hold back. I am truly saddend by that fact.

    May 13, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  327. Rick, Alabama

    In our state, very important. This is a RED State only and the GOP rules everywhere. We do not care about the economy, high gas or food prices, we are only concerned how religious one is and if they seem to fit the bill, and if they do, we vote for em. It is that simple.

    GOP rules in the south always has, always will be. Dems will never, ever win anything down here in the southern tier !

    Mc Cain lost this state to Huckabee, that should explain our motives ~~

    May 13, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  328. fred pierce

    I am sick of you guys calling obama black. he is not black and the sooner that you relize that the sooner that the treuth will count but you dont want that do you

    May 13, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  329. Vicky

    I initially was choosing Obama for presidency, but, the more I listened to both he and Hillary, I swayed my decision to Hillary, not because of race..but, because of her experience over his.. I don't think race is an issue, no more than her being female, but alot of people I've spoken to said it is because he is black that they won't vote for him. I do know we are in this mess because of The Republicans, period... I do hope that even if Hillary doesn't get the nomination that Obama will choose her as his runningmate or vise versa if she gets the nomination.

    May 13, 2008 at 5:07 pm |