Who’s “Injecting Race” Into The Presidential Campaign?

[NOTE: Thanks to Power Line for selecting this post as one of today’s “Picks”]

[NOTE 2: Thanks to Prof. Jacobson for making this his “Post of the Day” today on Legal Insurrection]

According to the National Journal‘s “N2K” (Need To Know) site commenting on the presidential campaign every day, the “special relationship” between the United States and Great Britain is vaguely (or maybe not so vaguely) racist.

In today’s “N2K Presidential Race: Race Never Far From Presidential Campaign,” Beth Reinhard writes that if what even she describes as a”painfully thin Daily Telegraph story is to be believed,” an “unnamed advisor” to Romney made the “racially offensive remark” of stating that

“We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special,” the adviser reportedly said of Romney, who arrived in London today. “The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have.”

This “racially offensive remark,” according to the National Journal‘s Ms. Reinhard, is of a piece with frequent Republican slurs on the president, characterizing him “as different, exotic, less American, and more foreign. As ‘other.”’ Even “Romney himself,” Ms. Reinhard sneers, “has repeatedly said that Obama ‘doesn’t understand America.”’

As racism goes, the shared “Anglo-Saxon heritage” (the original thirteen colonies were British, weren’t they?) and “special relationship” of the United States and Great Britain is pretty thin gruel, not to mention the patently un-racist charge that Obama “doesn’t understand America.” (Maybe that charge is wrong — maybe he understands us all too well — but it is not racist.)

If Ms. Reinhard wants to see real racism injected in this campaign, she need not stoop to find a rumored remark by an unnamed advisor quoted in a British paper.  She need look no farther than the leading newspaper in her own city, the Washington Post, which yesterday published an article about the offensively incendiary charges of a Virginia state senator, Louise Lucas of Portsmouth, that the only reason Romney has been gaining in the polls in Virginia is because he appeals to racist whites.

“Mitt Romney, he’s speaking to … a segment of the population who does not like to see people other than a white man in the White House or in any other elective position,” Lucas said Tuesday. “Let’s be real clear about it — Mitt Romney is speaking to a group of people out there who don’t like folks like President Barack Obama in any elective or leadership position. We know what’s going on here. And some people may be afraid to say it, but I’m not. … He’s speaking to that fringe out there who do not want to see anybody but a white person in a leadership position.”

Nor is Sen. Lucas simply an untethered loose cannon, firing off charges of “racism!” at every turn like so many Democratic politicians. According to the Post,

 Lucas is a member of Obama’s “Truth Team,” speaking on the president’s behalf on various campaign issues in Virginia. Obama’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

That sound you don’t hear is the sound of President Obama and his Virginia supporters distancing themselves from these outrageous charges. “As of Tuesday afternoon,” the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot reports, “the Obama and Romney campaigns had not responded to requests for comment.” Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, however, did describe her comments as “divisive and flat wrong.”


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