Neither Side Has Played Race Card

Accusations aside, Obama or McCain aren't guilty—yet
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2008 2:56 AM CDT
T-shirts picturing Barack Obama and John McCain are for sale at a hotel gift shop in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – Accusations of "playing the race card" are flying back and forth between the John McCain and Barack Obama camps, but neither is truly guilty, Joan Walsh writes in Salon. McCain has run an "appalling low-road campaign" of late, but not a racist one, while Obama's comment about not looking like other presidents was about more than just his skin color, she argues.

 McCain's accusations that Obama has played the card are "particularly lame" and could backfire on him just as missteps on racial issues did in the Clinton campaign, Walsh adds. "Obama's funny, light-touch approach to the many ways he's different from other presidential contenders is likely to be effective," she writes, and cries of "race card" shouldn't intimidate him.