Was Biden Playing the Race Card?

One columnist says yes; another thinks he was just speaking the truth
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2012 12:29 PM CDT
Was Biden Playing the Race Card?
Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign stopin Wytheville, Va., Tuesday.   (AP Photo /Don Petersen)

Joe Biden says he didn't intentionally pull out a "chains"/slavery metaphor while speaking to largely black audience yesterday, but John Kass at the Chicago Tribune isn't buying it. Biden knew precisely what he was doing: playing the race card. It's something the Obama campaign did well in 2008 (ask Hillary Clinton) and is evidently intent on doing again, writes Kass. C'mon, Biden used the word "Y'all," he notes. "Is that how people in Delaware talk? Or is it how white Democratic politicians speak when they're using dialect to talk down to black voters? What's next, Preacher Joe? Spirituals?"

At Salon, Joan Walsh admits she "winced a little" at Biden's choice of words, but she thinks he was "well within the bounds of acceptable rhetoric." She's also happy that the White House "is resisting the silly demands of Republicans and their media abettors for apologies and denunciations when none are needed." A Romney-Ryan White House would "shackle" many Americans again, she argues, so "good for Biden for sticking to his guns." Read Kass' full column here or Walsh's here. (More Joe Biden stories.)

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