Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Barak Obama's Black Problem

Last December, barely a month after his election as US Senator, the east coast press devoted reams of paper to the potential First Black President. He was hailed throughout the minority community as a sure thing, a rising star, a can't miss African American. Liberals dream about a candidate like Mr. Obama, eloquent, from average roots, minority, and liberal as Teddy Kennedy. To top it all off, he is from the midwest, young and handsome. There is only one problem;

Barak Obama is colored.

If you read that paragraph in the Washington Monthly you would be rightly stunned. I daresay Jesse Jackson would be shaking the place down with his Rainbow Coalition and Farrakahn would be threatening a black uprising if the Monthly didn't apologize.

Why then is the following paragraph, from Amy Sullivan, acceptible?

Last December, barely a month after Bush's reelection, George Will devoted a column to Romney's potential, and a quick succession of profiles in the Weekly Standard, National Review, and The Atlantic Monthly appeared in the spring. Who could blame them? Romney has had a successful business career (he is known to most Americans as the man who saved the Salt Lake City Olympics). He comes from noble moderate Republican lineage (his father was governor of Michigan). He is attractive (the National Review sighed over his "chiseled handsomeness"). And he grabbed national headlines—and the attention of social conservatives—by standing up to the Massachusetts Supreme Court's legalization of gay marriage. Just as Democrats are always looking for a liberal nominee from a red state, Republicans dream about a candidate like Romney: a social conservative from the most cerulean of blue states who can please the base while not scaring off moderates.

There's only one problem. Romney is a Mormon, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS).