Playing by Obama`s Rules

To observe Democrats this week, savaging
one of their heroines, is to understand why the party is
unready to rule.

Consider: At the 1984

Democratic convention

San Francisco
, an unknown member of Congress was
vaulted into history by being chosen the

first woman
ever to run on a national party ticket.

Geraldine Ferraro became a

household name.
And though the Mondale-Ferraro
ticket went down to a 49-state defeat, "Gerry"
became an icon to Democratic women.

This week, however, after being
subjected for 48 hours to accusations of divisiveness by
Barack Obama, and racism by his agents and auxiliaries
in the media, Ferraro resigned from Clinton`s campaign.
What had she said to send the Obamaites into paroxysms
of rage?

She stated an obvious truth: Had Barack
not been a black male, he probably would not be the
front-runner for the nomination. 

Here are

the words
that sent her to the scaffold.

"If Obama was a white
man he would not be in this position. And if he was a
woman (of any color) he would not be in this position.
He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the
country is caught up with the concept."

Note that Ferraro did not say race was
the only reason Barack was succeeding. She simply said
that being an African-American has been as indispensable
to his success as her being a woman was to her success
in 1984. Had my name been "Gerald" rather than
Geraldine, I would not have been on the `84 ticket,
Ferraro conceded. 

In calling her comments racist, Barack`s
retinue is asserting that his race has nothing to do
with his success, even implying that it is racist to
suggest it. This is


What Geraldine Ferraro said is

palpably true,

everyone knows it.

Was the fact that Barack is black
irrelevant to the party`s decision to give a state
senator the

keynote address at the 2004 convention?
Did Barack`s
being African-American have nothing to do with his
running up
91 percent
of the

black vote
in Mississippi on Tuesday? 

Did Barack`s being black have nothing to
do with the decision of civil rights legend John Lewis

to dump Hillary and endorse him
, though Lewis talks
of how his constituents do not want to lose this first
great opportunity to have an African-American president?

Can political analysts explain why
Barack will sweep Philly in the Pennsylvania primary,
though Hillary has

the backing of the African-American mayor
and Gov.
Ed Rendell, without referring to Barack`s ethnic appeal
to black voters?

What else explains why the mainstream
media are going

so ga-ga
over Obama they are being


"Saturday Night Live"

Barack Obama has a chance of being the
first black president. And holding out that special hope
has been crucial to his candidacy. To deny this is
self-delusion—or deceit.

Nor is this unusual.

John F. Kennedy
would not have gotten 78 percent of
the Catholic vote had he not been Catholic. Hillary
would not have rolled up those margins among white women
in New Hampshire had she not been a

sister in trouble.
Mitt Romney would not have swept

and flamed out in Dixie were he not a

. Mike Huckabee would not have marched
triumphantly through the Bible Belt were he not a
Baptist preacher and

evangelical Christian
. All politics is


The first campaign this writer ever
covered was the

New York mayoral race of 1961.
Republicans stitched
together the

ticket of Lefkowitz, Fino and Gilhooley,
to touch three ethnic bases. Folks laughed. No one would
have professed moral outrage had anyone suggested they
were appealing to, or even pandering to, the Jewish,
Italian and Irish voters of New York. People were more
honest then.

Obama`s agents suggest that Ferraro
deliberately injected race into the campaign. But this,
too, is ridiculous. Her quote came in an interview with
the Daily Breeze of Torrance, Calif., not "Meet the

The attack on Ferraro comes out of a
conscious strategy of the Obama campaign—to seek
immunity from attack by smearing any and all attackers
as having racist motives. When Bill Clinton dismissed
Obama`s claim to have been consistently antiwar as a
"fairy tale,"
and twinned Obama`s victory in

South Carolina with Jesse Jackson`
s, his statements
were described as tinged with racism.

Early this week, Harvard Professor
Orlando Patterson`s sensitive nostrils

sniffed out racism
in Hillary`s Red Phone ad, as
there were no blacks in it. Patterson said it reminded
him of D.W. Griffith`s pro-KKK
"Birth of a Nation,"
a 1915 film. [The
Red Phone in Black and White
, New York Times,

March 11, 2008]

What Barack`s allies seem to be
demanding is immunity, a special exemption from
political attack, because he is African-American. And
those who go after him are to be brought up on charges
of racism, as has

Bill Clinton,

Ed Rendell
and now
Geraldine Ferraro.

Hillary, hoping to appease Barack`s
constituency, is ceding the point. Will the

Republican Party and the right
do the same? Play by
Obama rules, and you lose to Obama.



Patrick J. Buchanan


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Paul Craig Roberts.