Update: I was just reminded of John McCain's "The American President Americans Have Been Waiting" for ad. Others think McCain's "Celeb" ad plays the race card. And also, since I'm a fan, here's Tim Wise on "the race card." And for the record, I agree with Wise's assessment.
A day after Democratic candidate Barack Obama warned that Republican rival John McCain would to tell voters "he doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills," McCain's campaign on Thursday accused Obama of playing racial politics.
Obama "played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck," McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said in a statement. He called Obama's remarks "divisive, negative, shameful and wrong."
Let me say after the last few attack ads from the McCain campaign, Rick Davis is embarrassing himself with this. Now, McCain has practically accused Obama of treason, has said Obama is too inexperienced, has compared him to celebrity airheads, has said Obama would raise taxes on electricity and wanted to import more foreign oil. McCain accused Obama of snubbing the troops and of being an "elitist," whatever that means. McCain challenged Obama to travel around the world, then complained when Obama did. McCain accuses Obama of being wrong on national security, then co-opts Obama's ideas.
So, if I were Rick Davis - and we can't be sure he or McCain, or who for the matter, speaks for the McCain campaign - I'd worry less about the particulars of what negative attacks McCain has made. The fact is, millions of Americans are worried about Obama's blackness and his name, and the Republican news outlet, Fox, is always bringing it up. McCain has flip-flopped over affirmative action, an issue certainly covered in concerns of race. And let's be clear, a lot of McCain criticisms, especially the lack of personal regard and the whole idea of teaching Obama, seem to be coming from a less than "color-blind" place.
The McCain campaign is also arguing that they're just responding tick-for-tack to accusations coming from Obama. Personally, I'd like to see what attacks Obama has made of McCain that are so shallow and untrue as what McCain has been saying about Obama. I'll not hold my breath.
So, quit joking Davis, and run a serious campaign.