Zalaznick: Skin color " oh, so critical | VailDaily.com
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Zalaznick: Skin color " oh, so critical

Matt Zalaznick
Vail CO, Colorado

Race is a critical issue in the Democratic primary and I’m thrilled the candidates and the media are addressing it with vigor.

Our former President Clinton is really burnishing his legacy with veiled ” or not so veiled ” warnings about the less-than-WASPy hue of his wife’s opponent, Sen. Barack Obama.

Jesse Jackson won twice in South Carolina, Clinton reminded America, and one didn’t have to parse his words this time (what’s your definition of “South Carolina?”) to recognize the similarity between Jackson and Obama to which the Man From Hope was alluding.



They both have dark hair, right?

No?



They’re both taller than Hillary?

Not what you meant, Bill?

What they have in common is that … neither one is a midget?



Oh, right ” they’re both black! Holy moly.

Thank god Bill Clinton spotted that for us. That’s a lot more important than clarifying what his wife is going to do about Iraq or the economy.

The man who beat W.’s daddy is just reassuring us that if Obama succeeds W. and has to travel to the Middle East for some tough negotiating, the presidential budget for sun screen will be slim to none.

Perhaps, Obama needs to do a better job of reminding Americans that Hillary Clinton is white. Everyone can probably see that she is a woman, but some Americans might not be able to pin down her race. But the color of her skin is pretty important:

Can a white person ” man or woman ” hope to convince a surly nation like Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions?

Or will the ayatollahs be enraged by Hillary’s white skin and fire their nukes at a Caucasian stronghold like … Colorado?

Oh, but the best effect this discussion of race is having is that it’s dividing the Democratic Party over a non-issue at a time when what liberals desperately need to retake the White House is some vicious infighting.

Not talking about the issues ” what a clever way to defeat the Republicans! Stirring up ugly partisanship ” what a shrewd way to attract an American public that says it’s sick to death of every issue being besieged by political rivalry! Obsessing over something that has nothing to do with ensuring America’s healthy, prosperous future ” what a strategy in the face of recession, terrorism, war, global warming, Britney Spears’ custody crisis.

And it’s a good thing for the Democrats that the media is giving this debate plenty of ” nay, ubiquitous ” news coverage. The networks and 24-hour news channels understand that the number of whites who vote for Obama isn’t merely an interesting perspective on 21st century race relations, but that IT’S THE ONLY RELEVANT ISSUE IN THE CAMPAIGN AT THE MOMENT.

Isn’t Pakistan’s nuclear-powered regime teetering? Aren’t the ice caps melting a little bit more quickly than they should?

Pshaw, say George Will and Anderson Cooper and Pat Buchanan and Donna Brazile ” the fate of the free world depends solely on the percentage of white middle-aged women who said in a recent poll that Obama’s skin color would make them more likely to believe he’s got a better chance of getting the nation back on the right track than John McCain or Mitt Romney or Colonel Sanders.

The punditsphere can only hope Barack vanquishes Billary and gets to battle for the White House with … A WHITE, MALE REPUBLICAN! That way, we can continue to brush aside the destiny of the homeland and go back to a simpler time ” say, the early 1900s, when race was a major issue and far more perilous concerns like climate change, nuclear terrorists and declining American influence were the stuff of hokey science fiction stories and wacky doomsday cults.

Assistant Managing Editor Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 748-2926, or mzalaznick@vaildaily.com.


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