Senator Kerry made some interesting observations on Sunday’s “This Week”. He claims to support Obama because Obama “can say things to South Africa that a white president cannot.” I do not buy this argument. Maybe Obama would be more persuasive, but is that added credibility necessary? The US is, after all, the global leader and the president would have that backing, regardless of what the president looks like. It seems this argument also cuts against Obama because there may be things he cannot persuasively say to another nation that a white President can say. These interpretative dilemmas are a good reason to stay out of the race-baiting calculations for whom to vote.
Kerry also claims that no Democratic nominee will ever again be victim to Swift-Boating. This immunity is because Democrats now know how to deal with this tactic, how to account for what was his blunder: “we thought we had answered the lies enough.” This sounds to me that Democrats have not learned the lesson. Clinton knew the lesson, and Rove knew the lesson. The lesson is not to answer adequately but instead to not address. Responding to an accusation grants the accusation some legitimacy, traction and free media coverage. Only respond to accusations that already have traction.