The Race Card: Are We in for Two Weeks of the Republican “Jeremiah Wright Show”?

With the stock market looking iffy yet again today, and the public focused on the economy, you would think that both parties would be focusing, in the last two weeks before the election, on economic policy.

But there are hints that the McCain-Palin campaign, in a last desperate attempt to move polling numbers their way, are about to play heavy on the race-card, turning the last two weeks into an echo-chamber of Jeremiah Wright-style messages directed at white voters who might be nervous about finally pulling the lever for a black presidential candidate.

The evidence for this move may be the fact that the Republicans seem to be pulling ad money away from states like Colorado and Minnesota, and focusing it on states like Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida (which might be more susceptible to race-based fear messages). Here’s Al Giordano’s astute take on the McCain-Palin racial strategy:

The senior staff seems to think it has convinced McCain to drop his reluctance to play the race card, with trial balloons afloatin’ that Obama’s ex-reverend will get an encore in the coming days in negative ads and such.

And if they’re really going to go there – to try to make the campaign about race and, specifically, some white people’s fears of pigmentation – then it would make total sense for McCain to temporarily ignore Colorado, where that message ain’t gonna hunt, and shift focus to Appalachia and the South: Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio and, yes, Pennsylvania and even Florida being the swing states where racially charged politics have sometimes, in the past, worked for the Republicans, or, in Appalachia, where they worked for the Clintons during the primaries.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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