Barack Obama is No "Boy"

Here's Patrick Crowley:

The racially charged overtones of the Democratic presidential primary has ensnarled Congressman Geoff Davis after a comment he made about Barack Obama during a Saturday night speech.

During his talk at Saturday's Fourth District Lincoln/Reagan Day Dinner in Boone County Davis, a Hebron Republican seeking re-election, made the following comment when questioning the national security credentials and experience of Obama, an African-American from Illinois:

"I'm going to tell you something: That boy's finger does not need to be on the button," Davis said. "He could not make a decision in that simulation that related to a nuclear threat to this country."

Davis is taking criticism because referring to an African-American as a "boy" is considered by many as racist and pejorative. [emphasis added]

As Crowley notes in a portion of his post not reprinted above, the initial response from Davis' camp was that the Congressman "simply misspoke," a statement that did not include any sort of apology. According to First Read's Mark Murray and Mike Viqueira, the Davis team decided that such a response was not sufficient, and the Congressman himself subsequently sent Senator Obama a personal apology.

It's up to Barack Obama himself as to whether he will forgive Congressman Davis' statements, so I won't weigh in on that regard. What I will say is that certain language is just not acceptable in America today. I don't know what was in Davis' heart when he made the comments (though as Marc Ambinder says, "Davis's comments offend not because they demeaned Obama's integrity; they're offensive because, well, in 2008, for a white person to call a black person 'boy,' is generally seen as racist no matter where you are."). But what I do know is this: If the Republicans believe that they can get away with playing a nod-nod, wink-wink game over the issue of Barack Obama's race in a general election, they are going to be sorely mistaken. The American people simply will not stand for a situation in which a candidate is attacked or called names on the basis of his color of skin, or even if an attempt is made to caricature a candidate's race as an attempt at a joke (calling him "Tiger Woods" or the like). What's more, we the people will ensure that the worst offenders will not be allowed to act as such with impunity. This is not playing the race card; this is ensuring that we don't take ten steps back as we attempt to take one or two more steps forward in trying to make a more perfect union.

There's more...

Petition to the new DCCC Chair: Support our Candidates!

I recall reading that Newt Gingrich advised Republican candidates who lost House races by less than 10% to run again in the next election; some of the infamous Class of '94 freshmen who rode the Republican wave into the House had run close races in '92, and some of '94's losers won seats in '96.  I think this is one Gingrich idea we need to adopt -- and further, we need to push the DCCC to adopt it as well.

What I would ideally like to see is a petition with a huge number of signatures delivered to the new DCCC chair on his or her first day on the job.  I think Moveon.org would be the ideal forum for collecting signatures -- on-line petition drives are a large part of what they do, and their mailing list can generate literally millions of signatures in a matter of days.

If anyone on MyDD has contacts in the management of Moveon.org, I would greatly appreciate your help in bringing this to their attention; I intend to submit it via their feedback form after incorporating any comments or suggestions from the MyDD community which seem useful.  I'd especially appreciate any information on who the new DCCC chair is likely to be, what the selection process is, and when we'll know for certain.

(petition text below the fold)

There's more...

Random Thoughts

I thought turnout would be high today, but there are indications that it will be very, very high. Close to Presidential turnout, even. This makes me think to the dueling generic ballot polls over the weekend. The thing about those polls was that the registered voter polls did not disagree with one another, and they all grouped into a reasonably tight, 9-16 point margin for Democrats. I wonder, on a purely speculative basis, that the truth was pretty much everyone was going to vote, so the flaw in likely voter models was even having them, not in the variations from one likely voter model to another.

I don't know. This is just one of the random thoughts I imagine I will have between now and 6:30 p.m., when we should start to expect results coming in from Indiana and Kentucky. We are looking for three pickups in the House from those two states in order to be on pace for the 23-29 seat forecast I made last night. Less is worrisome, more is fantastic.

This is an open thread.

14 New Polls (4 Senate, 10 House) From CIS

The Right-Wing Anti-immigration group, the Center for Immigration Studies, has 14 new polls out from 10 different House districts and 4 different Senate races. The polls focus on immigration, but also ask which candidates the poll respondents plan to vote for in these 14 races. The polls are all from about the time the Foley scandal broke, with polling done both before and after the scandal (Foley resigned on September 29th). Generally speaking, the Senate polls seem to have been conducted before Foley broke, while the House polls were done shortly after.

CIS did not report candidate percentages, which I calculated from the raw crosstabs in the "detailed breakdown" for all the polls. If anyone wants to check my math, that would be greatly appreciated.

Having just glanced over the results, some of the samples seem to skew a bit to the R side, so keep that in mind, along with the Right-Wing leanings of CIS. The 14 races polled are MO-Sen, PA-Sen, NJ-Sen, MT-Sen, AZ-05, CT-04, IN-08, KY-04, PA-06, TX-17, LA-03, GA-08, CO-07, and OH-06.

For the results, see the flipside.

There's more...

AZ-08,CO-07,IA-01,IN-02,IN-08,IN-09,KY-04,NC-11,NM-01

What do they have in common? A new Republican 527 called Americans for Honesty on Issues that has popped up to run negative ads against 9 Democratic House candidates.  Some of the negative ads have already run in Iowa and Colorado.

Candidates and titles of attack ads:

Bruce L Braley IA-01
"No Funds For Troops"

Edwin Permutter CO-07
"Sponsor"

Brad Ellsworth IN-08
"The Tarnished Badge"

Gabrielle Giffords AZ-08
"Path to Citizenship"

Baron P Hill IN-09
"Tagged"

Patricia A Madrid NM-01
"Super-Size"

Heath Shuler NC-11
"Heart in Tennessee"

Kenneth Ray Lucas KY-04
"Six Years & Zip"

Joseph Simon Donnelly IN-02
"Tax Attack"

There's more...

Diaries

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