After the Washington Post‘s David Broder weighed in with his thoughts on what he “learned” about John McCain in the course of the campaign–among other things, that it was a “falsehood” to suggest McCain was similar to George W. Bush–it was time for Post readers to find out what the Dean of the Washington Press Corps had learned about Barack Obama. Broder commends Obama’s impressive campaign skills, calls him “Carteresque”–as in Jimmy–and then renders this bizarre judgment:
In what history may record as his singular achievement–dealing with the classic American dilemma of race–he had the largely unappreciated help of his opponent, John McCain, who simply ruled out covert racial appeals used by politicians of both parties in the past. But Obama himself demonstrated repeatedly how to bridge the racial divides that still remain, by emphasizing his calm good judgment and respect for others.
Obama’s “singular achievement,” then, was the graciousness of John McCain, who ran a campaign that “simply ruled out covert racial appeals.” Huh.
Broder followed that with his complaint–recycled from his column on lessons from watching the McCain campaign–that Obama
rejected McCain’s invitation to hold joint town hall meetings–opening the door to the kind of tawdry exchange of charges that we have seen. In both instances, he put his personal goals ahead of the public good–a worrisome precedent.
This notion that the down-in-the-gutter tone of the McCain campaign is Obama’s fault might be a useful talking point for, say, John McCain, but is there any reason to believe that things would have turned out any differently?