McCain's "Legions" of Race-Baiters Targeting Heir to FDR

Former reporter Timothy Egan on "underdog" Obama "fighting the headwinds of history" and McCain's "legions" of underhanded race-baiters.

Liberal reporter turned liberal blogger Timothy Egan's Wednesday night entry on his "Outpost" blog, "Stranger in a Stadium," is just the sort of sentimental liberal romanticism of Barack Obama that's (so far) been strangely lacking from the Times' convention coverage. After likening Obama to FDR, Egan wrote:

When Barack Obama goes before 70,000 people at Invesco Field on Thursday night, he will try to be the voice for those who also feel forgotten in the age of the global economy, among the nearly 80 percent of voters who say the nation is on the wrong track. But he's fighting the headwinds of history. Obama is now clearly the underdog, as the weight of just how unusual his candidacy is becomes clear to voters, who truly only focus as summer ends....All those who lament that Obama is only tied with John McCain in a big Democratic year forget the obvious: Obama does not look like most Americans, and grew up in Hawaii, a state that a supposedly mainstream commentator, Cokie Roberts, called "some sort of foreign, exotic place."

Egan lamented that the "inspiring and deeply resonant parts" of Obama's story "are already being cast in a negative light."

On the Republican National Committee Web site, under the section on "Meet Barack Obama," he's called "a street organizer," which can mean only one thing.

It's hard to see how "street organizer" is such a horrible title, given that Obama is quoted by a Chicago colleague as describing himself using that exact a story in the Times last year!

Egan followed with more weak accusations that the GOP is dealing and will continue to deal the race card against Obama, and never mind any absence of proof ("McCain will not bring it out directly"). And I still don't get the "hint, hint." After all, the Times lead its Thursday edition with Obama's full name, Barack Hussein Obama.

"Do we know if he ever sold drugs?" Sean Hannity, ever eager to inject a lie that fits a stereotype in the national bloodstream, asked Jerome R. Corsi, the professional character assassin and author of "Obama Nation."

The Texas Republican Party targets Obama with a Web video that shows pictures of an African who lives in a shack, identified as Obama's half-brother, George Hussein Onyango Obama. Hint, hint.

And at a Washington state fair this week, the Republican booth distributed $3 bills depicting Barack Obama with Arab headgear and a camel.

This is just the stuff on the surface. McCain will not bring it out directly. He has others - legions - to do it for him. Imagine what is out of sight and less organized.

Egan certainly sounds dismissive of Hillary Clinton, while warning that any Democrat who doesn't want to vote for the most liberal senator of all was never a Democrat anyway:

Two months from now, people may remember Teddy Kennedy's heroic effort to hold onto life long enough for one last speech, and Hillary Clinton's tangerine pantsuit. If her supporters vote for McCain they were never Democrats anyway, or they're clueless, like the former Clinton supporter in the Republican ad who mistakenly thought McCain was pro-choice on abortion.

Egan concluded by wondering if the "stranger in the stadium" could convince people he "could lead them to a better day."