barbarahowardweb.gifWe’re down to the wire.  Early voting lines are unusually long due to the large number of newly registered voters, and “That One,” fondly referred to as “The Messiah,” is spending obscene amounts of money on his TV exposure and a ground army so large that it rivals the one in Iraq – with the ultimate prize being the head of the free world – “POTUS (president of the United States).”

So we ask ourselves, as John McCain and Barack Obama fight for the right to move into the White House, are they using the right tactics to win?

It depends on whom you ask.  Democrats think McCain’s camp is using “racist” tactics, generating hatred by “rednecks” who scream racial epithets and “kill him” at McCain/Palin rallies.

Republicans complain of Obama stoking the flames of racism himself by “playing the race card.” 

Obama’s campaign consultant, David Axelrod, is well known for his underhanded tactics, such as “playing the race card” for his black political clients, or “Astroturfing,” where he manufactures grassroots support, as reported by Howard Wolinsky in “The Secret Side of David Axelrod” (BusinessWeek – 3/14/08).

So when the McCain campaign uses legitimate issues like experience, economic strategies, having friends with radical views, the Obama team pounces with the racist label, creating havoc with low blows to McCain, Palin and their families.

They even promote McCain as being tied by the umbilical cord to President George W. Bush while complaining that Obama’s relationships are irrelevant, and then they resort to intimidation tactics and legal threats when those relationships are exposed.

Supporters of Obama’s team almost shut down the Milt Rosenberg radio show on WGN 720 when writer Stanley Kurtz went on to discuss his articles on Obama and domestic terrorist William Ayers.

The American Issues Project (AIP) developed an ad linking Obama to Ayers.  Obama’s campaign threatened legal action against TV stations to force the ads off the air, and filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice asking it to investigate the AIP, its officers, board of directors, and donors.

And as ACORN is being investigated in 13 states for voter registration fraud, Obama’s campaign is demanding “the DOJ investigate the McCain campaign and Bush Justice Department officials for what it portrays as the trumpeting of ‘unsupported, spurious allegations of vote fraud.’ ”

Then there’s “Joe the Plumber,” who confronted Obama about taxing small businesses like the one he wants to buy.  Now the poor man has been mocked by Obama and Sen. Joe Biden, has TV cameras watching his every move, looking into his finances and making his life a living hell – all for asking a question. 

Jerome Corsi, author of the anti-Obama book, “The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality,” was even detained and then deported by the Kenyan government when he went there to investigate Obama’s ties to Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Obama’s cousin who caused the deaths of 1,500 Christians and displaced 600,000 from their homes because he lost the presidential election.

But the tactic that has always made my skin crawl over my 30 years with campaigns is playing the race card, because you’re not only unjustly condemning an innocuous action but also inviting the crazies out to play.

Team Obama played the race card during the Democratic primary with President Bill Clinton – the one commander in chief who was so close to the black community that they made him
“The First Black President.”  They mischaracterized his words as racist when he described Obama’s statements about his opposition to the Iraq war as “a fairy tale.”

Then Team Obama began its campaign against McCain with the race card, saying “…So what they're going to try to do is make you scared of me… You know, he doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.’’ 

“Oh, by the way, did I mention that he’s black?”

One of my readers wrote, “As a white man, I feel as though I cannot speak out against Mr. Obama’s use of the race card without being labeled a racist myself.”

Meanwhile, on the way to a Stop Obama Rally in New Mexico recently, the McCain/Palin Straight Talk Express had a window shattered by a .22 caliber weapon.
What a way to win!