The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Another “Oops” In Endorsements Moment


Man, it is tough to talk about the campaign these days.

COLUMBIA, S.C. A key black political leader in South Carolina has offered an apology on top of an endorsement in the 2008 presidential race.

State Senator Robert Ford is backing Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination. He and another lawmaker, State Senator Darrell Jackson, tell The Associated Press they believe Clinton is the only Democrat who can win.

Both say they’d been courted by Illinois Senator Barack Obama. Ford said if Obama were to win the nomination, that would drag down the rest of the party because — quote — “he’s black and he’s the top of the ticket.”

Later in the day, Ford said he had been besieged by criticism and apologized for his characterization of Obama’s chances. Ford said if Clinton doesn’t win the nomination, any of the other candidates are well suited to take the White House.

Okay, this is silly on several levels. While I believe that an African-American can win the presidency in today’s America, I don’t think it’s inherently outrageous or racist to be a skeptic of that notion. If Ford thinks, “nah, the country’s not ready, and an underperforming presidential candidate will hurt us in other races,” he’s got every right to say that, and he ought to if he believes it. Should he remain silent if he thinks his party is making a terrible mistake?

Secondly, “any of the other candidates” are well suited to take the White House. Oh, really? Kucinich? Chris Dodd? Joe Biden? Tom Vilsack? Wes Clark?

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Fred Thompson , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson


Subscribe to National Review