The Campaign Spot

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

Democratic Candidate Shows Guts, Daring by Criticizing Confederate Flag on Martin Luther King Day


Joe Biden takes a whack at the easiest punching bag in the South Carolina Democratic primary, the display of the Confederate flag on state grounds.

The AP recalls Biden’s “we were a slave state” comments from last year, and his comment that Delaware was “a slave state that fought beside the North. That’s only because we couldn’t figure out how to get to the South — there were a couple of other states in the way.”

Then again, maybe I’m being unfair when I call the Confederate flag the easiest punching bag in that state’s primary; there was, not long ago, one Democratic candidate who seemed okay with it:

“I still want to be the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks,” the former Vermont governor [Howard Dean] said in an interview published Saturday in the Des Moines Register. “We can’t beat George Bush unless we appeal to a broad cross-section of Democrats.”

It was at least the second time Dean publicly used the Confederate flag to describe Southern voters who often vote for Republicans.

Dean previously used the flag reference during a February meeting of the Democratic National Committee.

At that event, Dean received a rousing ovation from the crowd when he said, “White folks in the South who drive pickup trucks with Confederate flag decals on the back ought to be voting with us, and not [Republicans], because their kids don’t have health insurance either, and their kids need better schools too.”

Actually, Biden’s comments seemed to indicate he didn’t just want the flag off state grounds; he wanted it banned:

“If I were a state legislator, I’d vote for it to move off the grounds — out of the state,” the Delaware senator said before the civil rights group held a march and rally at the Statehouse here to support its boycott of the state.

So what’s the next step in shooting fish in the barrel of the Democratic primary in this state – burning the Confederate flag as part of a rally?

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


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