Ever the optimist, I’m heartened that neither candidate was jumping up and down to defend racial preferences.
Obama asserted, “I still believe in affirmative action,” but it sounds pretty watered down: Race might get you a preference, but only if it’s part of an overall picture of disadvantage, so that poor whites also get it and rich blacks do not. Clinton’s follow-up endorsed only need-based affirmative action, saying nothing at all in favor of the race-based variety.
And I’m glad that the question was asked, as it will be in the four states voting this November on preference bans: Missouri, Colorado, Arizona, and Nebraska. Here’s hoping that McCain expresses unequivocal support for those initiatives, no matter what the Democratic nominee says or doesn’t say.