Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Don't start believing your own hype, Howard.

Says Dean, "I'm the only white politician that ever talks about race in front of white audiences."

As Nedra Pickler reports, that's not the case; every candidate discusses race:

Dean was wrong.
Edwards urges racial tolerance in nearly ever speech he gives on the campaign trail, including addresses to white crowds. Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut talks about his efforts as a student during the 1960s civil rights movement. Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts has discussed race and its role in his Vietnam service.

She further quotes an interview with Edwards, who offers the same criticism:

I think what Howard Dean said last night does a disservice to everyone he stood next to and all the people before us who have raised this issue over and over again in front of all audiences. . . .
What he said last night was divisive and divisive is exactly what we're trying to overcome. He's right about one thing, politicians should talk about civil rights wherever they go. And in the future, I hope he leads by example instead of by attack. . . .
Sen. Lieberman marched with Martin Luther King. Sen. Kerry talks about his experience in Vietnam. I grew up in the segregated South. Fighting for civil rights is part of who I am which is why I talked about it in front of every audience and whoever I'm with.

Given Dean's record on race - such as his opposition to Vermont's recognition of the Abenaki and his support for sending Vermont's nuclear waste to Sierra Blanca - he might not want to bait his opponents on this issue.