Republicans Panic As VP Debate Nears

The Republicans are so worried about Thursday’s VP debate that they’ve begun to attack the moderator, Gwen Ifill of PBS, suggesting that she can’t be objective because she has written a book profiling the political rise of Barak Obama (and other African Americans).  The book, The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama is set to be published in January 2009.  Why can’t she be objective?  She is a respected journalist and experienced debate moderator.  She moderated the Cheney Edwards VP debate in 2004, asking fair and insightful questions and holding both accountable for staying within established time limits. Even John McCain holds Ifill in high esteem and believes she will be objective and professional.  See Howard Kurtz’s article in the Washington Post Ifill’s Book Is No Secret and an article posted today on CNNPolitics.com by Ed Homick and Rebecca Sinderbrand Controversy Brews Up Around VP debate moderator Ifill

The right wing attack force may be playing the race card; the notion that Ifill favors Obama because she is an African American and therefore cannot be an impartial moderator.  Homick and Sinderbrand reference an interview by Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post, In a Historic Year, Ifill Has One Thing To Do: Her Job in which Ifill speaks to the issue of race and objectivity: “…I don’t know if he’ll be (Obama) a good president. I’m capable of looking at his pros and cons…no one has ever said that a white reporter can’t cover a white candidate.”                                            

With McCain slipping in the polls, and the prospect of a disastrous VP debate, his campaign is bound to stoop to new, or I should say old lows.  Remember the Elder Bush team using racially charged ads that helped derail the Dukakis candidacy?  Let’s hope the McCain team does not go down the same path.

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