Despite What Sununu Says, Election Isn't About Race

New York Daily News contributor David Swerdlick parses the comments from the Mitt Romney surrogate about Colin Powell's Obama endorsement.

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Electing a president is not about race, but you wouldn't know if from the recent Associated Press polls and comments from former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu. The surrogate for Mitt Romney continues to indulge in racist rhetoric and insinuation.

Most recently, Sununu attempted to discredit the importance of fellow Republican and former Secretary of State Colin Powell's support of President Obama because, he intimated, black men support other black men based on race. David Swerdlick writes in the Daily News that it's time for an end of this kind of talk from surrogates and others.

It's too bad Sununu tried to knock an American war hero down a peg just to score cheap political points — and a shame that he sees this election in such petty terms.

Because most people — left, right and center — can see this election for what it is. And most Obama supporters know that if his reelection bid fails, it won't be because he's African-American. It will be, as much as anything else, because three weeks ago, the president turned in the worst televised debate performance since Richard Nixon in 1960 — and then voters on the fence gave Romney a second look.

But that doesn't mean that race has nothing to do with this election — nor does it erase the fact that more often than not in this campaign season, it's been conservatives who've raised it as an issue.

We've seen Ann Coulter plugging her new book, "Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama" by telling ABC's George Stephanopoulos that "liberals have treated blacks like children" before insisting in the same breath that "civil rights are for blacks" only — not for other Americans. And the day of Obama's debate debacle, conservative website the Daily Caller led its coverage with a video clip purporting to expose the president addressing a black audience with — wait for it — a "black-cent," as if there's something wrong with a black guy speaking a black vernacular.

Read David Swerdlick's entire piece at the Daily News.

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David Swerdlick is an associate editor at The Root. Follow him on Twitter.

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