Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Skin Deep Politics

American politics can often appear shallow, but who would have thought it was only skin deep.

Last week the New York Times, in conjunction with CBS News, published their latest poll on the US presidential race. And Oh, what a shock:

After years of growing political polarization, much of the divide in American politics is partisan. But Americans’ perceptions of the fall presidential election between Mr. Obama, Democrat of Illinois, and Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, also underlined the racial discord that the poll found. More than 80 percent of black voters said they had a favorable opinion of Mr. Obama; about 30 percent of white voters said they had a favorable opinion of him.

On the other side, about 35% of whites have a positive opinion of McCain, compared to only 5% of blacks. Layer on this more research showing that about 30% of Americans admit to feelings of racial bias.

Then this week John McCain, who has a history of melanoma, announced that he's had a spot removed from his face, which is undergoing further testing. In a speech yesterday, McCain urged all Americans to use sunscreen and stay out of the sun if possible.

Both presumptive candidates have skin in the election game, literally. For one, it is about race, and for the other, age.

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