Commentary: All presidential contenders plagued by missteps, foibles, stereotypes
By David Hayford
Barack Obama is a black man. This country has never had a black person as a serious presidential candidate. The Newsweek poll cited above states that 4 percent of Americans will not vote for a black person, no matter what the qualifications. Another 4 percent are undecided.
But fewer than 60 percent of respondents believe this country is "ready to elect" a black President. Not sure exactly what "ready to elect" means. But the disparity in numbers seems to indicate that many believe fellow Americans will be adversely influenced by the color of Obama's skin. And only 57 percent believe that Obama "could get enough votes from white supporters to be elected President."
Mitt Romney has a bigger problem: 28 percent of respondents in the Newsweek poll stated they will not vote for a Mormon for President. And nearly half believe that America is not "ready to elect a Mormon president." That rates highest on the bigotry scale.
One might have thought that JFK, the first Catholic president, destroyed the religious denomination test nearly half a century ago. Or Richard Nixon, a Quaker, as a member of a "non-mainstream" sect. But one would, evidently, be wrong.
I believe an Obama vs. Romney campaign would be fascinating. Perhaps Americans would vote for principles over prejudices. Wouldn't that be a giant leap forward for mankind? It would not end bigotry and racism in this country. But it would be a step in the right direction. It probably will not happen.
OshNW Community Columnist David Hayford has been someone I have disagreed with often, however he has a good article here.