This is going to hurt because I'm going to actually send a compliment towards Edward M. Kennedy. On Monday, Kennedy announced his endorsement of Barack Obama. That, in itself, is not something that provokes a great deal of feeling from me. However, his reasoning for making such an endorsement and the timing is something I can appreciate.
It appears that Kennedy was going to try to stay somewhat neutral in the Democratic primary until Bill Clinton began his recent campaign against Obama. Clinton began playing the race card in South Carolina, charging that Obama was the "black candidate" in much the same way that Jesse Jackson was the black candidate. From all appearances, this was the breaking point for the elder statesman. Attempting to marginalize Obama as simply a token candidate forced Kennedy's hand and I actually respect his stance.
Obviously I am not stupid enough to believe that race plays no role in this election. Unfortunately there are many in this country who still believe that race is more important that qualificiations or ideas. But there are also many in this country who have moved beyond the color of skin and are looking for someone to lead. The Democrats have long claimed to be able to look beyond the color of ones skin and yet they are most often the party to point it out the most. I think Kennedy's quick endorsement of Barack following Clinton's obvious attempt at racial divide was the most appropriate action.
Race should not be an issue in this campaign just like gender should not be an issue. I want the most qualified individual who can lead this country to greater prosperity and stability. I don't care whether they are black, white, male, female, Christian, Mormon or Jew. I just want a candidate who can be president. I still haven't decided if there is one on either side of the aisle yet, but I'm still watching closely.