Puzzling words from the New York Times political team:
Mr. Obama has resisted any effort to suggest that the presidential primaries were breaking along racial lines.
“There are not a lot of African-Americans in Nebraska the last time I checked, or in Utah or in Idaho, areas where I probably won some of my biggest margins,” he said Sunday in an NPR interview.
“There’s no doubt that I’m getting more African-American votes,” he said, “but that doesn’t mean that the race is dividing along racial lines. You know, in places like Washington State we won across the board, from men, from women, from African-Americans, from whites and from Asians.”
A Rhetorical Tightrope
David Axelrod, the chief strategist of the Obama campaign, said in an interview that although he and Mr. Obama did not map out a detailed strategy for dealing with race when plotting a presidential run, they were well aware it would weigh on his campaign.
As a consultant to several black elected officials, Mr. Axelrod has been steeped in racially charged elections. And he said Mr. Obama had faced the challenges of racial politics in the campaign that propelled him to the Senate, where he is only the third black elected since Reconstruction.
Mr. Axelrod said he had learned there was “a certain physics” to winning votes across racial lines. Previous campaigns by African-Americans — the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton — had overwhelmingly relied on black support that wound up defining, and confining, their candidacies.
By contrast, from the moment Mr. Obama stepped onto the national political stage, he has paid as much attention — or more, some aides said — to a far broader audience. “He believes you can have the support of the black community, appealing to the pride they feel in his candidacy, and still win support among whites,” Mr. Axelrod said.
While Obama resists efforts "to suggest," he is powerless against the very suggestive authors of this article (notice later: "Mr. Axelrod has been steeped in racially charged elections"–oh so suspicious, isn't it?). I would add that the more proper way of characterizing Obama's position would be this: "The facts do not bear out that this primary race is a racially charged one." After all, that's basically what Obama said.
Perhaps instead of framing Obama's position as a strategic denial, they could do some investigating, you know, research, and see if perhaps the racial issue warrants very suggestive front page coverage.