Monday, October 3, 2011

Rick Perry’s Race Problem

Texas Gov. Rick Perry remains on the offensive after the Washington Post reported on Sunday, Oct. 2, that a rock at the entrance of a hunting camp that both he and his father once leased contained a racial slur. Perry’s campaign moved quickly to downplay the article, but Herman Cain described the offensive sign as “a sign of insensitivity” during an interview with Christiane Amanpour on “This Week.”

Presidential hopefuls subject themselves to an exceedingly harsh spotlight that often exploits unflattering details of their personal lives—news of then-presidential candidate George W. Bush’s 1976 arrest for driving under the influence near his parents’ vacation home in Maine broke less than a week before the 2000 presidential election is one of the myriad of notable examples of this predictable phenomenon. Race and politics remain a combustible mix in this country. The question remains, however, whether this controversy will prove more than another tempest in a highly polarized tea pot.

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