Barack Bits

1. “Barack Obama wore a flag lapel pin during the first debate and John McCain did not, for those who monitor patriotic accessorizing,” Zay Smith notes in his Sun-Times Quick Takes column today.

Maybe both candidates were trolling for crossover votes.

2. “Forty-six percent of American voters are still unable to correctly identify Barack Obama as a Christian,” Smith also writes.

Yeah, but that’s a higher percentage of Republicans who identify John McCain as a Christian.

3. “The people of Cook County need a state’s attorney who is ready to run the office now, not someone ready to learn on the job,” the Sun-Times writes today in its endorsement of Anita Alvarez for Cook County State’s Attorney.

Experience will be much less important when the paper endorses Barack Obama for president – just as it was when the paper endorsed Obama over Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary.

4. A chronology for your consideration:

A) “Newspapers really ought to use their heads before just publishing problematic pieces like the AP’s latest poll on bigots and Barack,” Division Street wrote on Sept. 21.

B) “For all of his efforts to transcend race, Barack Obama’s campaign keeps running smack into the color line. According to the recently released AP-Yahoo News poll, Obama’s race could cost him 6 percentage points – enough for him to lose in a closely contested race.” Mary Mitchell wrote on Sept. 23.

C) “I’m a political scientist who does research on the issues raised in your column ‘Blame Deep-Seated Racism if Obama Loses’. I want to alert you to some context that might suggest a different reading of these poll results. The poll is incredibly problematic from a scientific point of view,” University of Virginia professor Lynn Sanders writes to the paper today (fifth item).

5. In a column that ran in the Sun-Times on Saturday, Christopher Hitchens once again raised the totally bogus charge that Hillary Clinton said Barack Obama wasn’t a Muslim “as far as I know” even though the context of that comment was clearly in exasperation of answering the question repeatedly and forcefully. (Hitchens then made it a two-fer by falsely blaming Al Gore for Willie Horton.)

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