This past August, John McCain and Barack Obama attended a forum hosted by pastor Rick Warren. Warren asked McCain to name three wise who would be relied upon in his administration. This is part of McCain’s response:
WARREN: This first set of questions deals with leadership and the personal life of leadership. The first question, who are the three wisest people that you know that you would rely on heavily in an administration?
MCCAIN: First one, I think, would be General David Petraeus, one of the great military leaders in American history, who took us from defeat to victory in Iraq, one of the great leaders…
I think John Lewis. John Lewis was at the Edmund Pettis Bridge, had his skull fractured, continued to serve, continues to have the most optimistic outlook about America. He can teach us all a lot about the meaning of courage and commitment to causes greater than our self- interest.
It seems that the McCain campaign hasn’t taken too well to Lewis’ latest advice.
UPDATE: As noted in the above link, the McCain campaign was angered by John Lewis’s statement that “the negative tone of the McCain-Palin campaign” is “sowing the seeds of hatred and division,” and was reminiscent of the harsh rhetoric of former Alabama governor, and arch-segregationist, George Wallace.
Suffice it to say, McCain and Palin are nothing like George Wallace. I think it’s a mistake to use Wallace’s name in the same breath as the two Republican candidates for President and Vice-President. That kind of talk makes McCain look like the victim.
But at the same time, I have no doubt that Lewis’ comments were heartfelt. I’ve noticed that many, many, many black folks over the age of 60 (such as my mother) have a very real fear that Barack Obama will be assassinated. These are the folks who remember the killings of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr, Robert Kennedy, Malcolm X, and the four little girls in a Birmingham church.
The virulent anti-Obama frenzy that’s being whipped-up lately is making a lot of people scared. I don’t know if the McCain camp gets that.