When I read the headline of this Politico story — “Obama vs. the First Black President” — my first reaction was: is Bill Clinton acting up again? Many of Obama’s critics are annoyed by the constant references to his “historic” election and inauguration. It turns out that Obama himself views the racial angle as a bit of a distraction.
Given the country’s history with race, slavery, segregation, and the civil-rights movement, however, it’s hard to see how things could be much different. It is an inescapable fact that the inauguration of the first black president is historically significant, no matter how Obama’s presidency turns out.