UPDATE, November 16, 2008: Barack and Michelle Obama on 60 Minutes
"My wife and I are on 60 Minutes. I'm running for president. And I'm not talking about an affair."
That guy... That senator from Illinois, what's his name?
Oh, yes. Barack Obama.
In case you didn't know, Obama has been struggling with a name recognition problem.
Obama must be the most well known unknown in the country.
His weekend long official coming out party was topped off with an interview on 60 Minutes.
Steve Kroft did the segment. He looked positively giddy. He couldn't contain his excitement. So many shots of him nodding in approval and smiling from ear to ear -- it was embarrassing.
Basically, the interview covered the same stuff that we've been hearing from Obama for months now.
Same old, same old.
This piece was a little different in that America met Mrs. Barack Obama and their two little girls. (The only foods Daddy can prepare are tuna fish and chili.)
Obama's wife was articulate and clean. (I mean that as a compliment of course, just like Joe Biden.)
Seriously, she looked attractive and is an accomplished woman. She seemed like a very pleasant person.
The kids were adorable.
The only thing that caught my attention during this interview as something new was what Obama and his wife had to say in regard to race.
There are African-Americans who don't think that you're black enough, who don't think that you have had the required experience," Kroft remarks.
"The truth of the matter is, you know, when I'm walking down the south side of Chicago and, visiting my barbershop, and playing basketball in some of these neighborhoods, those aren't those aren't questions I get asked," Obama says.
"They think you're black," Kroft asks.
"As far as they can tell, yeah. I also notice when I'm catching a cab, nobody's confused about that either," he says.
Are we to believe that Sen. Obama has trouble catching a cab because of his race?
First, how often does he hail a cab?
Second, I don't believe he has a problem. Do you?
Obama's statements about prejudice in America don't jibe with these next remarks:
Obama does think the U.S. is ready for a black president and he doesn't think his race is going to hold him back.
"I think if I don't win this race it will be because of other factors. It's gonna be because I have not shown to the American people a vision for where the country needs to go that they can embrace," he tells Kroft.
So which is it?
Will America judge Obama on his qualifications and vision for the country or will his racial makeup get in the way?
Will America leave him standing at the curb because his father was black?
I guess America is ready for a black president, but not black passengers in cabs.
When Obama's wife Michelle joined the interview, Kroft brought up how Colin Powell's wife didn't want him to run for president because it would be too dangerous. She feared that he would be shot.
Obama had to persuade his wife to let him run. Political campaigns make her feel like a single mother.
Asked if it has put strains on the marriage from time to time, Michelle Obama says, sarcastically, "Oh-nooooo."
"Absolutely it has," he husband adds.
"But, you'd let him go ahead and do this?" Kroft asks Michelle Obama.
"I think if I weren't married to him, I'd want him to be in there," she says. "So, I don't wanna stand in the way of that, because we have to work out a few things. So, we've kind of, you know, we figured out those, we've had those arguments, and…" she says.
"And, I've lost them all," the senator throws in.
"This is a tough question to ask, but a number of years ago Colin Powell was thinking about running for president, and his wife Alma, really did not want him to run. She was worried about some crazy person, with a gun…. Is that something that you think about?" Kroft asks.
"I don't lose sleep over it because the realities are that, you know, as a black man, you know, Barack can get shot going to the gas station, you know. So, you know, you can't make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen. We just weren't raised that way," she says.
"[A]s a black man, you know, Barack can get shot going to the gas station, you know."
What sort of comment is that?
She makes it sound like African-Americans are routinely being shot at gas stations and on American streets simply because of their race.
I think Mrs. Obama is not ready for prime time. That was an extremely poorly phrased remark.
It brings to mind Hillary's 60 Minutes gaffe, "I'm not sitting here as some little woman 'standing by my man' like Tammy Wynette."
It doesn't matter.
As Kroft said, Obama is a rock star.
An "unknown," "underdog" rock star.
Obama, the oxymoron.