Biden: Undecideds Haven't Warmed Up To Possibility Of A Black President

(CBS)
From CBS News' Ryan Corsaro:

(SAN FRANCISCO) - Speaking at one of three fundraisers held in San Francisco Saturday, Biden said that undecided voters have yet to commit to Barack Obama because they have not accepted him being African-American.

"Undecided people are having a difficult time just culturally making the change, making the move for the first African-American president in the history of the United States of America," said Biden.

Comparing the accusations that Obama is associated with former domestic terrorist Bill Ayers with the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth attacks on John Kerry's Vietnam record in 2004, Biden said "We need to respond. We need to respond at the moment, immediately, not wait, not hang around, not assume any of this won't stick."

It was one of many comments Biden made that acknowledged race today.

Earlier in Atherton, Calif., Biden invoked images that sounded similar to those in Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech when Biden talked about his granddaughters having a sleepover with Obama's daughters during the Democratic National Convention.

"What I saw in that room, these little black and white children, cuddled up with one another says more to me about what this election is about at its core, at its core than anything else," he said.

King said in his speech, "I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers."

At another fundraiser in Piedmont, Calif., Biden said, "We're ahead in Virginia, but the idea that we'd have a lead like they're saying we have -- we haven't won that state in over 40 years. We're leading in that state with an African-American of incredible capacity. We're leading in North Carolina."

"But you also saw how we were ahead in Tennessee with a brilliant young senator last time out who was an African American," referring to Harold Ford Jr.'s unsuccessful senate run 2006 to take over the seat vacated by Bill Frist.

"Barack Obama communicates an absolute sense and certainty that is the most typical American instinct that there is," Biden said. "That we do not have to accept circumstances as we find them. That it is totally, thoroughly within our capacity to change our circumstance. That's why he touched those people helping feed us tonight. That's why he touched all those white and black folks around the country. The African American population in my state and in South Carolina, and the white population in the state of Iowa. Because he means what he says. It's not about black or white. It's not about - it is about all being Americans."

Biden seemed to tap dance around saying that the negative attacks coming from the McCain camp, that Obama is "palling around with terrorists," could threaten Barack Obama's life.

"Ladies and gentlemen, you know what's happening. You see these vicious attacks on Barack's character. I mean, this is dangerous stuff these guys are doing. This stuff is on the edge. It's on the edge. You know, there's some folks out there in the community nationwide that aren't as stable as others. It's a very small minority. But having these rallies where people are showing up saying, you know, the things they're saying - I don't even want to repeat them -- it's not a healthy thing," cautioned Biden.

Biden pulled in around $2.2 million at Saturday's fundraisers. He travels to Tacoma, Washington for a campaign event today.
  • Ryan Corsaro

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