Beyond Race — Beyond Thinking

Much has been made of the President’s response to the question about a former professor/friend/acquaintance at Harvard. Jay Reding puts it well:

The President got elected largely on his ability to transcend the racial politics of the past. He presented himself as a post-partisan healer who rejected the transparent race-baiting of a Jesse Jackson or an Al Sharpton. It was one of the reasons why the Obama campaign went to such lengths to bury Obama’s association with the viciously racist Rev. Jeremiah Wright—because it undercut the narrative they wanted to portray.

[…]

By taking sides in this matter, the President was walked right back into the fields of racial polarization. He has diminished his office by attacking a law enforcement officer without knowing the facts—and even if Sgt. Crowley was at fault, the President should not have injected himself into the matter in the first place.

Further, this type of interference in what should be purely a local issue helps to support the arguments of those who claim that Obama does want to drive every little part of live–from the schools we can and cannot attend, to the jobs we can and cannot get hired for, to the houses we can and cannot get financed, etc.

All of this is not to say that a president cannot be concerned about the individual–but it is to say that when a public person of the President’s stature is personally engaged in a matter (which has no bearing on that public person’s job) then the matter should be handled privately and discretely so as to not unduly influence the outcome (for good for bad) as well as to protect the privacy of those involved.