I agree, but is bringing race up himself the same as playing it up. He can't escape it, but I guess people are concerned about a Hawaiian becoming president.
Bill Clinton was a southerner, and he did OK. Ronald Reagan was an Illinoisian (born in Dixon, IL, educated at Eureka College in Eureka, IL), but this did not stop him from winning the presidency twice either. Bill, being of the Arkansas race, and Ron, being of the Illinois race, did not let race run them away from the White House. They stayed there eight years apiece, both to the chagrin of the opposing party. New Yorkers, that is. The Yankees were used to winning the World Series and thought the National League (the USA) should be no big deal.
In a way, if Hillary Clinton wins, exported into New York, the NYers will be able to win. Those Illinoisians always have such big hopes. That must be why Obama came here, as he knows the Illinois label on a candidate wears well. It is, after all, the land of Lincoln.
On topic - Being black or white, who cares? I can't say who would our best choice for president in 2008, but race is not part of the formula. I have no interest in electing the first black, the first female president. I am interested in electing whomever is best suited for the job, and hopefully for eight years worth it. Maybe Hillary, maybe Obama, maybe Tony Dungy (he hasn't announced his campaign yet, but I hope so.).
Seriously, I hope that Obama can stay off the topic, and that his competition will ignore it as well (the less tolerant John Edwards' famous bloggers might mouth off about it, but who knows?)
re: Yahoo says: Is America ready? Barack Obama believes his race is not an issue as he runs for president.