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Professor Richard Thompson Ford is interviewed by CNN's Lou Dobbs in a segment about the statistical dead heat between the presidential candidates Senators McCain and Obama:
Lou Dobbs: Professor Ford, your thoughts on these two? We have a race that by every measure of every poll is a statistical dead heat. McCain's not supposed to be in this thing, and Obama's supposed to be blowing everybody away and it just isn't happening, at least to this point.
Richard Thmpson Ford: Yes, well, I think as far as the NAACP speeches go, there were no big surprises there. The theme of personal responsibility that Barack Obama touched on is a theme he's touched on before. And McCain, on the other hand, in his discussion of vouchers, found a conservative issue that is likely to resonate with a lot of black voters. I think frustration over failing schools is a serious issue in the black community and that's a take that a lot of people will appreciate.
When asked about the comments Jesse Jackson made on an open mike Lou Dobbs asked Professor Thompson to comment:
Lou Dobbs: Richard?
Richard Thompson Ford: I think Jesse Jackson and some of the civil rights establishment are nervous about Barack Obama. They are concerned that in a sense, Obama's campaign stands for a new approach to dealing with issues of racial justice, less confrontational approach, that in some ways Obama is or seems to be interested in moving past what you might call the politics of grievance, and I think a lot of people find that threatening, and Jesse Jackson's comments reflected that.