The following story is true to the best of my memory. I'm not making it up or exaggerating in any way.
Yesterday morning found me standing on a street corner on the Upper East Side petitioning to get the local Democrats' names on the ballots for the fall election. It's a pretty thankless job. Some people are very friendly. Others are ... well ... not.
One gentleman who fell into the first category was about 70 years old and seemed to hang out at the street corner every morning because he knew just about every person who went by. After chatting with him for a while he actually started getting some of the people he knew to sign the petition, which was very nice.
After about a half hour of being there a similarly aged friend of his came up. It turns out the friend was a Republican, but was actually a fan of Obama. What follows is part of the conversation I had with these two men.
Older Man: That Obama is really impressive. He's like FDR. Just a great politician.
Republican Friend: I like him. I think I may vote for him. I mean, I like McCain, but Obama is just something else.
Republican Friend: I mean, he's like the Tiger Woods of politics. He's young and smart. Very charismatic.
Me (in my head): That's a really good analogy. Both are charismatic young black men who have become phenomenons in what is traditionally a white field.
Older Man: He's got a real chance in this.
Republican Friend: Now don't get me wrong, I hate the blacks.
And that was the end of that conversation. Take from it what you will.