Obama’s aides: Race not their question

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Obama’s aides: Race not their question

by Mark Silva

President-elect Barack Obama’s closest campaign advisers suggest that one of their successes was not becoming obsessed with any question of race, CBS News’ 60 Minutes will report Sunday evening.

“Not getting obsessed about Barack Obama’s race was one of the secrets” of a campaign that will deliver the first African American president to the White House, aides tell CBS’s Steve Kroft. The president-elect’s four top campaign aides, political advisors David Axelrod and Anita Dunn, Campaign Manager David Plouffe and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, spoke with Kroft on election night for 60 Minutes this weekend.

Answering Kroft’s question about whether race was a part of planning the campaign, Plouffe replies, “No, honestly, you had to take a leap of faith in the beginning that the people will get by race. And I think the number of meetings we had about race was zero.”

Axelrod tells Kroft: “The only time we got involved in a discussion of race was when people asked us about it. It was a fascination of the news media…the political community. But internally, it was not an obsession of ours.”

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