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Obama news conference: Has race been an issue at the White House?

March 24, 2009 |  6:23 pm

One reporter (who appeared a bit flustered that she was called on by President Obama) asked if she could pose a question about race.

"You bet," the president said.

Has race at all been an issue in the deliberations at the White House? Have the last 64 days "been a colorblind time?" she wanted to know.

The last 64 days, Obama said, have been dominated by "me trying to figure out how to fix the economy." He went on: "Right now the American people are judging me the way I should be judged," he said. And that’s by fixing the economy, and one step is to "improve the liquidity of the financial market," among other things, he said. (We wonder how many people he lost mentioning liquidity.)

A bit earlier, he recalled his historic inauguration on Jan. 20. He didn't call it inspiring, but anyone who watched was inspired. That day, Obama said, was clearly a day of pride for people all over the country, a rebuke of the "searing legacies" of racial discrimination.

But then Obama, in a brief acknowledgment that racial issues persist, added, "That lasted about a day."

-- Steve Padilla