Orlando Patterson believes there is a racial sub-text to the Clintons' red phone ad. The more I think about it the more I can see his point. It strikes me that the ad was primarily aimed at white and Latina women. It makes no sense as a national security experience ad; it is all about very powerful memes of mothers and children, danger and security. And yes, plenty of Latina and white women may harbor inchoate fears about black men at large in the middle of the night.

I cannot know the motives of those who made the ad. I do know the Clintons are perfectly capable of subliminal or subtextual use of bigotry and racial fear. More significant, it's a purely emotional appeal. The idea that the Clintons are the rational ones in this campaign, that they are the mature adults capable of managing the country soberly and reasonably, has been detonated by this campaign and by the emotional roller-coaster the Clintons always force us to ride with them.