Charles Krauthammer is better than this:

Why, the man even tossed his own grandmother overboard back in Philadelphia -- only to haul her back on deck now that her services are needed. Yesterday, granny was the moral equivalent of the raving Reverend Wright. Today, she is a featured prop in Obama's fuzzy-wuzzy get-to-know-me national TV ad.

Obama's reference to his own grandmother's fear of black men was not in any conceivable universe "throwing her under the bus." It was a way to explain how Obama has seen and empathized with racial fears on both sides of the divide. The speech remains a great one, and it is an indicator of the bitterness of parts of the right that they couldn't see and embrace that. I might add that I don't disagree with Charles' assessment of Obama's steely political skills. Obama is an inspiring figure and remains a bridge to a post-boomer discourse. But he is impressive precisely because he is neither a pure Adlai Stevenson nor a protean Bill Clinton. He's more like Jack Kennedy: cunning, ruthless, capable of political positioning as much as greatness. I don't want politicians to be saints. I just don't want them to be devoid of integrity either. Obama strikes me as better, much better, than most.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to