McCain and the Pale

Jonathan Martin and Ben Smith discuss the McCain campaign's relationship to the inevitable (and, indeed, already underway) smears against Barack Obama. Basically the view is that McCain will disavow this stuff, and fairly sincerely, but that won't stop it from happening and won't stop him from benefitting:

The only thing I would add is that I actually doubt there are a substantial number of people who are going to find Obama's positions on Iraq, climate change, health care, taxes reproductive rights, gay rights, etc. compelling but then be turned off the campaign by some beyond-the-pale racial smears. People inclined to believe that any black guy is secretly out to get whitey are going to believe that no matter what anyone says or does and vice vera. And the same thing, more or less, goes for Clinton -- sexist assumptions are a problem for totally irrespective of what anyone says or does. That doesn't justify racist or misogynistic attacks on either, but it's not as if it's going to take racist comments for racists to notice that Obama's black.