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By Mandelman

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Remember when Barack Obama was running against Hillary Clinton for president in 2008? Remember the question that was on everyone’s mind: Was America “ready” for an African American president?

To those on the left, the question itself was treated as evidence of racism, as if to say: “How could you even ask such a question?” But, to any honest, thinking or traveled person over 40, that was just evidence of an abundance of liberal or youthful naiveté.

So, the question remained on everyone’s mind: “Would this country prove “ready” for a black president?” I mean… it wasn’t the only question. Had Hillary been running against McCain, sans Obama, the pressing question would have been: “Is the country ready for a female president?” But, with Obama in the mix, the question of gender, or Hillary redecorating the Oval Office seemed almost pedestrian.

I remember asking a friend of mine, baseball Hall of Famer, Ernie Banks, what he thought about the question. Ernie started his career playing in the Negro Leagues, and he’s told me stories of arriving on the bus to play in the South under segregation only to find the Klu Klux Klan blocking their entrance and de facto cancelling the game.

So, I asked Ernie if he thought this country was ready for an African American president and his response came without hesitation: “No, no… I don’t believe so, no.” And I wasn’t at all sure that I didn’t completely agree with him.

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After all, I can tell you this for sure… this country’s nowhere near ready for a Jewish president. And I heard plenty of people asking about our readiness for a Mormon president when Mitt Romney was making headlines.

But at the same time, I suppose it’s also true that we’ve come a long way since 1960 when the question being asked about JFK was whether the country was ready for a Catholic president, which is a question that now seems pretty much ridiculous.

Well, I decided that I had found the answer to the question about our readiness for an African American president, not when Obama won… to me that was largely the result of him essentially running unopposed, because let’s face it, McCain/Palin didn’t even deserve to place second in that contest.

No, it was after the question of who would win the race to the White House was answered that …read more

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