Elsewhere, Jimmy Carter has blamed Obama’s problems upon the fact that he is black and a lot of Americans are racist; this has been the mantra for most of the left – the opposition to Obama is a consequence not of mistrust of his policies, but mistrust of his skin colour. I don’t doubt that a small minority of those who dislike Obama feel that way because he is black. But it seems to me incontestable that Obama was elected not in spite of being black, but precisely because he was black. The election became, in the end, a sort of America-feel-good-about-itself telethon, with that clever little Bob the Builder rhetoric of Can we do it, yes we can! Never in a million years would a white candidate with Obama’s policies become president – and I speak as a McGovern Democrat who thinks, on the whole, that Obama doesn’t go far enough. The hysteria about race, then, strikes me as being hypocritical and beside the point.