Tucker: Treat Obama with respect: Be hard on him
Cynthia Tucker: Treat Obama with respect: Be hard on him | ajc.com: "The best news for Barack Obama's presidential aspirations is a little recent negative press: Accounts of his dealings with a shady real estate developer —- stories previously limited to Chicago newspapers and broadcast outlets —- have begun seeping into national news reports. That means the junior senator from Illinois is no longer regarded merely as a fascinating side show, a black prodigy with an interesting background. He's being taken seriously as a possible presidential candidate.
As he postures for a possible run for the Democratic nomination, there is nothing better for Obama than having journalists treat him just like everybody else. That means he'll endure a searing scrutiny that obliterates any zone of privacy, for himself and his family; his slightest missteps will be magnified.
That's how white candidates are treated when they're taken seriously. Journalists give presidential contenders —- or at least the ones thought to have a serious shot at winning —- a thorough vetting. Reporters rummage around in their finances, their voting records, their college book reports. They scrutinize candidates' physical and mental health, their children, their siblings, their religious affiliations. (If you're a political junkie like me, you've already heard the speculation that outgoing Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a likely contender for the GOP nomination and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wears special Mormon underwear.) Obama should expect nothing less."