You might say nothing could be more unsurprising than a panel of political pundits admitting the obvious: that Barack Obama is playing the race card when he accuses John McCain of saying the Dem candidate "doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency."

But what makes the punditry panel's unanimity notable is that no one would accuse them of being McCain backers, and what's more, that they turned up on Hardball.  Surely Chris Matthews, were he not on vacation, would have found one diehard to deny reality.  But with Mike Barnicle guest-hosting, a consensus of truth-telling broke out.

Barnicle began by playing a clip of McCain, interviewed by CNN's John King, saying that it is legitimate to accuse Obama of having played the race card.  The video is worth viewing if only to watch McCain end the interview by shaking a surprised King's hand and walking away. Then the panel commented.  Perry Bacon of the Washington Post said he would decline to answer directly, but his answer left no real doubt as to his view.

View video here.



Hardball had some fun this evening at Hillary's expense over the mystery of The Sniper Who Didn't Fire. Credit Politico's Roger Simon with the most devastating remark.

Hillary's heroic claim has been that "we used to say in the White House that if a place is too dangerous, too small or too poor, send the First Lady." Simon said what in retrospect might be obvious but something I hadn't previously heard anyone else observe.
ROGER SIMON: She says I was there because it was too dangerous for the President. It was too dangerous--so he sent his wife and only child? It makes no sense.

View video here.