I was in Clearwater, in front of Precinct 501 this morning, a minority majority polling place. Well outside of the 100 foot "No Campaign Radius, I set up a table, a Obama/Biden sign and filled the table with pretzels, small bottles of water, and other snacks. I was pleasant to everyone and wasn't political with anyone, except if they started up a chat. Some were short, and the crowd, such as it was was self selecting; if a non Obama supporter came by they either ignored me or walked past the other side of my car. People were overwhelmingly pleasant, with most taking some pretzels, or water, and making small talk.
However one voter who parked in the handicapped (I wonder what his disability is) space snidely said "What do you give Obama voters? A bucket of fried chicken?" Now I'm not all that sensitive, but I know a racist remark when I hear it. He is white and drove a pickup truck, but none of that is really relevant; four years ago many wondered if we were in a "post racial society" to which I knew better. Scratch the surface of many people who oppose the president and you will see a racist underneath. Sarah Palin using the phrase "shuck and jive"? Really now! I know what Bush Derangement Syndrome was but with that phrase she was really blowing the whistle.
Yes I know Joe Biden said to a predominantly Black audience that the GOP wants to "Put y'all back in chains" but the majority of the racism has been directed towards the half white candidate. The totally false "welfare check" campaign by Romney operatives (as if white people do not get welfare...what is Social Security when it comes down to it?); John Sununu's allegation that the Colin Powell endorsement was racially motivated, and so forth. The entire Donald Trump/Orly Taitz "Birther" movement has all been about making Obama seem as illegitimate, an alien, a non-citizen. The whole "show me your college transcripts and I'll give $5 million to charity" follows this as well (I understand that the Trump dispute goes back to when he and Obama were groiwing up in Kenya). Scott Brown said that he can tell that Elizabeth Warren is not a Native American by looking at her, as if you can tell by looks(!). As noted above, Democrats are not immune either.
Four years ago, my 2000 candidate hero John McCain directly took on a woman at a town hall meeting where she called Obama "an Arab" and he dressed her down on the spot and defended Mr. Obama.
Bottom line? The more things change, the more they stay the same... Lincoln is probably rolling in his grave, and people who want to be racist feel they can when our "leaders" engage in the same behavior, with (occasionally) a little more veneer...