From NBC/NJ's Carrie Dann
As he comes off of a sweeping address that thrust the racial politics of America into the spotlight, here's just a few thoughts on the climate that Obama will walk into tomorrow when he visits North Carolina.
He will speak less than 24 hours before state legislators come together for a special session to vote on the expulsion of a black congressman suspected of fraud; the accused lawmaker alleges that the charges are racially motivated. Obama also will walk into a local news cycle spinning around the death of a beloved UNC student at the hands of a troubled black juvenile, who is widely believed to represent the failures of the state's probationary system.
When he lands in Fayetteville, where he will talk about Iraq, he'll be 100 miles south of Durham, the site of the explosive racial confrontation kindled by the Duke lacrosse case. He'll be 100 miles northwest of the North Carolina house district that will be examined by the U.S. Supreme Court this fall to determine the constitutionality of racially gerrymandered "influence" districts. Just southwest of that is Wilmington, which saw a formal apology from the state's Democratic Party last year for the violent race riots perpetrated there by white supremacist Democrats in 1898.
And he'll be less than 200 miles northeast of the South Carolina capitol, the spot just referenced in his Philadelphia speech where the Confederate flag still flies.