Obama team soft-pedals a milestone in history

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History is being made in Denver, but so far it has been slipped under the carpet during prime time. One night was tailored to pay homage to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's barrier-breaking near-miss, yet there was no overt celebration of the bull's-eye: Barack Obama is poised to be the first black American presidential nominee.

Clinton told the supporters she called "the sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits" that "together, we made history," and moved many of them to tears. She turned her moment into a milestone for women's rights.

But when the first female also-ran at a convention merits such hoopla and hosannas, then it is harder for viewers to understand why the Democrats seem intent on soft-pedaling their presumptive nominee's arguably more remarkable breakthrough.

On Tuesday, Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas praised Obama's hardscrabble Kansas roots at some length and never mentioned that his father was African. Neither did the keynote speaker, former Governor Mark Warner of Virginia. Nor did Clinton. When Clinton declared her support for Obama she focused on their shared ideals, not the presumptive nominee's unique place in history. And that seemed to suit the Obama team just fine.

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