What happened
A new song by Ludacris called “Politics as Usual,” in which he makes derogatory comments about Hillary Clinton and John McCain but praises Barack Obama, is stirring a controversy over Obama’s association with the rapper. The first black presidential nominee recently claimed to have Ludacris on his iPod, but is denouncing the lyrics to the new song.

What the commentators said
Obama should have known better than to speak “fondly” of Ludacris, said J. Freedom du Lac in The Washington Post. “In the arsenal of the culture wars, rap music remains somewhat radioactive—and Barack Obama now finds himself exposed.” Rappers “tend to love” Obama, but he “can’t love them back”— that is, if he wants to keep making “inroads among older white voters.”

This does create a “dilemma” for Obama, said Errin Haines in the Associated Press. But although “hip-hop fans are expected to be a factor in the November election, the song is not”—they understand that Obama has to play the game in order to get elected. Obama also has the endorsement of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons.

The real question, said Michelle Nealy in the blog Politikal Soul, is what was Ludacris thinking? Did he really think that making “derogatory” comments about Hillary Clinton and John McCain would help Obama? Hopefully, the voting public will realize that the rapper has “obviously lost his mind.”