“I’ve got to believe at this point in the campaign neither the president or Governor Romney is going to want to give a quote on any of this,” said Richard Taylor, a business diversity advocate and former Massachusetts transportation secretary under Romney. “If I was preparing either candidate for the debate, this would be on the checklist, … but I don’t think either campaign will be anxious to talk about it.”...
“It took three long years to pull [a federal government policy statement on the use of race in education] out of the Obama administration. It was only after we pestered and cajoled them that they finally got it out,” John Brittain, a civil rights activist and law professor at the University of the District of Columbia, said in an interview soon after the document was released. “The administration had a paralysis of analysis. …. Overall, the Obama administration just has a reluctance to take on race and equality, and when they do so everything is so carefully sanitized and scrubbed to make sure it’s the least offensive thing possible.”
There’s almost no chance that Romney would take a strong stance against affirmative action, according to Stuart Taylor, a veteran legal commentator and author of a new book on the policy.
... “No major national political figure has attacked affirmative action publicly since 1996 or before. It’s kind of remarkable. The Republicans who during the ’90s for a while were seeing some political profit in attacking affirmative action given the polls, don’t do it anymore.”So both candidates — like many Americans — exhibit a bland, uncommitted acceptance of the long-term practice of affirmative action, and they don't want to have to talk about it in crisp, clear terms, looking at all the arguments for and against, and scrutinizing the constitutional texts and precedents. But that's exactly what the Supreme Court must do and will do on October 10th.