Facing talk of Trayvon Martin and race, Obama walks a fine line

That leaves observers scanning the margins and reading between lines whenever Obama publicly takes up the issue of race.

During the controversy over Holder’s remarks, the president was asked whether he agreed with his attorney general’s observation on the reluctance of Americans to discuss race. He paused a full five seconds before responding.

''I'm not somebody who believes that constantly talking about race somehow solves racial tensions,'' Obama said. ''I think what solves racial tensions is fixing the economy, putting people to work, making sure that people have healthcare, ensuring that every kid is learning out there. I think if we do that, then we'll probably have more fruitful conversations.''

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On Twitter: @markzbarabak

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