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The questions shifts: Is Fred Armisen, not Obama, “black enough??

According to the Washington Post, whereas observers wondered at the beginning of Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign if he was “black enough,? the question has switched. Now observers wonder if Fred Armisen is “black enough??

Armisen played Obama in a mock debate last week on “Saturday Night Life,? which playfully accused the press of being enamored with Obama. Armisen is not black, and some say that casting choice was a mistake. They say Obama should have been played by a black actor.

The Washington Post notes that Armisen has also played Prince in past seasons of “SNL,? and no one cared about his racial background then. Of course, the musician was not running for president.

Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune is among those who feel Armisen should not have played Obama in the spoof.

“Obama’s candidacy gives us solid proof of the progress that African Americans have made in this country. I guess ‘SNL’ still has further to go on that front,? she said.

The skit has renewed the criticism that “SNL? does not employ enough black performers. This season, the only black cast member is Kenan Thompson, who hardly resembles the tall and thin Obama, the Washington Post said.

“SNL? defended its choice to cast Armisen as Obama. According to the Washington Post, they auditioned “four or five? actors. Armisen captured Obama’s mannerisms and personality the best.

“SNL? impresario Lorne Michaels said in the Washington Post the show does not concern itself with making a particular political point. Instead, they ask themselves “Is it fresh? Is it funny??

Michaels said the spoof went so well that “SNL? intends to air another Obama and Clinton debate this Saturday, March 1.