watch the embedded video, or this post won't make sense.
What startles me the most is not that she thinks Obama's an Arab, but that McCain doesn't call her out for calling him an Arab, as if being Arab were a bad thing.
McCain says, "No, no, no ma'am, no ma'am. He's a, he's a decent family man citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on, on fundamental issues, and that's what this campaign is all about. He's not. Thank you."
That final emphatic "he's not" is directed straight at the general US fear (read, hatred) of Arabs, of the assumption that they're all terrorists.
He didn't have time to craft a nuanced rebuttal of her statement; he had to shut her down immediately. She is an elderly citizen who is obviously confused and gullible. But, this is the product and endgame of the machinations of politicians who employ fear to win elections. Mix a little nationalism together with a little fearmongering and a touch of brinkmanship and you get Gayle Quinnell, registered voter.