Newman explained the song in an interview with Slate:
Slate: You’ve said that one thing that inspired you to write this song is the thought that, “there are a lot of people who don’t want a black person in the White House and they want him out.” To put it bluntly, how do you know?
Newman: Well, I don’t know, partly because no one, and I mean no one, would admit feeling that way. Still, it’s clear that there are lots of people out there who are uncomfortable. The Civil War was a long time ago but there are aspects of it that remain unsettled, I think. Early on in Obama’s term, there was heat generated by issues that you wouldn’t think would cause such passion. Even the term “Obamacare,” the way it’s spit out, like he was some kind of witch doctor. Maybe I’m overly sensitive to the issue, but I don’t think so. There’s an edge to things that normally wouldn’t have an edge. I thought it was a little extra.