Obama won't speak to "racial element" of HRC attacks

From the Boston Globe:

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editor ial_opinion/oped/articles/2007/12/15/cli ntons_shenanigans/

That leaves open as to how far the Clinton campaign, whose poll leads have evaporated in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, will go to stereotype Obama as not only naïve, but cast him in a sinister light in a nation where black drug use and criminality is exaggerated in the media and where Muslims face undue wariness. Earlier this week, the Clinton staff fired two Iowa volunteer coordinators for circulating a hoax e-mail saying Obama, a Christian, was a Muslim who might help destroy the United States.

"I don't think these strategies are very subtle," Obama said.

"I won't speak to the racial element of it because I think, you know, if I were a white candidate, obviously, somebody suggesting falsely they were a drug dealer, it's never good." But in sum, Obama, who has written about his teenage drug use in his memoirs, said, "There's been a series of these kinds of tactics that at some point we've just got to send a clear signal this is not what we're about."

Tags: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton (all tags)

Comments

35 Comments

Re: Obama won't speak to racial element

Sure sounds to me like he's speaking to the racial element.

by Steve M 2007-12-17 10:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama won't speak to racial element

He could be doing it a lot more, and you know it.  The attacks lately have been rather despicable.  

by SixthElement 2007-12-17 10:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama won't speak to racial element

He can do it all day if he likes, but this strikes me as a rather passive-aggressive approach.

by Steve M 2007-12-17 10:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama won't speak to racial element

When the attack is 'passive-aggressive' then it makes sense for the response to be also.

by JoeCoaster 2007-12-17 10:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama won't speak to racial element

Exactly.

Team HRC would love nothing more than for Obama to come out guns blazing with the race card--that would be a huge turnoff to white voters.

The Clintons prefer the Sharpton and Jackson type blacks...they understand how to deal with those guys.

by General Sherman 2007-12-17 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama won't speak to racial element

Come on, the question is asking him to speak in terms of a "nation where black drug use and criminality is exaggerated in the media and where Muslims face undue wariness."  He responds, "I don't think these strategies are very subtle," but that he's not going to address the issue in racial terms because to suggest anyone of any color is a drug dealer is unacceptable.  It is not the unsubtle appeal to stereotyping which is the problem, it is the attack itself.  Not very passive-aggressive in my book.

by Piuma 2007-12-17 10:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama won't speak to racial element

You're quoting the column, you're not quoting the question Obama was asked.  I have no idea what he was specifically responding to.

by Steve M 2007-12-17 10:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama won't speak to racial element

We can assume he is responding to the what the column is talking about, can't we?  It certainly makes more sense than the opposite, which is what you are claiming.  If he had made that point, don't you think that would be the quotable section?

by Piuma 2007-12-17 11:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama won't speak to racial element

I don't know what you think I'm "claiming," but I thought I was quite clear when I said "I have no idea" what he was responding to.

I think it's extremely relevant to know why he brought this up, but it's not particularly useful to assume.  What you wrote included a quote from the column as though that quote were the actual question he was asked, and frankly, it was pretty misleading of you.

by Steve M 2007-12-17 12:27PM | 0 recs
Exactly....

He is making a point of mentioning it by saying he is not going to mention it.

by Sandy1938 2007-12-17 10:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Exactly....

Same thing Mark Penn did with "COCAINE" on Hardball.

by General Sherman 2007-12-17 11:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Exactly....

Yes, it was.  And you thought that was... cool of him, or not so cool?

by Steve M 2007-12-17 11:16AM | 0 recs
Kerrey sticks to the message

Kerrey is on board with the message of the day.

Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey endorsed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for president Sunday but stirred a continuing controversy by noting her chief rival's name is "Barack Hussein Obama" and that Obama had Muslim ancestors.

"It's probably not something that appeals to him, but I like the fact that his name is Barack Hussein Obama, and that his father was a Muslim and that his paternal grandmother is a Muslim," Kerrey, who made a failed bid for the Democratic presidential nomination won by Bill Clinton in 1992, told The Washington Post.

Look at the scary black Muslim man!

by JoeCoaster 2007-12-17 10:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Kerrey sticks to the message

Full quote:

After the event, he mused about her chief competitor, Sen. Barack Obama.

"The fact that he's African American is a big deal. I do expect and hope that Hillary is the nominee of the party. But I hope he's used in some way. If he happens to be the nominee of the party and ends up being president, I think his capacity to influence in a positive way without spending a penny the behavior of a lot of underperforming black youth today is very important, and he's the only one who can reach them."

Kerrey continued, "It's probably not something that appeals to him, but I like the fact that his name is Barack Hussein Obama, and that his father was a Muslim and that his paternal grandmother is a Muslim. There's a billion people on the planet that are Muslims and I think that experience is a big deal." He added, "He's got a whale of a lot more intellectual talent than I've got as well."

Make up your own minds as to his intent, I guess.

by Steve M 2007-12-17 10:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Kerrey sticks to the message

"It's probably not something that appeals to him..."

So Obama is self-loathing?

by General Sherman 2007-12-17 10:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Kerrey sticks to the message

Here's a headline for you..Muslim" issue resurfaces for Obama

Don't give me that Make up your own minds crap!

Kerrey/Hillary knew exactly what they were doing.
Hey, it's smart politics but I'm not going to let them act all innocent about it.

by JoeCoaster 2007-12-17 10:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Kerrey sticks to the message

ok - so an editor makes a headline to sway a readers perspective of the actual quote.

You still have to make your own decision about the intentions

by sepulvedaj3 2007-12-17 11:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Kerrey sticks to the message

Exactly make up your own mind.  There is a huge difference between saying this if he was endorsing Obama, and saying this when he is endorsing Clinton.  Why is he talking about Obama?  And as someone else pointed out, what's the "it's probably not something that appeals to him".  Obama has talked openly and forcefully that it is exactly his family connections and experience with the Muslim world which gives him a unique perspective at this moment of time.  

by Piuma 2007-12-17 10:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Kerrey sticks to the message

Hillary Clinton is SLIME SLIME SLIMEY>>>>>

by aiko 2007-12-17 10:36AM | 0 recs
by aiko 2007-12-17 10:37AM | 0 recs
nobody's crying here...

..just pointing out what Hillary is up to (rather crudely I think). I think Obama can handle it.

When Obama starts dropping Lewinsky's name get back to me.

by JoeCoaster 2007-12-17 10:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama won't speak to

Well then Clinton should come right out and make the argument that you're making.

by General Sherman 2007-12-17 10:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama won't speak

In other words, he is now referring to Hillary and her campaign as a group of racists.  

by truthteller2007 2007-12-17 10:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama won't speak

"Racist" would be the wrong term--but willingness to employ existing racial fear for political ends?...yes, that is what her team is doing now.

You need not be a racist yourself to do that.  

by General Sherman 2007-12-17 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama won't speak

Right...Obama is calling out (gently) Hillary's Campaign for thinking that Iowans are racists.

by JoeCoaster 2007-12-17 10:56AM | 0 recs
This post is confusing
Because, General Sherman, you leave a lot unsaid, and I think you are buttressing your general support of Obama with anti-Hillary propaganda that obviously has everything to do not with race but a candidate's (i.e. Obama's) stated past, which, to a large extent, is fair game in an election campaign. It seems to me that any time Hillary attacks Obama, the spectre of racism shall indelibly be linked to her tactics, not necessarily by you specifically, but because of the history of racial politics in America.
by Zeitgeist9000 2007-12-17 11:16AM | 0 recs
You missed

Wrong Z,

Obama has never stated that he was a drug dealer. Bill Clinton has admitted to drug use in the past, yet know one ever "accused" him of being a drug dealer. Why?

Yes, Obama's stated past, as a drug user over 30 years ago, is fair game. If that's a problem for you or others, then don't vote for him.

But don't try to inject into the political bloodstream an image of "Barack as Crack Dealer" which is totally devoid of substantiation--and then act all innocent.

I wonder why Team Clinton thought that image would gain traction.

by General Sherman 2007-12-17 11:22AM | 0 recs
Those kinds of questions Shaheen raised
Were obviously regrettable. But my question to you is: on any level do you accept those questions as exposition of Republican strategy in a GE campaign? Why are we extrapolating Shaheen's remarks out to the nth degree and unloading the "Barack as Crack Dealer" comment when as fair game Democrats we know that image is preposterous to begin with? Also, it was Obama who opened the door to this in his memoir. If someone admits to doing drugs, at some point there was a street level economic exchange of "funds for drugs." The drugs did not just magically appear. So Obama obviously had some interaction with those who sell drugs or do drugs on a regular basis!
by Zeitgeist9000 2007-12-17 11:37AM | 0 recs
Re: This post is confusing

"It seems to me that any time Hillary attacks Obama, the spectre of racism shall indelibly be linked to her tactics, not necessarily by you specifically, but because of the history of racial politics in America."

Well, yes, if her surrogates play to an racially-loaded image. Of course, that's the whole point.

What other attacks on Obama have been attibuted to the supposed racial tactics of the Clintons camp?

None. That's right.

But how many times has Team Clinton itself, sought to blame sexism for attacks on Hillary? Right, the idea was to insulate HRC from attacks by labeling and critique or rough-handling as sexist--an attempt to attach the spectre of "sexism" to any jabs taken at her.

When has Obama's camp ever resorted to such tactics? NEVER.

by General Sherman 2007-12-17 11:27AM | 0 recs
Hillary has said
That she can take it. I don't think she has played the "sexist" card, but you try being attacked by Repubs and Dems at the same time and not being a little bloodied by it! The apparent point of your post is that the Clinton team will now stop at nothing to bind Obama to hackneyed stereotype and lamentable untruth both on a racial and religious basis. So when you shift the argument from Hillary being racist to Hillary being defensive over her gender, I come to wonder if you really have a point at all other than harping on campaign issues (i.e. Shaheen's comments and the anti-Muslim e-mails) which would have occurred in any case considering Obama's race and religious background. Again back to my original point: racial politics still abound in America! It is both the way these politics are carried out and the way that they are interpreted that matters. I just don't agree with your interpretation (with what appears to be your interpretation) that Team Hillary is racist and anti-Muslim. Or even if they're not necessarily racist and anti-Muslim, that they will resort to these tactics to "level the electoral playing field," as it were.
by Zeitgeist9000 2007-12-17 11:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary has said

I know you don't agree. So what?

by General Sherman 2007-12-17 12:29PM | 0 recs
As An African American

I have had it with these subtle racist attacks against Barack Obama coming from the other frontrunner's. I'm done. At this point, if Barack Obama loses due to racist tactics, I am voting for Huckabee.

There's only one thing that's keeping Evangelical Blacks in the Democratic Party and that's the perception that they have no where else to go. Well, now we do. Huckabee will be my back up if Hillary and John use racism to defeat Barack Obama .

I don't even care what anyone says about it anymore. Attack me all you want. I don't care. I'm sick of it and Black America is sick of it. The Democrats will learn this time that they will not continue to take the Black Community for granted and use Jim Crow tactics against our Black candidates.

There. Troll Rate THAT!

by BlueDiamond 2007-12-17 12:09PM | 0 recs
Re: As An African American
I'm black, and I'm an evangelical, but I don't agree with any of what you are saying....
by Zeitgeist9000 2007-12-17 12:27PM | 0 recs
Re: As An African American

Good. I'm black too.

It's good to see that not all of us think alike.

by General Sherman 2007-12-17 12:31PM | 0 recs
Re: As An African American
Tee hee.
by Zeitgeist9000 2007-12-17 12:37PM | 0 recs

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