Proof Obama was the one who first played race card

Yes, November is when it all started.  The Obama camp began playing the race card in an effort to boost black votes for them.  They wanted to keep their general support and then boost the black vote toward victory.  The problem is, as I know very well the black community is a PROTEST community.  This means as a group we are more invested in fighting against something than making a political decision about who is the best candidate. There was nothing to protest going into November.  So Obama sought out to create a furor to stoke the emotions of black voters:

1. sweet_blog_special_black_ameri.html

Sweet blog special: "Black America will wake up"--Michelle Obama on MSNBC.
WASHINGTON--With polls showing African-Americans have yet to give overwhelming support to White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), his wife Michelle said "black America will wake up and get it" in an interview running on MSNBC on Monday.

MSNBC is using excerpts of a Michelle Obama interview to run in full on Tuesday morning. In a clip that's featured in the afternoon cycle, Michelle Obama invoked the name of civil rights leaders Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. when talking about African-American turnout, a crucial voting bloc for the Illinois senator.

Michelle Obama said there was a "natural fear of possibility" and that there were times in her life when she was put down and not encouraged. There is "always that doubt in the minds of people of color."

She said the African-American community has to shake of its fear

"That's what we want to show our community," Michelle Obama said. "...We can do this too."

2. 712/10/sitroom.03.html
They brought out Oprah who chose being black over a woman, if you doubt this check the transcript of their speeches.  BTW people say Obama speaks the same to all people, do you remember the following in Iowa (?), in New Hamshire (?):

CROWLEY: In South Carolina.

WINFREY: You know, Dr. King dreamed the dream, but we don't have to just dream the dream anymore. We get to vote that dream into reality.

CROWLEY: Almost half the Democratic primary voters in South Carolina are black.

OBAMA: The fire hoses came out, the dogs came out, but they kept on standing up. Because a few stood up, a few thousand stood up, and then a few million stood up, standing up with courage and conviction. They changed the world.


OBAMA: South Carolina, we can change the world.

Now could the dream be made into reality only by voting for the black guy?

3. the much talked about "fairytale" comment which had no racial overtones.

4. The big one: LBJ - MLK. timeline:

*  Hillary said that Obama was giving false hope about how he could transcend the political divide, go to Washington and change everything just through "hope". That was "false hope"

here's obama's response: 0,CST-NWS-sweet08.article

What does that mean, false hopes?" he said at Claremont, the start of a 720-word summation about "false hope" he repeated almost word for word during the day.

"How have we made progress in this country? Look, did John F. Kennedy look at the moon and say, 'Ah, it's too far?' We can't do that. We need a reality check.

"Dr. King standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. 'You know, this dream thing, it's a false hope. We can't expect equality.'

"False hopes. Let me tell you something about hope. I do talk about hope quite a bit. Out of necessity. There is no oddsmaker who would have said that I would be standing here when I was born in 1961."

Then Hillary said, it took a president to get the 1964 civil rights acts through Congress.  

then Obama people claimed she attacked MARTIN LUTHER KING!

BINGO.  Now most of us would find that ridiculous, but not the average black voter.  I heard on black talk radio all about this.

It was then that the Clintons basically said, "o.k. you can win the black vote like this if you want, but we're going to let everyone else know you are the black candidate".

I challenge someone to give me an alternate timeline that shows that the Clintons injected race in this Primary.  Obama wanted to play the race card and have no consequences.  The MSM was willing to let it happen.  They were appealing to blacks to vote for him and against Hillary based on race.

Notice I'm using facts, not emotion to assert a point.  anyone can say, "not true". If Obama supporters believe the clintons are the ones who used/using race, where's the proof?

btw Bill clinton alluding to jesse Jackson winning s.c. in 1984 and 1988 is a historical statement that shows that if he could win s.c. over 20 years ago in a much more racially polarized time, Obama was expected to win now.  He had to say that because the media is acting as if this was Iowa.

Tags: barack, craig farmer, Hillary Clinton, newliberals, obama, race (all tags)



Re: Proof Obama was the one who first played race

Yeah, right. Obama was secretly standing behind Bill with a gun forcing him to make Jessie Jackson references out of the blue.  Give me a break.

by davey jones 2008-01-28 02:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Proof Obama was the one who first played race

ll that was certainly a completely useless strawman comment.  Hyperbole is such a bore these days.

by MollieBradford 2008-01-28 03:48AM | 0 recs
Heh, that's funny coming from you.

I would dig up some of your comments as evidence, but your signature line suffices.

by psericks 2008-01-28 03:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Heh, that's funny coming from you.

True. Many of us like the Democratic party too. But what this myopia tells us is that this blogger doesn't know the difference between the Democratic party and the Republican Lite party, the DLC and the Democratic party of the 90s when Bill Clinton stole all of the Republican positions.

Great Bill. We loved you for that, because in truth Democrats really want to be Reagan Republicans, be among the wealthy, at least in our fantasies.

This is a Democrat?

by shergald 2008-01-28 03:58AM | 0 recs
another useless comment

and a personal attack.  How clever.

by MollieBradford 2008-01-28 06:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Proof Obama was the one who first played race

I even heard one of those morons they have on as pundits on CNN say that Bill Clinton was using the southern strategy , can you imagine that ?

Even after Russert showed a stack of papers in which the obama camp was pushing it and he apologized for it , those pundits still can't get that to sink in .


by lori 2008-01-28 02:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Proof Obama was the one who first played race

Did he actually say 'Southern Strategy?'  Like Nixon in '68?  Wow.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-01-28 02:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Proof Obama was the one who first played race

Yep Roland Martin , yet CNN still has him on the air  , then they have Bill Benett whose man crush on Obama is becoming suspect and his clinton hatred keeps him up at night .

Lets not forget Carl Beinstein who is still stuck somewhere in the 50's when Hillary Rodham Clinton was still having on those ridicolos eye glassess.

Plus Donna Brazille who claims she is neutral but we know where her loyalties lie , infact she was one of the very first that injected race into it after the nh win by hillary clinton and claimed bill clinton said obama's campaign was a fairy tale and she is supposed to be neutral.

I hope Gloria Borger is working for free.

by lori 2008-01-28 02:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Proof Obama was the one who first played race

I would have to admit that I actually tend to agree with them on the 'Southern Strategy' framing, having seen Bill's performance over the past few weeks.  I just didn't realise they were actually calling it that, I have been thinking in those terms for a few days.  It really seemed to me that Hillary's campaign had made that choice going into South Carolina, the intention of using identity politics to diminish Obama's appeal in the Super Tuesday races.  Bill's Jesse Jackson comment, after the South Carolina loss, kinda' clinched it for me.

Dick Morris, no friend of the Clintons, admittedly, wrote a piece on it that was in a diary recently by a Hillary supporter.  I think he was on to something.  As you guys say, it ain't beanbag and I think this is a strategy which could deliver Hillary the nomination.  If he had only won 10% of the white vote in South Carolina, as the polling predicted, I would agree it would doom him.  The fact he won 24% makes the Clinton strategy very high risk politics for them.  Sorry.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-01-28 03:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Proof Obama was the one who first played race

That you think a 'Southern Strategy' of racial division would work for a white candidate in a Democratic primary shows how little you know about Democrats, and, as a white Democrat with southern relatives, is frankly insulting.

There is no racist vote in Democratic primaries of any consequence, and even if there were Edwards would be the one who would benefit. Obama has used race to exploit the fears of the victims of racism in America, it worked to boost interest and turnout in South Carolina but his use of fear undermines his campaign of hope. Obviously Obama's tactic is poisonous to the Democratic party, and difficult for Clinton to defend against. Her campaign has responded by pointing out the hypocrisy of running as the 'post-racial' candidate while riding identity politics.

by souvarine 2008-01-28 03:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Proof Obama was the one who first played race

"Her campaign has responded by pointing out the hypocrisy of running as the 'post-racial' candidate while riding identity politics."

This is funny.  Is that what Bill Clinton was doing with his Jesse Jackson remarks?  Could have fooled me...

by davey jones 2008-01-28 03:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Proof Obama was the one who first played race

Well I think there is plenty of evidence of identity politics from Bill's comments during the South Carolina campaign.  I don't mean to be insulting but looking at the demographics of the Super Tuesday states and the respective delegate counts it seems plausible that Hillary's campaign would have made that calculation and it certainly explains some of what Bill, and others, were saying during that campaign.  Did you read the Dick Morris piece?  It is a pretty compelling, and prescient, argument.  I believe Hillary's campaign would gladly concede SC and Georgia if it could be turned to their advantage in California and other more delegate-rich races.

If Obama had failed to get more than 10-15% of the vote in South Carolina I would have agreed that this strategy was a sure bet to deliver her the nomination.  That he didn't seems to reinforce your view but makes her strategy very high-risk politics indeed.  I still think it represents the biggest challenge to Obama's candidacy he has ever faced and still might work.

It is pretty hard to explain Bill's remarks in any other context, and the Obama campaign is reacting as though this is the threat as well.  The Jesse Jackson remarks are exactly aligned with that assumption and seem nonsensical in any other context.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-01-28 03:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Proof Obama was the one who first played race

Jesse Jackson did very well among working class white Democrats. He ran liberal populist campaigns, not racial identity campaigns. In 1988 Jackson lost to the more conservative, technocratic Dukakis because of ideology, not race. Jackson won 11 states and 1218 delegates. To a Democrat the comparison to Jackson's campaign is a positive, and in fact the 1992 Clinton campaign owed a lot more to Jackson than to Dukakis.

Dick Morris is not a Democrat, he is perfectly happy to try to use charges of racism to divide the Democratic party and to damage the Clintons. To find his arguments plausible you have to agree with him that Democrats are racists.

by souvarine 2008-01-28 04:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Proof Obama was the one who first played race

I think you've left the pavement here on a couple of points, firstly, Jackson's campaign was great but he never had a hope of winning the nomination, which is the point.  It's a losing comparison, framed as a grudgingly positive one, at best.

Secondly Morris is no friend of the Clintons, as I said in my original most, or Democrats, but he is a realist and a pretty good political strategist and his analysis is based on cold figures and demographics.  In this case he was not only insightful, but prescient, and basically predicted the kind of behaviour that Bill's Jackson remark represents.  He's not saying that anyone is racist, just cynical, and it takes a number-cruncher to know one.

The whole argument that anyone is a racist seems childish.  Racists hang nooses in trees.  This isn't about racism it is about winning elections and framing identity politics.  No-one, including Morris, is calling anyone racist.  It's just good ol' who's-got-the-numbers politics.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-01-28 05:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Proof Obama was the one who first played race

Jackson had a tough hill to climb, but it wasn't until fairly late in the primaries that it became clear that he would not win. He would have been a much better general election candidate than Dukakis was.

Morris is an enemy of the Clintons, anything he says regarding them has to be examined in that context. This diary disproves Morris's claim that "Obama has done everything he possibly could to keep race out of this election." Without that claim Morris's argument falls apart.

There are not many racists in this country hanging nooses in trees, most of them are living in gated communities and voting Republican. Racism is a real issue that affects African Americans, Obama is using that to win African Americans away from Hillary Clinton.

by souvarine 2008-01-28 05:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Proof Obama was the one who first played race

I applaud your confidence in Jackson's candidacy but as much as I celebrated it it never seemed credibly headed for the nomination, at least to me.  As for Morris' argument that Obama has done everything he possibly could to keep race out of this election I think that is arguably correct for the year leading up to Hillary's MLK/LBJ remark, which I concede may have been made insensitively in the context of 'rhetoric vs reality' rather than race.  But the backlash created by that comment, and it was nearly universal, not only originating from Obama's campaign, was the beginning of this controversy and the Clintons, especially Bill, seized the rhetorical opportunity from that point forward.  Personally I believe it was intentionally contrived.

As for racism, I take your point, but weren't you the one who said There is no racist vote in Democratic primaries of any consequence?  How does that square with Racism is a real issue that affects African Americans, Obama is using that to win African Americans away from Hillary Clinton?  Personally my whole point is that the Clintons are doing the opposite, framing Obama as the 'black' candidate to narrow his appeal among other demographics, which makes a hell of a lot more sense given the breakdown of population and delegates in Super Tuesday states.

Obama would be a fool to use race to win the black vote in elections where it was a pointless and losing strategy, wouldn't he?  That's the whole point.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-01-28 05:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Proof Obama was the one who first played race

Obama had to address African American issues to solidify his support among African Americans. Racism is an issue for African Americans. Obama chose to use racism to solidify his support among African Americans and to attack Hillary Clinton. The charge has the additional effect of alienating some white Democrats from Hillary Clinton.

There is no instance in which Hillary Clinton could use Barack Obama's African ancestry to narrow Obama's appeal among non-black Democrats. At best she can point to the divisiveness of a racism charge to defend herself.

by souvarine 2008-01-28 06:18AM | 0 recs

Your analysis is excellent.  You will find on this site a lot of people who will attack mercilessly regardless of your logic.  This is predominately a pro-Clinton site and any one else be damned.  Just a warning.  

by Moonwood 2008-01-28 05:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Shaun

Shaun has been around here far longer than you, I think he knows what it is like. While I strongly disagree with him I find him a far more persuasive advocate for Obama than you are.

by souvarine 2008-01-28 05:18AM | 0 recs

you just made my point.  

by Moonwood 2008-01-28 12:39PM | 0 recs
shush shaun
you don't understand what is happening here. And you  refuse to admit to certain facts.  Clinton's comment about Jesse Jackson was obviously to answer a previous question and the tape was edited.
Take your race baiting bullshit and screw around in your own elections.  Your racial divisiveness is not appreciated.
by MollieBradford 2008-01-28 03:45AM | 0 recs
Re: shush shaun

Was obviously to answer a previous question and the tape was edited?  I read that diary too.  You have a funny sense of evidence, Mollie, since the diarist didn't provide any.  And just which elections are my elections, anyhow?

And who is being racially divisive again?  I am blowing the whistle on you guys.  You really need to pay more careful attention sometimes, Mollie, charm and a sunny disposition won't always be enough.  It was Bill who was playing identity politics here, and he was acting for her campaign.  Do you actually read the links in diaries or just browse for comments from posters you want to rail and rant at?  I suppose I am a sexist, too, since I don't think the absolute world of Hillary.  Sheesh.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-01-28 04:03AM | 0 recs
Re: shush shaun
I also noticed the previous comment by Bill Clinton, along with the question he was answering, was cut off in the middle.
I really don't trust the media very much (I still resent the way the media framed the Bush/Gore contest, and I see alot of parallels with this race), and until I see on tape the full comments and the questions preceding his Jesse Jackson comment, I will hold off on making a decision about his comments.
by AnnC 2008-01-28 04:05AM | 0 recs
Re: shush shaun

So when presented with the virtual smoking gun evidence of the identity politics argument from the 'first black president' himself you blame the media for quoting him out of context?  Well, it's happened before, to be sure.  But don't you think in the face of the extensive criticism of that remark today in the media that the Hillary campaign would have provided that vital nugget of evidence themselves?  Or even mentioned it?  They just wish it will all go away, far, far away.

I'm inclined to suppose that if it wasn't captured on video you would deny he ever said it.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-01-28 04:23AM | 0 recs
Actually Molle

ABC news has confirmed that Bill brought up the reference to Jackson after being asked an unrelated question.  

Not so obviously huh?

by Moonwood 2008-01-28 12:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Proof Obama

I told a friend of mine about this. She was thinking about supporting Obama instead of Edwards in the GA primary. It turned her away. Really, it's a losing strategy in the long run. It seems the Obama campaign hasn't thought past the next primary. And they start changing their tune way too late in the game. He's now going for the hispanic vote? Too late it seems for that. He was too busy running them off for the last few primaries to all of a sudden be able to attract that voting bloc.

by Ga6thDem 2008-01-28 02:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Proof Obama was the one who first played race

Hey, gladiatorstail -- he DID win SC.  And masssively.  And most of the people who voted believed that the race card had been played -- by the Clintons.  And they were right, as evidenced by the constant desire of clinton supporters to make the campaign about race.

Its becoming obvious that the Clinton supporters are far more taken with republican ideas than Obama...

by davey jones 2008-01-28 02:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Proof Obama was the one who first played race

"It is unfortunate that people have tried to distort what Mrs. Clinton had to say about Dr. King."

"I think there has been a deliberate and systematic attempt by some people in the Obama campaign to really fan the flames about race and to really distort what Senator Clinton said.  I understood and I think most right thinking people understood what she said.

"President and Senator Clinton have a record, a history, a very long history of bringing people together. No right thinking American would ever think that Senator or President Clinton would ever do anything that would use the race card"

"I must tell you...I'm trying to set the record straight...the Obama camp is doing something else, theyr'e sending out memos to the media trying to suggest that the Clintons are playing the race card."

-Rep. John Lewis on News Hour 1/14

by Seymour Glass 2008-01-28 04:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Proof Obama

We'll see how it plays out.  I think the average voters knows Obama started it.

by reasonwarrior 2008-01-28 03:13AM | 0 recs
i notice

no one can offer facts to counter the REALITY that it was Obama's people who played the race card.

The point is this: Obama wants to be the black candidate for black voters because they won't vote for a "transcendent" candidate.  They want a person who "knows" racism is a big problem. (it's not)

But then he goes to the rest of the country and race is never on his mind because we're one America.

Well if that stood, of course he would win. Split the white vote because everyone is being fair, and win the black vote overwhelmingly.

That is what happened in SC only becuase Edwards was competitive.

The rest of the country will reject Obama's cynical racism and elect Hillary.

If you disagree where are the facts?  Obama and surrogates responding to general criticisms with race baiting.  MSM won't call him on it, but they do have the transcripts.

Now the clintons are saying, "ok you are the black candidate" but not just for blacks for everybody.

by yellowdem1129 2008-01-28 03:32AM | 0 recs
Re: i notice

you are right. If someone can come up with some facts proving otherwise I'd like to see them.

by MollieBradford 2008-01-28 03:39AM | 0 recs
Re: i notice

You diarised yourself recently that the magnitude of Obama's potential support within the black electorate was inadequate to gain him much in most of the Super Tuesday races.  I thought from your analysis, and gleeful conclusions, that not only where you aware of this brand of identity politics but were celebrating the outcomes.  Honestly, how stupid do you think the Obama campaign is?  The means, motive and opportunity all point to an intentional framing of the identity politics narrative by Hillary's campaign.  Add to this Bill's comments throughout the campaign, which are inexplicable as responses to Obama's arguments but perfectly aligned to this identity politics framing, and you have a difficult case to argue against.

Given that there is a perceived electoral advantage to them, why wouldn't the Hillary ampaign have done this?  You guys have been telling us for months how well she likes to play hard-ball.  Well, this is where the rubber meets the road.  It has nearly destroyed his campaign, isn't that what you always advocated?  

Frankly I think it may backfire because of the significant white component in Obama's SC victory.  That must have scared them a little.  But still it has worked pretty damn effectively in the past and not just in the South.  And Penn would sell a rat's ass to a blind man for a wedding ring to win an election.  His career is on the line.  He may be a creep but he can certainly use a spreadsheet, and he is as cynical as they come.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-01-28 03:55AM | 0 recs
Re: i notice

I don't agree with everything yellowdem1129 has to say, but I was one who argued Obama was under-performing among African Americans. Obama had a number of choices at that point, he could have won  African Americans from Clinton with a positive, clear appeal based on the issues that are important to African American voters. Instead he chose to use a negative, fear-based appeal as demonstrated in this diary.

by souvarine 2008-01-28 04:25AM | 0 recs
Re: i notice

And Bill's inscrutable comments throughout the South Carolina campaign, among others, up to and including the Jesse Jackson remark yesterday?  Just air through the turbines?  This diary demonstrates nothing to me but the understandable desperation of the Hillary campaign and it's supporters to deflect blame elsewhere, preferably to their opponent.

The trend in South Carolina among blacks was tracking Obama's way since Iowa, it was the Hillary campaign that realised they must abandon that demographic and attempt to turn the loss to their advantage.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-01-28 04:40AM | 0 recs
Re: i notice

I wouldn't call Bill Clinton's comments inscrutable, he has been quite clear and up front with his criticisms of Obama and of the media. Jesse Jackson is only a negative in the media's imagination, in the real world of Democratic voters Jesse Jackson and his 1988 campaign is a positive.

Racism gives Clinton no advantage in a Democratic primary, using it would only alienate African Americans and most white Democrats. To believe otherwise is to believe that Democrats are racists. The only campaign that benefits, and then only temporarily, is the one making the charge.

I notice that you do not refute any of the diary's claims, preferring to attack the motives of the diarist.

by souvarine 2008-01-28 05:15AM | 0 recs
Re: i notice

I actually got started in this diary responding to a comment of Lori's, I found the diary unpersuasive.

This isn't about racism.  No-ones suggesting the Clinton's are racists.  It's about identity politics.  When I said Bill's comments were inscrutable I meant in any other context than the one they were actually made in.  For example he notably said, in a comment touching on race and gender, that his wife was unlikely to win in South Carolina a few days ago.  That's a strange thing to say if you are on the campaign trail.  The most charitable interpretation would be that he was managing expectations but that still doesn't work, really.  When you look at it in the context of identity politics and the races coming up it makes sense.  He was suggesting the converse was also likely, that Obama couldn't win in other situations.

Where have I attacked the diarist's motives?  I only responded to them with a single comment down-thread.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-01-28 05:33AM | 0 recs
Re: i notice

You said the diarist is deflecting blame, rather than making an honest case. That goes to the motives of the diarist rather than the content of the diary.

How is saying that Hillary Clinton is unlikely to win in South Carolina notable for anything other than its honesty? The demographics were against her unless she could win over Obama's natural base. That became very unlikely after Iowa, but she and Bill Clinton certainly tried.

The diarist shows that Obama appealed to identity politics, and in fact both Obama and Clinton are using identity politics as part of their positive case. An identity appeal is only dangerous to Obama if he uses it to divide Democrats, in this case by attacking Hillary Clinton. There is no other danger in the Democratic primary in being a black candidate. Obama's campaign tried to use identity politics to attack Clinton when Obama spokesman Jesse Jackson Jr. brought up Katrina and South Carolina and when Amaya Smith put out a memo that implied that the Clinton campaign was using race against Obama. In the black and brown forum Obama agreed that he regretted those actions, and stated that the Clinton campaign was not trying to use his race against him.

Since we cannot read people's minds we cannot know if they 'are' racist, all we can judge are their actions. When you claim that Bill Clinton is using the fact of Obama's race against him you are claiming that Bill Clinton is racist.

by souvarine 2008-01-28 06:04AM | 0 recs
Re: i notice

Deflecting blame was a generalised criticism to Hillary's supporters, the diarist included, I suppose.  Obama's a decent guy and has tried to tamp down this controversy more than once.  His surrogates have said some stupid and regrettable stuff.  None of that changes my view that this is an intentional ploy by the Clintons for compelling reasons I have already stated.

Identity politics framing Obama as a black candidate is a stupid, losing policy for Obama and a cunning, winning strategy for the Clintons given the demographics and delegates in the Super Tuesday states.  What more compelling evidence could you have if you had even an iota of balanced assessment of their actions in the past few weeks?  Means, motive and opportunity should be sufficient grounds to at least reasonably doubt the Clintons were not the instigators of this damaging, divisive debate.  Obama may be many things but he is not stupid.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-01-28 06:20AM | 0 recs
I suppose Ted Kennedy

is being bamboozled by Obama too.  Ted is just not sophisticated enough to know he is being used by Obama.  

The Clinton people here are in deep denial.  

by Moonwood 2008-01-28 05:10AM | 0 recs
Re: i notice

    "It is unfortunate that people have tried to distort what Mrs. Clinton had to say about Dr. King."

   "I think there has been a deliberate and systematic attempt by some people in the Obama campaign to really fan the flames about race and to really distort what Senator Clinton said.  I understood and I think most right thinking people understood what she said.

   "President and Senator Clinton have a record, a history, a very long history of bringing people together. No right thinking American would ever think that Senator or President Clinton would ever do anything that would use the race card"

   "I must tell you...I'm trying to set the record straight...the Obama camp is doing something else, theyr'e sending out memos to the media trying to suggest that the Clintons are playing the race card."

   -Rep. John Lewis on News Hour 1/14

by Seymour Glass 2008-01-28 05:47AM | 0 recs
Re: i notice

At best, you'll be lucky to get anything other than a personal attack.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-01-28 03:55AM | 0 recs
Re: i notice

Does this comment mean that you think Obama is a racist?  If so, I'd love to see you flesh that out in a post.  

My personal view is that both campaigns made some unfortunate statements in the middle of a heated contest and that, because race does still matter in this country, we got some ugly spectacle.  The idea that either Democratic candiate "played the race card" (an inherently offensive phrase, imo) strikes me as the height of silliness.  But it does tend to be hard to prove a negative.

by HSTruman 2008-01-28 05:09AM | 0 recs
Re: i notice

What a load of bs.... it means he's likely to see something like what you post, a personal attack, rather than a substantive disagreement over the timeline.

It is silliness, so try not to engage in it yourself too.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-01-28 05:31AM | 0 recs
Re: i notice

My intent really wasn't to attack anyone and I'm not sure how my one comment did so.  I apologize if that's how it sounded.  

My take, again, is that the entire situation is unfortunate with blame to go-around.  I didn't actually think that qualified as (1) a personal attack; or (2) irrational candidate support.  I simply don't think either of our big two are racist.    

by HSTruman 2008-01-28 05:36AM | 0 recs
passive aggresive bs

Does this comment mean that you think Obama is a racist?  If so, I'd love to see you flesh that out in a post.

by Seymour Glass 2008-01-28 05:51AM | 0 recs
Re: passive aggresive bs

One will certainly never accuse you of being passive aggressive, so you've got that going for you.

My point, actually, was that NEITHER Obama nor the Clintons are racist and that it is ridiculous to argue otherwise.  In my view, there's nothing inconsistent with saying that and noting that both sides have made unfortunate and insensitive comments.  In case you missed it, that means I'm criticizing Obama too.  For example, I cringed when I saw Jesse Jackson Jr. talk about Hillary not crying about Katrina.

But hey, don't let me distract you from your own "fair and balanced" approach to this election.  

by HSTruman 2008-01-28 05:56AM | 0 recs
you thought you were beig cute

and placing Jerome in a box.


by Seymour Glass 2008-01-28 06:27AM | 0 recs
Re: you thought you were beig cute

Thanks for letting me in on that info -- I had no idea.  Very informative!  

by HSTruman 2008-01-28 07:03AM | 0 recs
here are the email addresses

to send this diary to :

    "joe scarborough" <>,,,

If you can find Mikka's, olberman's and Chris Matthews send it them too.

by MollieBradford 2008-01-28 03:36AM | 0 recs
Bill's Jesse Jackson comment

particularly since he is a former President and the leader of the Democratic Party was the last straw in people's minds.

People do not know who Michelle Obama is or care what she had said months ago.  She isn't a former president and she isn't the leader of her party.  What she said doesn't care much weight.

What's is being said now is what people remember and I am telling you that the general public was totally turned off by Bill's Jesse Jackson comment.

by puma 2008-01-28 03:41AM | 0 recs
puma is saying

i don't have the evidence. But the press is covering Bill Clinton, they say he's playing the race card, so that makes it so.

Bill clinton is dealing with Obama playing the race card.

That is the accurate way to say it based on FACTS.

He speaks one way to black groups in "code", and totally different in Iowa, and NH.  Then he talks normal political criticism and his surrogates warn about "killing people's hopes and dreams".

The Clintons have two choices:

1. allow obama to play the rard to win black votes and win others by being transcendent--they lose.


2. deal with it by letting everyone know what Obama is doing, this way making it a fair race.

by yellowdem1129 2008-01-28 03:58AM | 0 recs

are subject to perception.  And I think your perceptions are biased by your commitment to your candidate.  

The consensus in opinion and actions today by major players including supporters of Hillary is that Bill stepped over the line.  You may not like that consensus but that is what it is.  

by Moonwood 2008-01-28 05:19AM | 0 recs
Your logic is bizarre

Facts exist because of perception - there would be no facts if there was no perception.  


by Moonwood 2008-01-28 11:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Bill's Jesse Jackson comment
And the simple fact is that even if Obama was trying to play the race card (Which is in left field if you have ever heard him talk) SC Blacks still weren't pulling for him until they saw that White voters supported him.
He didn't start off campaigning to be President of Black America (like Jesse) even when he was 20 points down. He isn't doing it now, and  he won't be doing it in the future.
The ugly simple fact is that he is running against a husband and wife team, and Americans aren't  ready for a 'First Couple'.
Bill Clinton handed Obama the SC primary when he went tit-for-tat with him, instead of highlighting the relationship that Bill has with the Black community.
After a while, all the AAs in SC saw was their former president beating down on somebody who was trying to take the high road. Was that accurate, I don't know. I do know that Clinton talked about Obama in SC a lot more than Obama talked about the  ex-president.
by Bruticus 2008-01-28 08:56AM | 0 recs
no more like this.

This must be Fantasy Island over here.

Playing the race card is more than saying black americans will vote for Obama which is a pretty generic attempt to simply say "They will come around once they get to know him."

More like saying Obama may be a crack dealer.

THATs the race card folks.

Or Robert Johnsons comment about what Obama "was doing in CHicago."

THATs the race card folks.

Or Bill Clintons comment about Jessee Jackson.

THATs the race card folks.

by crackityjones 2008-01-28 03:54AM | 0 recs
Re: no more like this.

Bob Johnson is now a racist?  

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-01-28 03:56AM | 0 recs
Re: no more like this.

He played the race card for Hillary.

I did not say he was a racist and I hope you are not saying that.

by crackityjones 2008-01-28 04:06AM | 0 recs

how is talking about drug use racist?

by MollieBradford 2008-01-28 05:25AM | 0 recs
Re: no more like this.


You said:  "Or Robert Johnsons comment about what Obama "was doing in CHicago.  THATs the race card folks."

So, you can play the race card but not be racist?

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-01-28 05:33AM | 0 recs
Re: no more like this.

I can conceive of no more suicidal course for Obama than for his supporters to keep arguing that bringing up drug use is racist, that questioning Obama's experience is racist.

I am a liberal so I at least understand where these arguments emanate from.  But the vast majority of Americans will not accept them.  There is no better way to get Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson into people's heads than by crying racism concerning things those people don't see as racist in the least.

Here is reality.  The narrative has already been set: Obama tried as hard as possible to keep race out of this campaign, and those nasty Clintons just kept bringing it up.  The media has already decided this is how it happened, embrace it, love it, use it to your advantage!

But don't go rehashing the specifics because you will bring the whole house of cards crashing down if people realize how flimsy the individual cases are.  Just take the narrative and go forward from here.

It is a tremendous advantage that it's OK for Obama's wife to talk about black people voting for a black candidate, but it's off limits for anyone on Clinton's team to point out that black people vote for a black candidate.  Don't blow this advantage by digging into the contradiction too deeply, just let it be!

by Steve M 2008-01-28 05:23AM | 0 recs
Re: no more like this.

No way mac! IT was fleshed out ad nauseum! What do you think I am a fool with nothing to do than repeat the same points over and over? Check the archives about Shaheen's statements.

by crackityjones 2008-01-28 09:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Proof Obama was the one who first played race

"It is unfortunate that people have tried to distort what Mrs. Clinton had to say about Dr. King."

"I think there has been a deliberate and systematic attempt by some people in the Obama campaign to really fan the flames about race and to really distort what Senator Clinton said.  I understood and I think most right thinking people understood what she said.

"President and Senator Clinton have a record, a history, a very long history of bringing people together. No right thinking American would ever think that Senator or President Clinton would ever do anything that would use the race card"

"I must tell you...I'm trying to set the record straight...the Obama camp is doing something else, theyr'e sending out memos to the media trying to suggest that the Clintons are playing the race card."

-Rep. John Lewis on News Hour 1/14

by Seymour Glass 2008-01-28 03:59AM | 0 recs
Hillary won South Carolina

again check the facts, as of today if nothing else changes:

whites  3  -  2 for clinton
latinos  2 - 1 for clinton
blacks   4 -1 obama

that same election on Saturday taken nationwide is a winner for Hillary.

Obama needs to change the dynamic.  THEREFORE  we have the MSM trying to spin him back into the race.

So far from devasting the campaign, the Clintons have done what was necessary.

For me this is a 2 fer. Because then they will have to put Obama on the ticket. I didn't want a moderate in the v.p. slot anyway.

by yellowdem1129 2008-01-28 04:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary won South Carolina

That's exactly the point.  Conceding Obama's campaign the black vote, assuming that identity politics limits his appeal among other demographics, which it may have failed to do, is a winner for Hillary.  That would explain why they were trying to do it.

It makes no sense for the Obama campaign to have played in to this narrative.  The trick is to make it seem as if they had.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-01-28 04:33AM | 0 recs
btw it is racist to

imply any talk about drugs is playing the race card.

If I as a black man admit I used drugs (I never did), and someone asks for the details, that is not racist. That is a campaign.

It happened to Bush, and it wasn't racist.

It happened to bill clinton and it wasn't racist.

It happened to Marion Barry and it wasn't racist.

It would be racist if someone promoted drug use of someone who hadn't done it for the purpose of trading on past stereotypes.  Didn't happen.

That is another example of the race card.
Most cocaine users are white.  
He didn't use crack btw. that is racist.

by yellowdem1129 2008-01-28 04:05AM | 0 recs
I'm African American .....

This right here

"The problem is, as I know very well the black community is a PROTEST community."


by BlueDiamond 2008-01-28 04:13AM | 0 recs
the diarist

is AA too.

by MollieBradford 2008-01-28 05:28AM | 0 recs
Side comment...
Apparently, Obama has decided to go to Florida too on Tuesday. lol
Maybe it's just talk.
Is he going all the way to make a concession speech? This prove Obama is one stupid individual.
by lonnette33 2008-01-28 04:22AM | 0 recs
Yea I knew

Obama was stupid.  Hes just a dumb ass.  You are so smart of pointing that out.

by Moonwood 2008-01-28 05:23AM | 0 recs
he may be going to campaign

if he is going before the end of the day watch out. He'll find a way to campaign there.

by MollieBradford 2008-01-28 05:30AM | 0 recs
Re: he may be going to campaign

Now I think you're on to something Mollie.

by lonnette33 2008-01-28 05:38AM | 0 recs
Who's been playing the race card?

There's more than enough evidence out there about Obama's playing the race card.

For starters, when he formally declared his candidacy for the presidential on February 10, 2007, at Springfield, Illinois, "in a setting rife with symbolism and historic links to Abraham Lincoln's fight to end slavery." If elected, he would be the first Black U.S. president.

Just Google Obama and "Uncle Pookie" and see what that brings up.

Oh, and let's not forget the Selma speech:

*Lynn Sweet, "Obama's Selma speech. Text as delivered," ''Chicago Sun-Times'', March 4, 2007.
*Jake Tapper, "The Obama Myth: Factual Discrepancies to the Selma Claim," ABC News/, March 5, 2007.
*"Barack Obama lies about his father's story in his Selma speech,", March 5, 2007 .. and yes, even Rightie blogs can be correct.
*Andy Martin, "Barack Obama: Joshua generation or "just joshin'?" Lies, more lies and damn lies," ''Political Gateway'', March 6, 2007.

by Artificial Intelligence 2008-01-28 04:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Who's been playing the race card?

You're citing RedState in support of your argument?  Slippery slope.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-01-28 04:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Proof Obama was

Puma is so acid in the hatred of the Clintons, that Puma fails to understand that Bill and Hillary are the most well-known and well-regarded politicians on earth.

And unlike Barack Obama, they have a long, proven track record.

If African-Americans do not already know that Bill ("the first black president") is on their side, they never shall.

Their disloyalty to him in South Carolina will prove their ruin.  

They remind me of my Greek-American community, like sheep falling for the likes of Spiro Agnew and then Michael Dukakis.

Dukakis lost to Jesse Jackson in 1988--by a much larger margin than did Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama--and guess what?  The American media didn't care.  They--the MSM---dismissed Jackson's win there as a "racial victory."

Many a Greek-American then blindly followed Dukakis, a terrible candidate, over the edge.

The Clintons are the real thing--our gold standard.

For the "new kid on the block" Obama to prevail, he would have to dynamite the very bedrock of the Democratic Party.  And that meant dynamiting the Clinton foundation of the Party.

Were the Republicans looking at a similar circumstance with a much younger Ronald Reagan, in effect, through his wife, looking toward a third term, they would quickly have coalesced around him.  

One doesn't argue with success.  And success for Republicans meant, and still means, all things Reagan.

Since FDR, the Democrats have had only one candidate twice elected president--Bill Clinton.  

And he left office with a huge approval rating, peace and prosperity for much of his reign.

If the Obama brats want to dynamite that to get their untried and untested three-year Senator the nomination, so be it.

But dynamating that success story, even though such war endears them to the Clinton-hating MSM, has only the greatest of perils.

There are now millions of bedrock Democrats like myself who now detest Obama and his minions.  Who would never vote for him under any circumstances.

And who are seething at the savage treatment received by the Clintons, both by African-Americans and persons like Teddy and Caroline Kennedy--persons the Clintons were extremely good towards.

The kind of disloyalty evidenced by these groups to the former President of the United States--whom most Democrats should be naturally embracing--is now unforgivable.

More than anything now, we bedrock Democrats want to see that disloyalty to the Clintons punished, and punished severely.

When millions of bedrock Democrats go to the polls on February 5, we will be sending a signal to the MSM, to Teddy and Caroline, and to much of the blindly following African-American community.

You will not destroy our Clintons!  You will not seize from us our party!  You will not have a Clinton-hating, Reagan-loving spoiled brat come anywhere near being the nominee of our party.

It is now total war--and the Obama brats brought it on themselves.  

And a war brought on not by the most admired politician on earth--our 24 carat Bill Clinton, who gave us peace and prosperity and racial tranquility.  

And whom the Obama brats would not seek to destroy.

by lambros 2008-01-28 04:24AM | 0 recs
Who played it is lost to sight.

All we know is that there is massive national consciousness that racial divisions have played a part in the campaign and that Obama's victory in SC was largely based on his support in the black community. No one particulary minds other than the media bloviators and overheated bloggers, but the broad fact is the impression has been implanted. Obama has received +/- 80% of the AA vote in every contest thus far and it isn't going to change much going forward. The other elements in his coalition (under 30's, extreme liberals, independants/Republicans) are now well recognized too. We can argue about this til the cows come home the caravan has moved on. SC is already fading as a topic in the media by tomorrow it will be largely gone subsumed in the excitement over FL having had a media cycle of only a couple of days. By Friday SC will be a distant memory although black/white divide will linger in the consciousness.  

by ottovbvs 2008-01-28 04:30AM | 0 recs
Re: This is Absolutely Correct...

Great diary.

I've been pointing out Michelle Obama's race card for a while now. Michelle Obama played set it up during her interview with Mika Brzezinski for Morning Joe on MSNBC.

Moreover, the whole Donnie McGlurkin thing was a 'race card' in itself, as everyone in the South knows full well, churches are central to the black community in the South (as they are for white evangelicals in the South); and black pastors preach against homosexuality (as do white evangelical pastors in the South). Barack pushed themes of religiosity in South Carolina, a subtle way to play a race card in and of itself.

So, the real "southern strategy" was played by Barack Obama who highlighted his race in South Carolina because he feared he couldn't win otherwise. He needed to siphon off black voters from Clinton. The campaign figured on being able to distance itself from it's own "southern strategy" after South Carolina.

The problem for Obama is that their own strategy was a double-edged sword: It helped them in S.C., but it hurt them in Super Tuesday races. They may have overplayed their card. The ensuing vitriolic "race" issue cemented Obama as a "black candidate" in the minds of the country. The media loved the emotional "race issue" and Obama won big, so the media coverage was huge. Now Team Obama faces the very real possibility that white voters will engage in "identity politics" in their niche of the country, just as black voters did in South Carolina. And, if they do, there is the possibility that white voters will reject Obama.

Team Obama must be worried; how will they now distance themselves from the "black candidate" narrative, when he won so big with all those black voters in South Carolina? They're spinning that he won white votes too, but will it work?

Obama established himself as the "Black Candidate" using McGlurkin and Oprah in South Carolina. Unfortunately, Oprah's viewership reacted very negatively to her involvement, that's why she has pulled back from public support. That kind of backlash could play out on Super Tuesday as well, particularly in other Southern States, which have much smaller percentages of black voters demographically.

by Tennessean 2008-01-28 04:43AM | 0 recs
Don't forget Jesse Jackson Jr.

Don't forget Jesse Jackson Jr. going on MSNBC and questioning Hillary's tears, and stating that she didn't cry for Katrina victims.

by BigBoyBlue 2008-01-28 05:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Proof Obama was the one who first played race

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

As reported by the Chicago Sun Times on Friday from South Carolina:

"Don't be hoodwinked. Don't be bamboozled," Obama told crowds several times during the day.

As a movie and Denzel fan, those words were very familiar to me.  Theyr'e from Spike Lee's Malcolm X.  I remember going to see that movie soon after Bill Clinton won in 1992.

They were the eternal words of Malcolm X regarding political maneuvering in the African American community


In my mind, I heard Denzel Washington proclaiming them,

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

So I'm not here this afternoon as a Republican, nor as a Democrat...

So I have to stand here today as what I was when I was born: A black man.

Before there was any such thing as a Republican or a Democrat, we were black...

In fact, before there was any such place as America, we were black!

And after America has long passed from the scene, there will still be black people.

I'm gonna tell you like it really is. Every election year these politicians are sent up here to pacify us! They're sent here and setup here by the White Man!

"I say and I say it again, you've been had. You've been took. You've been HOODWINKED, BAMBOOZLED, led astray, run amok."

OH MY GOD! I KNEW I HAD HEARD THOSE WORDS BEFORE! But it wasn't just one word - "bamboozled" that had made my ears prick up and ask, Malcolm - is that you? So when I saw that both Spike's Malcolm and Obama had both said HOODWINKED, BAMBOOZLED, it became quite clear. It was two odd, rare and unique words used in tandem. So coincidence was OUT! Obama was sure as heck sending a clear message to the movie going public (the Spike Lee movie going public that is - if you know what I mean) of South Carolina.

Here Obama was channeling Spike Lee - channeling Malclom X! Now that's somethin'!

I Googled to see who in the national political media had written about the amazing fact that Obama had been quoting Malcolm X (as dreamed up by Spike Lee that is, Malcolm never gave such a speech, none of it, it's pure movie magic)around the state of SC at the moment that the entire national press corps was screaming like banshees about how awful and shocking it was that the Clintons just wont stop talking in dog whistle RACE CODE while campaigning!

Guess how many articles I found had been written about this in the entire media and press corps.  Go ahead guess.....of course, none.  Not one. The members of the media "village" were  all too busy obsessing about and making up stories about Bill's "explosion" (again)and what  a "disgrace" and distraction he has, well... them.(again)

As Steve M so clearly put it:

I buy that it is not a coincidence that Barack Obama is going around, the day before the South Carolina primary, repeating over and over two words that just happen to be a well-known quote from a movie speech where Malcolm X just happens to be warning the black folks not to trust white politicians who come into their community.

Look a it this way. Do  you think the press corps would look the other way if in her stump speech Hillary started quoting Gary Sinese playing the race baiting George Wallace in John Frankenheimer's bio-pic "Wallace'. Ya think?


"Don't be hoodwinked. Don't be bamboozled," Obama told crowds several times during the day.

by Seymour Glass 2008-01-28 06:07AM | 0 recs
Walking on Racial Eggshells with Obama

Obama surrogates suggest that criticism of his inexperience or voting record is "racist". They also suggest that compliments (Joe-Obama is impressive and articulate-Biden and Bob-I like the fact that his family has a Muslim background-Kerry) are also "racist".

If these are the racial eggshells upon which Obama expects Americans to tread, he's already lost the nomination.

by BigBoyBlue 2008-01-28 06:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Proof Obama was the one who first played race

Welcome to the new Obama era of post-racial racism.

by superetendar 2008-01-28 06:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Proof Obama was the one who first played race

nancy go to media matters and get the addresses of all the msnbc news bosses and complain.  We all have to do our part.

Joe Scarborough

Mr. Phil Griffin,
Senior Vice President, News
NBC Television Network
30 Rockefeller Plz
New York, NY 10112

Steve Capus,
President, NBC News

30 Rockefeller Plz
3rd Fl
New York, NY 10112
(212) 664-4444

Chris Matthews

by MollieBradford 2008-01-28 06:59AM | 0 recs
How is Bill

talking about Jesse Obama raising the race card?

doesn't make any sense

by Moonwood 2008-01-28 12:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Proof Obama was the one who first played race

 The Black community may be protest oriented, but the white liberal/progressive is terrified of being in any way associated with anyone who is perceived to be in any way racist.  Once the race card was played that way, the white liberal/progressive had to run away.  

by Iskandar 2008-02-13 03:05PM | 0 recs


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