Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign has prepared a detailed memo listing various instances in which it perceived Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign to have deliberately played the race card in the Democratic primary. [See the full memo here.]
The memo, which was obtained by the Huffington Post and has been made public elsewhere, is believed to have been given to an activist and contains mostly excerpts from different media reports. It lists the contact info and name of Obama’s South Carolina press secretary, Amaya Smith, and is broken down into five incidents in which either Clinton, her husband Bill, or campaign surrogates made comments that could be interpreted as racially insensitive.
The document provides an indication that, in private, the Obama campaign is seeking to capitalize on the view – and push the narrative – that the Clintons are using race-related issues for political leverage. In public, the Obama campaign has denied that they are trying to propagate such a perception, noting that the document never was sent to the press.
Look- when Jesse Jackson, Jr. went on MSNBC last week and was interviewed by Norah O’Donnell, it was clear what he was saying when he made the remark that (and I paraphrase) “Hillary cried about questions regarding her appearance but not for the Hurricane Katrina victims and the 45% of African-American voters in South Carolina know where they get their inspiration,” it was clear it was about to get all racial in South Carolina. And it was clear what their strategy would be and that it was sanctioned, as no one from the Obama camp has said a peep about Jackson’s obnoxious words.
I am not saying it is a stupid or bad strategy, but I would like all the “Obama is above all that” bullshit artists in the media and on the web to put a sock in it. Everything the Clinton camp (or as it is the case right now, people who merely support Clinton but who are not with the campaign) says will now be labeled racist, and a gullible few will suck it up.
In the comments yesterday, someone claimed Bill Clinton dismissing Obama as a “kid” was racist. “Why not just call him boy,” the commenter asked? If we are now to the point where snidely and dismissively calling someone a “kid” can be transmogrified into “boy” which is code for “nigger,” then anything and everything you say is now racist. And that is a level of absurdity this campaign does not need.
Do people REALLY think Andrew Cuomo is racist? Or Bill and Hillary Clinton? Really? Seriously? Are the Obama supporters really claiming that “fairy tale” is the new dogwhistle to lure southern voters? Really? Seriously?
And no, this does not mean I dislike Obama. It does not mean I will not support him. I just think he is getting a free ride, and I think his campaign is no different from anyone elses while pretending to be above it all. It is bullshit. And before you claim I have an Obama obsession, it is primary season. What else do you want me to talk about?
*** Update ***
Noted racist (and yes, that is sarcasm) Josh Marshall has some thoughts.
I am also perfectly willing to admit that I may not see what many in the Obama camp are seeing.