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View Diary: How Obama Rode The Race Card to Victory (271 comments)

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  •  Here's the problem with this silly-ass article (6+ / 0-)

    My own reaction to the Clinton campaign re the "race card" had absolutely NOTHING to do with Barack Obama. I clearly remember it starting before New Hampshire (maybe before Iowa)with Clinton surrogates (I think one of them headed up the New Hampshire campaign) going before the press and saying things like:

    "You gotta love that he has a Muslim name; that'll play well in the rest of the world"

    "we should look into his drug usage/drug dealer status"

    Some pro-Clinton surrogate in New York started talking about Obama "shucking and jiving."
    There were some other race-tinged comments like this coming from the Clinton camp.

    Then Bill Clinton jumped into the fray, first by saying that a vote for Barack was "a roll of the dice." Then that Barack was "a kid." Then that Barack's claims were "the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen." And then, in South Carolina, we were back to Bob Johnson talking about what "Barack really did on the streets of Chicago." As well as Bill comparing him to Jesse Jackson.

    Two points here:
    First - all of these statements (which were reported by the media - NOT by the Obama campaign - are all race-baiting statements with particular resonance to black Americans. "Roll of the dice" Black Americans have been stereotyped as playing dice (or craps) instead of working an honest job, all while they're standing around "shucking and jiving." This is a strong insult to an accomplished black man like Obama who, whether or not you like him for President, is a top-flight attorney, first black to head the Harvard Law Review, a law school professor, an Illinois state legislator and now an United States Senator. He deserves to be treated with respect. Calling him "a kid" reflects the many years and centuries that grown black men were called "kid" or, more likely, "boy" regardless of their age or profession. If nothing else, it's completely tone-deaf to call a black man a "kid." I don't even need to address the repeated attempts to link him to "drug dealing." The New York Times investigated his own claim to have experimented with drugs in his youth and found no "there" there.
    The comment about Jesse Jackson was clearly intended to minimize Obama's winning in South Carolina - but also intended to paint him as a "black" candidate - as in not a serious candidate but one running just to call attention to black issues - a la Jesse Jackson twenty years ago. The "fairy tale" comment also minimizes Barack and sounds like his whole campaign is an illusion. This belittling of black people is what many are reacting to.

    Secondly, Obama did not cause any of these people from the New Hampshire campaign chief, to Bob Johnson, to the New York "shuck and jive" person to Bill Clinton himself to say any of these things. That is, unless you happen to think Barack really does possess a magic wand that gets people to do things they otherwise wouldn't do - then they could say, in their defense, that the devil made me do it.

    Give me a break.

    Oh, and by the way, didn't Matt Drudge himself say that he got that picture from the Clinton camp. And, has Clinton gotten up and "rejected and denounced" the picture (can't just do one or the other, obviously). Just wondering.

    •  no, he didn't (0+ / 0-)

      didn't Matt Drudge himself say that he got that picture from the Clinton camp.

      He never said that.  Learn to read.

      Voting rights are our most important rights because all the other ones depend on them

      by markusd on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:35:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You have some facts wrong (0+ / 0-)

      The one you are referring to with the shuck and jive comment is Andrew Cuomo.  It was first reported by The Politico (that Drudge-loving right-of-center publication) that he was referring to Obama.

      However, when the furor erupted and the full context of Cuomo's remarks were made public, the reporter revised his story to make it clear that Cuomo was not referring at all to Obama, but rather was referring to the nature of retail campaigning in both Iowa and New Hampshire.  

      This is the update from the reporter who filed the story:

      UPDATE: Though the report I link refers specifically to New Hampshire, Cuomo called to play the tape of the interview, in which he says nice things about Obama, and in which the quote above is describing both Iowa and New Hampshire — meaning it's not a direct reference to Clinton's primary victory, or attempt to explain it — that is, he's talking about the primary process in general, not Obama in particular.

      But you know how it goes with the media -- once the charge is made, especially with something as inflammatory as charges of race-baiting, no one really notices the correction.  

      To wit, you still remember it as an attack on Obama and as a key example of Clinton surrogates race-baiting even though the reporter tried to set the record staright. .

      On the other examples (Billy Shaheen and Bob Kerrey), I'd invite you to read the linked article for a good analysis of what actually happened.  And on the Drudge thing, a commenter above has already set the record straight.

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