In recent days the Obama campaign did the following:
- tacitly endorse a race-baiting ad
- did not condemn voter intimidation by a union
- start taking benefits from a PAC
Yet all of the above could not save them from a defeat. Why? Because end of the day the voters had their say.
A few days ago at the Nevade democratic debate Obama all but conceded the fact that his campaign was pushing the racial agenda.
RUSSERT: In terms of accountability, Senator Obama, Senator Clinton on Sunday told me that the Obama campaign had been pushing this storyline. And, true enough, your press secretary in South Carolina -- four pages of alleged comments made by the Clinton people about the issue of race.
In hindsight, do you regret pushing this story?
OBAMA: Well, not only in hindsight, but going forward. I think that, as Hillary said, our supporters, our staff get overzealous. They start saying things that I would not say. And it is my responsibility to make sure that we’re setting a clear tone in our campaign, and I take that responsibility very seriously, which is why I spoke yesterday and sent a message in case people were not clear that what we want to do is make sure that we focus on the issues.
Yet things did not end there. Following the loss of the Teacher's Union suit to limit on-site caucus centers, the PAC UNITE-HERE made this ad:
"Hillary Clinton does not respect our people," the ad says in Spanish (original and Clinton campaign translation after the jump), referring to the lawsuit that failed today to shut down special caucus sites on Las Vegas' strip. "Hillary Clinton is shameless."
This was clearly race-baiting and appealing to the Latino community. So what happened next? Of all people John Edwards to his credit came out swinging against this ad:
"Everyone pledged that this kind of divisive politics that divides the Democratic Party, and could divide America, would come to an end. Sen. Obama made that pledge, I was sitting five feet from him when he made it," Edwards told the crowd at a Nevada campaign event.
"And now it turns out that in the last 24 hours there's a radio ad, a malicious radio ad, attacking Sen. Clinton. That is exactly the kind of divisive politics. It's being run right here, in Las Vegas. I denounce it. This kind of ad, I don't care who's doing it — in this case it's Sen. Obama's supporters — but this sort of thing needs to stop.
"And from what I've seen, Sen. Obama has not said a single word about this. Nothing. When two days ago, three days ago, he said on a stage in front of America and said, 'This kind of politics has no place in America,’" said Edwards.
Curiously enough this ad was being sponsored by the same outside sources that he had criticized in Iowa.
But wait things don't end there. Obama campaign was endorsed by the Culinary workers union against the wishes of its rank and file.
Unions use various ways to decide upon an endorsement. Sometimes it's a questionnaire, or maybe a ballot. Other times it evolves out of meetings. In most unions, the leadership will have the final say, but not before consulting with the rank and file. This isn't the process the Culinary Workers Local 226 used to make its endorsement of Senator Obama. The rank and file wasn't involved in the decision at all.
And now members are pissed.
Then rumors started surfacing of voter intimidation, first by Taylor Marsh (she is not the most impartial commentator) but she was called a hack only to be proven right by Joan Walsh at Salon.
The person who coined the term "Si Se Puede" had this to say:
But United Farmworkers' Union co-founder Dolores Huerta went further, accusing the Culinary Workers Union of intimidating Clinton supporters and keeping them away from the caucuses. Union leaders are telling Clinton backers if they don't vote for Obama, "they won't get transportation, they will be fired," Huerta said. She also argued that Clinton has a "cultural, political and social relationship with the Latino community, which Senator Obama does not have." Latinos call Clinton "Hilaria," Huerta said, adding derisively that they call Sen. Obama "Como se llama?" (as in "What's his name?")
And if that was not enough he made the democratic caucus about him and anti-Hillary, he called it being Obamacrat. Yes senator we now know it's all about you and not about the democratic party.
Finally for all the campaign generated controversies the Voters had their final say. The Obama campaign would serve themselves better to stay away from race-baiting and focus on the bread and butter issues that voters are looking for, otherwise he will soon end up as the candidate who is all sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Update: Now that he lost handily he cries foulplay. Senator Obama this just shows that the primary is all about you, you are a poor loser.