Cheat-Seeking Missles

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Audacity Of Hype

The race card hyping of the last few days is evolving, allowing us to see the Obama campaign as it is: audacious, hard-hitting, sophisticated, unrelenting and more than a little nasty.

Follow the dance steps:

First, a memo from the Obama staff makes the rounds -- very thoughtful, strategic, rounds -- laying out the race card to attack Clinton on the eve of a key Southern primary in South Carolina, and on the set-up of several primaries -- New York, Michigan, Florida -- where blacks can be the the key to victory.

Then, Obama appears to endorse the content of the memos, but with words carefully scripted to separate him just enough that he doesn't look like a slimy slammer.

Then today, sensing that the damage has been done, a magnanimous Obama tells the press that there's nothing to the story that the Clintons are something less than stellar supporters of the black agenda -- it's just something that's been "played out in the press. It's not my view." As if his camp didn't start it all.

And finally, in the same comments, he reinforces the two incidents -- the white man was needed to pass the Civil Rights Act and his campaign is a "fairy tale" -- restating them one more time before saying they show a deeper fault in Clinton than a mere racial blind spot.

Audacious, hard-hitting, sophisticated, unrelenting and more than a little nasty.

Here's how Obama, on ABC News, dealt with the Lyndon Johnson/Civil Rights Act kerfuffle his campaign created and laid at Clinton's feet:
Sen. Barack Obama told ABC News Monday there is nothing in Sen. Hillary Clinton's record that would give him any cause for concern about her in terms of racial politics.
The magnanimous Mr. Obama.
Asked how Obama interpreted two recent remarks by the Clintons that prompted an angry reaction from some in the Black community, Obama sought to damp down the racial dynamics of the controversy.
What a clean campaigner!
Many African Americans were offended when Hillary Clinton told an interviewer in New Hampshire, "Martin Luther King's dream became a reality when Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964."

Some say she seemed to suggest that it took a white politician to fulfill a black man's dream.
Yeah, but would it have been such a big deal without Obama's people hyping it?
"I don't think it was in any way a racial comment," Obama told ABC News. "That's something that has played out in the press. That's not my view."
"Not my view," but not "Not my memo."
But, he said, the comment was revealing about her political character. "I do think it was indicative of the perspective that she brings, which is that what happens in Washington is more important than what happens outside of Washington," he said.

He said he believes the quote betrays a belief on her part, "that the intricacies of the legislative process were somehow more significant than when ordinary people rise up and march and go to jail and fight for justice."
In the interview, he handles Bill's "fairy tale" comment in a similar manner: The jaw-crusher has already been delivered by his staff, so Obama generously, kindly minimizes the hit, while subtly reminding us of it so the sting won't go away.

Remind you of someone? Hillary Clinton, perhaps?

And speaking of Hillary, has all this deft maneuvering hurt Ms. Inevitable at all? Glad you asked:
NEW YORK, NY -- Dogged by continuing racial tensions around her presidential campaign, Hillary Rodham Clinton drew a smattering of boos on Monday when she spoke at a religiously tinged Martin Luther King Jr. rally put together by a union organizing predominantly black security workers.

The catcalls came when Clinton was introduced and her speech drew only tepid applause compared to the boisterous ovations drawn by many of the pastors and reverends — not to mention a hip-hop artist and slam poet — who took the podium before her. ...

Even though the event was billed as a rally for an SEIU affiliate celebrating King’s legacy and Clinton was a late-addition, the less-than-enthusiastic reception was still noteworthy. It took place in Clinton’s backyard and came as she is making extensive efforts to put the kibosh on the racially tinged controversy swirling around her campaign. (The Politico)
There was a day when a black union rally in New York would have been a raucously pro-Hillary affair. That day was about a week ago. But today, the woman who is the wife of "America's first black president," the woman who utterly dominated the black vote when running for Senate, finds herself just before the big black primaries getting the cold shoulder.

All that affected drawling ...
clipped from

blog it
...for nothing.

hat-tip: memeorandum

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