The Clintons, Race, And Smearing Obama

The classic example of chutzpah is for someone to murder their parents and then throw themselves upon the mercy of the court because they are an orphan. Bill Clinton might not be going that far, but he is certainly showing quite a bit of chutzpah in his attacks on Barack Obama. After stooping to inject race into the campaign, he how has the chutzpah to accuse Obama of stirring the race issue.

Raising race was the last thing Barack Obama really wanted to do as it only works to his disadvantage. The Clinton’s goal is to downplay a loss in South Carolina as a racial fight with Obama winning the black vote. The Clintons next hope that this will increase Hillary’s share of the white vote in subsequent primaries. Bill and Hillary Clinton had everything to gain by making this election about race, even if it means retroactively losing Bill’s title as the unofficial first black president.

Whether the Clintons succeed in their strategy of smears depends largely upon whether enough people see thorough them. As just one example, The Hill’s Pundit Blog summarizes how the Clintons have brought race to the campaign:

I have found myself more and more troubled as the Clinton Machine seeks to derail the candidacy of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). Sure, politics is a vicious game and the Clintons are well seasoned in the art of hand-to-hand combat.

No, what disturbs me most about the Clintons is the manner in which they have targeted the senator and initiated a disingenuous campaign where they claim they would never focus on race — all the while focusing on race in the campaign.

I first took stock of this when the husband of former New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen alluded to Obama’s drug use and then noted it would be the Republicans who would make an issue of it, not the Democrats. Hmm … I wonder who brought that up in the first place? Team Clinton.

Then we had the former president’s comments regarding Obama’s stance on the Iraq war as being nothing more than a fairy tale. Was Bill really talking about the war, or was he alluding to the fact that a black junior senator’s candidacy was nothing more than a fairy tale?

And the most recent flap, of course, was over the assertion by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) that it took a president (white, Southern LBJ) to actualize the dream that Martin Luther King was seeking to achieve by signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law. The implicit question being, Do voters want a junior black senator in the Oval Office when they could have the seasoned, white Clintons calling the shots? All this, mind you, came during the week in which we take time to reflect on the contributions and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I’m sick of this — and I’m sick of the Clintons doing one thing and claiming, till they’re blue (or in his case, red) in the face, that they haven’t done what they just did. For the supposed “first black president” to throw everything including the kitchen sink at a candidate is one thing. For the Clintons to play the race card against Sen. Obama is sick, in my opinion.

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4 Comments

  1. 1
    Neo says:

    I find the whole idea, that so many reporters and bloggers can’t seem to grasp, that Hiliary is a woman and Obama is black, to be self evident, needing no further claification.

    With that in mind, I find the whole current state of the Democratic primary coverage to be “one great distraction“.

    I mean, they, at least the media, really aren’t talking about anything that interests anyone except gender and race bigots.

    So with the media absorbed in reliving the battles of the 60’s and 70’s, just how is anyone to make an informed choice when there is no useful information in front of them ?

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Neo,

    This is part of the Clintons strategy. They are tying to make the election one over race and gender and are playing all sorts of games to distract attention from the actual issues.

    The media is largely absorbed in reliving battles because they cover what the candidates do. Bill Clinton has managed to suck the air out of discussion of anything else in coverage of the campaign.

  3. 3
    TKM says:

    Just the thought of having the “Clinton Circus” back in the White House for another 4-8 years is enough to make me physically sick. I didn’t, and still don’t, trust Bill any farther than I could throw him, but felt Hiliary was not quite as bad. I have since changed my mind. She may not be telling Bill what to say, but if she can’t control him now what is it going to be like in the White House? She can’t possibly be able to run a country if she can’t keep her own husband in line. Lies. Lie. Lie. That’s all they know how to do.

  4. 4
    gracie says:

    Bigdaddy Clinton is riding to the rescue of his TammyWynette!

    Bill is a son of the south, of course he is racebaiting, because he knows it works.

    Hillary is nothing but Bill’s surrogate for a third term.

    When are the Democrats going to wake up and decide they do not want to go back to the future with Billary?

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