More Embarrassments for Clinton Campaign

With the polls narrowing in Texas and Ohio, and Obama moving out to a 51% to 39% lead in the latest USA Today/Gallup Poll, the Clinton campaign is getting desperate. Yesterday she misfired badly when attempting to use sarcasm against Obama. Does she really want to be the candidate who opposes hope?

Today hasn’t been any better for Clinton. The big story today was a picture of Obama in native African garb during a visit to Kenya in 2006. It is quite common for politicians to wear local clothes at such events, but apparently some thought this might make Obama look bad. Perhaps the idea was to reinforce the false claims that Obama is Muslim, hoping that most Americans wouldn’t realize that only ten percent of Kenyans are Muslim. Clinton has been known to leak material through Matt Drudge in the past, and today Drudge posted the picture saying it was being distributed by Clinton staffers. Drudge also noted that politicians often wear local costumes and provided examples of Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, and George Bush:

The Clinton campaign’s first response just did not sound like much of a denial. When asked if they put out the picture, the Clinton campaign first gave this answer:

Enough.

If Barack Obama’s campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing is divisive, they should be ashamed. Hillary Clinton has worn the traditional clothing of countries she has visited and had those photos published widely.

This is nothing more than an obvious and transparent attempt to distract from the serious issues confronting our country today and to attempt to create the very divisions they claim to decry.
We will not be distracted.

It wasn’t until several hours of comments that this did not sound like a denial that the Clinton campaign issued an actual denial.

Over the weekend Clinton also claimed that two Obama mailers provided incorrect information on her positions. There were some minor errors in the mailer on NAFTA. Obama characterized Clinton as supporting NAFTA when in reality Clinton has been both for and against it. She should be relieved that Obama didn’t attack her on this flip-flopping. Obama’s mailer also erroneously presents a newspaper’s report of Clinton’s position as if it was an exact quote from Clinton.

Clinton might have taken the high ground after Obama had some minor errors in his mailers, but instead she followed up with a grossly inaccurate mailer which Factcheck.org has debunked in an article entitled Clinton Edits ‘The Truth.’ Their summary states:

Hillary Clinton, stung by an Obama mailer that painted her as a supporter of the North American Free Trade agreement, is responding in kind with a barrage of postcards saying, “Ohio needs to know the truth about Obama’s position on Protecting American Workers and NAFTA.” But the mailer gives less than the whole truth.

It quotes two news reports of Obama praising NAFTA, but it fails to mention that both are from the same event and leaves out his calls for “fair trade” and increased enforcement – and his criticism of trade agreements negotiated “on behalf of multinational companies instead of workers and communities.”

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18 Comments

  1. 1
    Eric Dondero says:

    For once we agree Ron. I too think this was just another “politician bad hat” day. Our American history is loaded with such mishaps of politicians having to donn clothing of the locals to “fit in.” I wouldn’t bash Obama on this, at all. Yeah, it looks a bit goofy. But hey. He’s in politics.

    More damaging though is the news of the Louis Farrakhan backing of Obama over the weekend.

    Ron, how does it make you feel to know that Farrakham is supporting Obama?

  2. 2
    Eric Dondero says:

    Ron,

    You bashed Ron Paul for gaining support for Nazis like Don Black, David Duke, and the Storm Troopers Front.

    Will you now do the same for Obama, now that he’s won the support of a Nazi of the Left Louis Farrakhan?

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    Eric,

    Barack Obama has already spoken out against Farrakhan’s views.

    Obama has not solicited the support of people like Farrakhan. Would you say the same about Paul and his extremist supporters?

    “I decry racism and anti-Semitism in every form and strongly condemn the anti-Semitic statements made by Minister Farrakhan.”
    –Barack Obama

  4. 4
    Christopher says:

    The Borg Queen’s campaign has been the source of the anti-Obama filth Drudge is posting.

    The International Herald Tribune, which is owned by the New York Times, broke the story today.

    Needless to say, the MSM is refusing to own up. Oh well.

    Monday, February 25, 2008

    In the latest New York Times/CBS News poll of national voting preferences, Barack Obama bests his rival Hillary Clinton by a commanding 16 points.

    For the first time, Barack Obama has moved ahead of Hillary Clinton nationally, with 54 percent of Democratic primary voters saying they wanted to see him nominated, while 38 percent preferred Mrs. Clinton.

    A new USA Today/Gallup Poll released Monday showed a similar result, 51 percent for Mr. Obama to 39 percent for Mrs. Clinton.

  5. 5
    Eric Dondero says:

    Weak, very weak indeed Ron. Yes, and Ron Paul and his supporters spoke out against Don Black, Duke and the other Racists backing his effort.

    You were merciless against Paul on this.

    Ron, you are really starting to show your hypocrisy here.

    I hate Naziism too. But Farrakhan is just as bad, even worse than David Duke and the like.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    Eric,

    Once again you show that it is you that is the hypocrite as you distort the facts to make your argument.

    I did not criticize Paul for his endorsements per se. I was quite specific that the issue was not who endorsed Paul as a politician cannot control who endorses them. In contrast, I was criticizing Paul’s own actions, which are quite different from Obama’s.

    Paul did not speak out against Don Black and others for quite a while. They didn’t say anything for months after it was a controversy, and then it was half hearted criticism. Paul refused to return the contribution from Black.

    In contrast Obama criticized Farrakhan even before he received the endorsement, and there were no contributions involved.

    I criticized Paul for soliciting the support from right wing extremists. In contrast, Obama has been criticizing them.

    I criticized Paul because his views overlapped with the right winger whose support he solicited. Paul’s newsletters show evidence of racism. Paul’s views on state’s rights and his belief that Constitutional liberties do not apply to the states allow white supremacists and Nazi’s to promote their views.

    In contrast, Obama’s views are quite distinct from Farrakhan’s. Instead of having writings which express agreement with Farrakhan’s views, Obama’s public statements and writings show the opposite. When political opponents first tried to tie his views to Farrakhan’s multiple Jewish organizations issued a statement defending Obama. All the uncommitted Jewish members of the Senate also released a statement of support for Obama defending him against the bogus charges.

    There is just no comparison between the situation with Paul and Obama. Of course you are well aware of these specific criticisms of Paul as you provided some of the arguments regarding Paul’s ties to extremism. However, as you are the hypocrite here, you choose to ignore these facts.

  7. 7
    Ron Chusid says:

    Christopher,

    This wouldn’t be the first time that Clinton’s campaign released a smear and then tried to deny they were behind it. They also tried this with the bogus plagiarism attacks, but AP put out a story outright saying that the charges originated from the Clinton campaign as opposed to the news media as Clinton claimed.

  8. 8
    Christopher says:

    Ron,

    There’s more.

    I was at the dentist yesterday getting a cavity filled and the tabloid The Globe was on the table in the waiting room. I opened it up and there was the Obama bimbo eruption!

    Evidently, the Clinton camp found some guy — yep, a GUY to come forward and claim he:

    1. smoked crack with Barack
    2. performed oral sex on Barack

    Of course, the MSM won’t touch this but it just goes to show how truly desperate Team Hillary has become. I hope when she returns to the senate, she loses her committee chairs. The woman is unbalanced and not well.

  9. 9
    vecene says:

    It is correct to investigate and report any shady claims or acts by the Clinton campaign. There us a danger, though, in the inordinate amoumt of emphasis on such reporting.
    Every put-down of Clinton reverberates as a reflexive endorsement of Obama, and I’m troubled by the Obama mania.

    By all appearances, Obama is an intelligent and honorable man. Those excellent qualities by themselves don’t guarantee a successful presidency, however. So far, his campaign seems to be based on being all things to all people.
    His campaign thrives on being a blank slate when it comes to explaining just how he plans to achieve the unity he preaches.
    Seeing Obama as the Messiah come to save American politics is dangerous, because even the smallest shortcoming will be magnified into a major failure, when juxtaposed against the promise of the campaign.

    There is very little analysis of just what an Obama presidency would mean in terms of policy changes. How would he deal with GOP obstructionism in Congress? How would he deal with a conservative backlash?
    Before awarding Obama the laurel leaf of victory, some time should be taken from Clinton exposes in order to come to a realistic understanding of Obama, and I emphasize REALISTIC, as opposed to idealistic).

    It’s great to hope, but anchoring hopes on an undefined and nebulous
    strategy is rash in the extreme.

  10. 10
    Ron Chusid says:

    Christopher,

    That story has been going around for a while. I had a post yesterday after the guy failed a polygraph test on both of these accusations.

  11. 11
    Ron Chusid says:

    Vecene,

    That is just another untrue meme being pushed by the Clinton campaign.

    Obama is not a blank slate. Despite the claims of Clinton supporters, his speeches deal with specifics of policy as much as Clinton has. Obama has issued details of his plans, while often Clinton has ducked the hard questions.

    Obama’s proposals are also far superior to Clinton’s. For example, The Washington Post has compared the economic recovery plans of both. Obama received a A-. Clinton received a C-, barely beating John McCain’s D+.

    Their histories show that Obama would do a much better job than Clinton in terms of dealing with GOP obstructionism. For example, Clinton’s attempts at health care reform flopped while Obama was successful in overcoming Republican opposition to his health care proposals in the Illinois legislature. Clinton’s policies are often based upon a narrow minded viewpoint of doing things her way or not at all. Obama shows far better understanding of opposing viewpoints and the ability to seek compromises without violating basic principles, and the Clintons typically do in their triangulation.

    To some degree Obama is a gamble. However, looking at how bad the alternatives are in Clinton and McCain, I’ll go with that gamble. At least Obama has been right on numerous issues where both Clinton and McCain have been wrong, and his policy proposals are much stronger than those offered by Clinton and McCain.

  12. 12
    vecene says:

    Ron,

    I absolutely agree with you that Obama is not, in fact, a blank slate.
    However, his policy statements are largely ignored by the media, blogs and commentators. Consequently, the support he generates is, largely, due to the PERCEPTION of him as a blank slate on which each person can write this own hopes. How else to explain Obama T-shirts in ‘red’ territory? Many of his policy staements are directly in oppostion to GOP political primary principles.

    To legitemize his candidacy, then, more attention should be spent on discussing and highlighting his policy poitions. Just focusing on Hillary take-downs helps to create the blank slate image which you are decrying.

    One question is: why I oppose Hillary.
    A more important question is: why I support Obama. There is a shortage of commentary on that side of the scale.

    In assition, I also note that while he has made his policies clear on many issues, Obama has never explained how he plans to achieve unity in this hyper partisan atmosphere. That’s a core hope everyone feels, but few want to cede an inch in its purssuit.

  13. 13
    Ron Chusid says:

    Vecene,

    The media does pay too little attention to policy, but that isn’t limited to Obama. The media always prefers the horse race to matters of substance. That doesn’t mean that Obama supporters aren’t aware of of his policy positions. There have been interviews which do go into them in depth. He also has considerable information at his web site.

    There has been a lot of anti-Hillary posting in the blogosphere as a consequence of her own actions. It seems that hardly a day goes by in which there isn’t yet another outrageous statement or action from her campaign, which leads to reactions.

    The Clinton campaign contacts bloggers as well as the media with their talking points and invitations to conference calls. I’ve outright told Clinton’s people that they were only playing into Obama’s hands by their actions. Each time they come out with their next dishonest attack we have a new round of posts defending Obama. In the process, Clinton makes her own lack of integrity and her own tactics a major campaign issue. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t also posting and arguments as to why we support Obama.

    Obama has discussed how he will deal with the hyperpartisan atmosphere. More importantly, he has demonstrated this. This includes looking at how he was successful in the Illinois legislature and how he has responded to partisan attacks during the campaign.

    Another Clinton meme is to hold Obama to an absurd standard. Nobody expects that he will be able to sweep away all the partisanship. What is important is that he is pursuing the correct policies far more often than Clinton, and that he does show an ability to find solutions which transcend many of the left/right partisan divisions. In contrast, Clinton acts as a lightening rod and worsens the situation.

  14. 14
    Eric Dondero says:

    How in the world can you say that Obama’s views do not “overlap” with those of Louis Farrakhan. That is utterly absurd Ron. They are virtual ideological equals.

    Barack H. Obama just scored a perfect 100 as the most “Liberal/Socialist” member of the United States Senate from the distinguished non-partisan National Journal. You don’t get a perfect Leftwing 100 score without having at least some shred of Fascism in your belief structure.

    Obama also scored a perfect 100 from the ultra-Marxist ADA for the past three years in a row.

    Tell us Ron, how can one score higher than 100 on such surveys? How can one be an even more proponent of bigger government than a perfect 100 scorer?

    Obama calls for Nationalized Health Care, rants against Business, calls for tax raises, and wants to stomp on the Rights of Americans to own guns.

    Sound familiar?

    The exact platform of the Nation of Islam.

  15. 15
    Eric Dondero says:

    Incidentally, a second photo has just emerged of Obama wearing Muslim clothing and headgear while in Kenya in 2006. Some sources are saying that the photo actually comes from the AP, which sat on it for a year.

    The first photo was just kind of silly. But this second one is a bit more serious.

    Little Green Footballs is currently one of the only Blogs linking to it.

  16. 16
    Ron Chusid says:

    Eric,

    How many times are you going to post the same incorrect statements?

    There are no similarities etween Obama’s views and Farrakhan’s views. Obama is not a socialist. His economic advisers are from the University of Chicago and are staunch capitalists, not socialists.

    Obama did not receive a “perfect” 100 score from either the ADA or The National Journal. In addition, their scores have nothing to do with Marxism. His scores are far more libertarian than anything else. Obama got his points for supporting transparency in government, ethics reform, and civil liberties issues. He also got points for opposing the war and for opposing restrictions on stem cell research. There’s nothing Marxist here.

    Obama is not calling for nationalized health care. He has not been ranting against business. His tax increases will only affect those making over $250,000 are simply scale back the advantages to the wealthy given by Bush. He supports an individual right to own guns.

    The picture has been spread widely, not only by LGF. It means nothing. Obama is a Christian. He also has a father from Africa. The headgear has nothing to do with supporting radical Muslim groups as the nutty right wingers are claiming.

  17. 17
    Mike Butcher says:

    Hey, Obama isn’t running against us nutty right wingers yet. Don’t lay this crap at our door step. This stuff is all coming from the enlightened elite of the left that is singing cum by ya while they screw you to the wall.

    I like Obama, I even like what he says. Health Care for everyone, free college tuition, raises for all the “working” people, love not war. The problem is it isn’t credible for him to be able to do all those things taking money only from those mean nasty people who make over $250,000 who don’t really deserve the money anyway because they spend 12 hours a day stealing from the struggling working man who spends 8 hours a day at his job. There aren’t enough people who make above $250,000 to pay for everything Obama wants to do in addition to paying for the title wave of Medicare costs that is bearing down on us. We don’t have enough money now to pay the bills of all the love we have been promising people for the next 50 years. The current shortfall for what we owe is the equivalent of $4500 per family in the U.S. Those who make over $250,000 a year constitute 2 % of the tax payers. If you take everything they make you will be able to pay for some of it, but it won’t cover all of the other 98%. Where are we going to get the money for the rest of it?

    You guessed it. Those poor unfortunates who make less than $250,000 that all those greedy bastards who make more have been stealing from are going to have to pony up some money too. And that only covers the miserly pittance that we give out now, Obama wants us to do more. I would be a lot more enamored with the man if he started telling us how he is going to pay for it. Eliminating the tax cuts that GW gave isn’t going to cut it. He needs to tell us not only who is going to be paying more but how much they are going to be paying. Put some numbers on the table. I used to hope that the growth of the economy was going to be able to do it. People smarter than me like Greenspan says it can’t do it. We have to make fundamental changes to decrease the benefits and increase the taxes just to get by on what we are doing now, and Obama wants to be my nanny, momma, and rich uncle too? The only saving Grace is that we all know he isn’t going to be able to do all he says and so we don’t really have to take him seriously when he says it. We can just enjoy the beauty of his words and appreciate that he cares about us.

  18. 18
    Ron Chusid says:

    Mike,

    No, right wingers have been using the Muslim and Madrassa charges against Obama for months.

    Your claims of innocence by the right are further undermined as you distort Obama’s positions with false claims that he believes that those making $250,000 are stealing from the struggling working people. Haven’t you noticed that much of Obama’s support comes from the affluent? Many of us who would be taxed more by Obama’s plans are still supporting him because of believing the country (and ourselves) would be better off with him than with Republican policies.

    The official claim is that his health care plan will be paid for by a combination of taxes and by savings. However, as I noted in posts last year when the candidates were putting out their plans, all of the candidates were overly optimistic as to the savings which would be achieved.

    It’s true in pretty much every election that campaign promises cost more than can actually be afforded. That’s a common problem of politics. However while Democrats campaign like that, Republicans try to actually govern like that.

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