The use of racism as a strategy by the Clinton campaign has been discussed frequently, and, along with other dishonest tactics, has been a major reason why many Democrats backed Barack Obama. Finally a superdelegate who supported Clinton has come clean and admitted that this was part of their strategy. The (New Jersey) Star Ledger reports:
A Democratic superdelegate from New Jersey said this week he is worried that unifying the party behind Barack Obama may be difficult because the Clinton camp “has engaged in some very divisive tactics and rhetoric it should not have.”
U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews, who supported Hillary Clinton throughout the primary season, disclosed he received a phone call shortly before the April 22 Pennsylvania primary from a top member of Clinton’s organization and that the caller explicitly discussed a strategy of winning over Jewish voters by exploiting tensions between Jews and African-Americans.
“There have been signals coming out of the Clinton campaign that have racial overtones that indeed disturb me,” Andrews said at his campaign headquarters in Cherry Hill Tuesday night after he lost his bid for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination.
“Frankly, I had a private conversation with a high-ranking person in the campaign … that used a racial line of argument that I found very disconcerting. It was extremely disconcerting given the rank of this person. It was very disturbing.”
The strategy, like so much of what Hillary Clinton did during the campaign, was what we would expect from a Lee Atwater or Karl Rove, not a Democrat. The tragic legacy of the Clinton campaign is that the Democrats have much more difficulty in claiming the high moral ground when a leader such as Hillary Clinton has conducted a campaign as repulsive as any conducted by the Republicans. Fortunately Barack Obama ran a clean campaign, free of Rove/Clinton tactics. He can regain the high moral ground for Democrats, but only if he resists the pressure to allow Hillary Clinton on the ticket or to have a major role in his administration.