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Monday, January 14, 2008

Barack Obama Strikes Back

Yesterday we discussed how the Clinton's continue to dig holes for themselves, (this one by trying to be subtle and using Obama's race, which offended many in the black community) then when trying to do damage control, end up digging it a little deeper.

Now we see, via Huffington Post, a memo that Amaya Smith, SC press secretary for Obama has sent out, listing items of the Clinton's and/or Clinton "surrogates" have, indeed, used the race issue in the same breath as they deny that they would ever use such tactics:

Subject: MUST READ: Key S.C. figure takes issue with Clintons


Clinton Supporter Andrew Cuomo, Referring To Obama, Said "You Can't Shuck And Jive At A Press Conference. All Those Moves You Can Make With The Press Don't Work When You're In Someone's Living Room." Clinton-supporting New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said the thing that's great about New Hampshire is that you have to go out and meet people rather than "shuck and jive" through press conferences there. Cuomo said of New Hampshire on an
Albany radio station: "It's not a TV-crazed race. Frankly, you can't buy your way into it. You can't shuck and jive at a press conference. All those moves you can make with the press don't work when you're in someone's living room." [Newsday, 1/11/08]


Clinton, Criticizing Obama For Promising "False Hope" Said That While MLK Jr. Spoke On Behalf Of Civil Rights, President Lyndon Johnson Was The One Who Got Legislation Passed: "It Took A President To Get It Done." Clinton rejoined the running argument over hope and "false hope" in an interview in Dover this afternoon, reminding Fox's Major Garrett that while Martin Luther King Jr. spoke on behalf of civil rights, President Lyndon Johnson was the one who got the legislation passed. Hillary was asked about Obama's rejoinder that there's something vaguely un-American about dismissing hopes as false, and that it doesn't jibe with the careers of figures like John F. Kennedy and King. "Dr. King's dream began to be realized when President
Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act," Clinton said. "It took a president to get it done." [Politico, 1/7/08; Video]

Clinton Introducer Said JFK Gave Hope, But Was Assassinated. Clinton introducer: "If you look back, some people have been comparing one of the other candidates to JFK and he was a wonderful leader, he gave us a lot of hope but he was assassinated and Lyndon Baines Johnson actually did all his work and got the republicans to pass all those measures." [HRC, Dover, NH,


Bill Clinton Implied Hillary Clinton Is Stronger Than Nelson Mandela. "I have been blessed in my life to know some of the greatest figures of the last hundred years. [...] I go to Nelson Mandela's birthday party every year and we're still very close. [...] But if you said to me, 'You've got one last job for your country but it's hazardous and you may not get out with life and limb intact and you have to do it alone except I'll let you take one other person, and I had to pick one person whom I knew who would never blink, who would never turn back, who would make great decisions [...] I would pick Hillary.'" [ABC News, 1/7/08; Audio]


Clinton's NH Campaign Chair Raised The Youthful Drug Use Of Obama And Said It Would "Open The Door To Further Queries On The Matter." Clinton's Campaign Issued A Statement Distancing Themselves From Shaheen's Comments And Shaheen Issued A Statement Saying That He "Deeply Regret[s] The Comments." The Democratic presidential race took on a decidedly nasty and personal turn, with the New Hampshire co-chair for Clinton, raising the
youthful drug use of Obama. Shaheen said Obama's having been so open -- as opposed to then-Gov. George W. Bush, who refused to detail his past drug use during his 2000 presidential campaign -- will "open the door to further queries on the matter. It'll be, 'When was the last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you sell them to anyone?'" Shaheen said. "There are so many openings for Republican dirty tricks. It's hard to overcome." By the end of the day, Clinton campaign spokesman Phil Singer had issued a statement asserting that "these comments were not authorized or condoned by the campaign in any way." And Shaheen himself issued a statement: "I deeply regret the comments I made today and they were not authorized by the
campaign in any way." [ABC News, 12/12/07]

Mark Penn, In Trying To Defend His Campaign Over Bill Shaheen's Obama Drug Use Comments, Used The Word "Cocaine," Drawing A Rebuke From Edwards Adviser Joe Trippi. Mark Penn, defending the Clinton campaign in light of Bill Shaheen's comments about Obama's drug use, repeatedly referenced Obama's cocaine use. Edwards adviser Joe Trippi accused Penn of dropping the word "cocaine" deliberately. Mark Penn said "Well, I think we have made clear
that the -- the issue related to cocaine use is not something that the campaign was in any way raising. And I think that has been made clear. I think this kindergarten thing was a joke after Senator." Joe Trippie responded and said "I think he just did it again. He just did it again. ...
This guy's been filibustering on this. He just said cocaine again."
[Politico, 12/13/07; Video]


Donna Brazile Lashed Into Bill Clinton For Comparing Obama To A "Fairy Tale" And Said "It's An Insult... As An African-American" And That His Tone And Words Are "Very Depressing." Donna Brazile lit into Bill Clinton over his insulting comments of Obama, where he called him a "fairy tale" and said "I could understand his frustration at this moment. But, look, he shouldn't
take out all his pain on Barack Obama. It's time that they regroup. Figure out what Hillary needs to do to get her campaign back on track. It sounds like sour grapes coming from the former commander in chief. Someone that many Democrats hold in high esteem. For him to go after Obama, using a fairy tale, calling him as he did last week. It's an insult. And I will tell you,
as an African-American, I find his tone and his words to be very depressing. ... I think his tone, I think calling Barack Obama a kid, he is a United States senator." [Politico, 1/8/08]

Amaya Smith
South Carolina Press Secretary
Obama for America

John Edwards has even jumped into the mix, coming down on Obama's side, yet again:

In a sign of how the issue was churning the waters, Mr. Edwards, also speaking at a church in South Carolina, expressed pride in Mr. Obama while criticizing Mrs. Clinton for what some have seen as her suggesting that President Lyndon B. Johnson deserved more credit than Dr. King for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“As someone who grew up in the segregated South, I feel an enormous amount of pride when I see the success that Senator Barack Obama is having in this campaign,” said Mr. Edwards, who grew up in North Carolina. He added: “I was troubled recently to see a suggestion that real change came not through the Rev. Martin Luther King, but through a Washington politician. I fundamentally disagree with that.”

The Clinton's have a long history of attacking, sometimes in a subtle manner and other times not so subtle, then crying that they are victims... people used to fall for it, they aren't anymore because that game gets old after a while.

Spokeswoman for Barack Obama, Candice Tolliver, had this to say "A cross-section of voters are alarmed at the tenor of some of these statements. There’s a groundswell of reaction to these comments — and not just these latest comments but really a pattern, or a series of comments that we’ve heard for several months. Folks are beginning to wonder: Is this really an isolated situation, or is there something bigger behind all of this?"

If this were just Obama and his campaign saying this, it would be chalked up to politics as usual, but many in the black community have come out and publicly taken offense.

Jesse Jackson has taken issue with their remarks and this tactic and said in a statement "Following Barack Obama’s victory in Iowa and historic voter turnout in New Hampshire. the cynics unfortunately have stepped up their efforts to decry his uplifting message of hope and fundamental change."

Jim Clyburnone, of the leading Democrats in South Carolina and a member of the Congressional Black Caucus,that expressed "disappointment" in the Clinton campaign.

Representative Bakari Sellers a 23-year-old legislator says he is angry about Clinton's remarks "I think those comments were insensitive. I think they showed a lack of concern about the struggles of African-Americans. I thought those comments were inappropriate."

South Carolina's largest newspaper, The State:

Sharp criticism of Barack Obama and other comments about Martin Luther King Jr. — all from people associated with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign — have generated resentment among some black S.C. voters.

The gloves are off, the fight has just begun and this issue isn't going anywhere fast, it is going to stay front and center and it appears that it is going to get much nastier before all is said and done.

The days where the Clinton's get a free pass, are over, and rightly so.