There was a time when one could claim that the Clinton campaign’s racially-charged attacks on Obama were isolated incidents, the actions of a few bad apples in the vast organization that is a national political campaign. After the past week, anyone arguing that is deluding themselves. Let’s take this chronologically, shall we?
December 12th, 2007: NH Clinton Campaign Co-Chair Bill Shaheen ponders, to reporters, whether Obama dealt drugs as a teenager.
December 16th, 2007: In a speech endorsing Clinton, former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-NE) refers to Obama as “Barack Hussein Obama” and mentions Obama’s father and maternal grandmother’s Muslim background. He follows up by falsely accusing Obama of having attended a “madrassa”.
January 7th, 2008: In the course of attacking Obama for harboring “false hope”, Clinton attacks Martin Luther King Jr., saying that “Dr. King’s dream began to be realized when President Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act. It took a president to get it done.”
January 7th, 2008: At an event literally three blocks from my house, Bill Clinton, in the course of falsely accusing Obama of not having opposed the war (WTF?), calls Obama’s candidacy “the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen”.
January 10th, 2008: New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, speaking on behalf of the Clinton campaign, says, in reference to Obama, “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.”
January 13th, 2008: BET Founder and Clinton surrogate Bob Johnson says, “I am frankly insulted that the Obama campaign would imply that we are so stupid that we would think Hillary and Bill Clinton, who have been deeply and emotionally involved in black issues since Barack Obama was doing something in the neighborhood – and I won’t say what he was doing, but he said it in the book – when they have been involved,” an obvious reference to Obama’s teenage drug use.
After Shaheen and Kerrey, I was willing to give Clinton the benefit of the doubt. But this past week, they really pulled out the big guns. Drug use, racial slurs, attacking MLK Jr. – if you still don’t think the Clintons are running a racist campaign, you aren’t paying attention.