Obama: Clinton remark’s not racist

In an interview/press conference with ABC news Barack Obama told reporters that he thought Clinton’s comments were in no way racist.

Sen. Barack Obama told ABC News Monday there is nothing in Sen. Hillary Clinton’s record that would give him any cause for concern about her in terms of racial politics.

Asked how Obama interpreted two recent remarks by the Clintons that prompted an angry reaction from some in the Black community, Obama sought to damp down the racial dynamics of the controversy.

Many African Americans were offended when Hillary Clinton told an interviewer in New Hampshire, “Martin Luther King’s dream became a reality when Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

Some say she seemed to suggest that it took a white politician to fulfill a black man’s dream.

“I don’t think it was in any way a racial comment,” Obama told ABC News. “That’s something that has played out in the press. That’s not my view.”

Good for Obama. I’m glad he came out and made a public statement to clarify that he was not attempting to play racial politics. HOWEVER, knowing what I do about politics, this is usually what campaigns do. They plant the seed in the minds of voters, let the press talk about it non stop for a few days and then apologize, clarify, or take the “charitable” stance. If Obama really felt that people, many of them people involved in his campaign, were misinterpreting comments Clinton made last week then Obama could have made this statement then. I guess more politics as usual for Obama.

Though like I said originally, my hat is off to him for eventually saying the right thing.


Will A Party Divided Lead to a Ticket United? : Seven reasons for a Clinton/Obama Ticket

From MSNBC’s First Read:

As we have noted plenty in the past year, Democrats have enormous advantages heading into November’s presidential election: They lead by a large margin in generic ballot match-ups; their candidates have raised mountains of more money than their GOP counterparts have; and they’ve bested the Republican Party in turnout numbers in Iowa and New Hampshire. But is the increasingly nasty Clinton-Obama race opening a wound that might not completely heal in time for the general election? The latest incident yesterday was when Clinton supporter (and BET founder) Bob Johnson unmistakably invoked Obama youthful drug use and — if that wasn’t enough — referred to him as Sidney Poitier. Women and African Americans are the two most reliable Democratic voting blocs, and one of them will be greatly disappointed (and hurt) when we finally have a Dem nominee. How many unaffiliated Democrats are biting their nails in nervousness wondering if this developing rift between women and blacks will heal in time for the general? Most likely, this all means that whoever comes out on top — Clinton or Obama — is going to have a lot of work to do to reach out to the losing candidate. Will the two have no choice but to run with each other on the same ticket?

Anyone who’s been following the democratic primary over the last few days probably noticed the rapidly increasing schism among the democratic voters. As First Read notes, there’s one side composed of young voters and half of the African American population that supports Obama there’s another side composed of women, older voters, and the other half of the African American community that supports Clinton. With the flair up of attacks between the two campaigns this weekend over the issue of race, the party is definetely in danger of opening up wounds that are too deep to win in November. On either side, supporters are swearing not to vote for Clinton or Obama.

However I doubt that this divide will do too much harm in November. The incentive to rally around the Democrat nominee in order to beat the Republican nominee is too large. There’ Supreme Court Justices, the War, Universal Health Care,etc. But I do think that the heat of this race is increasing the probability of a Clinton/Obama ticket in November, particularly if Clinton wins the nomination.

If this is the case, thats good news for the Democratic party. A Clinton/Obama ticket would allow democrats to unify the mantra of Experience AND Change into an overwhelming Tour-de-Force which could blow by the Republicans and into the White House.

Click the read more link for the reasons a Clinton/Obama ticket would be good for the party:

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Identity Politics

If you’ve been following political news lately you’ve probably heard about the fight over race between Obama and Clinton. Basically the Obama campaign, mostly through surrogates, is accusing the Clinton camp of being racist because of a few “selectively interpreted” things they said while on the stump. (You can see one of their ludacris examples here.

Of course the Obama camp is claiming that they have nothing to do with the race backlash the Clinton’s are facing, but in reality, they circulating talking points and press memo’s trying to turn a spark into a bonfire.

The Clinton’s of course are calling bullshit on the idea that they are racist, I mean Bill Clinton was the “first Black president”. After mostly staying on the defense, because of the sensitive nature of talking about race, Bob Johnson, the African American founder of BET, fired back with this shot to the knees

“As an African American, 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, when Barack Obama was doing something in the neighborhood that I won’t say what he was doing but he said it in his book… When they have been involved, to say that these two people would denigrate the accomplishment of civil rights marchers, men and women who were hosed, beaten and bled, and some died… To say and to expect us now all of a sudden to say we are attacking a black man. That kind of campaign behavior does not resonate with me or a guy that says I want to be a reasonable, likeable Sidney Poitier ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.’ And I’m thinking to myself, this ain’t a movie, Sidney.”

Ouch. The truth hurts. I’ve been saying the same thing though. It’s pretty insulting that

1. Obama is playing the race card to make up for his loss in New Hampshire. that he’s accusing the Clinton’s of being racist.

2. The idea that saying MLK wasn’t soley responsible for the civil rights movement, especially the legislative aspects of it. As I’ve said before, Martin Luther King built public support which galvanized democrats to take action. However, one they decided to take action, passing the civil rights act was a difficult almost impossible task which required arm twisting, politiking, and political savy. And even once the bill was passed in many ways it was a pyrrhic victory, as democrats lost nearly their entire southern voting bloc , which was previously their main stronghold. This is the reason why Republicans essential control the south and the significant electoral advantage that comes with it.