Monday, February 25, 2008

Cheap snapshot

This picture was sent to the Drudge Report (Motto: "All our news isn't fit to print"), allegedly by the Hillary Clinton campaign. Assuming this is true, and there's little reason to suggest otherwise, it's such a pitiful act of desperation. So desperate, in fact, that it just might work.

Let's go to the tape: The Clinton campaign, faced with 11 straight state losses and a dangerously energetic base of Obama-supporting non-boomers, circulates passive-aggressive sentiments about Barack being not ready or not, ahem, acceptable enough to be president. To prove such a dubious point, they secretly leak a picture of Obama in dress that they know will inflame the passions of the ignorant, and then project such a negative perception on the Obama camp:

If Barack Obama's campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing is divisive, they should be ashamed," [Clinton campaign manager Maggie Williams] said.

Brilliant. Completely dirty and classless, but brilliant.

It seems to be working, too, because Obama has taken the bait:

Addressing the issue briefly in an interview with a Texas radio station, Mr Obama said: "I think the American people are saddened when they see these kind of politics."

On second thought, that's actually not a bad answer, in the sense that it rebuts the move without pinning it specifically on Clinton or sinking to the level of his rivals. Still, we know Obama can be a fighter when he needs to be. And now would be a good time to call Clinton et al. on their increasingly shady tactics. Here's what he should say:

"Yep, that's me, wearing traditional Kenyan garb. Busted! I apologize for going to Africa two years ago and donning appropriate attire. I obviously didn't think about how dressing like people from my father's home country would resonate two years later during my presidential bid. I guess I figured that if George W. Bush can dress up like a fighter pilot and routinely hold hands with Saudi sheiks, and if Hillary's people can readily admit that she has undertaken similar rituals, then I could at least be permitted to indulge in a nod to a country that's in my blood and, in 2006 at least, was on good terms with the U.S. My bad. I should have been as calculating then as my critics accuse me of being now. Alas, I was foolish enough to believe that we had long gotten past the shallow, desperate and racist American mentality that makes such a photo matter more than a molecule of roach turd to begin with. Of course, terrorists sort of dress in togas and turbans sometimes, so I'm obviously trying to destroy America. Because when I talk about 'change,' I'm referring to my command to get all Americans to 'change' into the right clothes so that when I bring the terrorists here, they can shoot the British Redcoat-looking people, thus sparking both World War III and American Revolution II. And if you believe any of the above, I've got a bridge to nowhere I'd like to sell you."

Except, you know, eloquently.


Nick said...

Though I never would have wished it upon him, as he seems to be a nice guy, Sen. Obama is finally experiencing one of the big reasons why so many on the Right have utter disdain for the Clintons.

This is about par for the course with them. Screw America. Screw the Democrat Party. We want to be back in the White House, and we're willing to tear down anyone to do it.

And I thought Karl Rove was the only dirty mastermind...

rhonda said...

you know this kind of thing really REALLY sets me on fire. "mad" doesn't do the feeling any justice. you and anyone else who gains any amount of trust from me has already heard it to death, so i'll go find some other choir to preach to :)

Terry Troll said...

if Obama can't take small pokes like this one how is he going to do when the real smear machine is cranked up by the Repuglicans? I was undicided after Richardson dropped out but finally went with Clinton in the primary because of experience and toughness. Whoever wins beating the R's is the prime objective.

Ian McGibboney said...

I think Obama will do better, in every sense, against the Republicans than against Hillary. And he's not even doing that bad against Hillary.

What we're seeing now is the kind of bickering that goes on between family members who know how to hit each other hardest (figuratively speaking). Hillary has to resort to such stunts because her issues aren't any better (or even that different than his) and she certainly can't captivate the way he does. The GOP doesn't have much either, at least from what I've seen. And it seems unlikely that they wouldn't played at least one major hand by now if they had one against Obama. After all, they have all the dirt in the world about Hillary. So why not drive him out early and spend the rest of the race tearing Hillary apart like we all know they want to do? Something doesn't add up to me.

As for "experience," Hillary has it. But that's both good and bad. This election is as close to a cleansing of the establishment as we're likely to get, and we must take advantage of it. The Clintons did it in 1992, and Obama can do it now.

Internet said...

I hope the smear WORKS and Clinton gets the nomination, then loses to McCain.

Ian McGibboney said...

Al Gore definitely didn't invent you.

That sort of cynical scenario is going to require an audacious amount of hope and a complete change from current polling trends. Have you considered voting for Obama, Internet?