Sunday :: Jan 13, 2008

"There is not one shred of truth in what you've just read."

by Turkana

Tim Russert did what Tim Russert does, and Senator Clinton fired back. As TPM Election Central recounts, Russert used the distorted, truncated version of Senator Clinton's remark about Dr. Martin Luther King and President Lyndon Johnson, and Sen. Clinton was ready:

"There is not one shred of truth in what you've just read."

"I was responding to...Senator Obama himself...and his comparison of himself to Kennedy and Dr. King. There is no doubt that inspiration offered by all three of them is essential....Dr. King didn't just give speeches. He marched..he was gassed. He was jailed..."

She added that King "wanted somebody in the White House to act," and went on to criticize the Obama campaign: "Clearly we know from media reports that the Obama campaign is deliberately distorting this."

She also said that Dr. King deserves the bulk of the credit, but that he had a partner, in the White House.

As Politico reports, she also blamed the Obama campaign for helping spread the distortion:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” today that the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) was “deliberately distorting” remarks she had made about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.

“This is, you know, a, a — an unfortunate story line that the Obama campaign has pushed very successfully,” she said. “They’ve been putting out talking points. They’ve been making this — they’ve been telling people, in a very selective way, what the facts are.”

She's right, but we don't know how right. As the Huffington Post's Sam Stein reported:

Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign has prepared a detailed memo listing various instances in which it perceived Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign to have deliberately played the race card in the Democratic primary. [See the full memo here.]

The memo, which was obtained by the Huffington Post and has been made public elsewhere, is believed to have been given to an activist and contains mostly excerpts from different media reports. It lists the contact info and name of Obama's South Carolina press secretary, Amaya Smith, and is broken down into five incidents in which either Clinton, her husband Bill, or campaign surrogates made comments that could be interpreted as racially insensitive.

The document provides an indication that, in private, the Obama campaign is seeking to capitalize on the view - and push the narrative - that the Clintons are using race-related issues for political leverage. In public, the Obama campaign has denied that they are trying to propagate such a perception, noting that the document never was sent to the press.

Stein reprints the memo, in its entirety, and it does distort the facts around the various incidents.

Now, if something like this had come out of the Clinton campaign, many Obama supporters would blame the Clintons personally. Taking a reality-based approach, we don't know from whence this sleazy tactic came. But it does seem that Senator Obama's South Carolina Press Secretary promoted it. Will he reprimand her, and apologize to Senator Clinton? Did he reprimand his top campaign strategist, David Axelrod, when Axelrod implied that Senator Clinton was partially to blame for Benazir Bhutto's assassination? Did he apologize? Did he reprimand his national campaign co-chair, Jesse Jackson, Jr., when Jackson questioned Senator Clinton's tears, in New Hampshire, and implied that Senator Clinton didn't care about the victims of Hurricane Katrina? Did he apologize?

Is there a pattern here, from the campaign of hope and change? It's now a fair question.

Turkana :: 8:55 AM :: Comments (67) :: Digg It!