Sen. Obama's Politics of Race
Big Tent Democrat at Talk Left (emphasis mine):
This is bad:
In an interview with CNN's Jessica Yellin, Dick Harpootlian, a former chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party and a supporter of Barack Obama, said some of Bill Clinton's recent remarks on the campaign trail were appeals based on race and gender. He said the comments were meant to "suppresses the vote, demoralize voters, and distort the record," and said they were "reminiscent of Lee Atwater."
Outrageous and false. And, from Obama's perspective, not helpful to his campaign. Consider this, the LAST thing Obama wants is for his big win next Saturday to be viewed as a race issue. Harpootlian feeds that narrative with his outrageous smear. Obama himself strenuously denied that the Clinton campaign was playing race or gender games last week. Harpootlian does no one any favors with this outrageous smear. The Obama campaign should disavow them.
I have written before that the Obama campaign is playing with fire by continuing to allow surrogates and campaign staff to repeatedly make false charges of racism without any accountability whatsoever. This is egregious behavior. Bill Clinton's response is spot-on:
I never heard a word of public complaint when Mr. Obama said Hillary was not truthful, no character, was poll-driven. He had more pollsters than she did.
When he put out a hit job on me at the same time he called her the senator from Punjab, I never said a word. And I don't care about it today. I'm not upset about it.
The only thing I pointed out was that there was substantially no difference in her record and his on Iraq, and that he had said in 2004 there was no difference between his position and President Bush. And he said that was somehow dishonest, but he never answers how it's not accurate. So this is crazy.
This rhetoric is getting a little carried away here. And let me remind you, my ultimate answer is this -- there are still two people around who marched with Martin Luther King and risked their lives, John Lewis and Reverend Andrew Young. They both said that Hillary was right and the people who attacked her were wrong, and that she did not play the race card, but they did.
So I don't have to defend myself from Dick Harpootlian. I will just refer you to John Lewis and Andrew Young. And let him go get in an argument with them about it.
Let him go get in an argument with Dolores Huerta, one of the founders of Farm Workers, against what happened in Nevada.
There is a fact here -- this is almost like once you accuse somebody of racism or bigotry, or something, the facts become irrelevant. There are facts here.
More below the fold.
And the final thing I would like to say is, you're asking me about this, and you sat through this whole meeting. Not one single, solitary soul asked about any of this. And they never do.
They are feeding you this because they know this is what you want to cover. This is what you live for.
But this hurts the people of South Carolina, because the people of South Carolina are coming to these meetings and asking questions about what they care about. And what they care about is not going to be in the news coverage tonight because you don't care about it.
What you care about is this. And the Obama people know that. So they just spin you up on this and you happily go along. The people don't care about this. They never ask about it. And you are determined to take this election away from them. And that's not right. That is not right. This election ought to belong to those people who are out here asking questions about their lives.
I have no idea who this bitter crackpot Harpootlian is but it is clear that Sen. Obama - who promised recently to stay away from false charges of racism - is failing to rein in his campaign and supporters who continue to do just that. This is bad news.