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Obama Pushes Garb Photo Smear

Davidson's picture

CBS News: Obama in MS (emphasis mine):

“When in the midst of a campaign you decide to throw the kitchen sink at your opponent because you’re behind,” he said, “and your campaign starts leaking photographs of me when I’m traveling overseas wearing the native clothes of those folks to make people afraid, and then you run an ad talking about who’s going to answer the phone at three in the morning, an ad straight out of the Republican playbook, that’s not real change.”

Tonight's comments were the most direct criticism from Obama regarding the distribution of the photo of him in traditional African garb. The Clinton campaign denied having anything to do with the photos when they were initially published, and the issue seemed to have faded until Obama brought it up tonight.

First, there is no legitimate reason to trust Drudge, the site that "broke" this non-scandal, let alone force Hillary Clinton to prove her innocence--an impossible task. Second, it has been shown that the Free Republic, a right-wing site, not only circulated that photo 2 days before the story broke but also is almost certainly the source of the photo posted by Drudge.

Remind me again how Obama is obsessively avoiding the issue of race? Especially after his camp immediately pounced on the non-scandal from the beginning, condemning Clinton--without proof--as engaging in "the most shameful, offensive fear-mongering we've seen from either party in this election," and Obama now having contradicted his earlier statement on the matter: "I take Senator Clinton at her word that she knew nothing about the photo. So I think that's something that we can set aside."

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Lost in Space's picture
Submitted by Lost in Space on

That Barack Obama and his supporters are only thinking of the Democratic Nomination, under a spurious belief that "The Democrats Will Automatically Win the Presidency Because John McCain Won't Be Able to Stand Up to Rock Star Obama."

That, and snarky commentary from Barack and/or his PR people will effectively counter the smear rhetoric that Rove and Mehlman (I do believe that BOTH men joined McCain's campaign this week) will put out.

The Republican Attack Machine is primed and ready. And Obama demonstrated his biggest weakness - not that anyone actually sees where it will be coming from.

- - - - - - - - - -
The enemy of my enemy is STILL my enemy. Those who forget this end up being Vulture scraps.

corinne's picture
Submitted by corinne on

It's OK If You're Obama. You can say and do whatever you like with the free pass from the media.

This is a good example of how yet again he fails to follow through on what he says: he promised a positive, transformative campaign and has shown he's nothing but just another politician who will do and say anything to get elected.

His contradictory messaging reinforces the fact that his campaign a) does not have a consistent message and b) lacks an effective chain of command.

Submitted by lambert on

... that the Good Guys have totally managed to hook into the fake news cycle that the Republicans invented. And it was pretty efficient, too, almost as efficient as the serifs thing. So, invent crap, peddle it on Drudge, have the Boys on the Blogs push it, get it into the mainstream, and have a Presidential candidate push it!

What's not to like?

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by lambert on

I didn't know that Obama's legislative achievements in IL all took place in 2002:

But what's interesting, and almost never discussed, is that [Obama] built his entire legislative record in Illinois in a single year.

[I]n 2002, dissatisfaction with President Bush and Republicans on the national and local levels led to a Democratic sweep of nearly every lever of Illinois state government. For the first time in 26 years, Illinois Democrats controlled the governor's office as well as both legislative chambers.

Jones had served in the Illinois Legislature for three decades. He represented a district on the Chicago South Side not far from Obama's. He became Obama's ­kingmaker.

Several months before Obama announced his U.S. Senate bid, Jones called his old friend Cliff Kelley, a former Chicago alderman who now hosts the city's most popular black call-in radio ­program.

I called Kelley last week and he recollected the private conversation as follows:

"He said, 'Cliff, I'm gonna make me a U.S. Senator.'"

"Oh, you are? Who might that be?"

"Barack Obama."

Jones appointed Obama sponsor of virtually every high-profile piece of legislation, angering many rank-and-file state legislators who had more seniority than Obama and had spent years championing the bills.

"I took all the beatings and insults and endured all the racist comments over the years from nasty Republican committee chairmen," State Senator Rickey Hendon, the original sponsor of landmark racial profiling and videotaped confession legislation yanked away by Jones and given to Obama, complained to me at the time. "Barack didn't have to endure any of it, yet, in the end, he got all the credit.

"I don't consider it bill jacking," Hendon told me. "But no one wants to carry the ball 99 yards all the way to the one-yard line, and then give it to the halfback who gets all the credit and the stats in the record book."

During his seventh and final year in the state Senate, Obama's stats soared. He sponsored a whopping 26 bills passed into law — including many he now cites in his presidential campaign when attacked as inexperienced.

Plenty more rich anecdote there, too. Somebody should turn it into a post. There are very few "I knew Obama when" stories pushed by The Boys On The Blogs*. Odd, that. Or not.

NOTE * Ritual Atrios disclaimer.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

I read that Houston Press article as well and got sick thinking that perhaps the whole point of an Obama candidacy was to make sure the likes of Kennedy, Kerry, and Daschle have someone they can control. I mean, what accomplishments has the man actually been responsible for? Even the legitimacy of his current campaign is undermined by being dependent on a corporate media doing everything possible to help him, an arbitrary delegate count system (see: Nevada), and damn caucuses!

Let's look at his "credentials:" taking credit for the work of others and no leadership executive experience, whether its as a community organizer or state senator*; as US senator he certainly doesn't have the latter and has no accomplishments to speak of, which is understandable as a junior senator in terms of legislation, but Obama utterly refused to use his celebrity status and oratorical skill to lead--on any (progressive) issue.

*Dreams From My Father: Obama admitted some of his book was fabrication, including unfairly taking credit for community organizing successes (How being a lowly community organizer serves as a basic credential for high political office in the first place is beyond me).

Submitted by lambert on

That's a little incendiary for unlinked material, eh?

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

I honestly thought I was certain on this since I had read it in the LAT and he had admitted taking literary license, but it seems that's not the case (Damn!):
From The Caucus blog:

In “Dreams from My Father,” his first book originally published in 1994, Mr. Obama outlines his leadership role in pressuring the city of Chicago to investigate and clean out asbestos in Altgeld Gardens, a notorious public housing project. But, according to The Los Angeles Times, he left out the contributions by The Chicago Reporter, a newspaper that investigated asbestos in other projects, which has been credited elsewhere with bringing the problem to light, and Hazel Johnson, an Altgeld activist who had been pushing for environmental improvements well before Mr. Obama started working as a community organizer there.

However, Mr. Obama counters (again, from The Caucus):

The implication is false, and the article is misleading. At no point in the work does Obama take “singular” credit for initiating and leading efforts on the Atlgeld asbestos problem. In fact, those who worked with him confirm that he preferred a background role in the matter, refusing to claim credit or even be in pictures taken of the community group. However, despite the fact that he shunned a public role, Obama’s work is clearly remembered by Altgeld residents, other organizers, and the reporter that the L.A. Times and others credit with bringing the problem of asbestos in Chicago’s public housing to light.


P.S. I totally messed up my previous comment by not including that I thought apparently Obama had taken credit for some of those successes. I didn't even catch that until you said "incendiary." Yes, it was and I blame myself for not editing more. I honestly didn't mean to do that. Damn it.

I need a nap after work's over. Jesus!

Submitted by lambert on

Not to worry. We have comment threads to take care of the imperfections.

I need a drink, alchoholic, of course....

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

It's such a damn hassle to have to assume you can't even trust "respected" papers (I separate the LAT "serious" news coverage from its political blog and op-ed columns). I didn't even know about the discrepancy until today when researching for the link I saw the Times blog on it.

Honestly, if you can't rely on papers how does one even know what's true or not? This whole nomination process is making me suspicious, if not paranoid, about all "news." Tell 'em, Howard:

Submitted by lambert on

They're not in the business of purveying information. They're in the business of selling my attention.

I wish the two were the same, but they're not. Now I only read them if a blogger I trust -- and very sadly, that number is drastically reduced -- lets me know there's something interesting to read there.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

I read Fools for Scandal in 1998 and stopped reading both papers afterwards. Somerby & Media Matters follow the news media so the rest of us don't have to.

Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

I knew when Obama directly got involved that this was going to be front and center. Axelrod just issued the following (emphasis mine):

...this has been a pattern that we've seen throughout the campaign, whether it was the Bill Shaheen incident, the Bob Johnson incident, Sen. Clinton's own inexplicable unwillingness to make a direct statement on '60 Minutes' about Sen. Obama's Christianity, even though they've shared prayer groups together in Congress. All of it is part of an insidious pattern that needs to be addressed.

That is just a flat out lie, since her immediate reaction was, "Of course, not;" Media Matters is all over it.

And the "darkening" of Obama is now officially mainstream as I just saw it in the Seattle P-I (They left it as a "We report, you decide" type post). I sent them the following debunking link, but I'm not sure they'll bother with clearing the record. Remember: color changes based on the editing, recording, and even viewing devices used, especially when it's a copy of an image. This is beyond absurd. Will anyone call him on it? Hell, even when Russert busted Obama during the NV debate about the SC memo, in which the camp deliberately pushed lies, it never caught on.

Submitted by lambert on

See Media Matters:

Less than one second. That's how long it took Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to answer, "Of course not," to Steve Kroft's question on 60 Minutes about whether she thought Sen. Barack Obama was a Muslim.

So, if it takes her even one second to answer, that's not fast enough, and that morphs into into "inexplicable unwillingness." Now, a tenth of a second, say, and everything would be fine. From what little I remember of Driver's Ed, 1/30th of a second is a typical reaction time, so I would say that gives her ample time.

I don't want the fighting to stop until we win. This is way just too much.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

I don’t want the fighting to stop until we win. This is way just too much.

The callous exploitation of our society's legitimate concern about racism is disgusting. Does he not understand he's making a mockery of it all? That it won't help him, but hurt him in the GE? The GOP will have a field day with this, "If you could falsely charge the Clintons of all people as racists, how can we trust you not to cry wolf just to get your way?" It'll confirm all the worst racist stereotypes of playing the "race card."

I'm done with my Obama fill today. I'm out.

P.S. I edited my previous comment, hence Lambert's reply immediately above it.

wiggles's picture
Submitted by wiggles on

who thinks Obama and his minions "leaked" that picture in the first place, so they could pin the "dirty trick" on HRC? Am I crazy for thinking this? Really?