Clinton surrogate says Obama is really from Somalia

I actually don’t have a problem with Hillary comparing Obama to Bush (see quotes at the end of this post). Meaning, I don’t have an ethical problem with it, I’m not going to complain that it’s “negative.” Some negative campaigning is fine, in my eyes. Saying your opponent is divisive, lacks credibility, or in this case, will return us to the policies of the previous president, or is just as incompetent as the previous president, are fair game in my book.

What I don’t think is legit is “going over the top” negative. It’s hard to define “over the top,” but using racism comes to mind (such as sending around pictures of your opponent wearing traditional Somali clothing that makes people think he’s a Muslim since we all know that all Muslims are radical terrorists) – even worse, being caught using racism again and again and again. To wit, this from Clinton surrogate, Democratic Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, referring today to Somalia as Obama’s “country” and Obama’s “nation.”

Transcript:

BUCHANAN: You saw that lovely photograph on Drudge yesterday and Drudge said initially that Clintonites gave it to her. If Clinton, the Clintonite did that, would you consider that first a dirty trick and secondly, would you think the individual that did it should be fired if they could find him or her.

JONES: Understand this: The Clinton campaign does not condone people putting out pictures that they seem to believe are inappropriate. But let me say this: I have no shame or no problem with people looking at Barack Obama in his native clothing, in the clothing of his country.

This is a diverse country and people across America recognize that. I would not personally have done it and we can’t attribute it to anybody in our campaign, but the Clinton campaign does not condone the conduct and we would hope that America is going to have an opportunity or begin to see if we’re supporting a woman or an African-American for President, we ought to be able to support their ability to wear the clothing of their nation.

That is flat-out racist. Tubbs Jones is saying this in order to accomplish several Republican messaging goals:

1. Suggest that Obama is un-American (he’s from “over there,” and a very black over there to boot).
2. Remind people that Obama is black.
3. Reinforce the hate emails alleging, falsely, that Obama is Mulsim.
4. Remind people that Obama is from a country that viciously killed American troops in the 1990s.

This is the sixth time, at least, I believe, that the Clinton’s and their surrogates have launched racist attacks on Obama. It’s not just abominable on its face, it’s absolutely astounding that the Clinton campaign is now using Republican hate-emails to create their talking points about Obama. The Clinton campaign simply doesn’t care if they permanently damage Obama for the general election by feeding the GOP Swift Boat attacks on the man who is very likely going to be our nominee. Call Rep. Tubbs Jones and let her know how you feel about her, and the Clinton campaign’s, serial race-baiting:

Washignton Office: (202) 225-7032
Ohio Office: Telephone: (216) 522-4900

Race-baiting simply isn’t the same thing as saying your opponent is divisive and lacks credibility. What would be the same thing is were Obama and company publicly talking about Bill Clinton’s sex life past and present. That would be inappropriate, disgusting, and damaging to Hillary and her run for the presidency were she to get the nomination – it would be the same thing as talking about Obama’s race and ethnic origins. And in spite of how negative both sides have gotten, you don’t see Obama’s people, or even their surrogates, touching Bill Clinton’s sex life, even though, frankly, it would be one hell of a bombshell to drop on Hillary. There IS a difference in how negative each campaign has gotten.

Moving away from racism for a moment, my problem with Hillary’s attack below is that 3 months ago she swore off such attacks, and now she’s using them the same week that she’s complaining about Obama going negative. Both sides have gone negative, but there’s a difference between negative and vicious. The stuff below is not vicious, but

Clinton campaign in December:

“If you want to talk about tactical political maneuvering, it’s about one Democrat comparing another Democrat to George Bush,” Wolfson told the AP. “That’s the worst kind of tactical political maneuvering.”

Hillary yesterday:


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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