Senator Barack Obama seems to have appealed to many early in the presidential primaries with the following mantra.
Greg Reeson at GOP USA, September 12, 2008.
It wasn’t that long ago that Senator Obama promised to wage a clean campaign. No more dirty Washington attack politics, he said. No more business as usual. It appears, however, that such a pledge only applies if you are winning. With Senator McCain seizing the initiative and gaining in the polls, Obama supporters are becoming increasingly nervous and ready for a do-what-it-takes-to-win strategy.
Race has been a heated topic in the presidential race. Several examples are listed which give credence to the idea that Obama and his supporters have readily accused anyone of racism whenever convenient. Examples as listed.
Sean Wilentz of the New Republic, on How Barack Obama played the race card and blamed Hillary Clinton, February 27, 2008.
…the Obama campaign’s most effective gambits have been far more egregious and dangerous than the hypocritical deployment of deceptive and disingenuous attack ads. To a large degree, the campaign’s strategists turned the primary and caucus race to their advantage when they deliberately, falsely, and successfully portrayed Clinton and her campaign as unscrupulous race-baiters–a campaign-within-the-campaign in which the worked-up flap over the Somali costume photograph is but the latest episode. While promoting Obama as a “post-racial” figure, his campaign has purposefully polluted the contest with a new strain of what historically has been the most toxic poison in American politics.
Image courtesy of http://www.vaccinationdangers.com/.
More than any other maneuver, this one has brought Clinton into disrepute with important portions of the Democratic Party. A review of what actually happened shows that the charges that the Clintons played the “race card” were not simply false; they were deliberately manufactured by the Obama camp and trumpeted by a credulous and/or compliant press corps in order to strip away her once formidable majority among black voters and to outrage affluent, college-educated white liberals as well as college students. The Clinton campaign, in fact, has not racialized the campaign, and never had any reason to do so. Rather the Obama campaign and its supporters, well-prepared to play the “race-baiter card” before the primaries began, launched it with a vengeance when Obama ran into dire straits after his losses in New Hampshire and Nevada–and thereby created a campaign myth that has turned into an incontrovertible truth among political pundits, reporters, and various Obama supporters. This development is the latest sad commentary on the malign power of the press, hyping its own favorites and tearing down those it dislikes, to create pseudo-scandals of the sort that hounded Al Gore during the 2000 campaign. It is also a commentary on how race can make American politics go haywire. Above all, it is a commentary on the cutthroat, fraudulent politics that lie at the foundation of Obama’s supposedly uplifting campaign.
Bill Clinton says he was ‘race card’ victim in the Los Angeles Times, April 23, 2008.
Clinton told a Philadelphia radio station that his comments were “twisted” after he likened Obama’s primary victory in the state to Jesse Jackson’s.
Clinton was asked if he regretted the comparison after a Pennsylvania official said she thought he was marginalizing Obama as “the black candidate.”
“No, I think that they played the race card on me,” he said. “We now know from memos from the campaign and everything that they planned to do it all along.”
McCain Campaign Says Obama Is Playing the ‘Race Card’ in the New York Times July 31, 2008.
RACINE, Wis. – Senator John McCain’s campaign accused Barack Obama of playing “the race card’’ on Thursday, citing his remarks that Republicans would try to scare voters by pointing out he “doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.’’
Image courtesy of http://www.blogsforjohnmccain.com/taxonomy/term/1064/0.
Ed Hornick at CNN noted August 1, 2008,
At three stops in the battleground state of Missouri on Tuesday, Obama told audiences that his opponent is trying to make voters “scared” of him because he doesn’t look like past presidents — an apparent reference to being black — and has a “funny name.”
…it’s a “typical pattern” for the Arizona senator’s campaign.
Ben Smith of Politco on Race-card flap reopens Clinton camp wounds, August 5, 2008. A McCain adviser’s comment is especially poignant.
“Say whatever you want about Bill Clinton, but it’s deeply unfair to suggest his criticism of Obama was race-based,” McCain adviser Steve Schmidt told Politico, after his campaign blasted Obama for suggesting the McCain campaign would use his race against him. “We knew it was coming in our direction because they did it against a president of the United States of their own party.”
“We were accused of being a racist campaign, and it was very painful personally and politically for a lot of people,” said a former Clinton adviser. “People feel they lost the primary in some fashion due to that, and so there aren’t a lot of people rushing to inoculate [Obama] on that account.”
Some themes still persist now as the presidential race heats up, with an Obama campaign ad in Spanish portraying Senator John McCain as anti-immigrant, strangely using his oft nemesis Rush Limbaugh, to dog McCain.
See the ad HERE. For those Spanish-impaired, at the minimum, note the sinister and fear-generating intonations of the ad speaker. This could certainly cause much angst to those it is aimed towards. Yahoo has a translation.
SCRIPT: English translation of “Dos Caras,” or “Two Faces”: Obama: “I’m Barack Obama and I approved this message.” Announcer: “They want us to forget the insults we’ve put up with, the intolerance. They made us feel marginalized in a country we love so much. John McCain and his Republican friends have two faces. One tells lies just to get our vote, and the other, even worse, continues the failed policies of George Bush, putting the interests of powerful groups above working families. John McCain, more of the same Republican deceptions.”
KEY IMAGES: The “Two Faces” ad aired by the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee shows photos of immigrants as a picture of Limbaugh appears at the bottom of the screen. Limbaugh is quoted in text as saying, “Mexicans stupid and unqualified” and “Shut your mouth or get out!” As the announcer speaks of Republicans with two faces, a Spanish newspaper headline appears: “They caused the failure of immigration reform.” Photos of McCain with President Bush appear.
Rush Limbaugh, the nationally syndicated talk show host, had his words morphed into a new Obama ad critical of McCain. Imagine that. So much for Obama’s clean campaign theme. Read Limbaugh in the Wall Street Journal, Obama Is Stoking Racial Antagonism, September 19, 2008. Also see Tim Grhama at Newsbusters, Limbaugh: Obama the Supposed Uniter’s ‘Stoking Racial Antagonism’, September 19, 2008.
Limbaugh was speaking humorously two separate times previously. The first, “from a 1993 humorous monologue poking fun at the arguments against the North American Free Trade Agreement.” The second, “I was mocking the Mexican government’s double standard — i.e., urging open borders in this country while imposing draconian immigration requirements within its own borders. ” Limbaugh’s two statements were clearly made and taken as such by all, as a parody of the Mexican government’s hypocrisy on NAFTA and immigration.
However, the Obama campaign proceeded to extract very specific sound bites of these two humorous statements, to scarily portray the Republicans as unsympathetic to immigrant’s issues.
“They want us to forget the insults we’ve put up with . . . the intolerance . . . they made us feel marginalized in this country we love so much.”
Then the commercial flashes two quotes from me: “. . . stupid and unskilled Mexicans” and “You shut your mouth or you get out!”
And then a voice says, “John McCain and his Republican friends have two faces…
It is unfortunate that the Obama campaign has proceeded to pick out words in sound bites that when spliced together, evoke a completely different meaning than intended.
The malignant aspect of this is that Mr. Obama and his advisers know exactly what they are doing. They had to listen to both monologues or read the transcripts. They then had to pick the particular excerpts they used in order to create a commercial of distortions. Their hoped-for result is to inflame racial tensions. In doing this, Mr. Obama and his advisers have demonstrated a pernicious contempt for American society.
We’ve made much racial progress in this country. Any candidate who employs the tactics of the old segregationists is unworthy of the presidency.
Jake Tapper at ABC News on From the Fact Check Desk: Obama’s New Spanish Language TV Ad Es Erróneo, September 17, 2008.
There are some real factual problems with this ad, which is titled “Dos Caras,” or two faces.
First of all, tying Sen. McCain – especially on the issue of immigration reform – to Limbaugh is unfair.
Limbaugh opposed McCain on that issue. Vociferously. And in a larger sense, it’s unfair to link McCain to Limbaugh on a host of issues since Limbaugh, as any even occasional listener of his knows, doesn’t particularly care for McCain.
Second, the quotes of Limbaugh’s are out of context.
Tapper goes on to review the somewhat teetering McCain stand on immigrant issues the ad discusses as well.
McCain has changed his rhetoric and his emphasis when discussing immigration after almost losing the GOP presidential nomination because of it.
He now says the borders must be secured before anything else happens. And in that, he’s opened himself up to charges of flip-flopping, though the Obama campaign is quoting him selectively and unfairly to make their points.
The greater implication the ad makes, however, is that McCain is no friend to Latinos at all, beyond issues of funding the DREAM act or how NCLB money is distributed. By linking McCain to Limbaugh’s quotes, twisting Limbaugh’s quotes, and tying McCain to more extremist anti-immigration voices, the Obama campaign has crossed a line into misleading the viewers of its new TV ad. In Spanish, the word is erróneo.
For those possibly confused about the meaning of “erróneo,” it means ERRONEOUS.
Perhaps Senator Barack Obama should reevaluate and return to his early mantra of running a clean campaign; for either actively or passively assigning issues to racism, only serves to promote divisiveness and hate. Something American voters do not want.