More On The Obama/Clinton Race Comments – Updated

I had posted on this issue Saturday and apparantly it’s not done developing yet.

A new Rasmussen poll is showing a trend toward Obama, especially among African-American voters:

Somewhat surprisingly, as the campaign has tightened, racial tensions have bubbled to the surface with the two camps exchanging accusations. Those tensions are reflected in this week’s polling data. Overall, Clinton and Obama are close nationally in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll. But, among white voters, Clinton leads 41% to 27%. Among African-American voters, Obama leads 66% to 16%.

It didn’t seem to me that this was going to become a huge issues since in my last post, I examined both Bill and Hillary’s comments and they didn’t seem to be racist in any form. They seem to have been twisted to imply the overtone of race.

However, I think the media coupled with the likes of Al Sharpton have created a bigger issue out of this than need be. Plus, I am surprised that Obama seems to be quietly propagating it throughout his supporters.

Another story on the issue from Breitbart:

LAS VEGAS (AP) – Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama have become embroiled in racially tinged disputes as large numbers of black voters prepare to get their first say in the Democratic presidential campaign.

The candidates and their surrogates are heating up their rhetoric, and it could prove to be combustible beyond South Carolina’s Jan. 26 primary.

Clinton, on defense over comments that she and her husband made regarding Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and Obama’s fitness for the White House, tried to turn the tables on her top primary rival. She accused his campaign of looking to score political points by distorting their words.

Hillary Clinton had said King’s dream of racial equality was realized only when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of while Bill Clinton said Illinois Sen. Obama was telling a “fairy tale” about his opposition to the Iraq war. Black leaders have criticized their comments, and Obama said Sunday her comment about King was “ill-advised.”

“I think it offended some folks who felt that somehow diminished King’s role in bringing about the Civil Rights Act,” he told reporters on a conference call. “She is free to explain that, but the notion that somehow this is our doing is ludicrous.”

As evidence the Obama campaign had pushed the story, Clinton advisers pointed to a memo written by an Obama staffer compiling examples of comments by Clinton and her surrogates that could be construed as racially insensitive. The memo later surfaced on some political Web sites.

“This is an unfortunate story line the Obama campaign has pushed very successfully,” the former first lady said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I don’t think this campaign is about gender, and I sure hope it’s not about race.”

We’ll see how this continues to play out in South Carolina as well as the MSNBC Democratic Debate tomorrow night from Nevada.

What we have here is a case of a liberal Democrat accusing another liberal Democrat of playing the “race card” and it’s getting quite humorous to watch in my opinion.

Update From Angry:

It seems that the story is snowballing into quite a few different spins on the story such as this one from the AP via Yahoo:

By MICHAEL DUFFY
Mon Jan 14, 1:55 PM ET

Whenever longtime Democrats gather to note how the chemistry and calculus of the 2008 campaign seem to favor their party this year, one or another will always add some version of the following: “Yeah, but we could screw this up before it’s over.”

After the past few days, the pertinent question to ask is, is the crack-up happening already? Far-fetched as it would have seemed a month ago, the seeds of self-destruction are being planted in the war of coded words about race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The bickering has exploded in the space of a week into Topic A in the Democratic race, supplanting for the moment the war and the economy and health care – and shows no sign of a quick resolution.

So yes, are the Democrats about to screw it up yet again?

Both campaigns are stoking this fire – and worrying at the same time about what this could do to them in the fall. They ought to be concerned: Keep this up and neither candidate may be able to marshal the votes from the various corners of the Democratic coalition that he or she will need in the fall. As pollster Andrew Kohut has noted, a party which found that it had at least two candidates who were seen as widely “acceptable” to its various factions just a few weeks ago could soon find that happy consensus has evaporated.

It seems that the general opinion is that in the long run, the more they fight, the more the republican party can parlay it into a victory, however I would have to contend that the republican party still has no clear favorite and that both parties having a major problem of their own most likely offsets any momentum one party could gain from the other’s troubles, unless one of these candidates manages to rise above all of this mess on both sides.

Update by Nate

It appears now that both the Obama and Clinton campaigns are now trying to downplay this issue. Obama had come out saying that the Clinton’s probably weren’t insinuating race and the Clinton campaign has said that Obama probably wasn’t propagating the rumors.

I’m betting that we’re not going to hear too much of this from the campaigns in the coming days. Neither side wants to risk alienating voters since it’s so incredibly close in Nevada coming up soon. I think this was a small test and both sides realized it would be a lose-lose situation.

Update by Nate

Here’s Dick Morris on Hannity & Colmes earlier with his take on the situation:

I’m just not so sure I agree with Morris that the Clinton’s are deliberately trying to politicize race in this election. There’s nothing wrong with criticizing an opponent, it’s the only way to differentiate your positions from their’s. But they’re comments, seen at the beginning of that video, just do not cry racist to me. I’m no fan of the Clinton’s but they have been exploited by the media over these comments in my opinion.