Clinton staffers circulate Obama “Muslim” photo – Updated

If this wasn’t authorized by her campaign then they need to be firing some staffers. It’s stuff like this that will just tick voters off and make them vote against Hillary.

Here’s a story on it from the Daily Mail:

Barack Obama’s campaign chief today accused Hillary Clinton’s aides of “shameful offensive fear-mongering” by circulating a smear photo designed to trick voters into once again thinking the black presidential hopeful is a Muslim.

David Plouffe claimed members of the former First Lady’s team had emailed an image of the Democratic frontrunner dressed in a tunic and turban.

Mr Obama, who was raised as a Christian by his white mother despite his Kenyan father being Muslim, has been dogged for months by claims he is secretly following the Islamic faith.

The photo – published on U.S. website the Drudge Report – was reportedly taken while the Illinois senator was visiting Wajir, a rural area in northeastern Kenya in 2006.

Mr Plouffe hit out saying: “On the very day that Senator Clinton is giving a speech about restoring respect for America in the world, her campaign has engaged in the most shameful, offensive fear-mongering we’ve seen from either party in this election.

Here’s the image in question:

Obama

From the Politico, Clinton’s campaign issued a response:

The Clinton campaign issued an official response to the growing tempest – but the statement from campaign manager Maggie Williams did not respond to the central question of whether staffers circulated the photo.

“Enough,” Williams said in the statement. “If Barack Obama’s campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing is divisive, they should be ashamed. Hillary Clinton has worn the traditional clothing of countries she has visited and had those photos published widely.

“This is nothing more than an obvious and transparent attempt to distract from the serious issues confronting our country today and to attempt to create the very divisions they claim to decry. We will not be distracted.”

They have yet to deny that the photo started circulating from the Clinton campaign, which means it most likely did. It’s not unusual for world leaders to wear culturally acceptable clothing when visiting other countries.

For example:

other world leaders
Click for larger

I’ve reported many times before that the rumors of Obama being Muslim have not been circulated by Republicans but they have come from within in Clinton’s campaign. Not necessarily authorized by Hillary, but staffers or low level aids have circulated negative things about Obama for months now.

I would say it’s stories exactly like this that will turn voters off to Clinton and possibly cost her this nomination.

Update:

Here’s a report on this whole issue along with other Clinton/Obama news from Fox News with some thoughts from famed Bush political adviser Karl Rove:

I agree that this story is more a shock value that someone in the Clinton campaign would actually release the photo and try to make it an issue. I’m sensing a lot of bad blood between the two campaigns which may boil over in Tuesday night’s (2/26) Democratic debate on MSNBC.