A series of comments from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, her husband, and her supporters are spurring a racial backlash and adding a divisive edge to the presidential primary....Of course, Obama supporters have a motivation to characterize things as racial that are not, and the Clinton campaign must be frustrated that it's hard to attack Obama, who seems to be getting a free pass. But I don't doubt that the Clintons will use whatever works for them. Insinuations — and even slip-ups — don't work, however, when so many people are so ready to detect racial content. So that is a safeguard against the Clintons stirring up racial prejudice against Obama.
The comments, which ranged from the New York senator appearing to diminish the role of Martin Luther King Jr. in the civil rights movement — an aide later said she misspoke — to Bill Clinton dismissing Sen. Barack Obama’s image in the media as a “fairy tale” — generated outrage on black radio, black blogs and cable television. And now they've drawn the attention of prominent African-American politicians....
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., through a spokesman, [said:] "Following Barack Obama's victory in Iowa and historic voter turnout in New Hampshire, the cynics unfortunately have stepped up their efforts to decry his uplifting message of hope and fundamental change...."...
Thursday, a key player in black South Carolina politics, Rep. Jim Clyburn, told The New York Times he’d consider endorsing Obama in response to what he considered a lack of respect in the Clinton campaign’s approach to Obama.
“For him to go after Obama, using a ‘fairy tale,’ calling him as he did last week. It's an insult. And I will tell you, as an African-American, I find his tone and his words to be very depressing,” said Donna Brazile, a longtime Clinton ally who is neutral in this race, on CNN earlier this week.
And yet... they won in New Hampshire, doing whatever it is they did.
UPDATE: Bill Clinton went on Sharpton's radio show today:
"There's nothing fairy tale about his campaign. It's real, it's strong, and he might win," Clinton told Sharpton...
"It is wrong that Senator Obama got to go through 15 debates trumpeting his superior judgment and how he had been against the war," Clinton said during the rally. He suggested Obama had moderated his anti-war stance during his 2004 Senate campaign.
"There's no difference in your voting record, and Hillary's, ever since," Clinton said. "Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen."....
Clinton told Sharpton the "fairy tale" remark was only intended to describe Obama's claim to have exercised better judgment about the war, and was not intended as a sign of "personal disrespect."
IN THE COMMENTS: Jeremy said:
The Clintons are nothing if not calculated. Could it be that they're trying to draw out the Sharpton/Jackson crowd? I think Barak has done really well without "Black Leadership's" prominent endorsement. That endorsement seems like it'd be a big turn off to a lot of white voters. Maybe the Clintons want the Sharpton/Jacksons to make some noise?
Freakin. I'm sounding too paranoid.