Finally this presidential campaign is getting interesting. No not because anyone is talking substantially about real issues (OK maybe Ron Paul, but his issues are there are too many Black and Jews in the US). The reason that its starting to get interesting is that the Democrats are starting to act like—well, Democrats.
Hillary’s misstatement last week about Dr. King was take by the Obama campaign as an opportunity to pry more African American voters away from this NY Senator in a state where they are a most key part of the electorate. So Hillary countered that Obama hasn’t always been against the War in Iraq (which are strong words for someone who has flip-flopped about Iraq as much as she has). Black voters in South Carolina (with help from Obama?) are taking offense to that comment too.
Clinton was questioned by reporters about South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn’s reaction to her comments last week that seemed to suggest that President Lyndon B. Johnson should get more credit for passage of major civil rights legislation rather than King. Clyburn, in an interview in The New York Times, had expressed disappointment in the Clinton campaign over what she had said as well as former President Clinton’s remark in New Hampshire about Obama telling a “fairy tale” in his opposition to the Iraq war. “I regret the way that this matter has been used,” Clinton told reporters. “The comments about it are baseless and divisive. I was personally offended at the approach taken that was not only misleading but unnecessarily hurtful.” She suggested reporters consider the sources of the criticism, much of which has come from the black community. “I think it clearly came from Senator Obama’s campaign and I don’t think it’s the kind of debate we should be having in our campaign,” she said. Clyburn, one of the leading Democrats in South Carolina and a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, has said he will remain neutral in the Democratic presidential primary. South Carolina Democrats vote on Jan. 26. Fox News
You gotta love it when a campaign turns stupid.
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Hillary Clinton attacks Barack Obama By: Mike Allen and Ben Smith January 13, 2008 02:11 PM EST Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” today that the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) was “deliberately distorting” remarks she had made about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. “This is, you know, a, a — an unfortunate story line that the Obama campaign has pushed very successfully,” she said. “They’ve been putting out talking points. They’ve been making this — they’ve been telling people, in a very selective way, what the facts are.” Clinton burst out laughing when moderator Tim Russert reiterated her phrase “vast right-wing conspiracy” and asked if it still exists. “Oh, I don’t know,” she said. “I haven’t paid much attention to it for about 10 years. I really don’t have any idea. … I’m just too busy to worry about that.” On the King remarks, a controversy blew up after Clinton told Fox News: “Dr. King’s dream began to be realized when President Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, when he was able to get through Congress something that President Kennedy was hopeful to do, the president before had not even tried, but it took a president to get it done.” Some liberal critics have charged in blogs and interviews that the comments diminished King’s contribution. “Clearly, we know from media reports that the Obama campaign is deliberately distorting this,” she said. “It is such an unfair and unwarranted attempt to, you know, misinterpret and mischaracterize what I’ve said.” Clinton was extremely assertive, at several points talking over Russert as he tried to finish a question. “Tim, let me — let me stop you right there,” she said at one point. “No, wait a minute. … You did not give the entire quote.” “Tim, I can’t let you get away with that mischaracterization and those snippets,” she said later. Russert opened the show by reading to her from the front page of The State, South Carolina’s largest newspaper, which reported Saturday: “Sharp criticism of Barack Obama and other comments about Martin Luther King Jr. — all from people associated with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign — have generated resentment among some black S.C. voters.” Russert read a bit more, then asked what all the fuss was about. “Beats me, because there’s not one shred of truth in what you’ve just read,” she said, adding that King “is one of the people that I admire most in the world.” Russert played the tape where President Bill Clinton said at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire that Obama had gotten away with a “fairy tale” about his consistent opposition to the war in Iraq
“The point that Bill was making … has been unfairly and inaccurately characterized,” she said. “What he was talking about was very directly about the story of Sen. Obama’s campaign being premised on a speech he gave in 2002. … By 2003, that speech was off his website.” Clinton went on to reiterate the argument the former president made that Obama had not been as steadfast in his opposition to the Iraq war as he argues now. He gave a speech in opposition to the war 2002, but later made remarks Clinton said amount to waffling. “That is inconsistent with what he is now running his campaign on,” she said. “The story of his campaign is premised on that speech.” While Clinton was still taping the show, the Obama campaign was e-mailing debate-style rebuttals, including one headlined, “Obama Consistently Opposed the Iraq War.” In a conference call soon after Clinton’s appearance, Obama struck back in sharp terms at Clinton’s criticism. “What we saw this morning is why the American people are tired of Washington politicians and the games they play,” he said. “I have to say that she started this campaign saying that she wanted to make history, and lately she has been spending a lot of time rewriting it.” Obama expressed incredulity that, he said, he was being blamed for Clinton’s “ill-advised remark” and said that any suggestion that he hadn’t fully opposed the Iraq war was “flat-out wrong.” A spokesman for Clinton, Phil Singer, said the camapaign stood by her remarks, and the campaign posted its own memo backing them up. During her “Meet the Press” appearance, Clinton twice refused to say whether Obama is “ready” to be president. “This is up to the voters of our country to determine,” Clinton said. “But I want them to have accurate information about our respective records, what we’ve accomplished, the work that each of us have done when given a chance to serve.” Asked a second time, she repeated: “That is up for voters to decide.”