Democrats: Ditch Clinton Now

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[Black Star News Editorial]


In a desperate gambit to save her campaign and stave the gathering momentum of her primary opponent, the Clinton campaign is accused of circulating a photo of Barack Obama showing the Illinois senator attired in a traditional Somali Islamic garb, with white turban, similar to those worn by Muslims around the world.

The photo was taken during Obama's 2006 visit to Kenya, where he was presented with the traditional dress by community elders. The intent of the photo, coming on the eve of the critical primaries in Texas and Ohio, is abundantly clear.

It is intended to stoke a national fear that the Clinton campaign has been quietly fanning for months, so far with little success, that Barack Obama is a closet Muslim, in other words a “Manchurian candidate,” and cannot therefore be trusted with the stewardship of the country.

The Clintons’ reckless strategy could doom the Democrats’ prospects in the fall; that’s why it’s time for Democratic party leaders to consider moving away from the New York senator, who obviously puts her career ahead of the national interest. Thankfully voters are already beginning to show their preference, with Obama pulling away in Texas.

The controversial photo first appeared on the Drudge Report on Monday, where Drudge claims that it was circulated by the Clinton staffers. The Clinton campaign has not denied the claim. Clinton national campaign manager Maggie Williams expressed surprise that the Obama campaign took umbrage from the sudden appearance of the photo. In a prepared statement, Williams said there was nothing shocking about the photo.

The Clinton campaign has in the past used the Drudge Report to release controversial campaign disinformation.

The insinuation that Obama is a closet Muslim is a theme that runs through most of Senator Clinton's campaign. Early last year Clinton's operatives were accused of feeding misinformation to Fox News that Obama grew up as a Muslim and was educated in the Muslim madrassas in Indonesia. This claim proved to be utterly wrong.

In New Hampshire Clinton's campaign manager Billy Shaheen said Republicans will ask Obama: “When was the last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you sell them to anyone? There are so many openings for Republican dirty tricks. It's hard to overcome.“ Shaheen was later forced to resign from the Clinton campaign. Senator Clinton never issued an apology to Obama.

Around the same time, another Clinton supporter, former Senator Bob Kerry, now president of the New School University, said Obama should go on television and tell the world that his name is "Barack Hussein Obama,” and that his father was a Muslim. Kerry subsequently issued a written apology to Obama.

Clear-headed observers saw a pattern--drop false information that the Clinton campaign believed would harm Obama’s campaign then, in some instances, issue an apology.

Recently, Senator Clinton has reverted to another phrase--saying that she’s been “fully vetted” but that Obama is not. The implication is that Senator Obama has skeletons in his closets that will be made public during the general elections by the Republican machine.

This is a ploy since it's Clinton who is now openly sullying Obama's name and reputation.

When the Clinton attack machine tried the same strategy in South Carolina, it backfired, rallying many democrats to Obama's cause, including Senator Edward Kennedy.

The ugly strategy also turned off many Black voters who until then had remained sympathetic to the Clinton candidacy.

The question is whether Clinton will get away with this low blow. We doubt it. More likely the country will turn against her. More importantly, many party elders may have finally seen enough of the Clintons' destructive politics.



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