The Clinton's Racial Strategy

-A +A

[National: Op-Ed]


Carl Hulse and Patrick Healy's article in the New York Times, Clintons Move to Tamp Down Criticism From Blacks About Recent Comment, accomplishes precisely what the Clintons needed to happen.

It's actually even better than they had any right to expect. First, it makes absolutely no mention of comments from Fmr. Sen. Bob Kerrey, New Hampshire chairman Bill Shaheen, supporter Andrew Cuomo, or anonymous Clinton advisers.

It doesn't touch on Bill Clinton's patronizing use of the word 'kid' to describe Obama. All it addresses are two comments: Hillary's comments about MLK Jr., and Bill's comment about a fairy tale. And, it's true...Hillary's MLK comment was so stupid and self-defeating that it probably was nothing more than sloppiness.

And Bill's comment about a Fairy Tale was specifically about whether or not Barack Obama has been consistently against the war in Iraq, and not meant to be dismissive of his chances or his message. So, the article fails to address the (possible) use of surrogates to spread racial and anti-Muslim stereotypes about Obama. But the article does not fail to mention the two most harmful names for Obama's campaign...the names that instantly turn-off white voters and remind them why they don't like black complaints about racism.

In a call on Friday to Al Sharpton’s nationally syndicated talk radio show, Mr. Clinton said that his “fairy tale” comment on Monday about Senator Barack Obama’s position on the Iraq war was being misconstrued, and that he was talking only about the war, not about Mr. Obama’s overarching message or his drive to be the first black president.

Going hat in hand to Al Sharpton? Not that ambulance chaser again. Won't he ever stop seeing racism under every pillow and behind every curtain?

Others continued to take issue with the remarks, including Representative Jesse L. Jackson Jr., Democrat of Illinois and an Obama supporter.

“Following Barack Obama’s victory in Iowa and historic voter turnout in New Hampshire,” Mr. Jackson said in a statement, “the cynics unfortunately have stepped up their efforts to decry his uplifting message of hope and fundamental change.”

Do people even know that there is a Jesse Jackson Jr.? The prevailing sense is that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have once again made a mountain out of a mole hill and injected race into the debate when race wasn't even the issue.

Never mind that Billy Shaheen suggested that Obama was a cocaine dealer, or that an anonymous Clinton adviser was quoted in the Guardian as saying, "If you have a social need, you're with Hillary. If you want Obama to be your imaginary hip black friend and you're young and you have no social needs, then he's cool." Never mind the rest of it.

Here is how it works. The Clintons push some racially sensitive buttons and elicit an emotional response. Then they go apologize explain themselves on the Al Sharpton radio show.

The New York Times only covers the most innocuous of their comments. The result is that they remind voters that Barack Obama is not the post-racial uniter, but a typical black candidate, supported by serial whiners Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Nothing could undermine Obama's campaign more among the white vote, and the Clintons know it. And there is nothing, nothing, that Obama can do about it. If he complains, he only makes it worse. If he doesn't complain, these subtle allegations that he is a lazy, drug-dealing Muslim do damage all on their own.

Congratulations to the Clintons. You really are good at this campaigning thing. I'm so impressed.




To comment or to subscribe to or advertise in New York’s leading Pan African weekly investigative newspaper, or to send us a news tip, please call (212) 481-7745 or send a note to

Also visit out sister publications Harlem Business News and The Groove music magazine at

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

Also Check Out...

Minneapolis police officer, who on Thursday removed his face covering to invoke his Fifth Amendment right
Derek Chauvin Takes Fifth, Defense
mass shooting, which killed eight people, at a FedEx facility in Indiana.
CBC Issues Statement on Indiana
family of a man fatally shot by an off-duty Pentagon security officer (above left
Families of Two Shot Dead by
sued Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) on behalf of a teacher at Robert E. Lee High School
Florida Teacher Suing School
Democratic mayoral hopeful Andrew Yang
New Poll: Andrew Yang Leads NYC
situation in St. Vincent and the Grenadines caused by the on-going volcanic eruptions of La Soufriere.
Caribbean Leaders Hold Emergency