Hillary Plays the Race Card - Sort of

You knew it had to happen sooner or later.

Race is the 800 pound gorilla in the room when it comes to American politics. Few talk about it. And using it as a weapon in a campaign went out with George Wallace.

But you had to know that if there were a way to raise the issue and get people thinking about it, the Clintons would find a way. Hence, the last 48 hours have seen several elliptical references to race by Clinton surrogates as well as Bill and Hillary Clinton themselves which serve the purpose of reminding people just who it is that opposes Hillary - and what color he is:

Clinton, on defense over comments that she and her husband made regarding Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy and Obama's fitness for the White House, tried to turn the tables on her top primary rival. She accused his campaign of looking to score political points by distorting their words.

Hillary Clinton had said King's dream of racial equality was realized only when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, while Bill Clinton said Illinois Sen. Obama was telling a "fairy tale" about his opposition to the Iraq war. Black leaders have criticized their comments, and Obama said Sunday her comment about King was "ill-advised."

"I think it offended some folks who felt that somehow diminished King's role in bringing about the Civil Rights Act," he told reporters on a conference call. "She is free to explain that, but the notion that somehow this is our doing is ludicrous."
In addition, Bob Johnson, the founder of the Black Entertainment Network, introduced Hillary at a campaign rally by savaging Obama, even alluding to his drug use. The Obama campaign called foul but the Clintons pleaded innocent saying they had no control over what Johnson had to say.

Then a memo surfaced from the Obama campaign detailing what the staffer believed were "racially insensitive" comments from the Clinton camp. This made it appear as if the Obama camp was also going to play the race card at some point, using the statements as ammunition:
As evidence the Obama campaign had pushed the story, Clinton advisers pointed to a memo written by an Obama staffer compiling examples of comments by Clinton and her surrogates that could be construed as racially insensitive. The memo later surfaced on some political Web sites.

"This is an unfortunate story line the Obama campaign has pushed very successfully," the former first lady said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "I don't think this campaign is about gender, and I sure hope it's not about race."

Clinton taped the show before appearances in South Carolina, where at least half the primary voters are expected to be black. On Monday, she planned to attend a union event honoring King's legacy in New York City.
And so it goes. The Clinton camp not overtly but subtly, bringing race into the mix. And Obama, realizing the dynamite involved, responding cautiously but directly to the challenge.

It is a tightrope both candidates will walk until one of them emerges victorious from the primaries.
You knew it had to happen sooner or later.

Race is the 800 pound gorilla in the room when it comes to American politics. Few talk about it. And using it as a weapon in a campaign went out with George Wallace.

But you had to know that if there were a way to raise the issue and get people thinking about it, the Clintons would find a way. Hence, the last 48 hours have seen several elliptical references to race by Clinton surrogates as well as Bill and Hillary Clinton themselves which serve the purpose of reminding people just who it is that opposes Hillary - and what color he is:

Clinton, on defense over comments that she and her husband made regarding Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy and Obama's fitness for the White House, tried to turn the tables on her top primary rival. She accused his campaign of looking to score political points by distorting their words.

Hillary Clinton had said King's dream of racial equality was realized only when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, while Bill Clinton said Illinois Sen. Obama was telling a "fairy tale" about his opposition to the Iraq war. Black leaders have criticized their comments, and Obama said Sunday her comment about King was "ill-advised."

"I think it offended some folks who felt that somehow diminished King's role in bringing about the Civil Rights Act," he told reporters on a conference call. "She is free to explain that, but the notion that somehow this is our doing is ludicrous."
In addition, Bob Johnson, the founder of the Black Entertainment Network, introduced Hillary at a campaign rally by savaging Obama, even alluding to his drug use. The Obama campaign called foul but the Clintons pleaded innocent saying they had no control over what Johnson had to say.

Then a memo surfaced from the Obama campaign detailing what the staffer believed were "racially insensitive" comments from the Clinton camp. This made it appear as if the Obama camp was also going to play the race card at some point, using the statements as ammunition:
As evidence the Obama campaign had pushed the story, Clinton advisers pointed to a memo written by an Obama staffer compiling examples of comments by Clinton and her surrogates that could be construed as racially insensitive. The memo later surfaced on some political Web sites.

"This is an unfortunate story line the Obama campaign has pushed very successfully," the former first lady said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "I don't think this campaign is about gender, and I sure hope it's not about race."

Clinton taped the show before appearances in South Carolina, where at least half the primary voters are expected to be black. On Monday, she planned to attend a union event honoring King's legacy in New York City.
And so it goes. The Clinton camp not overtly but subtly, bringing race into the mix. And Obama, realizing the dynamite involved, responding cautiously but directly to the challenge.

It is a tightrope both candidates will walk until one of them emerges victorious from the primaries.