Rediscovered Obama video roils the campaign

Rick Moran
It's not a "new" video in the sense that some of it has been seen before. It's been around since 2008 -- and was considered a serious gaffe then even by the press.

But Obama was still an unknown candidate to most Americans and the parts of the video that were shown - about 9 minutes worth - didn't appear to damage candidate Obama that much.

The video released yesterday appears to add about 35 minutes to the previous recording, according to ABC:

ABC News ran that clip in a March 2008 piece on "World News Tonight with Charles Gibson." At the time, prepared remarks of Obama's speech were released by the campaign and a local newspaper posted a nine-minute edited video of the address. What ABC News and many others, including The Daily Caller founder Tucker Carlson, covered at the time was based on that edited video and the prepared remarks.

As ABC News reported at the time, Obama implied the Bush administration had ignored what he called "quiet riots" in the United States - serious instances of poverty and hopelessness that had gone unaddressed by the federal government.

But the full version of the speech, posted on The Daily Caller website this evening, shows Obama taking that argument a step further, suggesting the federal government overlooked the needs of residents of New Orleans suffering in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, as opposed to victims of other disasters in other parts of the country.

"Down in New Orleans, where they still have not rebuilt 20 months later," Obama says, "there's a law, federal law - when you get reconstruction money from the federal government - called the Stafford Act. And basically it says, when you get federal money, you've got to give a 10 percent match. The local government's got to come up with 10 percent. Every 10 dollars the federal government comes up with, local government's got to give a dollar.

"Now here's the thing, when 9/11 happened in New York City, they waived the Stafford Act - said, 'This is too serious a problem. We can't expect New York City to rebuild on its own. Forget that dollar you got to put in. Well, here's 10 dollars.' And that was the right thing to do. When Hurricane Andrew struck in Florida, people said, 'Look at this devastation. We don't expect you to come up with y'own money, here. Here's the money to rebuild. We're not going to wait for you to scratch it together - because you're part of the American family.' ... What's happening down in New Orleans? Where's your dollar? Where's your Stafford Act money? Makes no sense. Tells me that somehow, the people down in New Orleans they don't care about as much."

Daily Caller, who discovered the expanded video, noted the different accent Obama used when speaking:

The racially charged and at times angry speech undermines Obama's carefully-crafted image as a leader eager to build bridges between ethnic groups. For nearly 40 minutes, using an accent he almost never adopts in public, Obama describes a racist, zero-sum society, in which the white majority profits by exploiting black America. The mostly black audience shouts in agreement. The effect is closer to an Al Sharpton rally than a conventional campaign event.

The racially charged and at times angry speech undermines Obama's carefully-crafted image as a leader eager to build bridges between ethnic groups. For nearly 40 minutes, using an accent he almost never adopts in public, Obama describes a racist, zero-sum society, in which the white majority profits by exploiting black America. The mostly black audience shouts in agreement. The effect is closer to an Al Sharpton rally than a conventional campaign event.

Obama gave the speech in the middle of a hotly-contested presidential primary season, but his remarks escaped scrutiny. Reporters in the room seem to have missed or ignored his most controversial statements. The liberal blogger Andrew Sullivan linked to what he described as a "transcript" of the speech, which turned out not to be a transcript at all, but instead the prepared remarks provided by the campaign. In fact, Obama, who was not using a teleprompter, deviated from his script repeatedly and at length, ad libbing lines that he does not appear to have used before any other audience during his presidential run. A local newspaper posted a series of video clips of the speech, but left out key portions. No complete video of the Hampton speech was widely released.

Obama begins his address with "a special shout out" to Jeremiah Wright, the Chicago pastor who nearly derailed Obama's campaign months later when his sermons attacking Israel and America and accusing the U.S. government of "inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color" became public. To the audience at Hampton, Obama describes Wright as, "my pastor, the guy who puts up with me, counsels me, listens to my wife complain about me. He's a friend and a great leader. Not just in Chicago, but all across the country."

There's a lot more raw, racial anger exhibited by Obama, including his peroration:

In the prepared version distributed to reporters, Obama's speech ends this way:

"America is going to survive. We won't forget where we came from. We won't forget what happened 19 months ago, 15 years ago, thousands of years ago."

That's not what he actually said. Before the audience at Hampton, Obama ends his speech this way:

"America will survive. Just like black folks will survive. We won't forget where we came from. We won't forget what happened 19 months ago, or 15 years ago, or 300 years ago."

Three hundred years ago. It's a reference the audience understood.

Predictably, the left is crying "racism" (directed at those who released the video, not Obama's blatant ginning up race hatred against whites) while the Obama campaign calls the video "a desperate attack." And for those who have closely followed the president for 4 years or longer, he says nothing surprising. Obama has dropped hints over the years that he can be as racially polarizing as Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. You don't hang around for 20 years with Reverend Wright and not have some of that seething anger yourself.

What the video does is tear off the carefully crafted mask that the president has worn since taking office and reveals him to be a common race hustler, willing to pander to the worst fears and paranoia of the black community in order to get them to vote for him. It won't matter to those predisposed to support him, but it might remind some fence sitters that Obama is not what he appears to be.

An interesting glimpse at the "real" Obama.

Thomas Lifson adds:

It appears Romney is still taking the strategy of Obama-as-nice-guy-over-his-head. Meanwhile, the conservative new media (in this case, the Daily Caller/Drudge/Hannity) are pushing the narrative that Obama is a phony, a radical who has covered his tracks.

Can the two strategies work together, or does their divergence result in a weaker appeal to former Obama voters?

It's not a "new" video in the sense that some of it has been seen before. It's been around since 2008 -- and was considered a serious gaffe then even by the press.

But Obama was still an unknown candidate to most Americans and the parts of the video that were shown - about 9 minutes worth - didn't appear to damage candidate Obama that much.

The video released yesterday appears to add about 35 minutes to the previous recording, according to ABC:

ABC News ran that clip in a March 2008 piece on "World News Tonight with Charles Gibson." At the time, prepared remarks of Obama's speech were released by the campaign and a local newspaper posted a nine-minute edited video of the address. What ABC News and many others, including The Daily Caller founder Tucker Carlson, covered at the time was based on that edited video and the prepared remarks.

As ABC News reported at the time, Obama implied the Bush administration had ignored what he called "quiet riots" in the United States - serious instances of poverty and hopelessness that had gone unaddressed by the federal government.

But the full version of the speech, posted on The Daily Caller website this evening, shows Obama taking that argument a step further, suggesting the federal government overlooked the needs of residents of New Orleans suffering in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, as opposed to victims of other disasters in other parts of the country.

"Down in New Orleans, where they still have not rebuilt 20 months later," Obama says, "there's a law, federal law - when you get reconstruction money from the federal government - called the Stafford Act. And basically it says, when you get federal money, you've got to give a 10 percent match. The local government's got to come up with 10 percent. Every 10 dollars the federal government comes up with, local government's got to give a dollar.

"Now here's the thing, when 9/11 happened in New York City, they waived the Stafford Act - said, 'This is too serious a problem. We can't expect New York City to rebuild on its own. Forget that dollar you got to put in. Well, here's 10 dollars.' And that was the right thing to do. When Hurricane Andrew struck in Florida, people said, 'Look at this devastation. We don't expect you to come up with y'own money, here. Here's the money to rebuild. We're not going to wait for you to scratch it together - because you're part of the American family.' ... What's happening down in New Orleans? Where's your dollar? Where's your Stafford Act money? Makes no sense. Tells me that somehow, the people down in New Orleans they don't care about as much."

Daily Caller, who discovered the expanded video, noted the different accent Obama used when speaking:

The racially charged and at times angry speech undermines Obama's carefully-crafted image as a leader eager to build bridges between ethnic groups. For nearly 40 minutes, using an accent he almost never adopts in public, Obama describes a racist, zero-sum society, in which the white majority profits by exploiting black America. The mostly black audience shouts in agreement. The effect is closer to an Al Sharpton rally than a conventional campaign event.

The racially charged and at times angry speech undermines Obama's carefully-crafted image as a leader eager to build bridges between ethnic groups. For nearly 40 minutes, using an accent he almost never adopts in public, Obama describes a racist, zero-sum society, in which the white majority profits by exploiting black America. The mostly black audience shouts in agreement. The effect is closer to an Al Sharpton rally than a conventional campaign event.

Obama gave the speech in the middle of a hotly-contested presidential primary season, but his remarks escaped scrutiny. Reporters in the room seem to have missed or ignored his most controversial statements. The liberal blogger Andrew Sullivan linked to what he described as a "transcript" of the speech, which turned out not to be a transcript at all, but instead the prepared remarks provided by the campaign. In fact, Obama, who was not using a teleprompter, deviated from his script repeatedly and at length, ad libbing lines that he does not appear to have used before any other audience during his presidential run. A local newspaper posted a series of video clips of the speech, but left out key portions. No complete video of the Hampton speech was widely released.

Obama begins his address with "a special shout out" to Jeremiah Wright, the Chicago pastor who nearly derailed Obama's campaign months later when his sermons attacking Israel and America and accusing the U.S. government of "inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color" became public. To the audience at Hampton, Obama describes Wright as, "my pastor, the guy who puts up with me, counsels me, listens to my wife complain about me. He's a friend and a great leader. Not just in Chicago, but all across the country."

There's a lot more raw, racial anger exhibited by Obama, including his peroration:

In the prepared version distributed to reporters, Obama's speech ends this way:

"America is going to survive. We won't forget where we came from. We won't forget what happened 19 months ago, 15 years ago, thousands of years ago."

That's not what he actually said. Before the audience at Hampton, Obama ends his speech this way:

"America will survive. Just like black folks will survive. We won't forget where we came from. We won't forget what happened 19 months ago, or 15 years ago, or 300 years ago."

Three hundred years ago. It's a reference the audience understood.

Predictably, the left is crying "racism" (directed at those who released the video, not Obama's blatant ginning up race hatred against whites) while the Obama campaign calls the video "a desperate attack." And for those who have closely followed the president for 4 years or longer, he says nothing surprising. Obama has dropped hints over the years that he can be as racially polarizing as Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. You don't hang around for 20 years with Reverend Wright and not have some of that seething anger yourself.

What the video does is tear off the carefully crafted mask that the president has worn since taking office and reveals him to be a common race hustler, willing to pander to the worst fears and paranoia of the black community in order to get them to vote for him. It won't matter to those predisposed to support him, but it might remind some fence sitters that Obama is not what he appears to be.

An interesting glimpse at the "real" Obama.

Thomas Lifson adds:

It appears Romney is still taking the strategy of Obama-as-nice-guy-over-his-head. Meanwhile, the conservative new media (in this case, the Daily Caller/Drudge/Hannity) are pushing the narrative that Obama is a phony, a radical who has covered his tracks.

Can the two strategies work together, or does their divergence result in a weaker appeal to former Obama voters?