The Clinton-Obama Battle Continues

The next stage of Hillary Clinton's battle with Barack Obama is coming into focus. With the primary season closing today, her efforts turn to the super delegates, who don't have to decide (in the only meaningful way) to support either Clinton or Obama until late August. There is yet time for them to be convinced that nominating Obama would be a disaster for the party.

It looks like Obama is going to find himself fighting a tough battle over the narrative of him that is to prevail in the public mind: Obama the healer versus Obama the angry black man. Fate may have dealt Hillary an ace in that contest.

Hillary understands, as few people do, the  nature of warfare when it comes to the public narrative of oneself and one's family. Consequently, she sees Obama's serious vulnerability in that theatre of combat. His light footprint in the sand of public consciousness until just over a year ago means that voters (at least that portion of them not caught up in the romance of his campaign) are still searching for more information before they make up their minds. His family becomes fair game, too, as John and Jane Q. Public decide whether or not he should be entrusted with the fate of the nation.

Hillary will be certain to take advantage of the apparent discovery of a smoking gun video clip, said to feature Michelle Obama and Louis Farrakhan bashing whitey. Larry Johnson of No Quarter Given lets the cat out of the bag  in a report and analysis of Obama's vulnerability to the Farrakhan card..

I learned over the weekend why the Republicans who have seen the tape of Michelle Obama ranting about "whitey" describe it as "STUNNING." I have not seen it but I have heard from five separate sources who have spoken directly with people who have seen the tape. It features Michelle Obama and Louis Farrakhan. They are sitting on a panel at Jeremiah Wright's Church when Michelle makes her intemperate remarks.

It should be noted that the tape's existence is not confirmed, and Jim Geraghty of NRO's The Campaign Spot blog thinks it is a hoax. But Johnson is almost certainly correct that the deal Barack Obama made with Louis Farrakhan is turning out to be the political wild card of the election (assuming the tape is as reported). The Republican side, which discovered the tape, wants to hold it until October, but word of it is already leaking out, and a concerted oppo research effort by Team Hillary would likely be able to uncover a second copy, if the GOP version doesn't leak onto the net first.

Even if this particular tape turns out to be something other than as described, Trinity United has helpfully taped an awful lot of other footage of various events over the 20 years the Obamas were  members. A modern large-scale mega-church, TUCC's video production expertise is now one of the Obama image's worst problems.

Hillary Clinton continues to enjoy a string of unanticipated gifts from unlikely allies. Rush Limbaugh's Operation Chaos brought out significant numbers of voters in key primaries. Republican opposition research efforts turn up damaging material so far in advance of the election that keeping it secret throughout the primary season has been difficult. Not a few Republicans, not to mention her angry Democrat supporters, want to see her stay in the race for their own reasons, but when political survival is at stake, any help is received, gratefully or not.

But of all the delicious ironies (from Hillary's perspective), the greatest pleasure must come from seeing a male opponent undone by his spouse. Having been humiliated first by her husband getting caught at degrading sex in his office, and second by a man of thin accomplishment all-but-stealing the nomination she thought she had locked up, how sweet it must be to see her opponent undone by a feckless mate.

That angry Michelle Obama might provide the visible potential knockout punch should not surprise us. She is remarkably bitter about the country that has provided her fame, wealth, luxury, and status, and is not able to understand the way other people see her. A remarkable case study in the depth of human self-absorption, she has already generated considerable mockery for her whining about the difficulties of getting by on what seems to ordinary folk like considerable wealth. She appears to carry a huge racial chip on her shoulder, repeatedly characterizing ordinary life challenges faced by everyone as a matter of some bar being raised by an unseen "they".

For the last few weeks the campaign has succeeded in squelching her tendency to reveal smoldering racial resentments with offhand remarks, such as the infamous "proud for the first time" aside. But now out of the video vault comes this reported bombshell just in time for the next stage of the campaign. If I believed in coincidences, I would call it one.

The mainstream media may be falling over itself to puff up Obama, supporting him as messianic or even a mythical figure, but Hillary still has friends in various media. And with Fox News and talk radio unwilling to maintain radio silence on items that might hurt Obama, keeping the evidence of his deal with Farrakhan will prove impossible if the story of the tape is true.

Even if it isn't, Hillary will stick it through to the convention in Denver. Given the feminist sensitivities of many of her most ardent supporters, it probably is impolitic to mention the fat lady vocalizing. But there is still reason to delay coming to any conclusions as to whose tune she will be singing in Denver.

Hat tip: Susan L.

Thomas Lifson is editor and publisher of American Thinker.