Obama in Muslim Garb
The Clinton campaign is circulating a 2006 photo of Barack Obama in Somali tribal clothes, playing to the “B. Hussein Obama is a secret Muslim” nonsense, and getting properly excoriated from the left and right alike. Indeed, even Robert Spencer[*] judges the “Obama-Is-Secretly-A-Muslim” rumors to be “a lot of hooey.”
The attack is backfiring on Clinton, feeding into the “she’s desperate and will do anything to win” meme. And the Obama campaign’s reaction is a home run:
On the very day that Senator Clinton is giving a speech about restoring respect for America in the world, her campaign has engaged in the most shameful, offensive fear-mongering we’ve seen from either party in this election. This is part of a disturbing pattern that led her county chairs to resign in Iowa, her campaign chairman to resign in New Hampshire, and it’s exactly the kind of divisive politics that turns away Americans of all parties and diminishes respect for America in the world.
The consensus of this one hasn’t prevented a few from having some fun with the charges. Hilzoy has an amusing photo of President Bush in Vietnamese costuming with a tongue-in-cheek attack on him as a “secret Vietnamese.”
And perhaps secretly gay as well? The photo is from the 2006 APEC Summit and part of a tradition apparently started in 1993 with this famous photo:
There have been some doozies since, although none have been quite as iconic.
Now, granted, Obama wasn’t attending an international summit meeting and could more easily have gotten out of donning garb that looks silly in a Western context. But playing along with this sort of thing is hardly evidence of anything other than poor fashion judgment.
Glass house, meet Stone.
*UPDATE: I use “even Robert Spencer” here to connote that, as the blogosphere’s guru of all things jihadist, a clean bill of health from him rather settles it instead of “even that nut Robert Spencer isn’t so crazy as to say this.” It’s as if I were to say that, “Even William F. Buckley concedes that John McCain is a conservative.”