Obama Lets Clinton Off ‘Racism’ Hook

Obama Lets Clinton Off ‘Racism’ Hook After several days in which Hillary Clinton has been getting pounded by black leaders for comments by her and her supporters, Barack Obama finally threw her a rope.

Sen. Barack Obama told ABC News Monday there is nothing in Sen. Hillary Clinton’s record that would give him any cause for concern about her in terms of racial politics.

Asked how Obama interpreted two recent remarks by the Clintons that prompted an angry reaction from some in the Black community, Obama sought to damp down the racial dynamics of the controversy. Many African Americans were offended when Hillary Clinton told an interviewer in New Hampshire, “Martin Luther King’s dream became a reality when Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” Some say she seemed to suggest that it took a white politician to fulfill a black man’s dream.

“I don’t think it was in any way a racial comment,” Obama told ABC News. “That’s something that has played out in the press. That’s not my view.”

But, he said, the comment was revealing about her political character. “I do think it was indicative of the perspective that she brings, which is that what happens in Washington is more important than what happens outside of Washington,” he said.

What’s brilliant about this is that it gives the impression of magnanimity and graciousness — but only after allowing the damage to be done by comments that clearly weren’t racial.

Photo credit: ABC News

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, Race and Politics, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Polimom says:

    Hunh. Maybe they’ll finally start talking about the issues now…

  2. Michael says:

    What’s brilliant about this is that it gives the impression of magnanimity and graciousness — but only after allowing the damage to be done by comments that clearly weren’t racial.

    While at the same time attacking the very same comments from another angle. So now it’s “beltway insider” and “establishment” thinking (read: anti-change), on top of possibly racial. Gotta had it to Obama, it was a great way to take a problem for his opponent and turn it into an opportunity for himself, and another problem for his opponent. And people say this guy isn’t electable.

  3. yetanotherjohn says:

    So the new politics is to let your surrogates attack something that is factually true then say its over while getting one more dig in. How can the nation pass up such an opportunity for such truly new leadership.

  4. Michael says:

    So the new politics is to let your surrogates attack something that is factually true then say its over while getting one more dig in. How can the nation pass up such an opportunity for such truly new leadership.

    Nope, that strategy is as old as promises of “change”.