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The Clintons' Campaign Strategy: "We're White Like You...He's Not"

By David Zephyr  Posted by Elizabeth Ferrari (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   11 comments
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The Clintons Campaign Strategy: "We're White Like You...He's Not"
by David Zephyr, April 25, 2008

Let's not tiptoe around the elephant in the living room anymore. Too many of us within the Democratic Party are acting as if we suffer from collective amnesia as we understandably recoil from facing the ugly truth that now confronts us: Bill and Hillary Clinton chose to employ the theme of race against Senator Obama as a key component of their national strategy.

When even the corporate media shills admit that they are embarrassed by the continued race-baiting coming either directly from the Clintons themselves or indirectly through their campaign sock-puppets, you know that the proverbial cat is long out of the bag: The Clintons apparently have no problem with reminding voters in state after state that they are white and Senator Obama is not. In fact, they seem down right cozy doing so now.

The signs had always been there, I'd just ignored them. Bill Clinton, when pushed to the wall, always could quickly play the race card if it would help him out politically: You might ask Sister Souljah or Joycelyn Elders, or Ricky Ray Rector...well, you can't exactly ask poor old Ricky Ray because he is dead. You see, Bill flew back to Arkansas from a campaign event to execute him to show he wasn't soft on crime. No sir, Bill's just hard on a mentally impaired men.

So here we are in 2008, with a prominent Democrat couple, not Republicans, who never seem to miss an opportunity to interject race back into the public forum when it might help them.

And in spite of the fact the Clintons have changed their campaign message more times than David Duke changes sheets, the one single constant here is that the Clintons do play the race card.

Let's review just a few of facts in this sordid history, shall we?

It began early on in Iowa where Hillary's campaign under Mark Penn was caught several times e-mailing voters that Obama was a Muslim. A black Muslim.

New Hampshire followed with the Clinton's state chair, Bill Shaheen, who resigned only after he wickedly suggested that Barack was not only a drug user, but perhaps a drug dealer. A black drug dealer.

On to Nevada where the Clintons got caught working this line: "Latinos won't vote for a black man". When asked about it, Hillary replied, "It's a fact."

Clinton supporter, New Yorker Andrew Cuomo, warned Barack Obama not to "shuck and jive" to the American people.

And then came South Carolina, where the racist language and innuendo from the Clinton camp directed to white voters there was culminated with Bill Clinton's gratuitous and jaw-dropping racial comparison that "Jesse Jackson had won this state."

By the time Ohio rolled around, stoking up old fears among white voters, became their trump card. And as Pennsylvania loomed, Clinton's top campaign figure there, Ed Rendell, lost no time in stating that "white voters in Pennsylvania will never vote for a black man."

Who can ever forget Hillary's calculated response to a most bewildered Steve Kroft of CBS's "60 Minutes" program when he asked her if she actually believed that Barack was a Muslim since her campaign was suggesting it to be so: "No. No. Why would I?" she said. "No, there is nothing to base that on, as far as I know." How many of you cringed with me upon hearing her utter those words?

And the Clinton operatives seemed to never miss a step to remind voters: 'she's white and he's black.' It has been the single constant mantra of every spokesperson for the Clintons from Mark Penn, James Carville, Howard Wolfson, Lannie Davis, and of course, that grand old bigot, Geraldine Ferraro.

I've lived long enough to just about have seen it all:

I've now seen one Democratic southern white governor who stirred the racist pot for years only later to repent and speak out against the evils of racism. He ended his career on a higher note railing against racism, be it overt or covert. That would be former Governor George Corely Wallace.

And I've now seen another Democratic southern white governor who with his charming sophistry claimed to be the friend to those of color, but who has now ended his career on a very, very low note and proving to the American people that he has a real talent for stirring that old racist pot. That would be former Governor William Jefferson Clinton.

It's funny, but I had always thought that his middle name of "Jefferson" suggested President Thomas Jefferson. Sadly, now upon reflection, it only conjurs up someone else: President Jefferson Davis.

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Elizabeth Ferrari is a San Francisco author and activist.
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