Saturday, January 12, 2008

Using Damage Control To Do More Damage

BooMan astutely remarks that Hillary and Bill Clinton's attempts at damage control for recent controversial comments about Barack Obama actually seem designed to cause more damage -- and the MSM is not picking it up:

Carl Hulse and Patrick Healy's article in the New York Times, Clintons Move to Tamp Down Criticism From Blacks About Recent Comments, accomplishes precisely what the Clintons needed to happen. It's actually even better than they had any right to expect. First, it makes absolutely no mention of comments from Fmr. Sen. Bob Kerrey, New Hampshire chairman Bill Shaheen, supporter Andrew Cuomo, or anonymous Clinton advisers. It doesn't touch on Bill Clinton's patronizing use of the word 'kid' to describe Obama. All it addresses are two comments: Hillary's comments about MLK Jr., and Bill's comment about a fairy tale. [...] But the article does not fail to mention the two most harmful names for Obama's campaign...the names that instantly turn-off white voters and remind them why they don't like black complaints about racism [Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, Jr.].
Going hat in hand to Al Sharpton? Not that ambulance chaser again. Won't he ever stop seeing racism under every pillow and behind every curtain?
Do people even know that there is a Jesse Jackson Jr.? The prevailing sense is that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have once again made a mountain out of a mole hill and injected race into the debate when race wasn't even the issue.
Here is how it works. The Clintons push some racially sensitive buttons and elicit an emotional response. Then they go apologize explain themselves on the Al Sharpton radio show. The New York Times only covers the most innocuous of their comments. The result is that they remind voters that Barack Obama is not the post-racial uniter, but a typical black candidate, supported by serial whiners Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Nothing could undermine Obama's campaign more among the white vote, and the Clintons know it. And there is nothing, nothing, that Obama can do about it. If he complains, he only makes it worse. If he doesn't complain, these subtle allegations that he is a lazy, drug-dealing Muslim do damage all on their own.

Congratulations to the Clintons. You really are good at this campaigning thing. I'm so impressed.

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