Dueling Dems

Obama campaign releases memo detailing Hillary's and her surrogates' race-baiting.

Page Six reports that "As Obama and his wife, Michelle, strolled triumphantly into his victory party in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 3, Jay-Z's '99 Problems' was blaring. In it, Jay raps, 'I got 99 problems, but a bitch ain't one'."

This bodes well for the general election. Sigh.


I think that the Clintons' anti-Obama strategy is more subtle than commentators are realizing. It is in the nature of a "provokatsiia", as the Russians say. Cuomo didn't utter the phrase "shuck and jive" without forethought; nor did Clinton bring up LBJ and MLK on the spur of the moment. Both are experienced street-fighting politicians who don't say that kind of thing to the press without thinking it through. Such comments are a provocation, waving a red cloak in front of the Obama people. When they respond angrily with charges of racism, suddenly they look like Jessie Jackson redux...just the kind of angry, militant black folks who scare white people (btw I think black anger and militancy are completely understandable...this is just a point about how much of the white public reads such charges of racism). Then the Clintons deny responsibility.

The whole point was to get the Obama people to respond angrily, which they did. Clintons win.
More like, we all lose.

This also puts into perspective why Hillary Clinton didn't just give a full-throated, line-in-the-sand, "I'm sorry for all this crap and don't want any of my surrogates to engage in it, goddammit!" comment on MTP.

Hillary knows how this works better than anyone, after all. Every time she has to respond to thinly-veiled sexist attacks, she ends up filling the Hysterical, Hypersensitive Woman role.

Because, as ML points out, it's generally still considered more off-putting to react to being a target of racism/sexism than it is to be the person actually targeting someone with it.

UPDATE 2: Eli Sanders emails me to say that he and Ari Melber of The Nation were at the victory party at Hy-Vee Hall, and, although they aren't able to confirm exactly when Obama arrived at the party, they don't recall any Jay-Z being played.

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