Okay, Now I'm Pissed

Update: Muuuuch better. Howard Wolfson has strongly denied that this came from the campaign.
"We've been very clear that we're not aware of it," he added. "Obviously the campaign didn't sanction it, and don't know anything about it."
Well, I don't know how clear they were, when I read in a couple of reputable places (i.e., not Drudge) that the campaign had issued no denial, hence the existence of this post. But this makes me feel a lot better.

I've made no secret of the fact that I'm a Hillary supporter, even if the racist crap coming from her campaign turns my stomach. The sexist crap coming from Obama's--and from Obama himself--has so far made it a draw, as far as I'm concerned. I think both candidates should absolutely have their feet held to the fire when they blatantly try to get bigotry working in their favor, but I suspect that if I waited for a candidate who wouldn't pull shit like that, I'd die without ever voting again.

But now I read that a photo of Barack Obama in traditional Somali dress, which is making the rounds and fanning the "OMG, he's a secret Muslim!!11!" fire, might have been circulated by the Clinton campaign.

And if it was, let me be the first to offer a hearty FUCK YOU, CLINTON CAMPAIGN.

Obama's campaign manager responded,
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.
If the Clinton campaign is indeed responsible for this photo being sent around, then I couldn't agree more. Now, the original source for this was freakin' Drudge, so it should definitely be taken with a grain of salt. But since the Clinton campaign's response does not even deny that they're behind it, I'm having trouble believing that they're not. The response, from campaign manager Maggie Williams, goes like this:

If Barack Obama's campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing is divisive, they should be ashamed. Hillary Clinton has worn the traditional clothing of countries she has visited and had those photos published widely.

This is nothing more than an obvious and transparent attempt to distract from the serious issues confronting our country today and to attempt to create the very divisions they claim to decry.

We will not be distracted.
And you know, I would be fine with that, if they weren't the ones who sent the photo out. No, a photo of him in the traditional dress of another country should not be considered divisive -- and if it's Republicans, i.e., the ones really pushing the secret Muslim meme, behind the distribution of the photo, then I think the Obama camp would do well to say exactly the same thing.

But... the Clinton camp doesn't deny the charge that they sent the photo out. Why wouldn't they start by doing that, if it was Republicans behind this? The only thing I can think, as a goddamned Clinton supporter, is that they did it, and now they're trying to act like they're the ones taking the high road, while Obama's making a mountain out of a molehill. Which is beyond the fucking pale.

I mean, there's one other possibility here -- the Clinton folks didn't send out the picture, but Obama's reacting as if they did, since it's still Hillary he has to beat right now, not McCain. But if that were the case, why the hell wouldn't the Clinton campaign explicitly deny any involvement?

I don't want to believe they did it, but it sure looks as if they did. And I don't even have words for how I feel about that; "disgusted" is nowhere near strong enough.

As Jeff said a while back, if Obama can only win by stirring up sexist sentiment, then he doesn't deserve to win. Same absolutely goes for Clinton, vis a vis racist sentiment. I realize she's only got one shot left, and the odds aren't good, and up until yesterday, at least, I was hoping for a miracle in Ohio and Texas more than anyone. But if she can't win without blatantly trying to capitalize on racism and xenophobia, then she does not deserve to win.

If they weren't behind this, then the Clinton campaign needs to issue a denial tout de suite. But the problem is, they don't need me to tell them that. The fact that there's been a response and it did not include a denial makes my heart sink. I voted for her, and I've contributed to her campaign, but I do not want her to win this way. In a sick way, I guess this makes me feel better about the fact that she probably won't.

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