Tag Archives: assassination

Obama deals with recent racist incidents, security threats

ABC News is reporting that racism and potential security issues are emerging as factors in the race to the White House for the Obama campaign.  When I heard Hillary Clinton’s comments on Bobby Kennedy’s murder and the 1968 election the first thing I thought about was the same thing happening to Barack.  Oh Lord, for her sake I hope it doesn’t happen (and of course for his too.  LOL).  People will be saying she called for the hit…she had something to do with it…just because of that comment.  She actually said it more than once.  Hillary was quoted in Time Magazine saying the same thing (saw it on CNN when they interviewed her campaign manager).

In recent weeks, the role of race in the Democratic primaries has been increasingly discussed. And while racist caricatures and jokes about threats against Obama’s life have been widely condemned, they seem to reflect an undeniable element of racism that still exists in the country and could play an unknown role in a general election.

“There is no question that the possibility of violence directed at presidential candidates, especially Obama, is the elephant in the middle of the room,” says Peter Fenn, adjunct professor of political management at George Washington University, to describe the media’s careful coverage of the issue. “There is a hypersensitivity about this issue. And in one sense, there should be because you don’t want to put the idea out there. But you also get overanalysis, like with Hillary’s comments about RFK [Robert F. Kennedy].”

Fifty-nine percent of Americans (and 83 percent of African-Americans) said they were concerned “that someone might attempt to physically harm Barack Obama if he’s the Democratic nominee for president,” according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll from March 2. Twenty-four percent of those polled said they were “very concerned” about that possibility.

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What Did She Really Mean?

You know, I didn’t really know what to make of Hillary Clinton’s latest ill-advised comments. It’s been a long race and it’s easy to slip up and say something innocent, but damaging if taken the wrong way, so I didn’t want to jump to conclusions. The below article is a very interesting take on the whole thing. Either she didn’t know the time lines of the democratic elections she was referencing or she took a serious shot at Obama (no pun intended)…

Clinton’s Grim Scenario
(The Washington Post) – If this campaign goes on much longer, what will be left of Hillary Clinton?

A woman uniformly described by her close friends as genuine, principled and sane has been reduced to citing the timing of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination as a reason to stay in the race — an argument that is un-genuine, unprincipled and insane. She vows to keep pushing, perhaps all the way to the convention in August. What manner of disintegration is yet to come?

For anyone who missed it, Clinton was pleading her cause before the editorial board of the Sioux Falls, S.D., Argus Leader on Friday. Rejecting calls to drop out because her chances of winning have become so slight, she said the following: “My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. You know I just, I don’t understand it.”

The point isn’t whether you take Clinton at her word that she didn’t actually mean to suggest that someone — guess who? — might be assassinated. The point is: Whoa, where did that come from?

Setting aside for the moment the ugliness of Clinton’s remark, just try to make it hold together. Clinton’s basic argument is that attempts to push her out of the race are hasty and premature, since the nomination sometimes isn’t decided until June. She cites two election years, 1968 and 1992, as evidence — but neither is relevant to 2008 because the campaign calendar has been changed.

In 1968, the Democratic race kicked off with the New Hampshire primary on March 12; when Robert Kennedy was killed, the campaign was not quite three months old. In 1992, the first contest was the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 10; by the beginning of June, candidates had been battling for about 3 1/2 months — and it was clear that Bill Clinton would be the nominee, though he hadn’t technically wrapped it up.

This year, the Iowa caucuses were held on Jan. 3, the earliest date ever. Other states scrambled to move their contests up in the calendar as well. When June arrives, the candidates will have been slogging through primaries and caucuses for five full months — a good deal longer than in those earlier campaign cycles.

So Clinton’s disturbing remark wasn’t wishful thinking — as far as I know (to quote Clinton herself, when asked earlier this year about false rumors that her opponent Barack Obama is a Muslim). Clearly, it wasn’t logical thinking. It can only have been magical thinking, albeit not the happy-magic kind.

Clinton has always claimed to be the cold-eyed realist in the race, and at one point maybe she was. Increasingly, though, her words and actions reflect the kind of thinking that animates myths and fairy tales: Maybe a sudden and powerful storm will scatter my enemy’s ships. Maybe a strapping woodsman will come along and save the day. Continue reading

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You might not want to elude to assassination when referring to Obama

The NY Times Political Blog reports that yesterday, in Dover, Francine Torge, a former John Edwards supporter, said this while introducing Mrs. Clinton: “Some people compare one of the other candidates to John F. Kennedy. But he was assassinated. And Lyndon Baines Johnson was the one who actually” passed the civil rights legislation.

The comment, an apparent reference to Senator Barack Obama, is particularly striking given documented fears among blacks that Mr. Obama will be assassinated if elected.

Phil Singer, a Clinton spokesman said: “We were not aware that this person was going to make those comments and disapprove of them completely. They were totally inappropriate.”

Mrs. Clinton’s expression did not change noticeably when Ms. Torge made the comment.

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