Thursday, September 25, 2008

Barack Obama's bad judgment

By DeWayne Wickham

During the primary election season Barack Obama allowed his surrogates to brand Bill Clinton a racist for his combative support of his wife's unsuccessful campaign to win the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

The racism charge was rooted largely in Clinton's attempt to marginalize Obama's landslide victory in the South Carolina primary by linking it to Jesse Jackson's two failed presidential campaigns.

"Jesse Jackson won South Carolina in '84 and '88. Jackson ran a good campaign. And Obama ran a good campaign here," Clinton said. His words were widely seem by blacks as a racial putdown. By linking Obama's victory to Jackson, a black candidate who lost his two bids for the Democratic Party nomination and not to his own primary victories in South Carolina during his successful White House campaigns, Clinton opened himself up to this charge.

But it was bad judgment for Obama to allow his surrogates to label the former president in that way. In doing so they unnecessarily strained relations between Obama and the man whose support he now badly needs. This became all too clear earlier this month when Obama went to New York City to ask Clinton to campaign for him in the battleground states of Florida, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Imagine that. Obama, who is poised to become this nation's first black president, went to Clinton's office in Harlem - the symbolic capital of black America - to ask the white man his surrogates called a racist to help him win the presidency.

1 comment:

Monroe Anderson said...

DeWayne: The only reason Obama is the party nominee--and not Hillary--is because the surrogates pulled the sheets off what the Clintons were doing.

It's Bill who needs to make amends, not Barack.