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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ferraro's Quotes raise questions about The Clinton Campaign's strategies

I am not saying that Rep. Ferraro is a racist, or has been one. I think that things are too complex to write people off completely, though there are circumstances where the title does fit. But Rep. Ferraro's comments and the recent Clinton strategies preceding Pennsylvania raise some serious questions as to whether or not the Clinton campaign is playing the race card in the keystone state, specifically two tactics which seem to imply that the Obama campaign is essentially some sort of extension of affirmative action. The saying goes that Pennsylvania has "Pittsburgh on one side, Philly on the other and Alabama in between." While that isn't a fair statement, it does suggest the history of racial problems in the state, especially in its midsection. And nothing brings racial tension to the surface faster, in an industrial, blue collar state like Pennsylvania, than affirmative action.

First, this statement by Rep. Ferraro:

"Placid of demeanor but pointed in his rhetoric, Jackson struck out
repeatedly today against those who suggest his race has been an asset
in the campaign. President Reagan suggested Tuesday that people don’t
ask Jackson tough questions because of his race. And former
representative Geraldine A. Ferraro (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that
because of his “radical” views, “if Jesse Jackson were not black, he wouldn’t be in the race. "
April 15, 1988 Washington Post

That is eerily similar, in fact near verbatim to the comments Rep. Ferraro made on at least two separate appearances in California. One only need replace Rev. Jackson's name with Sen. Obama's. This raises doubts that this was a quote taken out of context or some not thought out venting of frustration. But perhaps the resurrection of a political tool. And the fact the President Clinton tried to also equate Rev. Jackson with Sen. Obama before South Carolina is perhaps even more significant in light of these comments.

Connected to this is the amount of time between the revealing of the statements into the news cycle and Ferraro's resignation. She was able to go a whole day after the news broke, taking the issue to a second day of news, before "resigning." Now, you may think this was a gaffe on the part of the Clinton campaign. But the less Obama has to respond to racial issues the better for him, especially in Pennsylvania. Once again this looks like attempts to paint him as the "black" candidate.

Second, is the recent talk of Clinton choosing Obama as her VP. That a vote for Clinton is a vote for both of them. This is first of all, contradictory to Clinton's repeated claims that Obama is not ready to be President. But he's ok to be the VP? The next in line? This reinforces the very idea that Rep. Ferraro is so opposed to. So, to the Clinton Campaign its ok to have Obama as the VP, a position which carries the qualification of being able to serve as president, even though he's not qualified because it would be a popular choice, but its not right for him to be running for president because he's not qualified because to elect him is to employ some affirmative action? The logic doesn't make sense. And the undertones of this rhetoric is even more racist than Ferraro's comments. And compounded with Rep. Ferraro's allusions to some sort of token gesture, especially in light of which state they are campaigning in, raises some serious concerns that the Clinton campaign's "kitchen sink" strategy is as dirty as we were led to believe by the GOP commentators.

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