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As Clinton Makes Gender-Based Appeal, Obama Makes Race an Issue


An Obama rally in Columbia, South Carolina this week. (AP).

Appearing on the Today Show this morning, Barack Obama criticized how Hillary Clinton was playing the gender card in talking about how the other candidates took her on in this week's presidential debate.

But if Clinton has made gender a key part of her run, Obama's campaign in South Carolina, the first state in the primary process that will have a sizeable black population, is strongly emphasizing to Palmetto State voters they could help elect the first black president. On a two-day swing through South Carolina, the candidate spoke at two NAACP dinners and in Manning, South Carolina, a town where one of the lawsuits was filed that eventually became part of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case.

"Now I've heard that some folks aren't sure America is ready for an African-American president," Obama said Friday in Manning. "So let me be clear, I never would have begun this campaign if I weren't confident I could win. But you see, I am not asking anyone to take a chance on me. I am asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations."

The candidate, who doesn't often make explicitly racial appeals, said, "imagine a president who was raised like I was by a single mom who had to work and go to school and raise her kids and accept food stamps for a while. Imagine a President who could go into Holly Courts Apartments here in Manning or Scott's Branch High School in Summerton and give the young men and women there someone to look up to."

While they are focused on winning in the first voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, Obama aides also envision a more protracted path to the nomination that would involve finishing close behind Hillary Clinton in those first two primaries and then defeat her in South Carolina. Obama aides are discussing moving the small number of staff they have put in Feb. 5 states like California and New York into the early states.

Winning in South Carolina is complicated for Obama; polls show one of the biggest barriers is doubts among blacks that an African-American can be elected president, a perception that would probably best be answered if won in either Iowa and New Hampshire, both of which have tiny black populations. And Clinton is very popular among black voters, particularly women.

So the Obama campaign is actively seeking black votes, with staffers visiting barbershops frequently, ads on gospel radio stations, forums where voters discuss how their religion affects their politics and most recently a group of gospel concerts last weekend that drew thousands of African-Americans. Nationally the concerts were controversial because one featured singer Donnie McClurkin, who had referred to homosexuality as a curse. But the packed crowds who came to hear singing also heard explicit messages about Obama's candidacy that were targeted to black audience.

"There are believers and there are non-believers," was the message to the crowd from Rick Wade, an Obama adviser who focuses on African-American outreach. Non-believers would say he's the most qualified, .. but they won't vote for him. He won't win. Believers would say he will win. Non-believers would say 'what can we do?" "Believers would say "we can do all things" he paused and the crowd loudly responded "through Christ Jesus."

In a video message, Michelle Obama made a glancing reference to fears among African-Americans that Obama would be shot if he were the candidate, but said "don't base your vote this time on fear, base it on possibility."

--Perry Bacon

By Washington Post Editor  |  November 2, 2007; 4:59 PM ET
 
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Comments

It's the media folks and people like this reporter that are dying to inject race into this campaign.

Never once have we heard Obama use his race to further this campaign.

These guys have been gunning for a fight between the candidates. They pushed for Obama to take Hillary on. He did it in his own time and certainly not like the way they wanted him to. They wanted him to get down and nasty -- so they could turn around and call him an angry black man.

Obama has refused to kowtow to what they want. So what else to do?

Invent someting, anything to start up a conversation.

In fact the reporter is getting what he wants. He'll go back to the newsroom and point out to his colleagues the huge number of comments he's generated on this misleading report.

Shame on you. Shame, shame.

Posted by: askpeabody | November 5, 2007 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Hey TS - are you being cute or just ignorant posting twice a mispelling of hypocrite - "hipocript"? Let me help you here:
Hypocrite:
1. a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
2. a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, esp. one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.

Barack Obama is NOT these things. He has been true to his own beliefs from the beginning of his campaign, and does speak truth to power, even running for President. He talks to teachers about merit pay, he talks to Detroit about hybrid cars, and he talks to black communities about cleaning up their own neighborhoods by taking an active role in their children's educations.
He doesn't tell you what you want to hear - he tells you what you NEED TO KNOW. And exactly who he is a where he stands. To my mind, he is the ONLY candidate who does this; and should be our next President. Otherwise, it is politics as usual. If you like what's happening now, vote Hillary.
If you want to rebuild the United State's reputation for being world leaders,
OBAMA 'O8!! He is The Real Thing.

Posted by: sheridan1 | November 5, 2007 7:10 PM | Report abuse

At least Hillary is ALL woman!

Posted by: tscpimp | November 5, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Barrack Obama is such a hipocrit he stands up for sincerety and winning for talent and intellectuality and then he goes and does the opposite of that! He goes around saying that hes gonna win because hes a great politician but inside he thinks he gonna win because hes PART black!

Posted by: tscpimp | November 5, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

So a vote for Clinton = driver's license for illegal aliens, which is =?

THE MEDIA IS COOKING THE BOOKS FOR HILLARY ABOUT HER EXPERIENCE. WHAT EXPERIENCE? I BELIEF THIS PASS DEBATE HAS SHOWN US JUST THAT. EXPERIENCE MY FOOT. SHE SPENT THE WHOLE TIME COUNTING THE NUMBER OF WOMEN THAT HER HUSBAND HAS GONE OUT WITH. I SEE! THAT IS HER EXPERIENCE.
I THINK WE AS A NATION ARE SICK TO THE STOMACH WITH THE MEDIA CHOOSING US A PRESIDENT. THEY DID SO WITH BUSH AND WE WERE THROWN OUT OF THE BOAT AND IF WE LET THEM CHOOSE HILLARY FOR US, MOST LIKE WE ARE DOING TO DROWN.
CHANGE IS ALL I PLEAD FOR.
THE WAY FORWARD IS TO PUT OUR PAST (THE CLINTONS AND THE BUSH) BEHIND US.

I DON'T THINK GENDER FACTOR SHOULD EVEN BE MENTION IN SUCH A CRUCIAL ELECTION LIKE THIS 2008 PRESIDENTIAL BID. WE ARE IN A CROSS ROAD IN OUR HISTORY WERE INTELLECTUALISM COUNTS AND NOT GENDER. I BELIEF THAT THOSE WHO ARE PROPAGATING THIS FACTOR OF GENDER, ARE THE UNEDUCATED AND THIS IS THE ONLY WAY FOR THEM TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES. WE AS AMERICANS SHOULD UNDERSTAND THE REAL REASON FOR CHANGE AND CHANGE IS NOT FOUND IN REPETITION BUT IN INNOVATION. NEW FACES ARE WELCOME TO WASHINGTON TO BRING NEW IDEAS.

Posted by: ordgobaltc | November 5, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

What a deceptive title? Perry Bacon should be ashamed.

Posted by: truax78 | November 5, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Beacon what a very misleading article. This is about Mrs. Clinton complaining about the topic and format of the recent debate not stump speeches. Let's go back to August debate in Iowa. During the first 15 mins of the Iowa debate Mr. Obama was being attacked by G. Stepanopolis and ALL of the candidates including Mrs. Clinton about his experience. Mr. Obama or his staff never complained that they were attacking him because of his race. Mrs. Clinton by way of her campaign did complain about her treatment. She her self did imply in her natural triangulation way that they attacked her based on her gender. I.e. Mark Penn's phone call to supporters (see The Hill article). One of her supporters suggested hurting Mr. Russert. How shameful.
The Hill
http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/campaign-call-reveals-clinton-debate-concern-2007-11-01.html

"politics of pile-on"

Clinton at Wellesley College, "prepared me to break into the all-boys club of presidential politics."
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/11/02/clintons-pile-on-politics/?hp

Ms. Beacon instead of trying to get both sides how about getting the right side. She used her gender to cover up the fact that she had a poor debate performance and she is not frank with the American people. That is what the issue is about.

Posted by: TennGurl | November 5, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Reality check! The gender question was raised by Clinton supporters as a result of the lead up to the debate all day Tuesday on MSNBC. Chris Matthews was using terms like "it's got to be a fight". Obama has to draw blood, etc. Friends have suggested that Matthews was like a rabid dog.

The NY Times article which alleged that Sen. Obama was going to come out swinging helped fuel the fire of the aggressive quality of last Tuesday night's debate. Mr.
Russert's last question about immigration should have been directed to all three of the front runners. To suggest that there is only one solution to this very complicated question of 12 million illegal people and their legal offsprings is not
bright. Let me say that I too believe that this was not Clinton's finest hour and said so in a blog here at the Post.

As a woman I was furious. No one told me to be furious but I was and said so. If it walks like a duck blah-blah-blah. Not the Imus anger I felt but plainly angry.

So far I've yet to hear Sen. Clinto say anything that can be inferred as accusing her competitors of behaving in a discriminatory way.

Like other events Clintonian this bruh-ha-ha was media inspired and media fired. I
for one will not spare the media for their responsibility in truth telling.

The most recent example of different rules for Clinton was the dishonest report in The Hill stating that the Sen. did not appear for an important meeting on Nuclear Waste in Nevada.

She did show. There was a photo, - and a
puny admission that The Hill was wrong. In
the eagerness to accuse Sen. Clinton of actions that she didn't make the bias of political reporting is coming out. Many TV journalists have openly shown their discomfort about these allegations of who cried sexism first and did an even playing field exist.

As one of the first fist pounders, I plead guilty.

Lois B. Laulicht

Posted by: loisbl | November 5, 2007 6:14 AM | Report abuse

You are confused or biased. Hillary is complaining that she is being attacked by the "good ole boys" because she is a woman. Obama never made any similar claims about his race and never will. He will never stoop that low.

Posted by: zb95 | November 4, 2007 8:45 PM | Report abuse

I think that it is so stupid for Hilary to use her gender as a defense to all of these attacks, and it is a good thing that Obama is seeing what race and/or gender a candidate is as something that doesnt matter at all.

Posted by: kiwircwb | November 4, 2007 7:15 PM | Report abuse

I strongly disagree with yusmon above, saying that Obama has failed to recognize the contribution of his mother, focusing on his absent father. I strongly doubt that yusmon read Obama's books. The point of his first book is that the central trauma in Obama's life was the abandonment by his father; the father does not come off well as a person at all. Obama, however, did not realize how deeply flawed his father was until later in his life, when he went to Kenya to meet that side of the family for the first time. Obama's mother does not go unappreciated in the first book; she simply is not its central focus.

In his second book, Obama in the very first chapter says that he wished he could have said more about his mother in the first book, especially because she died young and very rapidly after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 53.

Posted by: LincolnDuncan | November 4, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Did Barack Obama's appearance on Saturday Night Live SNL change your mind or have any impact on your choice? ------> http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=874

.

Posted by: PollM | November 4, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

You are really stretching to draw a parallel here.

Sen. Obama only claimed that his election would be inspiring to other African Americans -- just as Sen. Clinton has done numerous times with women in her own stump speeches. But that's where the parallels stop.

What she did after the debate was paint her contenders for the nomination as going after her in part *because* of her gender -- something Sen. Obama has never even come close to doing with race.

Posted by: mario | November 4, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

So, I hope the penny has dropped at the Washington Post. Obama has not played the race card, but Hillary's team this week has played the gender card. And she herself did too at the Woman's College.

If women are excited at the prospect of a female president or blacks are excited about a black president, then fine. But neither of these candidates can use that in order to deflect criticism. Hillary hopes to use her gender to get let off lightly in debates. No way does she get let off lightly. She has to answer the questions, the same as everyone else does.....whether they're in a wheelchair, black, brown, green.....whatever.

Posted by: springwoods50 | November 4, 2007 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Wow, the writer of that article, Perry Bacon, got his "story" all wrong.

Women and Black people pretty much LOVE Obama. Obama is going to win NH, IA AND SC.

Perry Bacon -- your'e facts and insinuations are off.

Barack Obama is leading the race for the Presidency and the polls are not telling the real story because polls can be manipulated.

As a Black female, I know all about discrimination. I think Obama has been discriminated against by a lot of the media.

The bottom line is, Obama is winning and we be the next President.

Vote Obama!

Obama '08

Posted by: AndreaT1 | November 4, 2007 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Obama hardly "makes race an issue". Whites make that happen every moment in this county and the world.
The great tragedy of America is that whites continue to engineer racist drivel like this.
Shame on you, Perry Bacon.

Posted by: 123megsy | November 4, 2007 1:51 AM | Report abuse

Race will not be the issue here --whether the candidate can actually include some meaning in his spew of foamy words just might be, though.

What in blue blazes does "I am not asking anyone to take a chance on me. I am asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations" actually MEAN??? It sounds pretty cool, I grant you. And one could easily assume he means "I am not asking, I'm BEGGING you to take a chance on me" --but, really, if I wanted to take the guy's advice to heart, how exactly would I take a chance on my own aspirations.

I'll try anything once. It might be fun.

Posted by: johnplunket | November 3, 2007 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Although I hate to say it, racism runs deep and true across the country. Obama will sourly be defeated in the general election.

Posted by: mcsizzlesizzle | November 3, 2007 6:48 PM | Report abuse

How many people have to complain about this title before you guys will take it down or change it? Obama is not playing the race card. This really does sound like something you'd see coming from Hillary.

Obama just gave an incredible speech and nobody is reporting on it. You guys say he needs to make distinctions, to prove who he is and what he wants to do, but he does a speech encompassing all the issues and people complain it's all platitudes. When he gets substantive and makes a policy speech, one detail is pulled from it and made into a headline, while the spectacular wide-reaching plan is ignored.

Please, read Obama's speech, and then if you want to know more read about the issues on his website. Here is the speech url:

http://origin.barackobama.com/2007/11/03/remarks_of_senator_barack_obam_30.php

Posted by: Stefan74 | November 3, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

It looks as though my prediction is coming to a head. I said months go that when Barack Hussein Obama wins as many states in the primaries that Jesse Jackson did, the headlines in the morning papers and on the TV news will be...Obama falters, Racism is alive and well...

Posted by: burlupus2000 | November 3, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

This article attempts to confuse two issues. One is the novel appeal of a black candidate or the novel appeal of a woman candiate. These are attractive to various people or not. The questioning of Hillary's positions on issues in the recent debate is not making her into a victim of male bullying. Her campaign claimed this. Obama's campaign has NOT similarly claimed racism when he has been closely questioned in debate.

In my view Clinton's campaign has made a big mistake. The Washington Post should point this out rather than attempt to cloud the issue.

Posted by: springwoods50 | November 3, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I AM NOT CONVINCED BY ANY OF THE CANDIDATES THAT THEY REALY CARE FOR THE PROBLEMS IN THIS COUNTRY, BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE GOING TO TAKE OVER, EXCEPT RON PAUL MAYBE, BUT HE SOUNDS SOOO PISSED OFF. I AM DEMOCRAT, BUT REPUBLICANS NEED TO TAKE OVER BUSH'S GARBAGE, PICK IT UP AND DUMP IT. LEAVE IT TO THEM. MOST OF THEM SUPORTED HIM UNTIL THEY REALISED HOW DUMB THEY ARE, AND MOST OF THEM ARE STILL BEHIND HIM AND HIS CRAZY NAZI IDEALOGY. HILLARY WILL NEVER BECOME THE PRESIDENT, BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE TIRED OF THE CLINTON AND BUSH FAMILY PRESIDENTIAL PATTERN. OBAMA HAS A GOOD CHANCE BUT WHAT IS THE CHANCE OF HIM GETING THIS COUNTRY TO WHERE IT USED TO BE; PROUD AND FRIENDLY.

Posted by: BOBSTERII | November 3, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

The title of this post is very offensive and inaccurate. The fact that Barack Obama is responding to the doubts within the African American community about the ability to elect a black president is FAR different than Hillary Clinton saying she is being ganged up on by a bunch of men. He didn't do that when he was at the center of the debate, he hasn't done it since. Race is not the basis for his campaign.

I think that the title of this post is misleading and doubly offensive in that I think this is an attempt to equalize the treatment you've given to Senator Clinton who HAS made her gender an integral part of the race across the board. Furthur, you portray Senator Obama as somehow doing this surreptiously. I don't know if I'm putting this into words properly but frankly while the content didn't piss me off as much the title to this post definitly did.

When you say that someone is using their race, especially a black person, you're calling to mind the fights over affirmative action. You're bringing to the fore the idea that there are token people of minority in the room. That's far different from someone fighting a boy's club - which is how you protrayed your post about Sen.Clinton's visit to her alma matter.

This was very disappointing.

Posted by: Rhoda | November 3, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Is it April 1st already? This has to be a joke. Its his narrative, its a way to appeal to people like him. The same way that every person running claims to be just like the people who are going to vote. Edwards stating that he didn't grow up with a silver spoon in his mouth. Obama is not using his race as a shield to criticism. In fact, its usually been that he is not black enough. Comparing what Obama has been doing to what Hillary did this week is like comparing apples to bratwurst. Not even close. Take this article down... I would expect this from Fox News, not the Post.

Posted by: mcmahon10 | November 3, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Thank you ldayan, you captured my objections to Bacon's article perfectly. It's okay to use biographical narrative to appeal to voters, it's not okay to deflect criticism based on whatever demographic you belong to. Obama made that point very clearly. This article completely missed the point!

Posted by: Martin4 | November 3, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

The difference is that Hillary came across as using her gender as an excuse for her poor debate performance, that all those men were picking on her or "piling on."

Obama is not using race as an excuse. He is using at as a positive to inspire blacks, especially the young black children by offering them a role model who may very well be our next President.

Posted by: msutt | November 3, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Let's face it: Obama's is not the typical poor black experience in this country. The guy has a white mom and a set of white grandparents to love him and raise him up outside of a housing project and outside of this country for that matter. I don't deny his achievement. It is his denial of his half-white (at least) heritage upsets me. Every mother knows how hard it is to raise a kid without a husband, let along a biracial kid. And every woman knows how much a mother can influence a child, especially a strong mother who went through what Obama's mom went through. I never heard of Obama acknowledging his mom's contribution to his life. If a guy can deny his mom's contribution when she raised him and treated him kindly but plays up his "heritage" of an absentee dad, what else he cannot do? I don't care how smart he is or how innovative his idea of changing is. It is this denial shows me his lack of fundamental integrity.

Posted by: yusmom | November 3, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Good catch. Obama has walked up to the line a couple of times. That's what he seems to be doing here.

Posted by: sfmandrew | November 3, 2007 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Its playing the "gender card" when Hillary whines that the guys are picking on me so feel sorry for this female candidate. Its not playing the "race card" for Obama to visit a black church and appeal to his audience's potential pride in a black President. No one complains when Hillary goes to Wellesley and talks about her unique appeal as a female candidate.

Posted by: dmooney | November 3, 2007 7:30 AM | Report abuse

If Obama went out of his way to say his white opponents are ganging up on him because he is black, that would be more comparable to what Hillary is doing.

But he has used his heritage as part of a narrative, the same way Edwards for example uses his southern roots, which is a very different thing.

Please take this article down.

Posted by: jos1 | November 3, 2007 4:34 AM | Report abuse

Unlike this article and the "Damsel" article in the WP (Damsel, not taking comments for some reason), the public is paying attention and can see the manipulation of mainstream media to paint Hillary as some female being attacked. It's quite the contrary, and thank God women are smarter than even Hillary is giving them credit for.

Obama has no doubt, not played the race card and it is helping his campaign.

Hillary is playing the gender card, as well as the race card, and intelligent women are planning in volumes to vote against her.

Word on the street, those women that are racist will vote for her, for she does have that "greater than thou" liberalist attitude that blacks, other minorities cannot help themselves if some one like her is not looking out for them.

Her "donor-gate" issues in NYC Chinatown, her flip-flop on the Immigration License issue, as well as her flip-flopping running from any question asked of her in the Philadephia debate is gaining votes for Obama and Edwards.

The WP and other papers better wake up and smell the coffee, for this 2007 has been labeled "The Year of the Truth," Hillary doesn't have a chance in hell with a skirt on!

Posted by: scheduler | November 3, 2007 3:50 AM | Report abuse

Even the phrase 'gender based appeal' is soft. It wasn't an appeal,it was a whining counter attack. The saddest thing here is that your reporter missed the important substance of Obama's speech- I have to read the New York Times to get intelligent analysis instead of political pablum. The Washington Post is discrediting itself with this kind of 'journalism'.

Posted by: katharinestavrinou | November 3, 2007 3:40 AM | Report abuse

I am wondering something. With clinton getting exposed in that debate and the republicans priming for her and now having even more to go with, how effective of a nominee can she be?
You have to wonder...

Posted by: vwcat | November 3, 2007 12:40 AM | Report abuse

You really need to change the title of this article.

It's totally misleading. Obama definitely DID NOT make race "an issue". I can't beleive you'd take one sentence Obama said and compare it to Hillary's press release, the video she circulated, and the emails she sent claiming to need money to fight the boys.

Furthermore, Obama wasn't accusing anyone of being racist.
He was actually pointing out that he believes americans are NOT racist.

Change the title, please.

BTW, did the HIllary campaign send out another email to you "tipping" this story?

Posted by: julieds | November 3, 2007 12:35 AM | Report abuse

hypocrite

Posted by: jtorres138 | November 2, 2007 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Lest anyone doubt that Hillary's campaign is using gender to fend off criticism, rather than as a purely positive or inspirational matter (in the way Obama was trying to convince a black audience that electing a black president was indeed possible), the Washington Post itself reported this on Wednesday: "They really went from 'Let's talk about what I believe' to 'Let me try to do a gotcha against Hillary Clinton,' " said one Clinton adviser, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "Ultimately, it was six guys against her, and she came off as one strong woman."

Has the Obama campaign ever remotely suggested after being criticized at a debate, or by pundits, or otherwise, that the criticism was white guys who were against him? You won't find a single instance of that. Obama's campaign never invokes race, even subtly, in responding to criticism. Hillary's camp does invoke gender. It's as simple as that.

Posted by: LincolnDuncan | November 2, 2007 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Obama was with African Americans and having a rally to try to win support. at least he is not some white person pretending to talk and act black like some candidates do.
And he was not doing it for the publicity or to make people feel sorry for him or to play games.
Hillary played the gender card to keep people from asking her questions or challenging her. And she made a big media event and a big deal about it for 2 days.
So, tell me, Perry, How are the two the same?

Posted by: vwcat | November 2, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Reading and listening to Obabm are two different things. Today the son of a Kansas born white woman who grew up much of his life with a foreign born father in Indonesia and then Hawaii in a mostly white enclave used the ethnic cadence of a southern black minister to reach the audience he was speaking to. And we call Hillary fake when she uses a southern accent after spending 25 years living in Arkansas? And you don't think he isn't playing to the racial aspects and his speech pattern is so insignificant it doesn't deserve mentioning?

Posted by: kansasgal1 | November 2, 2007 10:41 PM | Report abuse

I second what ldayan and vn313 said.

Hillary is trying to construct a straw woman so she can knock it down: weak and strong, victim and victor, feminine and adrogynous with a hint of masculinity. Mix 'em up and use one from column A and two from column B as needed to make her case.

Frnakly, Hillary is doing what so many white people frequently accuse black Americans of doing indiscriminately: playing the "card" -- in Hillary's case it's gender and she's playing it without merit. Just because the going got tough in Philly.

Barack Obama has it right.

Posted by: jade7243 | November 2, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Aw too bad HILLARY is all 'upset' she finally gets asked questions which she 'fumbled' her answers. Aw too bad the 'smartest' FEMALE FASCIST since 'IL DICE - BENITO MUSSOLINI' isn't articulate - isn't smart - and isn't as good-looking as 'IL DUCE' but pants-suits cover a lot of 'UGLINESS'!!! HILLARY the prize yutz of her class at WELLESLEY or YALE is a SOCIALIST TOAD through and through. HILLARY's latest 'lie' DRIVERS LICENSES for ILLEGALS so they can come 'out of the shadows' - Ha!!! HILLARY ALL THINGS TO ALL PEOPLE = ESPECIALLY THE SOCIALISTS/COMMUNISTAS/FASCISTS OF YOUR DREAMS. Why are the DEMBHOLES and their cronies always the 'rich products' of nepotism and not doing anything for the working suckers who vote for them??? HILLARY our worst femenine nightmare!!! Oh sorry guess we're just picking her apart becase she is just a silly girl. Not because she is a CLINTON.

Posted by: ZyskandarAJaimot | November 2, 2007 9:11 PM | Report abuse

This story is impressive. Despite the general sense that malicious deception is the way of today's corporately controlled media - this article tries to get us (the reader) to look past President Obama's actual words quoted here and believe some other agenda. Perhaps this would be more appropriately titled, "The Audacity of (Washington) Post."

Posted by: ayinde.obama.la | November 2, 2007 8:58 PM | Report abuse

The big difference is that Obama is not using race as a victim issue - on the contrary - he is saying that it won't matter.

Clinton on the other hand is playing the gender as a victim card in terms of the other candidates challenging her at the debate.

Please show some intelligence on this and context.

Posted by: vn313 | November 2, 2007 8:50 PM | Report abuse

One more thought. This story is a classic example of the media's desire to "equalize" every story even when there is a distinction, in an effort to appear neutral. But when two situations are different, it is misleading journalism to lump them together. If Obama had said, "White journalists ask me tougher questions," or "I'm the only black man on the stage at these debates and I stand up to the criticisms my white opponents," THAT would be a comparable situation to what Hillary's highest ranking campaign official Mark Penn engaged in.

Posted by: LincolnDuncan | November 2, 2007 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Please, Perry Bacon, you are better than this. There is a critical distinction between what Obama was doing in South Carolina -- or what Hillary was doing before the recent debate -- and what Hillary's campaign did this week.

It is acceptable--and neither Hillary nor Edwards nor Obama ever gets faulted for it--for a candidate to either weave their gender or racial identity or particular upbringing into an explanation for what motivates them to run. It is also acceptable to point out that your candidacy will break down barriers, whether racial or gender-based.

It is unacceptable, however, for any candidate for President, in response to criticism, to suggest that the criticism was not fair or was excessive by pointing out the race or gender of the critics--unless of course those critics are being racist or sexist in the way they make the attack in question. That is the line that Hillary's campaign crossed after Philadelphia.

So, Hillary is allowed to speak about the difficulties of being taken seriously as a woman. Obama is allowed to speak of his odd childhood with a foot in two worlds, black and white and to tell African Americans that they should not turn him away because they fear a black man is unelectable.

What none of them should be able to do is what Hillary's surrogates were doing the last two or three days: Suggest that sex or gender was relevant to her no-good, perfectly awful, bad night in Philadelphia. Obama, as he pointed out, studiously avoided doing that post-Iowa. The line is between acknowledging that even in the 21st century, race and gender are still relevant, and using racial or gender status as a victim card when your supposed attackers are evincing only toughness or even meanness, but no evidence of sexism or racism.

Posted by: LincolnDuncan | November 2, 2007 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Gotcha Obama!

I was almost convinced by Obama when he appeared in Today show this morning. Wow talking about hipocrisy.


Posted by: fcv_pi | November 2, 2007 8:31 PM | Report abuse

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