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Clinton Supporters Address Race Issue

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By Ed O'Keefe
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Following a week of exchanges with Barack Obama about race, gender, and experience, prominent African American supporters of Hillary Clinton directly addressed those issues this morning while speaking with a mostly black audience at Benedict College. Clinton sat onstage as local supporters, Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) and former New York mayor David Dinkins reviewed Clinton's experience and cast doubt on Obama's candidacy.

"Who do you know that can do the job, as opposed to who you hope or dream that can do the job?" Rangel asked, turning two of Obama's campaign buzzwords against him.

"One can campaign in poetry, but you've got to govern in prose," Dinkins said in a veiled reference to Obama. "Lofty rhetoric is nice, but ultimately you've got to govern. We need someone with the capacity to govern."

"For some of us, it may take a very very bold step to walk into that voting booth, focused on our community's future rather than acting on pure emotion," Dr. Stacey Franklin Jones of Benedict College said. "Let's do the right thing."

"We have to look at who can serve. When God said, 'Feed my sheep,' he didn't say bring it from the white man or black man, or woman, or whatever. He said 'Feed my sheep.' Sen. Clinton has a record that can feed everybody," Columbia City Councilwoman Bernice Scott said.

The comments from Rangel, Dinkins and others come as Clinton and Obama have both decided to pull radio ads directly attacking one another, and as Bill Clinton has toned down his comments against Obama.

By Washington Post editors  |  January 25, 2008; 5:30 PM ET
 
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Comments

Obama and commentators have labelled Clinton's warning on terrorist threat and economic recession as "fear-mongering". Well, Bhutto has been assassinated and the US economy is falling. They have happened. It was not fear-mongering. What can be called fear-mongering is floating the mis-characterization that Clinton's negativity would spell defeat for the Democrats. It's baseless and her bipartisan performance in the Senate proves the contrary. It would be a mistake to succumb to Obama's fear-mongering. If America does not put an experienced agent of change in the Whitehouse, the same people who adore him now for his hyped rhetoric would be the same people devouring him with criticisms when he fails to deliver. All sentiments of hope can quickly turn into animosity just like what we've seen happen with Bush. As the cliché goes, "Love goes out of the window when hunger enters the door". And this animosity can prove more polarizing because when that happens, the blacks will save their own skin's face out of racial loyalty much to the dismay of the whites. And democrats will be in a greater political mess. This is not a racial statement. It is the inconvenient truth. Watch the outcome of the South Carolina primary -- the blacks will overwhelmingly push for Obama in an effort to recolor the face of America in the world as black. I wonder how it looks to recolor the face of Kenya in the world as white?

Posted by: readingbetweenlines | January 26, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I agree with boys4wonders. If she has all the right experience and is the best person for the job, why have her and her husband sunk so low to repeatedly tell lies about Obama? Not just maybe tell lies, but tell lies and have it established that they are lies. Yet, when they are called out on it they continue to do it anyway - feign peace while they keep attacking, twist and turn reality blatantly. Why do they do this with such confidence? Because they are confident that the American people are too stupid to question them - and how could that not be insulting and inconsiderate of the American people?

I know they need to provide an argument that she could be the only possible choice, that no one else could get the job done but Hillary. But it would almost seem like there has never been any other candidate running before. People with different backgrounds to Hillary have been holding the role of President for hundreds of years. Every now and again the American people chose someone who uplifted their spirit and brought them together and it seems so needed at this time.

There is no doubt that Senator Obama is a terrific orator, but more than that he has also shown himself to be a very astute and intelligent man who understands some basic fundamentals - sees to the heart of core issues and pulls them forward - that Hillary doesn't seem to understand. His prescience in 2002 on Iraq shows a man not just with intelligence, but an ability to see the bigger picture and intuition for what will follow. He has also shown the ability to be self reflective and to own his errors. His honesty also shines through - these are a tremendous and rare set of qualities to find in a leader.

Hillary may be older and may have been in the White House before with her husband, but I am sure that we can find many instances where she has demonstrated poor judgment, has failed to take responsibility for her own mistakes and has been dishonest. Indeed, if we are to reflect on the behavior that has been demonstrated by both Hillary and Bill in recent weeks, we have seen dishonesty, an inability to take responsibility for their actions and waging a willfully destructive campaign that is fracturing the party base. I can only suppose that they have convinced themselves that the means justify the end, that they are the only ones that America needs at this time and that to me shows a level of egocentric fixation and tunnel vision that I quite frankly find quite disturbing.

The Clintons are telling you that they know better what you need than you know yourself and that like Obama you are naive little children for believing in the hope and unity that he is trying to inspire in people. And because you are little children who are naive and easily distracted by sparkly lights, they are going to have to lie to you for your own good.

Posted by: JayKay2 | January 26, 2008 7:42 AM | Report abuse

But Clinton isn't honest.

Feed me with lies and dishonesty? No way. That doesn't work.

The Clinton's are stubbing themselves in the back. The facts are here ... They are losing supporters really fast.

I wdn't want a dishonest leader in anyway. How will I believe anything she says?

http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/samgrahamfelsen/CG5nh

Posted by: boys4wonders | January 25, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

"'We have to look at who can serve. When God said, "Feed my sheep," he didn't say bring it from the white man or black man, or woman, or whatever. He said "Feed my sheep." Sen. Clinton has a record that can feed everybody,' Columbia City Councilwoman Bernice Scott said."

So who's been feeding these black sheep? They're full of dip. Bill Clinton never did anything for black people, here or abroad. And Hillary spends her free time in rural New York, one of the most racist places on earth.

Posted by: edwcorey | January 25, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

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