Is the Right's Obama 'race' video a bombshell or a dud?

Matt Drudge, Tucker Carlson, and Sean Hannity promised a new video that would rock President Obama's campaign, but it might have fallen flat

Barack Obama
(Image credit: Screen shot, The Daily Caller)

The tease started at the Drudge Report on Tuesday afternoon: A headline promising the imminent release of "Obama's other race speech," an "exclusive" video obtained by conservative commentator Tucker Carlson's website Daily Caller, to be featured on Sean Hannity's Fox News show Tuesday night. (Watch excerpts below.) And as promised, Carlson released the video, the full 40-minute version of a speech then–Sen. Obama gave before mostly black clergy at Virginia's Hampton University in June 2007. Liberals chuckled, pointing out that the speech Hannity spun as a racially charged "bombshell" had in fact been covered at the time by everyone from CNN to, well, Fox News. The full video does have new sections, though, including Obama praising his controversial then–pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright and criticizing the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. "People are saying it's already been reported, but no, it hasn't been reported," Carlson told Hannity. "I know, because I reported on it." Is this attempt at an October surprise "lame," as Democrats claim? Or might it end up hurting Obama's bid for a second term?

This smear attempt will backfire: Hannity, Drudge, Carlson, and their follwers on the Right just tried "to board their white resentment mothership, only to have it crash and burn," says Tommy Christopher at Mediaite. Not only will this old, anodyne video not hurt Obama, it actually makes him "more likable." He's more inspiring and impassioned than we've seen him in years. Throw in "the naked racial paranoia of Hannity and Carlson," and it's pretty clear this tape "will redound to the president's benefit, except with people who were already not voting for him."

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