How a photo sparked a fight

Hillary Clinton's campaign has gone too far, said Kevin Hoffman in a Minneapolis City Pages blog. By sending the Drudge Report a photo of Barack Obama wearing traditional Somali garb, it put a "racist, anti-Muslim edge" on the old political tric

What happened

Barack Obama’s campaign accused Hillary Clinton’s camp of “shameful offensive fear-mongering” by circulating a photo posted by the Drudge Report showing Obama wearing the traditional dress of a Somali elder—including a turban—on a 2006 trip to Kenya. Clinton’s campaign manager, Maggie Williams, said the Obama campaign should be “ashamed” for suggesting that a picture of a politician wearing traditional garb from another country was “divisive.” Williams did not say whether a Clinton staffer was the one who sent the photo to Drudge. (Politico)

What the commentators said

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The Clinton campaign is being “intellectually dishonest,” said Kevin Hoffman in a Minneapolis City Pages blog. Circulating embarrassing photos of political rivals is an old “trick,” but this time it “carries a racist, anti-Muslim edge. It seems fairly obvious that the photo is designed to call into question Obama's patriotism, his religious beliefs, and the fact that he's an African American.”

Score another one for Obama, said Chadwick Matlin in Slate’s Trailhead blog. “While Obama cries foul, he also gets to show everybody that he is experienced enough to have gone on a diplomatic mission to a foreign country. Plus, he gets a high-profile platform to say he isn’t a Muslim. Clinton, meanwhile, is forced to play traditional-clothing catch-up while covering-up her staffers’ foolishness.”

“People, you are being played like a violin,” said Dave Johnson in the Seeing the Forest blog. The “progressive blogosphere” is exploding with “outrage” at Clinton, simply because Drudge said it was one of her people who sent out the photo. The image was posted on several conservative blogs before Drudge got it, and not one of them made a link to Clinton. The right wants you divided, liberals. “Hillary Clinton is not your enemy, she is on our side.”

Over on the other side, said John Hinderaker in the Power Line blog, “we can only hope that such low-comedy sparring between the Democratic campaigns continues all the way to the convention.”

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