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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Obama, Clinton and MLK’s Lengthening Shadow

It appears that the grown-ups in both campaigns may prevail after all in the dust-up about the Clintons’ remarks concerning Martin Luther King, LBJ and Obama’s Iraq position, according to Jeff Zeleny’s New York Times article “Obama Tries to Stop the ‘Silliness’.” Zeleny quotes Obama:

I don’t want the campaign at this stage to degenerate into so much tit-for-tat, back-and-forth, that we lose sight of why all of us are doing this…We’ve got too much at stake at this time in our history to be engaging in this kind of silliness. I expect that other campaigns feel the same way….I think that I may disagree with Senator Clinton or Senator Edwards on how to get there, but we share the same goals. We’re all Democrats…We all believe in civil rights. We all believe in equal rights. We all believe that regardless of race or gender that people should have equal opportunities.

Bravo. And then he shows how generosity of spirit can win hearts and minds:

They are good people, they are patriots. They are running because they think that they can move this country to a better place…I think that Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton have historically and consistently been on the right side of civil rights issues. I think they care about the African-American community and that they care about all Americans and they want to see equal rights and justice in this country.

After giving Obama due credit for taking the high road, it seems fair to acknowledge that the Clinton’s remarks were stretched by the media to imply more than they intended. Might be wise for all Dem campaigns to eschew the circular firing squad approach going forward and save the more splenetic denunciations for the real adversaries. They would be the GOP guys chortling on the sidelines.
Perhaps we should cap the whole thing with an appropriate quote from the mature, prophetic voice of one who was born on this day 79 years ago, but who never saw his 40th birthday. “Our enemies will adequately deflate our accomplishments. We need not serve them as eager volunteers.”

One comment on “Obama, Clinton and MLK’s Lengthening Shadow

  1. geri on

    I agree with you. Obama seems to have a talent with speaking publicly. His words are delivered eloquently and softly impress upon your mind. He uses common sense and logic to get his point across without humiliating his opponents.


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