Hillary Clinton was on Meet The Press this morning, and overall, I thought she did a pretty good job of staying on message, trying to push the blame of the recent racial attacks on the Obama campaign to the Obama campaign (if that makes any sense) and painting a picture of Obama (rightfully or not, accurate or not) as someone who has wavered on the Iraq War (when it is pretty clear when you look at the record, he hasn't -- Though he did make a political move not to knock John Kerry and John Edwards at the 2004 Convention, and for that Clinton fairly can go after Obama) She even said this when speaking with Tim Russert this morning:
You know, I think that we don't want anyone, any of our supporters, anyone--and that's why in my campaign, any time anybody has said anything that I thought was out of bounds, they're gone, you know? I have gotten rid of them, I have said that is not appropriate in this campaign.
That's a great sentiment. Sadly, it lasted all of about eight hours. That's because at a Hillary Clinton rally this afternoon in South Carolina, Senator Clinton was introduced to Senator Clinton by Bob Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television. With Clinton on stage behind him, Johnson had this to say:
As an African-American, I'm frankly insulted that the Obama campaign would imply that we are so stupid that we would think Bill and Hillary Clinton, who have been deeply and emotionally involved in black issues when Barack Obama was doing something in the neighborhood that I won't say what he was doing, [but] he said it in his book.
There is no doubt, no question, no arguing that what Johnson was referring to was Obama's admitted past substance use. Hillary Clinton, though, did nothing, ignored the comment, did not condemn it or the personal attack, and went on with her event like it never happened.
After, her campaign did release a statement, but amazingly, it was not to rebuke Johnson for his remark, or distance Hillary from it, but it was another statement from Johnson defending his remark.
My comments today were referring to Barack Obama's time spent as a community organizer and nothing else. Any other suggestion is simply irresponsible and incorrect.
Give me a break. So, the statement should have read: "As an African-American, I'm frankly insulted that the Obama campaign would imply that we are so stupid that we would think Bill and Hillary Clinton, who have been deeply and emotionally involved in black issues when Barack Obama was a community organizer in Chicago working for poor African Americans." That doesn't even come close to making any sort of logical sense. It is beyond disbelief that the Clinton campaign would think anybody, any person who has any modicum of intelligence would think that's what Johnson was saying. He was trying to make a cheap point and get some cheap laughs and continue a pattern of personal attacks of the Clinton campaign where they let their supporters and campaign officials skewer Obama only to let the story get out and then go "That wasn't authorized and the person has been let go." Thank God Clinton has such a big payroll and can afford to keep hiring and firing these people.
Tonight was even worse because Hillary Clinton was right on stage, right there when the comment was made, and despite her pledge on Meet The Press she stayed silent. That is all you need to know about the kind of campaign Hillary Clinton is running and how she expects to win the Democratic Nomination.