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NYP: Obama’s Muslim Garb Photo A Mystery

From the New York Post:

THE MYSTERY SMEAR

February 26, 2008 — Just how desperate is the faltering Hillary-for-President team? Desperate enough for overt race-baiting?

Consider the flap over a photo that popped up on the Drudge Report yesterday, depicting Sen. Barack Obama in traditional Somali garb during a 2006 trip to Kenya – his father’s homeland.

Matt Drudge says it came from Clinton staffers – and Obama himself has no doubts: “The notion that the Clinton campaign would be trying to circulate this as a negative . . . is sad,” he said late yesterday.

The photo was e-mailed to Drudge, who promptly posted it. He reported that unnamed Clinton campaign staffers sent it, asking: “Wouldn’t we be seeing this on the cover of every magazine if it were HRC?”

That would be Hillary Rodham Clinton – who yesterday spoke on the issue of the day.

“I know nothing about it,” she said.

Not exactly a robust denial.

Then she added: “This is in the public domain. But let’s just stop and ask yourself: ‘Why is anybody concerned about this?’ ”

Why?

For starters, clearly somebody meant to suggest that anti-Clinton media outlets are deliberately suppressing evidence that there’s more to Obama’s “native” ties than his campaign would have you believe.

And if not Clintonistas, then who?

Recall that the campaign was forced to jettison two of its top Iowa officials last December after they forwarded an e-mail that falsely suggested Obama – whose middle name is Hussein – is really Muslim.

As to race, well – it was Bill Clinton who in South Carolina tried to marginalize Obama as “the black candidate.”

Obama’s campaign, not surprisingly, accused Team Hillary of “shameful, offensive fear-mongering” and “divisive politics.”

To which Clinton campaign manager Maggie Williams suggested that Sen. Clinton was the real injured party: “If Barack Obama’s campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing is divisive, they should be ashamed,” she said.

No denial there, either.

Williams added: “Hillary Clinton has worn the traditional clothing of countries she has visited and had those photos published widely.”

True enough – as far as it goes.

But when Bill or Hillary Clinton – or George W. Bush, for that matter – don “native garb,” they’re participating in a time-honored, and wholly harmless, pander. The photos at best look bizarre, and the pols’ mild embarrassment generally is evident.

Obama, however, doesn’t come across in this particular picture as someone who’s in it for the votes.

He is, after all, black. The robes are unambiguously African – and thus the message is clear.

It defies credulity that the e-mail was anything other than an effort to exacerbate racial tensions on the eve of key primaries in racially diverse states – to turn other voters against Barack Obama on the basis of race alone.

And the Clinton camp’s non-denial denials leave little doubt as to who ultimately is responsible for it.

That would be “HRC” herself.

She needs to get this mess cleaned up, and fast.

Well, it’s not a smear. (How can an actually photograph of a real event be a smear?)

And there’s no mystery where the photograph came from. Since we posted it here, after having seen mention of it at Free Republic.

And since the photo was immediately adjudged to be a fake by the resident photoshop “experts” at Free Republic, we were the first to suggest that is was indeed credible.

Moreover, both Matt Drudge and the Hillary campaign follow this site — and indeed, have used material from here before.

For starters, clearly somebody meant to suggest that anti-Clinton media outlets are deliberately suppressing evidence that there’s more to Obama’s “native” ties than his campaign would have you believe.

And if not Clintonistas, then who?

No. I meant to emphasize how our watchdog media protects all Democrats — not just Mr. Obama.

For whether Mr. Obama has more “native ties” or not, the photo would certainly not help his image or his campaign.

Furthermore, it also raises doubts about his judgment for reasons I have listed in the original thread.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, February 26th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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