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May 4th, 2008
10:26 AM ET

The Clintons played the race card? A media-created Big Lie

Lanny J. Davis
Friend and supporter of Senator Clinton and fundraiser for her presidential campaign

 

 

It's bad enough that the charge of "playing the race" card against Senator and President Clinton is utterly and demonstrably false. 

 

But so many African Americans have come to believe this bogus charge that Senator Clinton's favorable opinions in the black community have dropped significantly and many are telling reporters they won't support Senator Clinton in the general election if she wins the nomination. 

 

The false perception that Senator and President Clinton interjected race into the campaign for political purposes is a direct result of distorted reporting by most of the media covering the race. Let's look at the facts behind the four incidents that, in a space of 1-2 months, led to converting the Big Lie into a perceived truth by so many Democrats, black and white alike:

 

 
1.  The drug issue:  In December 2007, Senator Clinton's New Hampshire campaign chairman told a reporter he was worried about the Republican hate machine misusing Senator Obama's statement in his first book that he had experimented with drugs as a youth.  The campaign official immediately realized his error, apologized, and voluntarily resigned his position. Senator Clinton immediately personally apologized to Senator Obama.
 
Yet the media widely reported that the Clinton campaign was behind this statement as part of a deliberate effort to "play the race card."  There was never then, and is still not now, a shred of fact or evidence to support that charge.  Yet many African Americans believed it.
 
2.  President Clinton's "fairy tale" phrase: Just before the January 8 New Hampshire primary, the media repeatedly reported in print and on TV that President Clinton had described the "Obama campaign" as a "fairy tale." But this was another lie. 
 

The "fairy tale" phrase, in fact, was used by President Clinton only to describe Senator Obama's description of his consistent opposition to the 2002 Iraq war vote and the conduct of the war, in contrast to Senator Clinton's record. 
 

(In fact, since Senator Obama arrived in the Senate in January 2005, he and Senator Clinton voted the same on 84-85 votes regarding the war, with the only exception when Senator Obama supported the President's promotion of a general and Senator Clinton opposing it.  Few anti-war, pro-Obama Democrats even today are aware of these undisputable facts.)

 

But when African Americans heard the media state in print and on TV again and again that President Clinton had called the Obama "campaign" or "narrative" a "fairy tale," they erroneously believed that to be true.  And they were naturally offended because they thought President Clinton had disrespected the possibility of African American being elected president.

 

3.   President Clinton's reference to Rev. Jesse Jackson:  On the morning of the South Carolina primary (not after, as was widely misunderstood), President Clinton said that Rev. Jesse Jackson had won the South Carolina primary in 1988.  That was a fact.  Everyone knew that Rev. Jackson had won the primary in South Carolina and in other deep south states largely because of substantial support from African American voters, who constituted a large percentage of all primary voters.

 

Was President Clinton, a supportive husband and shrewd politician, trying to minimize in advance the adverse political impact of the anticipated substantial victory by Senator Obama that night? Of course.  Some can legitimately criticize President Clinton's judgment concerning the timing of this comment.  I wouldn't be surprised if, in retrospect, President Clinton himself would not agree with that criticism.  But it is a huge – and unfair – leap from questioning judgment in defense of his wife to accusing President Clinton of intentionally "playing the race card." 

 

4.  Dr. King and LBJ:  The most egregious distortion feeding the Big Lie was the criticism of Senator Clinton's factual statement, also in the days leading up to South Carolina primary, crediting President Lyndon Johnson for the enactment of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act in the aftermath of Dr. King's inspiring "I have a dream speech" and the Kennedy assassination.  In reaction to that statement, the media did its anti-Clinton distortion thing again.  They found African American officials who, already buying into false perception of the Clinton campaign as exploiting race, wrongly accused Senator Clinton of disrespecting Dr. King by her statement. 

 

The irony is that by repeating the bogus "race card" accusation against Senator and President Clinton, African American leaders, egged on by the media’s misreporting, arguably themselves had unwittingly interjected race into the campaign well before the Rev. Wright issue.

 

An even more malignant manifestation of the Big Lie is the increasingly frequent suggestion that any criticism of Senator Obama must be, by definition, really about his race.  An example occurred just this past Saturday in a New York Times op-ed piece.  The writer (whose background or bias is not disclosed) declares that "the Clintons pummeled Barack Obama with racially tinged comments," and cites as examples that Senator Clinton had "chastised [Senator Obama's] characterization of white working-class voters as being highfalutin" (the latter being the writer's word, not Senator Clinton's) and had "chided him for not agreeing to a street-fight-style debate" (the writer's term for Senator Clinton's suggestion of a Lincoln-Douglas style debate with no moderator (!)). 
 

But these examples have nothing to do with race.  Does it not at least seem to be reverse racism to suggest that any criticisms of Senator Obama having nothing to do with his race necessarily must be about his race?

 

In the last few weeks, one senior African American congressional leader told newspapers that there are some in the black community who believe that Senator Clinton is motivated to "so weaken Senator Obama that he loses to Senator McCain in 2008 and, thus, allowing her to run again in 2012."

 

This is sad – not only because this belief is utterly baseless. Worse, it is unfair to Senator Clinton and her husband for African Americans to forget or discount their 40-year history of fighting for civil rights, affirmative action, and economic justice.

 

 

In the final analysis, I have confidence that most African Americans, who themselves have been the historical victims of lies and stereotypes, will see through the distortions of the media and appreciate the true facts.  When they do, they will once gain remember that record of both Senator and President Clinton and enthusiastically support Senator Clinton if and when she is the Democratic candidate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

   

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

  

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Filed under: Barack Obama • Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton • Lanny Davis • Raw Politics
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Delois

    I would vote for Obama no matter what race he is. I would also vote for him just because he is black, Hillary has said who would have thought a woman would be in her position. That is sexist. if Obama used the who would have thought an African American comment?? He would be labled as playing the race card. How is this different. How many times in her speeches has she called his name (5,000,000,000) every sentence out of her mouth ends with what Barack Obama said. Just tell us what YOU say. I have no doubt that Hillary wants to be Preident, but I do doubt that she is interested in changing things for poor people. She has a net worth of over $50,000,000.00 do you really think she will worry about her children and grandchildren having health care, and money for collee and food, jobs and a place to live that is gun and drug free. Will her parents end up in a nursing home where they are abused. I feel she will say anything just to win. She comes off as a fake. Barak reminds me of John Kennedy, i like his youth and calmness it so real to me, He will be surrounded by many smart caring people like himself. Who will surround Hillary....... The same Good Old guys. Lets get real to be mean is not the same as to be tough. to be mean is not to care. Let's change our mind about how we treat people starting today.

    May 5, 2008 at 11:29 pm |
  2. mmd

    Give me a break. Lanny will do anything and say anything for Hill and Bill. The Clintons were not preapred for the on surge of Obama campaign. They thought he would go along for the ride until super tuesday and they would walk over his dead campaign to the white house. Never before have the Clintons reached across to a person, of color, it has always been the downward motion. But, hot Obama did stay in their, Clintons, race, he has actually beat them at their very old 35yrs, game. What else was left for them to do.

    May 5, 2008 at 9:45 pm |
  3. J-Colorado

    If the Clinton's try to manipulate the Presidential Race like the Bush family, I can truly tell you, Chelsea Clinton is next President and then Jenna Bush and the other drunk Bush twin. I can only say where are the morals of this country. We are the Super-Power with no power over our own people. Homeless, Veteran's with no counseling from a unneeded war, oh did I mention the economy and G.W. Bush and his intelligent insight. Do I hear the Bush family bank account on the Oil going up to 120 dollars a barrel. That's why we have no chance until Barrack gets in office. I know he is a unknown right now but, so was Billy Clinton and George Bush. Hillary needs to wake up. She could not stop her husband from cheating and lying to her, why should I trust her judgement on our nation. And my children's future. NO! NO! GO Barrack!!!!!!!!!08'

    May 5, 2008 at 7:03 pm |
  4. desfox

    Lanny, nicely written article Glad was wearing my boots. I guess when we look up spindoctor in the dictionary we will see your picture.
    You do Hillary's crying for her. Grow up and take hits like Obama is doing.

    May 5, 2008 at 7:03 pm |
  5. Pam

    Well Lanny, you tried. I have watched you on cable network try to work your magic and present the numbers always with a slant to the Clintons. If you have a beef with the reporting of events, story and speeches, you might review the tapes from some of your comments made these last months. The old saying, "You can't see the forrest for the trees," is true.

    May 5, 2008 at 7:00 pm |
  6. J-Colorado

    Does Hillary even pay for gas. Or do the American people pay that note for the former President.

    May 5, 2008 at 6:48 pm |
  7. J-Colorado

    Have you lost your natural mind. Hillary has soooo much baggage. She and her husband in the White water, and then who can forget Monica Lewinsky who, cost the tax payers money to investigate her dumb husbands mistakes. He did nothing positive for America, oh where were they in Vietnam. Can you tell me about her husband and this guy who they are blaming Barrack about being on the same committee, he supported Bill and Hillary during the nineties campaign.

    May 5, 2008 at 6:40 pm |
  8. mark miller

    JUST ONE PROBLEM,SHE WILL NOT HAVE ENOUGH PLEDGED DELEGATES. SO HOW DO YOU CONVINCE AFRICAN AMERICANS SHE WILL BE NOMINEE WHEN SHE CANNOT EVEN WIN THE PRIMARIES.
    IF SHE THEN RECEIVES THE NOMINATION,THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE EXPLANATION

    May 5, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  9. dickard

    Whew, that was a lot of hoe for not much row. The genesis of the race card issue was injected by Mr. Clinton in his vociferous denial that he made the Jesse Jackson statement. This was (of course) a lie on his part and also the first time the "race card" phrase was uttered.

    If you are referring to general issues of race having been raised in this campaign, your references certainly leave out the most important race aspect raised in this election: the Reverend Wright comments and media interpretation of how "black people" talk in "black churches."

    Of course those don't support your argument so they're conveniently ignored.

    May 5, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  10. bernj

    Lanny lies just like Hillary. They know what they did. It is way too late to try and change the spin. CNN, NBC, Fox, ABC are all trying to torpedo Obama. It will not work. Fortunately, every voter in Indiana and North Carolina is not an uneducated, "working class" dumb dumb susceptable to Hillary's dirty tricks and lies.

    May 5, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  11. Regina

    I am a registered republican and I would vote for say Colin Powell if he were to run or another African American its not about race at all its about Character for me So I am voting McCain in the General Election

    Have to chose the lesser of the two so I would pick McCain over Obama.

    May 5, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  12. Roxanna

    Lanny, I don't think that the Clinton's are racist, but what I will say to you, is that Hillary made a statement that she would have walk out of that church, but no one has yet to say to her, why did you call Wright in her time of need, when Bill was doing his thing. People all have some kind of problems, whether we like them or not, and Jesus, says don't throw stones, especially if you your own home isn't clean. And I have heard you ask over and over why did he stay in the church, and he has said because of all the good things the church has done for others. Going to church is not only to hear a pastor speech, it is what you can do for others on the outside. And I will also say this to you, Hillary has shown that she will do whatever she has to, to win, even if that means telling a few lies, and I want you to know this I like Hillary and my heart went out to her and her daughter when Bill was doing wrong, and I when it was all said and down, my heart went to to the whole family,and I prayed that people wouldn't put him down for what he did to his family and from what I could see they didn't. So as you are defending Bill from his words, yes, people take things out of context and run with it, and never say I'm sorry.

    May 5, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  13. JC- Los Angeles

    Lanny, while I may not agree with everything you say, you are spot on here and your steadfast support of the Clinton's, in a world of turncoats, is extremely admirable; the Obama's are a great story for the liberal media because it gives them a topic to address that is different and continual; the media has covered the Clinton's and needs a new muse; the Obama's are perfect; Barack Obama is a follower; he followed his wife to Rev. Wright, then followed Rev. Wright for twenty years; the Obama's claim they want to bring people together yet for twenty years support a devisive figure like Rev. Wright; they say they want political change yet go on TV with a Kennedy; they claim Clinton pulled the race card yet worship with a biggot; if the mainstream media reported the facts, the Obama's and their story would eventually vanish and the media would be left with what they consider old news, a Clinton and a McCain.

    May 5, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  14. John

    IF A PASTOR IS KNOWN BY THE COMPANY THEY KEEP!
    When the Rev. William Procanick put his hand on the Bible during his
    sex-abuse trial in Oneida County Court earlier this year, he swore to
    tell the whole truth And nothing but the truth. But as the former
    Clinton Pastor was sentenced Friday to three years in prison for
    Inappropriately touching a 7-year-old girl at his Home last March, Judge
    Michael L. Dwyer said Procanick Sacrificed his honesty the day he
    testified.
    Okay, so now that Bill and Hillary Clinton's pastor Has been convicted
    of child molestation, will we see the Same furor directed at Hillary
    that Obama has had to Endure these last few weeks?
    IF A CANDIDATE IS KNOWN BY TH E PASTOR THEY KEEP ......
    Then you u need to email this article to everyone you Know. Here the
    CLINTON'S Pastor is convicted of child Molestation. So, if Obama bears
    the guilt for his pastor's comment; then Hillary has to be equally
    tainted by this man's crimes.
    GIVES NEW MEANING TO SHOE ON THE OTHERS FOOT

    May 5, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  15. Rob

    The big lie is coming any time you see the Clintons or their surrogates lips start moving. I've been amazed and astonished just how in a few months the perceptions of the Clintons especially ol Bill have changed. It's now reached the point that I can't watch the spin, pandering, inuendo, out right lies delivered with a smug entitlement that suggests they are capable of any including disturbing methods to ensure the nomination. the media seems to enjoy watching this daily train wreck enough that they aid and abet her through the process. it's just too ugly to watch anymore.

    May 5, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  16. JMT

    Oh please, the fact that Lanny has 5 bullet points proves that there is a lot of explaining that needs to be done from the Clinton camp regarding race. And it's not just race with them. It's whatever group suits them at the time. "This state isn't important...that group isn't important...numbers don't matter...numbers do matter...FL and MI didn't matter...." at first and then guess what? She needed them and now she want to claim them. She actually wants to claim a win in a state that ONLY had HER name on the ballot. How does that happen? You're only important to the Clinton's when you're viable to them. If you can't do anything for them, you're useless.

    May 5, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  17. Sal

    CNN is clrealy supporting Clinton, Wolf, Larry King, and Lou will take every chance to find people who support Clinton and keep bringing back Wright's comments.

    May 5, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  18. Carol

    No matter how you try to spin it, this mess is all her fault. She is the one who turned this into a racial divide which has probably set race relations in the US back 40 years. She is the one who started the mud-slinging and dirty tactics. She is the one who constantly lies and panders to whatever group she is addressing. She is the one who is so stubborn and bull-headed she will not drop out and let someone else have it.
    If she can't have it then nobody can have it... and that's exactly what's going to happen in November. McCain is going to win it because she has divided the party and the country.

    Sorry Lanny, you can kiss up to her all you want but you are not going to get whatever job you are seeking in the White House because she is not going to be in the White House.

    May 5, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  19. Sandy

    Someone please tell me WHY NOTHING HAS BEEN IN THE NEWS ABOUT HILLARY'S FORMER PASTOR BEING CONVICTED OF CHILD MOLESTATION? How did this story get squashed? Was the news media too busy showing video bits for Rev. Wright? This is a big story and nothing has been said about it. Where's the fairnest in media coverage?

    May 5, 2008 at 1:12 pm |
  20. Matt

    The Media didnt lie about Hillary they were dead right!! Billary played the race card no denileing it. Hillary is a Big Loser and she will lose the nomination, You Hillary Bloggers out their need to stop and realize that this race is over and Obama has won!!

    May 5, 2008 at 1:03 pm |
  21. Michelle

    Is it me or is CNN allowing Lanny Davis to plead
    HRC's case to the public? The fact is Hillary can
    not win, math is not her BFF right now. Did not
    James Clyburn warn the Clintons about this type
    of language? And let's not forget this all began when
    someone in the Clinton camp made statements
    about Obama and drugs. Yes I agree the media
    deserves some criticism for how it deals with
    issues of race and gender when it comes to this
    year's election.There is way too much hyperbole.
    I do not believe the media created this image
    for the Clintons. Remember the media first
    started asking was Obama black enough .
    So how can you say race was used against
    the Clintons and not Obama ?

    May 5, 2008 at 1:00 pm |
  22. Debbie

    As a Canadian I have been following the Obama, Clinton camps. I sit here in amazment that there are still Americans that actually believe Hillary Clinton. What this women knows is how to say what she thinks people want to here. This is a style of politics that has been around since the beginning ot time. Once they are in office watch how fast they change there tune,and guess what its never their fault that the do not deliver on what they said. They will and always will put the blame on someone else. If Hillary Clinton can lie many times before being called on it regarding Bosnia, has constantly stired the pot regarding Rev. Wright, has insulted Mr. Obama over and over etc do you honestly think this is a woman who will look after the American public.I think not. Mr. Obama may have used poor wording in the past but he publicly apologised for this, he has been called on Rev. Wright situation and has addressed this , He is saying what is the truth regarding economics, health care, gas, housing. He is not out there telling people what the want to here. Hillary never apoligised for the Bosinia lie, she handed you and excuse. I have no stake in this vote but I do truly hope that the American people see the light and VOTE for Mr. Obama. Do not sell yourselfs up the river on the Clinton boat.

    May 5, 2008 at 12:21 pm |
  23. Bev C. NY

    I read these comments and have to laugh at the absurdity of some of them. No matter what some people are confronted with, they try to spin it their way and drag up OLD issues that have NOTHING to do with what's going on right now. Keep telling it like it is Lanny. SOMEONE out there has to state the TRUTH about Mrs. Clinton. With regard to Mrs. Clinton being a liar, Francisca, Obama didn't lie about Rev. Wright? Obama has NEVER lied about ANYTHING? If the media delved into his personal and past life, (including his association with that crook in Chicago – which we NEVER hear about), you don't think there's skeletons in Obama's closet. Get your heard out of the 90's and out of the right-wing's bible!

    May 5, 2008 at 12:21 pm |
  24. Clinton is pandering

    Sure Lanny – Sure Bill – Sure Hillary

    3 peas in a pod – sorry ad James Carville and make that 4 peas in a pod.

    Hillary spoke last night to the people or should I say spoke down to the people while Barack had a conversation that treated everyone as equals. He get's it.

    America will be a better, safer and more united place when Barack Obama is finally sworn in as President.

    May 5, 2008 at 11:59 am |
  25. Edna

    You people, the media is to blame for all of this. Try reporting NEWS and not gossip. I'm so sick of hearing about race until I could throw up. We all live in America, and we all know the states are racists, so why keep hammering on this? Geez you media people make me sick.

    May 5, 2008 at 11:54 am |
  26. Cindy

    Lanny,
    Thanks for setting the record straight. The media does take things, blow it WAY out of proportion and hound it into the ground until people actually believe that it is the truth!

    And here I thought the media was just supposed to tell the news not ceate it! HUH...Yeah right!! That hasn't happened in a long time!

    May 5, 2008 at 10:37 am |
  27. AZM

    The only racist in this campaign is Barak Obama... anyone who doens't think so is kidding themselves....

    Ayers? 20 year mentor wright?.... That or he has very poor judgement in people... either way... he shouldn't by any circumstance be the POTUS!

    NOBAMA NO WAY

    May 5, 2008 at 10:32 am |
  28. Betty

    I have been a Hillary Clinton supporter from the beginning (even though my Florida vote didn't count!). I was furious when Bill Clinton was painted as a racist by the media when his actions over his lifetime do not support that. I was also disappointed that Obama let that stand and benefited from it. The Reverand Wright "incident" appalled me, and further strengthened my allegience to Hillary.

    At some point in all this, Hillary told of her survival of sniper fire. I stood by, and squirmed out of any debate regarding that, as I couldn't defend it. Still I supported her.

    But then, Obama handled the Wright incident so beautifully. His words on race relations in America, and his condemnation of the offensive sermons allowed me to get to know him better and admire his insight.. His response to Wright's press conference was right-on. Still, I stuck by my candidate believing she was the most qualified for the job.

    Then, the gas tax issue. "My" candidate is trying to make that a hot topic, in a time when we need real solutions.

    Finally, my candidate took a page out of the George Bush foreign policy handbook when she promised to "obliterate" Iran if they attack Israel.

    For me, Lanny, it has never been about race or gender. My child's skin color is not the same as mine. It is about who can do the best job. I will vote for whoever is the democratic candidate, but for the first time since this whole thing started I am hoping it is Obama that is the democrat's choice.

    Dare I say it? My Florida vote not counting doesn't seem so bad right now. I got it wrong. I hope Indiana and North Carolina get it right.

    May 5, 2008 at 9:46 am |
  29. Debbie in Texas

    You know what CNN and the CLINTONS – we don't want to hear a thing from YOU people. Just keep on supporting Hillary and she could never win. The so-called relationship the CLinton's had with the Black Community IS OVER, THEY EARNED THIS WELL. The Clintons' not only lost their integrity, I have heard just as many white people say they are done with the Clintons' as well – it's not just blacks. You stoop low and this is what you get. Hillary will NEVER be able to win even if she tries again against anyone else. I promise that the black community is FINISHED WITH THE CLINTON'S – win at any cost!

    May 5, 2008 at 9:37 am |
  30. Debbie, NJ

    Lanny nobody needs to lie on the CLintons. Their record speaks for itself. All of the lies she's told, (Bosnia, Chelsea and 9/11, her foreign experience, etc...)the lobbyist that support her, and BIll Clinton comparing Obama to Jesse Jackson was a race card. The reason why republicans are pushing Hillary more than McCain is because the Democrats lost control of the House, Senate, and Governorship while the Clintons were in the white house. We know about her association with Rev Wright when she and her husband were having marital difficulties regarding Monica Lewinsky, she and Bill brought Rev Wright to the White House for spiritual counseling. We know she was aware of Bill and Penn making deals with Columbia and Bill with China.

    May 5, 2008 at 9:29 am |
  31. Carol

    Lanny,

    This is my first blog response, so please bear with me if I get too wordy. I usually read responses just to see how people react to the media "food for thought" that is given. I must say that some of the exchanges over the last six weeks are downright scary. This nation has a long way to go in race relations and civil discourse.

    Before anyone goes and calls me unpatriotic or un-American, I am soon to retire after proudly serving 24 years in the military.

    And since it is widely known that you are a Hillary Clinton supporter, I must make it know than I am an Barack Obama supporter.

    At the beginning of this campaign season, I was hopeful that Barack Obama's campaign would be a wake-up call not only to America, it would also be a wake-up call to Congress.

    For the last decade and a half, the Republicans and Democrats have FAILED to get along and govern in a bi-partisan way (at the expense of the people). A few months ago, the Republicans walked out of the Congressional Chambers after the Democrats refused to vote on their legislation. Instead of staying to discuss ways to pass legislation that both sides could agree on, they went outside to a waiting microphone and held a press conference. This spectacle was not even covered on MSM. Instead, we got non-stop coverage of Anna Nicole, OJ Simspon, Briteny Spears or whomever else was the flavor of the day. But that is another discussion for another day.

    That's not to say that the Democrats are not as guilty of political posturing either. I (as an American citizen) am TRULY tired of elected officials who put their egos ahead of their constituents. So my hope was that Sen Obama's campaign would send a message to Congress that if you don't work TOGETHER and solve issues that affect the people who sent you to Washington to work for them in the first place, you TOO would be unemployed.

    If elected President, many House and Senate Republicans will NOT work with Sen Clinton and once again, we (the People) will be watching our nation go further into recession while our legislators fight amongst themselves and play the blame game. Sen Clinton may be willing to reach across tha aisle and work with Republicans in a bi-partisan way, but there is so much animosity toward Sen Clinton (right or wrong) her efforts would be in vain.

    So why am I writing now? Not only has the race card been played in this election from start to finish by surrogates, campaign officials, THE MEDIA, and anyone else given a voice (ie bloggers). The one bright spot in all of this is that the candidates have stayed above the fray (some more than others).

    Finally, I will leave you with a few things to think about:

    While you proudly defend the actions of former President Clinton, understand that just because he served African Americans well as President – it does not give him the right to dismiss them while he is playing the supportive husband. I proudly supported President Clinton through good times AND bad, but some of his statements and actions during this campaign have troubled me.

    Many of my friends and associates (of all races) believe that the Rev Wright fiasco was RIDICULOUS and has caused a rift between races and has the potential to divide the African American community. Some of the blogs I have read lately further confirm our beliefs.

    You said were moved by the email you received from Mr. Johnson regarding why Sen Obama stayed in Rev Wright's church for 20 years, but you still had questions. After all that has transpired since then and the answers provided by Sen Obama, my gut tells me that nothing that he says will EVER be enough for you and many others.

    If we continue to publicly discuss personal issues about the candidates at this critical point in our history (from an economic standpoint), does that mean that we have to open pandora's box and discuss all the personal issues about the Clinton's that have left others with unanswered questions?

    May 5, 2008 at 9:29 am |
  32. Jane, Detroit, MI

    Give me a break, the media favoring Obama? I guess you didn't see what he has gone through the last 3 months, have you. He has been trying to lose that albatross around his neck and run a decent campaign. But all people seem to be interested in is the Wright/20 years nonsense. So sad to see when Clinton supporters cry foul because Obama's name is mentioned in the news. How do you expect people to get to know him if you block him from being newsworthy. Hillary has had more than her fair share of headlines and airtime, so I would say the big three cable news networks have been pretty balanced on both candidates. Get a grip.

    May 5, 2008 at 9:09 am |
  33. Renee Kattington

    I'm sick of race being plugged into everything. Tell me how a comment about him experimenting with drugs in his youth has anything at all to do with the color of his skin. If Obama gets the nomination he better get tougher skin (whatever the color). If he thinks the "attacks" by the Clinton camp are bad just wait til the republicans get a hold of him.

    May 5, 2008 at 8:57 am |
  34. Rick from NJ

    There is no way that anyone can convince an old timer like me, that the Clintons are in any way racists.

    If anyone politician ever loved the black community, it is President Clinton.

    He had a choice to have his office on 5th Avenue overlooking Central Park but instead chose to open his office in Harlem, NY.

    This President and his family are being acused of lies by the media or Obama's campaign. The media should mention that President Clinton was at one time viewed as the "black president". He fought for African Americans. And yes, Senator Clinton stood with him.

    For those African Americans that only know this president through the media's eyes, you have no clue of how wonderful he really is.

    May 5, 2008 at 6:41 am |
  35. Kane

    Both parties played race cards, but it is Obama campaign that started first. Remember how quick Obama condemned Geraldine? But he surely took a sweet time to speak against Rev. Wright.

    On the other hand, Clinton surely played gender card from the get go.

    Neither side is innocent.

    May 5, 2008 at 5:49 am |
  36. Amoni

    The bottom line is this; the Clinton’s are career politicians. As career politicians they know that words have an effect and words should be chosen carefully. Former President Clinton made a statement comparing Obama’s win in South Carolina to Jesse Jackson win in South Carolina. I believe they made a strategic move to lessen or down play Obama’s win, knowing that they could offend black people, in an effort to stop or slow Obama’s momentum while gaining momentum. This effort by the Clinton’s was a big mistake because it caused black people to leave the Clinton’s camp and join the Obama camp. The Clinton’s made a calculated decision to make this racial statement, which I believe the Clinton’s knew it was racial. The reason I believe it was a racial statement because the Clinton’s tried to connect Obama with Jesse Jackson causing white people dislike of Jesse Jackson to transfer to Obama. The other reason I believe it was a racial statement because I think that the Clintons was trying to measure Obama’s success by Jackson’s success. Why would Clinton compare Obama to Jackson? What do Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama have in common?? They have three things in common, first they are both from Chicago, second they are both black, and third they both ran for president. I believe Bill Clinton was insinuating that Jackson a black man did not win the white house; therefore, Obama a black man can not win the white house. In my book that is a racial statement. As a black man I see racism all day everyday both overt and implied. I feel this commentary is 100% wrong by saying this is a media driven issue. The Clinton’s have made a costly mistake by trying to slide race in the race and it will cost them the white house. Do the Clinton’s learn from their mistakes? NO. They will continue to spew out negativity and try to win by any means necessary, but as in the past it will back fire on them. There is an old staying, “what goes around comes around”. The only difference is that what they send out it comes back fast.

    Amoni
    Chicago, IL

    May 5, 2008 at 3:55 am |
  37. marie c

    Frankly, I am sick of reading on these blogs about Hillary lying. Obama is the person who has openly lied about his minister and his association with Bill Ayres. Heaven knows what else he has hidden from the public. I suspect he is hiding his real opinions about many things and many people. He did get caught being honest in San Francisco when he made fun of the people of Pa. and all small towns. All in all, it's Obama who is the liar!!!

    May 5, 2008 at 12:51 am |
  38. Cathy

    Lanny, Bill Clinton made statements that alienated others...period. I'm not saying his comments were racially motivated but he opened the door, the media is not at fault for his words. Images of an angry Bill Clinton wagging his finger at people while on the campaign trail did nothing to help his wife either. He is responsible for his own actions and words!

    The media covered the events with Bill Clinton reasonably, as it was news. The truth is that all the media hype about Rev. Wright was excessive and it came at a time when the media should be focused on the issues facing the American people.

    May 4, 2008 at 11:25 pm |
  39. Annie Kate

    This election was hyped as the election to bring us all together as Americans. Instead it is driving us further apart. Anything said, even when factual, about Senator Obama that does not reflect positively on him and his campaign is characterized as playing the race card, yet on Clinton anything and everything is fair game. We should be able to honesty assess the candidates on facts, whether complimentary or not, without fear of being labeled racist.

    I have felt that CNN in general was biased towards Obama – reporting the positives and hardly any negatives about him. Friday was a case in point – a super delegate switched his allegiance from Clinton to Obama; this news was reported on ad nauseum BUT the fact that Clinton had picked up 4 new super delegates that day was not mentioned. And while its been reported that Obama is against the gas cut that was proposed by McCain and Clinton as being a political stunt he has not proposed anything in its place.

    Winning against McCain will be difficult for either Democrat now but Clinton has a better chance than Obama but its probably not much better. Many have said that if their candidate does not get the nomination they will vote for McCain – the Democratic party says that in the end that won't happen that the Democratic voters will support the nominee – I think they are wrong – so perhaps we need to start practicing saying President McCain.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    May 4, 2008 at 10:24 pm |
  40. Laura R., West Virginia

    I'm on your side, but please, please, PLEASE no more talk about the "race card". I'm tired of hearing race this and race that! Nobody tis bringing up the sexism issue, including CNN, and I know of many, many men, white men, working class white men, who'd vote for a black man–just about ANY black man–before voting for a woman–ANY woman. Try writing some long-winded speeches about THAT for a change. Please!

    May 4, 2008 at 9:48 pm |
  41. cheryll

    Who knows if this will get out there but I will say that people like me that know the truth and are set free by the truth will speak the truth and you will not keep us quiet.

    I have been watching this race very carefully and I have been watching CNN, MSNBC, FOX NEWS, and all the cable media's and I have come to the realization that people are truly acting out on fear. You see it is the fear of the unknown and couple that with our closet prejudices. W

    May 4, 2008 at 7:42 pm |
  42. Francisca

    I have very little to say of Hillary Clinton's character or integrity. There is so much media hype about Rev. Wright that America is forgetting the issues that affect us today. Hillary Clinton has proven that she is a liar ("The Bosnia story") and would say or do anything to win this election. Why is the media not focusing on that? We need change and Hillary Clinton is just the same old thing and would never be able to win against McCain.

    May 4, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  43. Steve

    Anderson, Keep them honest...Ok try this, if it is guilt by association(Rev. Wright and Sen. Obama) I invite you to do a piece on the people that support Sen. Clinton and Sen. McCain. In fact I dare you to keep them honest, i.e. Clinton in a member of the Methodist Church that is anti abortion and anti gay marriage, but nothing is said about that. And Sen. McCain is supported by Pastor John Haggee, who believes we have a God given mandate to protect Israel even if it means nuking their nieghbors. I am not being silly here, these are real issues, just as Rev. Wright was a real issue...so go after them Anderson...I really think you are one of the best journalist on TV...without an objective fourth estate our democracy won't work. Thanks for you good work.

    Rev. Steve Rhodes

    May 4, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  44. Charles

    Lanny Davis:
    You should be ashamed to go down that road.
    The Clintons are crass poltical operatives who would do anything to get elected.
    Have you forgotten Ricky Ray Rector? Well let me remind you and your fellow Americans...
    Bill Clinton left the campaign trail in 1992 to return to Arkansas to sign the death warrant of the mentally disabled Mr. Rector only to prove that he was tough on crime. Mr. Rector's mental capacity was such that, as he was led to the death chamber, he told the guard to save his dessert pie for him thinking he would be returning.
    The continuing media farce as promoting Bill Clinton as the first "Black" president is nothing more than grotesque. I guess he wasn't black enough to have compassion in his heart for Mr. Rector.
    Did I forget to mention that Mr. Rector was black?
    However, I am comforted in the fact that God is the final judge in these matters.
    Sincerely.

    May 4, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  45. Betty Ann

    Hi Lanny,
    You are so right that the media has created big lies against Hillary.
    Why would the media be biased to Obama? Is it because he has more campaign monies?
    Is it indeed that he is a motivational speaker?
    Or, is it because we want to see a black person rise above?
    CNN might be favoring Obama but I do believe with all my heart that Anderson Cooper has been sincerely neutral. He's a great guy!
    I plan on voting for the candidate with the right qualifications, period.
    Therefore; I am a Hillary Clinton supporter. She is the only right choice in my opinion.
    It would be nice if she would choose Obama as a running mate though~ 😉
    Thanks!

    Betty Ann
    Nacogdoches,TX

    P.S. Us democrats need to stick together and win~
    PEACE. . . .

    May 4, 2008 at 2:15 pm |