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Nine Donating Member (472 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:39 PM
Original message
Obama: "I take her at her word"
I wonder why no one objected when Obama used this apparently vile phrase in reference to Hillary Clinton?


http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/26/us/politics/26text-de...

At the Cleveland debate in response to a question about the native garb photo:

SEN. OBAMA: Well, first of all, I take Senator Clinton at her word that she knew nothing about the photo. So I think that's something that we can set aside.

Was Obama implying that he really thought Clinton was behind the photo? I saw that part of the debate live and when I later saw the brouhaha here about Hillary using the same phrase, I first wondered if she was somehow using that phrase on purpose to draw attention to his earlier response about the Drudge photo, which was not exactly convincing in light of his statements a day earlier:

http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=aa0cd21b-0ff2...

the notoriously right-wing, scandal-mongering Drudge Report website ran a photograph of Obama dressed in the traditional clothing of a Somali elder during a tour of Africa, attached to an assertion, without evidence, that the Clinton campaign was "circulating" the picture....The alleged "circulation" amounted, on close reading, to what Drudge's dispatch said was an e-mail from one unnamed Clinton "staffer" to another idly wondering what the coverage might have been if the picture had been of Clinton. Possible e-mail chatter about an inoffensive picture as spun by the Drudge Report would not normally be deemed newsworthy, even in these degraded times.

Except by Obama and his campaign, who jumped on the insinuating circumstances as a kind of vindication. The Drudge posting included reaction from the pinnacle of Obama's campaign team. "It's exactly the kind of divisive politics that turns away Americans of all parties and diminishes respect for America in the world," said Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe, who also described the non-story as "the most shameful, offensive fear-mongering we've seen from either party in this election" and "part of a disturbing pattern." Although he never explicitly spelled out the contours of this pattern, he was clearly alluding to race baiting. Later in the day, Obama himself jumped in, repeating the nasty, slippery charge that the Clinton campaign "was trying to circulate this as a negative" and calling it a political trick of the sort "you start seeing at the end of campaigns."


However, when I looked at the actual full quote by Clinton, I don't think that's the case. Here it is:

You don't believe that Senator Obama's a Muslim? Kroft asked Sen. Clinton.

Of course not. I mean, that, you know, there is no basis for that. I take him on the basis of what he says. And, you know, there isn't any reason to doubt that, she replied.

You said you'd take Senator Obama at his word that he's nota Muslim. You don't believe that he's, Kroft said.

No. No, there is nothing to base that on. As far as I know, she said.

It's just scurrilous? Kroft inquired.

Look, I have been the target of so many ridiculous rumors, that I have a great deal of sympathy for anybody who gets, you know, smeared with the kind of rumors that go on all the time, Clinton said.


When you actually watch the clip of her saying that, her statement comes across better. I think removing her inflections, expressions, etc. - all those clues that help people understand each other better in real life - I think removing those clues and just reading a text version distorts the statement a bit. And I think just posting selected bits of her statement definitely distorts it (especially leaving off the part about "ridiculous rumors"). She gave a perfectly reasonable statement in my opinion. If she seemed to qualify her statement too much, I think that's just a reflection of her background. I think that certain professions - lawyers, scientists, journalists (at least the good ones) - tend to be more careful with how they state things than other people. A scientist will say "this provides evidence..." while a layman might say, "this proves..." A lawyer might say, "I have no reason to believe this is true," while some of us might say, "That's not true."

However, I would argue that Obama had much more obligation to be stronger in his denial than she did in hers. The Muslim question was a ridiculous question, and you could tell by Clinton's tone and manner she thought it was ridiculous. Kroft was a jerk for asking her about it at all much less pressing her on it three times. The Clinton campaign never claimed Obama was Muslim. But Obama did accuse Clinton of being behind the photo, based only on the word of Clinton-hating Drudge, who never provided evidence. In fact, Obama took it a step farther; Drudge claimed the photo was e-mailed from one Clinton staffer to another. The remark he attributed to the staffer who allegedly sent it seems to have to do with lopsided media treatment of Clinton. But Obama and his campaign manager both suggested that the Clinton campaign itself deliberately sent the photo to Drudge in order to smear Obama. Furthermore, Obama said it was part of a pattern. The idea is ludicrous. If the Clinton campaign wanted to leak the photo, they could have sent it anonymously to anyone they wanted. If Hillary had accused Obama of something so heinous based only on the word of Drudge, the uproar would be enormous. But Obama gets his ugly little stab in and no one calls him on it. He acted in the debate as though he were above the whole affair after accusing her twice the day before. He owed her an apology, not a weak "let's set it aside". This is so typical of Obama's campaign. Sneak attacks and public posturing as the above-it-all candidate.
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Eric J in MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. I wasn't offended by either take-at-word remark. NT
NT
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
2. Because her campaign was probably behind the release of the photo--
there's a true question of guilt there. Obama is not a Muslim--that's a fact, not a question of guilt or innocence.
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ruggerson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #2
14. You have to believe Matt Drudge in order to believe that
I don't believe a word that he writes.
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Her campaign didn't deny it until relatively late in the day--they basically
laughed and said, "why would Obama be offended? It's not a crime to be Muslim"--sickening.
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Nine Donating Member (472 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #15
25. So what? Obama's people didn't wait for a denial.
What does it matter whether the Clinton campaign denied it in the morning, afternoon, or evening? Obama's people didn't wait for a denial. They were dragging her name through the mud within two hours of Drudge publishing the photo. And they repeated the charge later in the day. They took Drudge's word with zero proof that it originated from the Clinton campaign. And then they even embellished the story beyond what Drudge claimed. They lied and race-baited and slandered, and they owe Clinton an apology. If Clinton had done this, the media would be up in arms. Maybe the Clinton campaign was doing a little something the Obama people have seemingly never heard of; it's called fact-checking. Maybe they wanted to make certain none of their people had anything to do with it before issuing a denial.
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jaxx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
3. Because he didn't add........As far as I know.
Big difference. Nice try, but no sale.
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Sulawesi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:43 PM
Response to Original message
4. I was offended by HRC and your post puts HRCs in perspective...
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:43 PM
Response to Original message
5. Watch "Primary Colors" and see how the Hillary Clinton
Character immediately tells Libby - "We can have this leaked to the press in a round about way so that it won't be traced to us"

The Hillary Clinton persona was well understood by Joe Klein back in the 1996 to 1997 period when he was penning the book that the movie evolved from.

So why should Obabma pretend forcefully that Hillary did not do this?? Chances are GOOD THAT SHE DID.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #5
19. I enjoyed Primary Colors but it's overdramatized and should be taken as a work of fiction
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #19
36. I'm of the opinion that Joe Klein was trying to tell us something
About the characters.

He made the Bill character a philanderer - and it was over the top - but when the Monica Lewinsky tale hit the news, we saw it was not THAT FAR over the top.

The same with the Hillary character. She is portrayed as being very tough and very unrelenting - and exactly how I see her now. (Though certainly ten years ago, I thought that Klein was far too harsh with her.) She is portrayed by Klein as knowledgeable about how one goes about "planting" the evidence in the media in such a way that it cannot definietly be traced back to you.

Maybe in 1998, I would have thought that was an over the top portrayal. But today, I would say that either Klein was painting Hillary with a very well informed brush, or else that he was absolutely prescient.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. I think the point it makes is more about politics in general than the Clintons
For the record I could care less about what consenting adults Bill sleeps with. The screwing his 17 year old babysitter thing in the film was way over the top and that's why I consider it a work of fiction.

But over dramatized or not, Libby was more or less right. McGovern was a complete and total amateur who got his ass kicked by Nixon because he wouldn't play dirty. The question is how dirty do you have to play and do the ends justify the means? Jack Stanton firmly believes that playing dirty is the only way to win and that it's justified because he will help the little people when he's in office. And for the record, while Clinton did a lot of things I didn't like in office, he was way better than Bush or Dole. Take that as nothing more than a sign of how bad the GOP today is if you want, but he was still better.

We all have to answer the same questions that Henry does. Is Stanton right and if he is right, is it worth it?

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jlpohio69 Donating Member (141 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
6. Because Obama supporters choose to turn the other cheek...
when he is not shown in a favorable way.
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JoFerret Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 09:47 AM
Response to Reply #6
33. Since when.?
I thought Jesus had the patent on that. I haven't sen much of it from politicians except as a "move".
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enki23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
7. becase he wasn't talking about an anti-hillary smear at the time?
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 03:51 PM by enki23
ya think? maybe? how fucking stupid is this question? and just how massive is your cognitive dissonance going to get before this is over? enough with the false equivalence. an actually equivalent situation would be if he had said "i take her at her word that she isn't a lesbian." of course, that would only be equivalent if there were an active smear campaign that managed to get "hillary is a lesbian" into the mainstream media.

and as a disclaimer: there is nothing at all wrong with being a lesbian. or a muslim for that matter. but either would probably be enough to derail a presidential campaign in the good ole' US of A.
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JoFerret Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
8. Dear member of the GOP wooden spoon club
...enjoy the stirring. All this is coming your way soon.

Meanwhile - it was a bit obnoxious of Barack. But - ya know - this is POLITICS. He is a politician. they do this stuff.

And he will be a great president if he wins the nomination.
Hillary and Barck are both great candidates.

I hope Hillary wins.
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
9. I agree that what Obama really meant was " Your campaign may or may not
have been behind this, but there will never be proof one way or another, the story has been defused so we'll pretend it never happened."


When Clinton used the phrase, it meant " Well, you say you're not a Muslim, but maybe you're lying about it after all.


He used the phrase to close the incident, she used it to add fuel to the flames.
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Bluerthanblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
10. don't read Hillary's comment- watch it on video.
She says more through her body language than she does with her mouth sometimes.

Hillary has a 'trust' issue. She can't deny her "experience" when it doesn't paint her in a good light, if she wants to have any hope of having people accept her positive past.

peace~
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City Lights Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. Agreed. Reading her words and hearing/watching her deliver them are
two very different things. I was more outraged after watching/listening.
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Nine Donating Member (472 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. Really? I felt the opposite.
I thought it came across better on the video than in text. I said so in my OP.
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lligrd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
11. Because Obama's Are "Just Words" Remember
Besides, we all know her campaign was behind it.
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jalynn Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. If you
"KNOW" so much, proof it. You Obamamaniac's would surely demand proof if it was reversed
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lligrd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. Proof It? Done
and you need some editing.
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Straight Shooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #11
30. Fundies: "We all know" God created the earth in 7 days.
I see no difference between their argument, and yours. Same rationale.
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lligrd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 03:38 AM
Response to Reply #30
32. The Fundies Voted For Hillary
Enough said!
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Straight Shooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #32
34. Not in South Carolina, and probably not elsewhere either.
Obama is the one proclaiming himself to be a devout, "committed Christian," with pandering brochures of himself in prayer mode, stained glass windows in the background, heavenly light surrounding his silhouette.

Mike Huckabee has been widely criticized for his overt religious appeals to win votes. One of the most criticized aspects of his campaign was a television ad he ran in Iowa and South Carolina pointedly describing himself as a Christian leader:

Today, Greg Sargent posted a brochure which the Obama campaign is distributing in South Carolina which seem to include religious appeals at least as overt and explicit as anything Huckabee has done. The center page of the brochure proclaims in the largest letters on the page that Obama is a COMMITTED CHRISTIAN, and includes three pictures of Obama, all of which show him praying or preaching in a Church, and also includes a fourth picture: of the interior of a Church with a large cross lurking in the background. The page also says that Obama is guided by his Christian faith and quotes Obama saying: We do what we do because God is with us.

That same page prints Obamas views on the power of prayer, and using the same language George Bush has frequently used as a signifier to evangelical voters says that Obama is Called to Christ, Called to Bring Change and Called to Serve:

Similarly, the front page of the brochure shows Obama in a chin-on-hand contemplative posture and underneath, it reads: Answering the Call. The last page shows two more pictures of Obama in Church, proclaims him again in large letters to be a COMMITTED CHRISTIAN, and describes how he felt a beckoning and accepted Jesus Christ into (his) life.


http://www.trueblueliberal.com/2008/01/21/barack-obama-... /

Enough said!
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lligrd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. Oh Please, You Haven't Seen Hillary When She Campaigns
in the "black" churches. She pulls the same chit. If you have true differences to point out, by all means do it. But quit trying to slander one for doing the same thing the other one does. Even if the other one does it better than yours.
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OhioBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
12. you have GOT to be kidding me.
You cannot possibly think those are the same!

How dizzy are the Hillary supporters these days? With all that spinning, I would bet your tummies are pretty upset.

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HCE SuiGeneris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 04:01 PM
Response to Original message
16. As far as I know...
you are not a Republican talking point.
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Nine Donating Member (472 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #16
21. Attacking me is easier than defending Obama isn't it?
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HCE SuiGeneris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. What are you talking about? This is defending you, don't you know?
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Nine Donating Member (472 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Sorry
I thought you were calling me a Republican
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NorthernSpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 04:51 PM
Response to Original message
22. Hillary's campaign never actually denied sending the photo, as Drudge reported.
Clinton only claims she didn't know about it. So the Clinton campaign themselves refused to give any assurance that they weren't involved, leaving open the possibility that they might have sent the photo as Drudge reported.


Whereas Obama emphatically isn't a Muslim. He's a Christian, he belongs to a church, and Clinton -- who does thorough opposition research on her opponents -- knows that.


Obama was being charitable in taking Clinton at her word -- and Hillary was slyly implying deceit on his part by claiming that she was "taking him at his".

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Nine Donating Member (472 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #22
28. You're wrong. They did deny it.
"I just want to make it very clear that we were not aware of it, the campaign didn't sanction it and don't know anything about it," Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said in a teleconference with reporters. "None of us have seen the e-mail in question. If anybody has independent reporting that they've done on it I would welcome it."

Besides, why was the story assumed true in the first place? Drudge offered no proof. It was just a reckless accusation from someone with zero journalistic integrity. Why should Clinton even have been expected to deny it? Let Drudge and Obama provide some evidence if they're going to make accusations like that.

Obama was being charitable? Nope. I don't find it charitable to accuse someone of something so ugly - twice - and then later act like "Mr. High Road" and pretend you never made the accusation after the damage has already been done. The Obama people took a story from a notorious Clinton-hating gossip rag, embellished it beyond what even Drudge claimed, and used it too tarnish Hillary without even a shred of proof. That doesn't bother you at all? You don't think you might be showing a teensy weensy bit of a double standard in favor of your candidate?

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Arkana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
26. I wasn't offended.
As vile a campaign as Hillary Clinton has run, there's still the good Senator Clinton in there--and I don't believe Senator Clinton believes any of that shit.
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George_Bonanza Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 05:35 PM
Response to Original message
27. Obama's certain he's a Christian; Hillary wasn't certain her campaign didn't send the photos out
You don't "take someone's word" that 3+3=6. The fact that Obama's a Christian and not a Muslim is as certain as that mathematical equation. Meanwhile, Hillary couldn't be entirely sure that her staffers didn't send out the photos, and thus, she could only offer her word that she had nothing to do with it. Obama graciously accepted and that was the end of that.
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Nine Donating Member (472 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. Except that he didn't.
Did you even read the OP? He accused her of it. Twice. He had no proof at all. That's not gracious, that's malicious.
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awaysidetraveler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 07:08 PM
Response to Original message
31. Why are you writing about this?
It seems like it's all about style and spin. It's odd... really.

It's a he said/she said thing? There's this feeling of angst, of being abused by the other side?

No... this is a bunch of misrepresentations as well.

It's odd and out of place, because this election is essentially over.
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