12.17.2007

Clinton Ally Kerrey: "Obama. Muslim. Obama. Hussein."

Effectively, that's what Hillary Clinton supporter, former Sen. Bob Kerrey was saying today.

From ABC:

"I like the fact that his name is Barack Hussein Obama, and that his father was a Muslim and that his paternal grandmother is a Muslim," Kerrey is quoted as saying. "There's a billion people on the planet that are Muslims, and I think that experience is a big deal."
Well, I guess becuase he's using it in the affirmative, it allows him to place the 'fear of everything Muslim' card? I don't think so.

What a scumbag.

More from ABC's Jake Tapper:
Some Obama supporters have asked why former Sen. Bob Kerrey, D-Neb., who endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., today, mentioned her opponent Sen. Barack Hussein Obama's middle name in remarks published in The Washington Post. (LINK)

[snip]

Obama supporters see this in the same light that they see Clinton strategist Mark Penn's remarks on MSNBC's Hardball (LINK) -- that, as far as former Clinton campaign co-chair Billy Shaheen's remarks about Obama's youthful drug use, "the issue related to cocaine use is not something that the campaign was in any way raising."

Too clever by half, they think.

A clear attempt to raise an issue while pretending not to raise it.
Of course, this racist pig denies meaning it as a slur and then proceeds to expands his compliments further:
"What I said was an answer to a question," Kerrey said.

He'd been asked by a reporter from the Omaha World-Herald about the fact that the Clinton folks are hammering home the idea that Obama has little experience, while both Obama today and Kerrey in 1992 ran for president in their first Senate term.

"My answer was yes, but I finished third in the primary. Obama's smarter and more talented than I ever was, and he has two things which are connected to his life experience that give him special capacity," Kerrey recalled. "First, he is African American and can speak to underperforming Black youth in a way that no other candidate can. He gave a speech in Selma that was incredible (LINK), that no white person could ever give. No government program could ever do what Barack Obama can do.

"Second," Kerrey continued, "his name is Barack Hussein Obama. I know that middle name is seen as a weakness by Republicans, but I don't think it is. I think it enables him to speak to a billion Muslims around the world."

Kerrey said he's spoken to Obama and his staffers and told them to "lead with it as a strength. There's this nonsense out there about him being a Muslim Manchurian candidate. He should do a commercial, look the camera straight in the eye, and say, 'My wife Michelle and I are Christians, but my father was a Muslim and my paternal grandfather was a Muslim, and that fact and my name means I can speak to a billion people around the world" who need to hear from the United States.
These DLC bastards are really the scum of the party.

This is what you can expect from Hillary Clinton for the rest of the election and if for some reason, she wins, the rest of her tenure in office.

UPDATE I: Here's what John Aravosis over at AmericaBlog thinks about this bullshit:
Former Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey should be fired from the Clinton campaign after his comments in Iowa yesterday. In a passive-aggressive performance worthy of an Oscar, Kerrey told reporters:

[snip]

Get it? Kerrey isn't repeating slurs that have been used, non-stop, by GOP operatives (and Hillary's own staff) knocking Obama for having the middle name of one of the most hated men in America and for having family members who are Muslim. Oh no. Kerrey is complimenting Obama, and is simply repeating racist anti-Muslim slurs against Obama in an effort to praise him. Kerrey comes not to bury Obama, but to praise him. (After the jump: What if Obama were to repeat the current rumors about Hillary and Bill (and there are new rumors) - in order to praise them, of course?)

It would be like an Obama surrogate repeating all the slurs against Hillary, repeating the current crop of rumors about her and about her husband, and saying that those are positive things because they make Hillary more human and more empathetic to the voters. Perhaps, but were I to repeat those rumors I'd actually be hurting Hillary by in fact spreading the anti-Hillary slurs (and that's why I won't even repeat the details of the rumors themselves in my example for you today).
UPDATE II:
Let me make this perfectly clear for anyone who tries to defends the Hillary Clinton or Bob Kerrey over this:

This is RACISM through and through. Period.

After 7 years of daily plays on our fears from an administration who has no qualms about using anti-Muslim rhetoric, Bob Kerry & Hillary Clinton know exactly what they are doing.

They might has well be saying Obama is pimping his white roots over his Afro-roots in order to win an election - were this 1968.

It's despicable. As a white NY Jew, I'm enraged at this behavior from a Democrat.

HILLARY CLINTON IS USING RACISM AS A WEDGE TOOL TRYING TO STOP HER COLLAPSING POLL NUMBERS.
UPDATE III: philgoblue said something which I was also thinking, so I'll quote them:

I mean, are they running a Huckabee campaign over there, "I hear they think Jesus and Satan are brothers."

It's exactly the same.

FINAL UPDATE: Kos summed it up best (and much more eloquently than I did in my diary)....

So back to the original question -- was Kerrey expressing honest praise for Obama, or was he engaging in insidious dogwhistle politics? I'll leave it up to you guys to decide, but do note that context might be important:

He made these comments while endorsing Hillary Clinton.

(my emphasis)

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Cross posted at Dailykos

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