Last week, Hillary Clinton made a big deal in her debate with Barack Obama about his "denunciation" of Louis Farrakhan. Didn’t go far enough for her, she wanted him to "reject" Farrakhan as well.
Yet, there is a far more insidious set of behaviors engaged in by her own supporters and volunteers. Read this, from the Chicago Tribune "Swamp" blog:
A lawyer in a predominantly Democratic suburb of Cleveland relates this tale to The Swamp on the day before the all-important Ohio primary:
So last night around dinner time, the phone rings. It’s the Hillary campaign–official number, per the caller ID. The woman on the other end asks me if Hillary can count on my support Tuesday. I say I have not decided.
She asks what would help me decide. I say, “Well . . . maybe she can make Bill her vice president.” She does not know how to take me, of course, but has to assume I am serious. “I don’t think she can do that.” “Bill will have a significant role in major decisions, though, won’t he?” I ask. “Oh, certainly he will be very involved. Do you like Bill?” “Very much.” I reply.
She then launches into a two-minute spiel on all the very specific initiatives and proposals Hillary has put forth on health care, the war in Iraq, etc., etc. At the end of her spiel, she says, “And we haven’t heard anything that specific from Osama bin Laden.”
I say, “You did not just say that.” She replies, “I’m sorry . . . just a slip of the tongue.” She then thanks me for my time and encourages me to vote for Hillary on Tuesday.
Isolated comment, from a misguided supporter? Spend some time reading the lovely comments over at Hillaryis44.com if you doubt it.
And then we have the wiggle room wink-and-a-nod in last night’s "60 Minutes."
“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 not…a 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.
Perhaps innocuous, but go back and read the first part of this blog post, please.
Finally, I pass on this anecdote from doing a weekend of phone banking for Senator Obama to the State of Texas. By far, most of the people I spoke with were gracious, many extremely supportive of and enthusiastic about Senator Obama. But I spoke with two older women who were extremely hostile, one of whom told me:
"I don’t want nothin’ to do with that Osama."
The question is: will Hillary reject and denounce those who are among her supporters who are engaging in these kinds of scurrilous, race and religion-baiting attacks?