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OMG! Obama wears a turban!

Continuing their campaign follies, Hillary Clinton and/or her aides are reportedly circulating a "stunning" photo of--get this--Obama dressed as a tribal elder while on a visit to rural Kenya in 2006. According to Politico.com the Clinton campaign is not denying sending the shot to Matt Drudge and others. Knockout punch? Maybe inmiddle school. Then again, it may be effective. And it'll certainly prepare Obama for the general election against the GOP. I don't see how it'll help Hillary now. Or later, as she tries to rescue her legacy.

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We might also want to peruse Geraldine Ferraro's disgraceful op-ed in this morning's NYT. "Superdelegates," she tells us haughtily, "were created to lead, not to follow." Read the rest of the piece -- and especially the unmistakeable slanting toward the second Great Triangulator. All of which can be translated as: if the people don't like Hillary Clinton, to hell with 'em. And people wonder why there's a persistent attraction to voting for Ralph Nader? If a substantial portion of the Democratic Party still thinks and acts this way, we don't need Republicans.

It is a little awkward defending Mrs Bill Clinton, but what's the big deal? If you look at the Drudge piece, it says the picture was attached in an e-mail to one (or some) political reporters asking the question, would a picture like this of HRC have gone this unnoticed? A pretty good question, if you ask me considering all the unflaterring photos of her and the GOP candidates that get fron page treatment. Maybe this is "shopping around" but is it a smear? It's not a fake picture. Making this a big story about a "dirty tactic" is more evidence, in my mind, of the media's favoritism toward Obama. Why not just hit the "delete" button?Once the man becomes president, maybe we will return to the days of yore when the media ignored the foibles of the powerful for the sake of decorum - but I wouldn't bet on it.

It's a pretty innocuous photo (at least in my view), and I am not sure why Drudge published it if he thinks it's a smear. One story suggested the Clinton camp may not be saying anything because they are conducting an internal investigation.It is difficult for me to believe that Hillary or any responsible adviser would approve trying to use something this silly to try to scare people away from Obama. On the other hand, the plagiarism charge, which she made herself, was silly also. She is beginning to exhibit signs of multiple personality disorder, one minute making remarks so conciliatory that people thing she's conceding, and another ranting that Obama is a plagiarist or mocking him as a false messiah.

Comments elsewhere note that there are about 700 people who could be described as Hillary Clinton's campaign staffers, and that people are being awfully quick to blame Hillary herself and/or her whole campaign. As Matt himself would say, "Developing . . . ."

We should all put on our mischief sniffers and wait. Yesterdays big story was Obama's lack of a flag lapel pin. And tomorrow?

I'm no Hillary apologist, but I think it's dangerous to posit pscho-pathology to this stage of a campaign. It's already been long and arduous for the remaining candidates. I'd be inclined to cut slack.As for what the media focuses on, it might as well be lapel pins and turbans. Our Corporate Masters sure don't want us talking issues. We might get all uppity and such.

Take Gene McCarraher's advice and read Geraldine Ferraro's op-ed piece. Not disgraceful! A perfectly reasonable account of why the Democratic party has superdelegates. And why they have an important role to play in this election. Ralph Nader is running because he has nothing better to do!http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/25/opinion/25ferraro.html?ref=opinion

Anyone remember Calvin Coolidge in full Indian chief headress?

Please spare us the snide anti-Republican comments: "itll certainly prepare Obama for the general election against the GOP." This is a Democratic dirty trick from start to finish--from Hillary, warrior-queen of the DLC (and just after she accused Obama of using "Karl Rove" tactics ...) The fault, dear Dems, lies in yourselves--and in your (political) stars!

I'm afraid that if the superdelegates decide to seat the FL and MI delegates, the Democrats will need another Hunt Commission.

I posted this with a bit more roll-of-the-eyes than anything. Apologies for thesnide, Robert. I'll just fulminate next time. You're right, of course--the GOP could never be accused of using race as a campaign tool. As for the Superdelegates question, I was not impressed by Ms. Ferraro's op-ed. She just came across as an apologist for her friend. (Then again, she looked good by comparison with Kristol's kolumn.) I don't buy into the argument that they should be seated, not without doing another poll among them. Neither camp campaigned there, so the results weren't illustrative of anything. Moreover, the Obama camp designed its strategy based on the fact that FL and MI votes wouldn't "count." That was smart. They piled up victories that way.

Glorious politics! Can we admit that if Obama had won Michigan and Florida, his campaign would be working double time to have them count. Another vote in MI and FL would be the fairest way to go. Is that likely to happen?The core Democratic Party problem is allowing crossovers. None of this Superdelegate debate would be happening if only Democratic Pary registered voters could cast a ballot in the primary and if they had a winner take all policy in every state.

David,Your apology is of course accepted--but it would seem more sincere if you hadn't added in a racial accusation against Republicans (since this photo smear tactic by Hillary was about implying that Obama is Muslim--hence the turban reference in your own headline--rather than pointing out that he is half-black, which I assume must people already realize)

One of the joys of being a Democrat is that, when the going gets tough, the desperate get very sleazy.

Yes, I should steer clear of politics and stick with Father Komonchak's translation of Augustine. Onward.

The NYT link to the Drudge Report had three pictures at the bottom: Hillary in a Muslim headscarf and George Bush and Bill Clinton in African tribal dress. Should the Obama campaign send these out? Or maybe they have. It seems that sending all four pictures together would make the point.

Maybe the two campaigns should never have agreed not to participate in the MI and FL primaries. But they did, and Clinton decided not to abide by that agreement. Perhaps in the end, that will benefit her campaign. That Obama stuck to the agreement would put him at a serious disadvantage in any re-vote.

Grant: If there is a re-vote and Obama is ahead, why would he be at a serious disadvantage. I don't get your thinking here.

Because voters in MI, for example, may harbor resentment over the fact that he didn't bother to show up to campaign and Clinton did. Clinton spent time and money campaigning in MI. Obama did not. When you say Obama is ahead, are you referring to pledged delegates? National polling? He may be up in the national polling, for what its worth, but he's not up in OH, and not up in TX (not in a statistically significant way). But, again, I don't know how this could happen. I doubt Clinton could afford it anyway.

since this photo smear tactic by Hillary

Robert,Do you really think that Hillary herself dug up this photo and sent it to Matt Drudge? I don't think there is enough evidence yet to attribute the sending of the photo to the Clinton campaign, let alone to attribute it directly to Hillary.It's interesting that Democrats and Republicans alike seem to instantly believe the worst of Hillary Clinton. It seems to me she's not really evil personified.David N

Super-delegates? Can you spell bosses?Many Democrats did not vote - or is it that they voted with their feet. None of the above?

And Republicans don't have bosses? Please!

The story remains that men are still responsible for Obama's lead, no matter how you slice it. It should at least give some of you chauvinists, late or unconscious, reason to pause or reflect. Nor do you answer Ferraro's claim that independent's have turned it for Obama. And what about fewer democrats than ever in this primary? And finally there is, at least to this point, not an iota evidence linking the photo to Hillary and her staff. I guess Obama walks on water. http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/#mea=221776

David N,I don't care whether Hillary herself or one of her followers dug up the photo--that doesn't matter. The public blames the candidate for any and all actions by the campaign, except when the candidate swiftly and decisively deals with an issue like this (something that Hillary's team did not do in this case)Bill M: Why in the world should men "pause or reflect" on the fact that they prefer Obama to Hillary? Have you rescinded the right of men to freely vote for the candidate of their choice? Or perhaps you're trying the tired, old liberal guilt (thank god I';m cosnervative and it has no efefct on me!) that women have been oppressed by men so "chauvinist" men need to vote for women? Face the facst--your first viable woman candidate is a divisive, unpopular person who does not connect with average people ... women have been elected to leadership around the world, and there will be a woman president in the United States--it's just unlikely to be Hillary, and that has everything to do with her own history and personality and little or nothing to do with her gender.

As we sang in the Boy Scouts so long ago: If you don't bear the cross, then you can't wear the crown.Claiming successes on your watch also requires accepting the blame on your watch.

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About the Author

David Gibson is a national reporter for Religion News Service and author of The Coming Catholic Church (HarperOne) and The Rule of Benedict (HarperOne). He blogs at dotCommonweal.