For some reason, I feel compelled to pull a few things together regarding Ferraro, Clinton, and Obama.
I stared this when I found this report, that Keith Olbermann is going to take Clinton to task in a "Special Comment" for what Ferraro has said. I happened to catch the middle of that segment last night; not knowing that had been said, I was a bit in the dark about the discussion with Howard Fineman, but (as you can watch for yourself) both Fineman and Olbermann agreed it was a racist remark. What I missed in that discussion was the reference to Maggie Williams' statement (which Keith references; this came out in an e-mail):
"In January, NBC’s Tim Russert confronted Senator Barack Obama with a four page memo from his campaign characterizing statements they claimed the Clinton Campaign had made about race. Asked in hindsight whether he regretted pushing this story, Senator Obama said:As Keith says, it's Obama's fault for complaining, in other words.
'Well, not only in hindsight, but going forward. I think that, as Hillary said, our supporters, our staff, get overzealous. They start saying things that I would not say. And it is my responsibility to make sure that we’re setting a clear tone in our campaign, and I take that responsibility very seriously, which is why I spoke yesterday and sent a message in case people were not clear that what we want to do is make sure that we focus on the issues.'
We agreed then. We agree today. Supporters from both campaigns will get overzealous. Senator Clinton today reiterated that when asked about Geraldine Ferraro’s recent comments:
“I do not agree with that and you know it’s regrettable that any of our supporters on both sides say things that veer off into the personal. We ought to keep this focused on the issues. That’s what this campaign should be about.
Senator Obama’s campaign staff seems to have forgotten his pledge. We have not. And, we reject these false, personal and politically calculated attacks on the eve of a primary. This campaign should be about the leadership we need for a better future and these attacks serve only to divide the Democratic Party and the American people."
So don't call it "racism." Call it "campaign strategy aimed at Pennsylvania." Which James Carville has allegedly described as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, with Alabama in between 'em. White Alabama.
Whether he said it or not, it appears someone is taking him seriously. Any doubt this is simply going to get uglier?