Posted by D. Cupples| Barack Obama reportedly said this at a speech yesterday:
“'My attitude is that Senator Clinton can run as long as she wants,' Mr. Obama, of Illinois, said at a news conference in a high school gymnasium here. 'Her name is on the ballot. She is a fierce and formidable opponent, and she obviously believes she would make the best nominee and the best president.'” (New York Times)
Contrast that statement to the strongly implied message his campaign sent out in a March 5th email, signed by Obama Campaign manager David Plouffe:
"The task for the Clinton campaign yesterday was clear. In order to have a plausible path to the nomination, they needed to score huge delegate victories and cut into our lead.
"It's clear, though, that Senator Clinton wants to continue an increasingly desperate, increasingly negative -- and increasingly expensive -- campaign to tear us down.
"That's her decision...."
The text doesn't explicitly say "Hillary should get out." Instead, it says that Hillary failed to get enough votes to remain a "plausible" contender and that her continued campaigning is "desperate."
It doesn't take a PhD in linguistics to spot the inherent message: Hillary has no business staying in the race.
This message was sent in early March, one day after Hillary won by double digits in Ohio.
Even before Plouffe's email, Obama-friendly media outlets called for Hillary to drop out. Newsweek's Jonathan Alter urged her to drop out before the Ohio primary.
Naturally, Sen. Obama is not directly responsible for what the media does, but he is responsible for the timing of his own public statements.
Why didn't Sen. Obama counter the Hillary-should-drop-out chanting three or four weeks ago, before it grew to a thunderous crescendo in the media?
This isn't the first time I've wondered about Sen. Obama's sense of timing. I also wondered why he hadn't shared his valuable insights on the important issue of racial injustice until after the Reverend Wright embarrassed Obama's campaign with racist hate speech.
An equally good time for Sen. Obama to have shared his race-related insights was before the South Carolina primary, when many Obama supporters and media personalities began falsely accusing the Clintons of racism.
One brief but inspirational speech from Sen. Obama pointing out the absurdity of such accusations could have stopped them.
Instead, Sen. Obama sat silently on the sidelines -- hands safely tucked in his pockets, shielded from the flying mud -- while his campaign benefited from the slandering, libeling, and general bloodying of fellow Democrats who, incidentally, had supported Obama's 2004 U.S. Senate run.
Memeorandum has commentary. I'll be happy to forward the Plouffe email to anyone who emails me [email@example.com].
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