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In Focus: How Low Can Hill Go?

So Obama's decked out in Somali regalia and the Clinton campaign thinks it can profit by it? Not an Islamic or Christian prayer, Hillary. Michael Weiss rounds up blogger reaction to today's headlining Drudge photo.

by
Michael Weiss

Bio

February 25, 2008 - 3:00 am

“Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it,” says Malcolm of the executed Thane of Cawdor in Macbeth. It’s a safe assumption that Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspiration will not terminate with like grace and dignity.

The Drudge Report today carried a large photograph of Barack Obama decked out in the garb of a Somali Elder, taken during his visit to Wajir, a rural area in northeastern Kenya, two years ago. And guess who’s been circulating the pic of a turbaned black man running for president?

“Wouldn’t we be seeing this on the cover of every magazine if it were HRC?,” said one Clinton staffer, reveling in what he thinks is “gotcha” campaign schadenfreude.

As if it were not enough that the Clintonistas have tried to stir a scandal with an innocuous image of Obama doing what politicians do when they travel abroad and going native in clothes and custom, they’re now berating Obama’s camp for being appalled at their behavior!

Mike Allen at The Politico reports:

The Clinton campaign issued an official response to the growing tempest – but the statement from campaign manager Maggie Williams did not respond to the central question of whether staffers circulated the photo.

“Enough,” [Clinton campaign manager Maggie] Williams said in the statement. “If Barack Obama’s campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing is divisive, they should be ashamed. Hillary Clinton has worn the traditional clothing of countries she has visited and had those photos published widely.

Next the Clinton camp will accuse Obama of fathering a black child in wedlock.

Marc Ambinder is unsure that Team Clinton is to blame: “We’re at the stage of the campaign where both campaigns lose perspective and are willing to believe the absolute worst about each other on the basis of an assertion. And that Manichean perspective then cause said campaign to imputing the absolute worst motivations to their opponents.”

“Dating and campaigning have something in common,” says Ed Morrissey. “The reek of desperation does not act as an aphrodisiac on potential suitors.”

Peter Wehner at The Corner groans: “Twenty-four hours from now I suspect we’ll see virtually the entire Democratic establishment, and many others, condemning this tactic. It’ll advance the storyline that the Clinton campaign is spinning out of control – lurching from melancholy valedictory comments one day to faux outrage the next – and in its dying days.”

At TNR‘s The Plank, Jason Zengerle is none too fond of Drudge either: “[W]hile I don’t think Hillary should drop out before Texas and Ohio, her withdrawal would mean that if the GOP wanted to smear Obama, they’d have to do it without hiding behind her.”

Michael Weiss is the New York Editor of PJ Media.

Michael Weiss is a senior editor of Tablet Magazine and a culture blogger for The New Criterion. He also writes occasionally for Slate, The Weekly Standard, City Journal, The New York Daily News and Standpoint.
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