Is the Hillary Campaign Playing the Skins Game Again?

9 03 2008

I have been holding my proverbial blogger tongue on this issue waiting to see if this meme will catch fire or pop up in the mainstream media, but alas it was drowned out by Hillary’s stunning wins in Texas and Ohio. Predictable.

For those of you who don’t know the Clinton campaign released an Obama attack ad in the run up to the Texas primary featuring a much darker complected version of Obama ala the O.J. Simpson cover of Time magazine in the 1990s. Voters were asked to consider who do you think would keep you and your little ones (all of whom were white in the ad) safe in world fraught with unknowable threats. A blogger at Daily Kos originally spotted the difference in portrayl of Obama’s skin tone, AmericaBlog expounded upon it, and Spencer Ackerman agreed that this is yet again another rather suspicious coincidence given the Clintons pattern of race baiting on the campaign trail.

But Kevin Drum, like an oh so good liberal, wants us to give the Clinton campaign the benefit of the doubt. He instructs the rest of us in the blogosphere that:

Darkening images is fairly standard practice in attack ads, and FactCheck suggests that the Clinton campaign may have done it here. But if they did, it’s pretty damn subtle when you compare the original source material instead of stuff that’s been sent through the YouTube mill.

Hillary Clinton is running a rough campaign, and I’m pretty unhappy with some of her tactics, but that’s no reason to start hauling out all the old Clinton-hating artillery we came to know and love in the 90s. This ad isn’t evidence of race-baiting or anything else. Time to move on.

Oh please. Time to move on my ass. I think Kevin Drum is a smart and fair minded cat, but it definitely isn’t time to move on. There needs to be white hot scrutiny of how the Clinton camp have race baited throughout this campaign. (See my commentary on this issue here and here and here and here and here and here.) Honestly, if Republicans initiated the type of the robo calls, disseminated the emails about Obama him growing up in a madrassa, and the accussed him of quote “shucking and jiving,” the way Clinton surrogates have, we would be too busy talking about how they could not live down the legacy of the Southern strategy. But we are supposed to “move on” when Democrats do it? Fuck that.

That said, and others have noted that the YouTube clip is darker than the digital copies of the debate in Texas. And that the each of the frames of the ad are darker in shading than the original footage. So, bloggers who base their analysis of those clips may be using an unreliable source.


But how different is it really? I may be wrong on this, but even accounting for the poorer video quality of clips below there still a noticeable difference that simply can’t be explained away. For what its worth, you can read a fairly detailed analysis here by, who I should point out does not see anything maliciously prejudicial in the attack ad.

Watch the clips and judge for yourself.

Here is the Clinton attack ad entitled, “True.” Drop the needle at the 30 second mark and compare.

Note: Ironically enough, the little girl in the ad will be of voting age this fall and plans to cast her ballot for Obama in November. She also said she was interested in filming a counter ad for the Obama campaign too.

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3 responses

9 03 2008

I suspect that Obama’s time is better spent becoming President so that he can get to the task of straightening out the mess created by the Neoconservatives who created the Iraq fiasco and helped by Hillary who voted for it.

9 03 2008

I agree.

10 03 2008
A Running Commentary

She’ll stop at nothing…

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