Hillary’s ‘Southern Strategy’: Muslim-Baiting

So this is the big secret that Hillary’s campaign is trying to warn us will crop up like some old floozie of Bill’s to wreck the Dems chances if they nominate Obama? Hillary surrogate Senator Bob Kerrey casually tossed out this little bon mot on Sunday: “It’s probably not something that appeals to him, but I like the fact that his name is Barack Hussein Obama, and that his father was a Muslim and that his paternal grandmother is a Muslim. There’s a billion people on the planet that are Muslims and I think that experience is a big deal.” Kerrey added, “He’s got a whale of a lot more intellectual talent than I’ve got as well.”

So was Kerrey’s smarmy bit of racist fear-mongering endorsed by Hillary? Plausible denial, we’re sure. And what is Kerrey’s reward for stooping this low? You really expect better from a fellow whose day job is running the New School than to come off like some country-club racist:

Oh, isn’t it just charming that Obama (rhymes with Osama) just happens to have the middle name of the former Iraqi dictator. Muslims, you gotta love ’em. And there’s a billion of them, you know. Very important experience that young Barack HUSSEIN Obama has there. Wonder why he doesn’t make more of it?

I guess this is the equivalent from a clearly panicked Clinton camp of Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy,” unsubtly telegraphing message of fear and loathing to a racist base.

Actually, it may be more like the Polish election campaign strategy of that scumbag Lech Walesa in 1990, which pushed the idea that his rival, Solidarity President Tadeusz Mazowiecki, was actually Jewish. That Mazowiecki was actually Catholic was beside the point (Obama, by the way, is a church-going Christian); the point was to trade on the residual anti-Semitism of a section of the Polish electorate.

A sad, day, I’m afraid for a Democratic Party whose front-running candidate is a lot longer on personal ambition than on vision. Tested candidate, indeed…

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25 Responses to Hillary’s ‘Southern Strategy’: Muslim-Baiting

  1. Pat S. says:

    Have you been following the controversy over Perry Bacon’s story on this in the Washington Post?


  2. Tony says:

    I hadn’t really followed it. Hmm. Unfortunately, that piece suggests the media is now obsessed with defending Perry Bacon personally, whereas it seems from even the WaPo ombudsman statement that the story seems to have been a hatchet job — which, surely, is the more important focus…

  3. Tony says:

    Does make me wonder, though, if this is now some ‘talking points’ initiative from Clinton’s oppo-research team…

  4. Adam Wozniak says:

    I read the article about the 1990 election in Poland. I was twelve then:)). But the weirdest thing is, in hindsight, the then freak candidate Tyminski turned out to be right (as far as his prediction of the final effects of Balcerowicz reforms went).

  5. John Y says:

    Hillary you just lost my vote, even in the general election. Stooping to Karl Rove’s tactics against a fellow Democrat is inexcusable in my book. Really disappointing.

  6. Marjorie says:

    In the much vaunted tightly run Clinton campaign rather a lot of “mis-speaks’ seem to be gushing forth for which Hillary then apologizes and gleans yet more publicity. I for one don’t buy that they’re accidental. Bill is dissembling like mad again (opposed the Iraq war from the start. anyone?)and I am suspicious about his own ambitions. Like Putin he desperately wants to be back in the seat of power and to hog the limelight again but like Putin he’s ineligible to run. His wife makes a convenient surrogate and his desperation to get her elected is as much about him as her. The Bush/Clinton dynasties need to be stopped in their tracks before we complete the transformation to banana republic.

  7. Bernard Chazelle says:

    With Kerrey’s endorsement, looks like Hillary has gotten the war criminal vote all locked up.

  8. Scott says:

    Tony, would you rather have Hillary do this now, or Giuliani or someone do it in the fall? Someone will do it, it’s just a question of when. No democracy in history as been immune from stuff like this. If you want to have government by enlightened, unelected, councils of elders, bring it on. And by the way, the Barack HUSSEIN Obama tactic will be more effective in the fall, and the consequences likely worse for the country.

  9. george says:

    “You really expect better from a fellow whose day job is running the New School than to come off like some country-club racist:”

    No, I really don’t. Not when I consider his war criminal past in Vietnam.

  10. saifedean says:

    Scott has provided us with the reason why this tactic might work for Clinton.

    Her people are not really trying to tap into anti-Muslim hatred (at least not primarily), rather, they want to tap into the fear that anti-Muslim fear will come into play in the general election, derail the Democrats and hand the election on a silver plate to a Republican. If Scott is any indication, it seems to be working a charm.

    The best thing about it, of course, is that Democrats and liberals can disguise their hatred of Muslims and blacks as concern over other people’s hatred of Muslims and blacks.

  11. Shlomo says:


    I’d much much much rather have a Republican do it. I’d rather have a Republican president do it in 2008, than have Hillary Clinton win the presidency.

    If Hillary wins the presidency, then the Bush-Cheney Lite brand of bigotry will emerge as the Democratic consensus, and the idea that bombing many Muslims helps us fight terror will emerge as a bipartisan consensus.

    Basically, you will have no real choice on foreign policy for this generation. One side will be saying we need to smoke out the terrorists, and the other side will only be saying that we’ll screw over the world to fight terrorism.

    No, it’s better to have a Republican president for four more years. That way, the Clinton model of nice healthcare plans and retarded foreign policies will be thoroughly discredited. So will Bush-Cheney Chaos Theory, as I’m sure that whoever the Republicans elect will self-destruct, because that’s all you can do in the context of a “War on Terror.”

    Then, someone with a real foreign policy can be nominated for the Dems in ’08, and everyone will hate the Republicans so much that the Dems will win.

    Ideally, though, Obama will win now (or Biden, or Richardson, or maybe Edwards). If not, I’m campaigning for the GOP next year.

  12. ajea says:

    Tony . . .OT

    Please thank everyone at TIME for ditching Krauthammer and Kristol.

  13. Jorge says:

    I can only say this: I will not vote for Hillary Clinton if she is the Democratic nominee. And that’s saying a lot.

  14. Y.Ben-David says:

    Ajea-why are you glad that TIME got rid of various columnists you don”t like? Isn’t a newsmagazine supposed to present different viewpoints, or just one’s you like? Freedom of speech means allowing EVEN THOSE YOU DISAGREE WITH to speak out, or weren’t you aware of that? (BTW-I am no fan of Kristol and Krauthammer).

  15. Pat S. says:

    Y. B-D-Loc, it’s possible he’s happy that two guys whose opinions have been invalidated by events are no longer being asked to speak as if they are experts on those very events. It’s more than just who you agree with; it goes to credibility.

    I’m no Hillary fan. I hope the Democrats are brave enough to put Obama out there and run with him. And should Giuliani be the GOP nominee, I hope he gets hammered for being to the right of Bush on foreign policy.

  16. Matthew says:

    America needs someone to hate. Since African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Jewish Americans are vocal and organized, who is left? Hence, the coded language (Kerrey), the promises never to appoint one to his cabinet (Romney), and the endless hate speech on A.M. Radio and CNN (Glen Beck).

    The irony, is that the Arab states are rapidly buying up huge chunks of America. Next stop: The media companies? I hope they follow Rupert the Australian’s lead and massively interfere with the content. It would be nice to see this story in CNN: “Muslims built something today. Lou Dobbs and Glen Beck have no comment.”

  17. Jorge says:

    Politics is rough and dirty.

    We can complain all we want but it is what it is.

    In the end, we will evolve into something else. A partner in a multi-national corporation probably. Only Rep. K seems interested in stopping things, followed by Edwards. But neither stands much of a chance in this politlcal arena.

    Sadly, we are headed for a brave new world.

  18. Brendan says:

    I am astounded that you call Lech Walesa a “scumbag”. I accept that he is/was flawed and that there are moments from his political career that merit criticism; but ,on balance, he made a remarkable contribution to both his country and Europe in the late 20th Century.

    Your name-calling is one-dimenional, disrespectful and childish. What other national leaders (past or present) do you treat with similar disdain: Bush, Blair, Thatcher, Sheron?

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