But is it merely an innocuous coincidence that in Hillary's allusion, both MLK and Obama are African Americans and LBJ and Hillary are the white people who are presumably necessary to get things done? Why else would she choose the MLK and LBJ example? Hillary might be insensitive, but she's not tone deaf.
I am truly not trying to be provocative or incendiary here, and it's sad that we even have to raise these questions, but it's entirely appropriate given the Democrats' insistence on playing identity politics and the Clinton's history of utilizing unconscionably dirty tactics born of cold political calculations.
The likelihood of coincidence is further reduced by what followed. When the press started asking her about her MLK/LBJ statement, she immediately accused the Obama campaign of injecting racial tension into the contest. Yet Obama forces, as far as we know, hadn't yet responded to her statement.
"This is an unfortunate story line the Obama campaign has pushed very successfully," she said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "I don't think this campaign is about gender, and I sure hope it's not about race."
But you'll note that Obama had not used the race card against Hillary. Hillary brought up the subject herself and then falsely accused Obama of having raised it so that she could deftly "respond" and perhaps neutralize his presumed race advantage with Democratic voters.
Hillary was employing a tactic I'll call preemptive, pro-active political Jiu-Jitsu. The art of Jiu-Jitsu involves using an attacker's energy against him rather than directly opposing it. But Hillary modified the Jiu-Jitsu technique by fabricating her opponent's attack so that she could react and score points -- on race.
She used the same modified Jiu-Jitsu approach in New Hampshire in appealing to women. She skillfully exploited the near-tear moment to show her human side and then falsely accused mostly unnamed men of sexism for saying she looked weak and unpresidential (who said that?), thereby appealing to women for solidarity against this largely fictitious attack.
But employing this tactic on race is far riskier and might backfire against this very white former first lady, even if she is married to the "first black president."
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