The Republican Party of North Carolina is running an ad which features that footage of Barack Obama's preacher, Jeremiah Wright uttering his now-infamous imprecation for God to damn America.
The ad is not in opposition to Barack Obama; nor is it an ad in favor of John McCain. It is an ad aimed at the two Democratic candidates for North Carolina Governor.
The ad (and there is a link to it on today's Secret Decoder Ring page) attempts to make this case:
- Wright was Obama's "spiritual advisor" for 20 years.
- Wright is on record of saying some fairly awful things.
- Obama is a Democrat.
- Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue and State Treasurer Richard Moore are Democrats running in the primary for Governor on May 6.
- Each has endorsed Barack Obama for President.
- Perdue and Moore are "too extreme for North Carolina."
I have worked with State Parties off and on for more than three decades. This is the kind of ad which (a) seems like it was written over greasy cheeseburgers and cheap beer on a paper napkin, (b) sounded like a really good idea at the time, because (c) it would tie the North Carolina gubernatorial race to the Presidential primary, thus (d) providing a terrific fundraising opportunity, and (e) could be produced for $1.47.
John McCain immediately condemned it, which irritated the right wingers of the GOP but that was not enough for the main stream media. The New York Times, which has resolved to be the nation's decider of what is acceptable in this campaign and what is not (after spanking Hillary Clinton for the race she ran in Pennsylvania):
"Unless Mr. McCain quickly gets control of his party, we fear there will be worse to come."
Which caused Barack Obama, who would have been better off keeping away from anything having to do with Jeremiah Wright (but couldn't) to say: "I assume that if John McCain thinks that it's an inappropriate ad that he can get them to pull it down, since he's their nominee and standard bearer."
Which demonstrates, at a minimum, a willful ignorance of the way State Parties operate.
Dear Mr. Mullings:
We could have gone for the whole rest of our lives - indeed we could have gone for the whole rest of the history of the Planet Earth - without having to deal with the mental image of Hillary Clinton being spanked. Thank you SO much.
Let us not forget who was the first person to interject Race into this election cycle. It was not the North Carolina GOP. It was the once-sainted William Jefferson Clinton.
From ABC's Jake Tapper on January 26, 2008:
Said Bill Clinton today in Columbia, SC: "Jesse Jackson won South Carolina in '84 and '88. Jackson ran a good campaign. And Obama ran a good campaign here."
Boy, I can't understand why anyone would think the Clintons are running a race-baiting campaign to paint Obama as "the black candidate."
Not only that, but the Washington Post put Race on its front page this weekend in a piece headed:
Party Fears Racial Divide
Attacks Could Do Lasting Harm, Democrats Say
In the piece, reporters Jonathan Weisman and Matthew Mosk wrote that following the Pennsylvania primary:
[Clinton's] backers may be convinced that only she can win the white, working-class voters that the Democratic nominee will need in the general election, but many African American leaders say a Clinton nomination - handed to her by superdelegates - would result in a disastrous breach with black voters.
The House Majority Whip, James E. Clyburn (D-SC), who is Black, said in the WashPost article:
"We keep talking as if it doesn't matter that Obama gets 92 percent of the black vote, because since he only got 35 percent of the white vote, he's in trouble. Well, Hillary Clinton only got 8 percent of the black vote. . . . It's almost saying black people don't matter."
Oh, yeah. This is all the fault of the North Carolina GOP. They're the ones bringing Race into this deal.
Here's the short hand: Republicans have nothing in this. The Racial thing in this cycle is between a White woman and a Black man for the Democratic nomination.
John McCain was correct: It's the Democrats' mess and it is going to get worse before it gets better.