January 14th, 2008
06:55 PM ET

“Racial fires burning brightly”?


Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama at University of Nevada (PHOTO CREDIT: AP)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

For one brief moment after Barack Obama won the Iowa caucuses, it looked like we might have actually outgrown our petty racial bickering in this country.

It didn't matter that Obama had run a dignified, intelligent campaign without so much as the mention of race. The people who have an interest in keeping the country divided along racial lines couldn't wait to get started. Do you realize how many morons would go through the rest of their lives ignored and irrelevant if we could ever get over the racial garbage?

Now the racial fires are burning brightly once again.

The last two days, we've seen the Obama and Clinton camps embroiled in accusations that are steeped in race. Hillary Clinton is defending her recent remarks on civil rights. She's suggesting that Obama's campaign distorted what she said in an effort to inject race into the contest.

For his part, Obama has dismissed Clinton's suggestion, saying "the notion that somehow this is our doing is ludicrous." Obama is also describing her earlier comments about the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. as "unfortunate" and "ill-advised."

The Clintons find themselves in unusual territory here, when you consider that Bill Clinton was once dubbed "America's first black president."

Meanwhile, all this comes as large numbers of black voters are getting ready to go to the polls in South Carolina.

Ultimately, it looks like the big loser here could be the Democratic Party. If the winner of the primary, whoever it is, wants to beat the Republican's candidate, he or she will need the full support of a unified party - not one torn apart by racial politics.

Here’s my question to you: Why can't the Democrats conduct a primary campaign without it degenerating into racial politics?

To see the Cafferty File Video click here 

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Elsie from Milpitas, California writes:
As a black woman, I liked both Obama and Clinton. But I am leaning more toward Obama and this has nothing to do with the recent racial comments. I think the Clintons need to drop this topic because they are making it worse in their attempts to clarify. America is tired of nasty politicians. I am sick of it – we should be focused on the issues. I never thought this would happen but I am getting sick of the games the Clintons are playing.

California voter writes:
Jack, I think you can answer this question yourself. The media is playing a major role in fueling any potentially "racial" and "sexist" comments by the Democrats. Republicans running are all white males, not much excitement there! Get back to the issues!

Jack from Laurel Springs, New Jersey writes:
It was disgusting to see Bob Johnson skippering the Clinton Swift Boat, attacking Barack Obama. As a white guy, I'm disgusted to see this campaign turning to race baiting.

Miles from Vero Beach, Florida writes:
Howard Dean, as chairman of the Democratic Party, needs to invoke a version of Ronald Reagan's 11th commandment. He needs to unite his candidates against their mutual opponents, those who support a third George W. Bush term in office. The longer Dean waits, the more damage is done to his party, who will lose against a dog catcher in November.

Larry from Boca Raton, Florida writes:
Hillary Clinton is now scrambling to hold onto the black vote. Her act is so staged. I notice how she packed her audience in South Carolina with black participants. She is so calculating and so manipulative that it's scary.

Cee writes:
Look in the mirror, Jack. It's not the Democrats who are fanning the flames of racist commentary, it's people in the media who are blowing throw away comments into a bonfire. Back off. Find another question. This one stinks; it's the kind that makes Karl Rove smile. Instead why not ask , "Do you think it is indicative of the essence of the Republican Party that none of their front runners is either black or a woman?"

Filed under: Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (256 Responses)
  1. Tammy Klenner

    Robert Johnson cannot or will not stop sexist, racist language on his own network. Why would Senator Clinton use him as a surrogate and does her doing so indicate a lack of good judgment with regard to the people with whom she surrounds herself?

    January 14, 2008 at 2:30 pm |

    The reason is because blacks vote democrat! And they both want to win badly so they are pulling out all the stops. Just like the Republicans want the church votes, the dems feel much pasion for the black vote. And my question for you is, why dont the republicans feel the need to even ask or try to get any black votes? They seem as if they could give a damn on what blacks, gays, or any other minoritys think or feel. That is why i will always vote for a deomocrat.

    January 14, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  3. Lois

    But you see Jack, I don't think they are - I think the responses and the media are both making something out of nothing. Hillary Clinton was simply talking about how Martin Luther King was a catalyst to the Congress, and then LBJ changing civil rights in this country. MLK couldn't do it alone, laws needed to be changed, and ultimately, that had to get a President's signature. But I don't think anyone is making MLK's role in it any less signficant than it quite obviously was. It just seems like people are reading something that very much isn't there.

    January 14, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  4. Jane

    They use the race card because they have no other platform.

    January 14, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  5. the wizard

    the republicans are danceing in the street that these two are at each others throat.
    and just think, are there know better issues that come to mind better than rehashing the sixies. tell me jack that it's just a flash back and not real.
    bowling green, mo.

    January 14, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  6. Sam

    You know Jack maybe it's because the Democratic Party has a lot of racially motivated people. When you have the Al Sharpton's and the Jesse Jackson's in your party race will alway raise it head.
    It's about time that they looked around themselves and found out that people really are not that motivated by all their race talk. They look for any small thing that Clinton or Edwards might say so that they can make Obama look as though he is being slurred.
    It's about time they took race out of it and look for the best candidate that will help our country out of the mess we're in right now. If it's Obama. . . okay that's fine . . . but if it's Clinton or Edwards, that's also fine.

    January 14, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  7. Nina Tyler

    Dear Jack, I am sick of both clinton and obama. I am going to write "none of the above" and write in Lou Dobbs.

    January 14, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  8. Patricia

    Because forty years after the Civil Rights Act and Dr. King's assassination, race is still a divisive issue in our country. Racism may be less blatant these days, and perhaps our younger citizens are less influenced by it, but it's still THERE. Senator Obama's entry into the presidential race was bound to bring to the surface old resentments and prejudices, which are exacerbated by the 24/7 parsing of every utterance of the candidates and their supporters.
    The Republicans, on the other hand, don't have to deal with diverse elements in their party – there are none.


    January 14, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  9. Jack

    How can you expect Bill Clinton, the first self proclaimed Black President, to give up his mantle to an African American man like Barack Obama? It's only natural to keep it in the family. First Hillary receieves the mantle, then after two terms she can pass the mantle on to Chelsea.

    January 14, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  10. David Karrfalt

    Must a candidate win at any cost? NO! A presidential candidate should acknowledge at the outset than when and if it becomes clear that a majority prefers another candidate, then that reality has to be recognized and acknowledged. There are many aspects to argument and debate. Does one campaign to get elected at any cost? (In Pakistan or Kenya, perhaps.) Or does one campaign to determine if the voters agree that one should be elected? Should one debate because one MUST sell one’s own ideas, platforms, and values? Or should one debate to bring out and bring about the best ideas and programs? One of the classical distinctions is between the speaker who argues to win the argument and the speaker who argues to get to the truth. While some of truth may be beyond reality, much of the truth is reality itself. There are stages of desperation, no doubt. Nevertheless, if the reality is that the voters prefer candidate A, then candidate B should concede that preference, and for candidate B to insist on one’s own candidacy against that reality is to take a first step (at least within one’s character) toward totalitarianism. We need no more of that!

    January 14, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  11. Shy

    When did "fairytale" become a racial slur? Listen to the entire speech. He is talking about Obama’s stance on the war. Not his run for presidency. Shame on CNN for fueling this fire. Shame on the Obama's for capitalizing on it. Is any criticism of Obama going to be a racial slur? This is not how our first black president should be elected. He will win by default because no one wants to get labeled a racist. BTW I usually have CNN all day at work. I switch the channel now whenever this story comes on. QVC is better than listening to the trumped up racist charges

    January 14, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  12. Don Bezler

    Jack, If the DAMB MEDIA would keep there nose out of those remarks trying
    to start a fight MOST people WOULD mever KNOW they were made.

    January 14, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  13. Patricia

    I think it's you all in the press that have made Sen. Obama's candidacy about race. From the moment that Sen. Obama announced he was running the first thing I saw in the press was a question about whether his race was going to be a problem. Neither Sen. Clinton nor Sen. Edwards said anything about Sen. Obama's race. But, everytime either Sen. Clinton or her surrogates say anything about any type of stand Sen. Obama took on an issue, the press says that the Clinton campaign are attacking Sen. Obama because of his race, or his youthful dabbling into drugs. Sen. Clinton is not attacking Sen. Obama because of his race or his youthful drug use, she is trying to get him to talk about why he took one stand on a certain issue & then fliped-floped on the same issue. Stop fighting Sen. Obama's Race War for him & let's get his answers to the issues he's being asked about.
    Now, I'm not going to be voting for either Sen. Obama or Sen. Clinton, I'm voting for John Edwards, but, I just don't like how the press has tried to kill Sen. Clinton's campaign on a non-issue.

    January 14, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  14. Nate

    What is troubling me most about all of this is how you in the media keep saying that the campaigns are going back and forth when all I see is one campaign making the all the negative statements. I have been watching this whole thing and the Obama campaign has said nothing about Mrs Clinton's Statements yet she and the media keeps claiming They have. It was Clyburn and Shalayla who had issues with Senator Clintons statements not the Obama campaign. To say that the Obama campaign is playing the race card when Its The Clintons who keep making errors and having to defend them (and in doing so they blame the Obama campaign for their own mistakes) is just unfair and will cause a divide.

    I voted for President Clinton twice, but I no longer like the Clintons. I now see their true colors.

    St. Louis

    January 14, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  15. James

    Jack this one is simple. ... its politics. Obama needs to divide the Black vote in South Carolina in order to beat Hillary. Republicans are loving this one. You would think Obama and Hillary could figure this one out. So much for the CHANGE we keep hearing about. Same ole politics with a different twist. ... This time we have a black man usinig the race card. Somehow I don't think that is what Martin Luther King Jr. had in mind.

    January 14, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  16. Ralph

    Jack, if the Democrats want to see their candidate elected President, they must choose someone who will be accepted throughout our country. The fire of racism still burns brightly in many of our states, and not just in the South. We are too divided to accept one of a minority race as our President. We can say the same about females too, and we may not be ready to elect a woman as yet, regardlkess of the popularity Hillary enjoys presently.

    January 14, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  17. THELMA

    hey jack it's not CLINTON being racial. it's the media trying to make more news by putting her down. you boys just don't know how to treat a LADY . CLINTON has been put down enough. she can takeanything that comes her way and still hold her head HIGH. do you think it's strange that oprah has never endorsed a WHITE man for president? if this don't get the women out to vote for CLINTON they will never be recognized as a person with a voice .just look how good the CLINTONS took care of us when MR. CLINTON WAS PRESIDENT. we can have that again if the people can open their eyes and ears and VOTE CLINTON 08......................THELMA KY.

    January 14, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  18. Lewis Dennis

    First off I would like to begin my comment that I am an African-American and I do not need to be reminded of that fact every time a political conversation comes up.That seems to be the only way the Democratic Party(of which I am a registered member) thinks it has to do to get my vote and attention.Well guess what War,The economy,Healthcare,paying my mortgage,and( tax relief to someone other than Mobile or Chrysler) are all getting my attention.Give me a break these are not urban problems they are American problems.Stop thinking that all Black people need victim rap and some sense of oppression to be mobilized.Clinton has every right to attack Sen.Obama its politics ,but please lets stick to the issues then one day someone might say "thank you Mr./Madam President for remembering America has a voice outside TheFortune 500 club.

    January 14, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  19. Stan

    I thought you guys (the press) always made it about race. Also, aren't you stereotyping ALL Democrats when you make that accusation? Certainly a Republican would never make an issue of race....

    January 14, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  20. Alex D. from Harvard, MA

    Well, Jack, I think it's a little early to tell if the primary campaign has fully degenerated into racial politics...

    ...or, rather, if the very nature of politics these days is representation by degenerates. Without a clear frontrunner, of course the Democratic party appears to be split among petty lines, whether it be the gender politics of Hilary and the "iron my shirt" debacle, or the debate over whether Senator Obama is "Black enough." We must remember, though, that the general election is months and months away. Our primary system is designed to give the potential electorate many options in picking a nominee for their party's presidential ticket. Perhaps you'd be asking whether our system of representative democracy was near death if there were two political parties in this country with two undisputed frontrunners. George Washington wished for a lack of partisanship it total; perhaps we can honor him slightly by at least allowing some diversity among parties. In short, Jack, I'm not worried about racial politics turning this primary season sour. All politics, and all primaries, have got me pretty bitter already.

    January 14, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  21. Weyata

    This is exactly why I feel we need a president like Barack Obama that will unite us as a country and not exacerbate the evils of racial divide. This accomplishes nothing but insist that we as Americans are still small minded. I truly hope we can get pass this and move on to the issues that matters, better schools, health care, jobs, etc.

    Weyata in Gaithersburg, MD

    January 14, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  22. California voter

    Jack, I think you can answer this question yourself. The media is playing a major role in fueling any potentially "racial" and "sexist" comments by the Democrats. Republicans running are all white males – not much excitement there! Get back to the issues!

    January 14, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  23. jackee

    This is a race for the highest office in our country. Hillary has a right to defend her-
    self! She's been misquoted-even in your CNN poll question , this morning. It's the media's job to report the news, not rewrite it, for your ratings. come on guys,your starting to look an awful lot like the "F" network! Are you trying to help
    perpetuate this racial divide? I don't see this much time being spent on the gender
    issue. Could it be that Hillary has not thrown that issue in our faces, unlike Obama and the race issue. HE can't even keep the issue of church and state
    seperate! When did we start giving presisential speeches (preaching) in churches!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 14, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  24. Katy Hill Prescott, Az.

    The Democrats have a need to self destruct before they can be beaten by the Republicans. It is shameful and disgusting and they deserve to lose. As an independent my vote now goes to McCain.

    January 14, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  25. Rosalind Johnson

    The media is not going to be happy until all of the candidates cave into this feeding frenzy, which the media started, and then devour each other. I am so tired of this. Barack Obama whom I support is a great candidate and person. Hillary Clinton is also a good candidate.

    If Barack Obama does not become the nominee of the Democratic Party, I can and will vote for her. I can and will vote for John Edwards

    Stop! Let the voters decide on the issues, not on contrived non-issues. Collect your pay checks by doing your job, REPORTING THE NEWS, not by making it up.

    January 14, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  26. LCB

    If Obama would had not insulted the American public by comparing himself to MLK, or JFK, we would not be in the middle of a racial campaign. I, as an American, minority, and an independent voter, found his remarks and those of his camp, insulting. I summit he has been ill-adviced, and mostly has offended me, a undecided voter. Shame on him and his camp. Issues, it's the issues!

    January 14, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  27. JS

    It really troubles me that as a nation we are so black and white along with the rest of the melting pot. As a 50 yr old caucassion I have lived all these past racial differences. When do we say enough is enough memorialize those in the past and forge forward into the future, MAKE CHANGE for we are the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Oh, wasn't that the platform of Sen.Obama.

    January 14, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  28. David A. Skidmore

    Forget History ? Let's remember that the Civil Rights Bills would never have pass ed except for President Johnson. Without his push of the bills, it might have taken from 5 to 10 years. Seems like we only think of President Johnson and the Viet Nam War. Kind of like GW Bish and the Iraq War. David Skidmore

    January 14, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  29. Lynn

    I think the media is as responsible as anyone. They drag out all their black reporters to cover these 'black stories'. What do these reporters do the rest of the time? These reporters then call up every crazy black civil rights nut job to give their 'expert opinion'.

    I am sick of hearing about 09/11 and this stupid war and I am darn sure not wanting to listen to race issues for the next four years, nor do I wish to have another four years of the republican extremists trying to tear down another Clinton.

    People would find something wrong with The Dalai freakin' Lama if he ran for President.

    I want Obama to win, but I do not want four years of listening to people rant and rave about race. I am just not sure how I will vote now.

    January 14, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  30. Stewart

    Mr. Jack:
    It's the media stupid. You know, the certain media folk that enjoy making the news rather than reporting the news. MSNBC should be fined for it. CNN needs to be very careful and protect your good reputation during this campaign. It far too important to you, me and the world for a respectable news organization to add to the fray. All the American people need is the facts; we are quite capable of making up our own minds.

    January 14, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  31. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    This is all a tempest in a teapot. No one wants to talk about the real issues anymore,the Iraq war,the economy,the sub-prime meltdown,the environment or anything else. Both Obama and Clinton supporters and detractors spend countless hours looking for anything said or done so they can dissect it and make it into a sound bite taken completely out of context. Al Sharpton,Jesse Jackson and Karl Rove are the masters of this technique,just ask John Kerry,Al Gore and Don Imus!

    January 14, 2008 at 3:29 pm |


    January 14, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  33. Ceee

    Look in the mirror, Jack. It's not the Dems who are fanning the flames of racist commentary; it's people in the media who are blowing throw away comments into a bonfire. Back off. Find another question. This one stinks; it's the kind that makes Karl Rove smile. Instead why not ask , "Do you think it is indicative of the essence of the Republican Party that none of their front runners is either black or a woman?"

    January 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  34. Vinnie Vino

    It's all Oprah Winfrey's fault...

    January 14, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  35. Mike

    Clintons are using good old Bush politics.
    Bringing up divisive issues like race & gender.
    Not change just good old Washington politics.

    January 14, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  36. Beth from Michigan

    It sounds like they're scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to debating points. Is the only difference between Hillary and Barac race and gender?

    January 14, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  37. Jason


    Hillary seems to think from her recent remarks that a former President did more for race equality & civil rights than did Dr. King. Its a shame that she keeps shooting herself in the foot by making racially undertoned remarks, this country needs a change and either it's gonna be a woman President or a Black President. America has a outstanding, charismatic black man running for President and he's playing it cool as a cucumber, and not using HIS race as a factor. I am an Independent voter, but am leaning towards Barack and YES I'm white. Hillary should be way out in front but Bill is killing her chances. Barack is formidable now and Ron Paul would be a nice choice for V.P IF Barack should win the Democratic Nomination

    January 14, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  38. Carole

    Everyone knows the clintons will do anything to win at this point. They tried the drug thing, the religion of his father thing, hinted he was a drug dealer, now the MLK thing. The latest thing I read that really got to me was a Clinton aide told the Guardian u.k on the 10th. "if you want a hip imaginary Black friend and your
    young,................... Also, she has a new Black campaign advisor that started 3 days ago. I wish the advisor luck. She seemed nice enough.

    Now her supporters in NV are suing regarding the Nevada caucuses because it is unfair to them.

    I think I will vote Edwards or why not Obama.

    Can't wait for the next debates!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If Obama acts like a jerk, as the media accused him of at the last one, he certainly has numeous reasons to. I personally could not stand on the same stage with her.

    Carole, Charleston, South Carolina

    January 14, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  39. Gypsy

    Why is it that the race thing is just coming up now when people have been all over Romney for being Mormon since the beginning? I saw a post on the Political Ticker that said something about Romney and "his band of Merry Mormons." Would CNN have allowed a post about Obama and "his band of Bubbly Blacks" to get through the filter? I doubt it. It's not just the Democrats.

    January 14, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  40. Dari in MD

    From reading the other comments to your question, your question is quickly becoming a case of “asked & answered”.

    The cable news outlets are creating much of this country’s divisiveness in their search for the greatest market share! I am beginning to wonder if I have turned on another “reality” show, "Survivor" comes to mind, when I start watching some of the cable “NEWS” networks these days.

    Perhaps we could all take a page or two from Senator Obama's playbook, and rise above issues which do not unite us and keep the focus on things that really matter to this country – the economy, ending the war and the deficit it is leaving our children & grandchildren and restoring our standing in the world.

    To coin a smart man’s phrase, “It Sure is Getting Ugly Out There”; but who, exactly, who is mainly responsible for that ‘ugliness’? That is really the question, Jack!

    January 14, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  41. Jordan in Iowa

    Jack, it's simple... you're seeing the same old thing from the same old candidates.

    Meanwhile, as the national media is busy covering the Clinton/Obama "spat" something has been silently brewing in Nevada with the real Change candidate, Edwards.

    A new poll out today by the Reno-Gazette Journal shows a statistical DEAD HEAT between the top 3 Democratic candidates! Since Iowa, the media has been trying to push the idea that there were only 2 viable candidates... evidently the fine citizens of Nevada didn't get the memo.

    January 14, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  42. Jonathan from VA

    The Clinton campaign has wanted to inject race into this campaign ever since Iowa, where a state that is 95% white chose Obama. But Obama has not commented on any of the Clinton's recent race-centered attacks. He deserves credit for that. Obama wants to unify the democratic party. The Clintons will only unify the Republican party.

    January 14, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  43. James

    It is obvious after watching Hillary these past months that she will try any slam tactic to reach her objective. Hillarys trash slinging will continue, if she can't dig it up she will make it up.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  44. Katy in Maryland

    It seems that the "Clintons" are always first to make an attack. South Carolina is coming up and they are trying to win over the African-American vote. The Clintons are going to say anything to try and stop Obama. Isn't this a country that wants "change?" If Bill Clinton is doing as much barking and pointing fingers as Hillary is right now, how is anything going to be any different in the White House? Another 8 years of Clintons? We've already seen that before. No thanks.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  45. Helen

    Sen. Obama should make a clear statement as soon as possible that historical facts cannot be changed to suit the whims of any individual: Without the full support of the most powerful politician in the land, namely Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson, the legistation would never have been passed. Dr. King was wise enough to know this. Why don't all Democrats take a deep breath and cool it. The race for the presidency doesn't imply racial!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  46. Rich , McKinney Texas

    Jack what the Clinton campaign did was brilliant. They got your attention and with that came all the media attention. As long as you are talking more about them then the other candidates they win. That takes air time away from the republican candidates. There is more then one way to win an election but if no one talks about you you ain't getting elected.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  47. Tom Bulger

    The Clintons and all of their old school professional campaigners have said from the beginning that it is the nature of a campaign that it degenerates into gutter politics no matter how well intentioned it starts out. Obama is proving them wrong time and again.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  48. George


    Well what they need to do is stop this nonsense because there is more important issues to discuss. Let see $9, debt that is growing as I am writing this, a war that seems that will not be over anytime soon. People that are loosing there homes and these are more important to talk about.


    January 14, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  49. Dc Salters

    As a Black American born in 1953, I am shocked to see how my fellow Americans have forgotten the events surrounding the fight for equality and justice for the people of color in the United States. There were many important events and players from all walks of life to achieve the goal of ending discrimination in 1964. I am deeply troubled by people who are now slamming Senator Clinton for stating the truth. After JFK was assassinated in 1963 most of the hardcore racist figured that MLK’s mission was now impossible since President Johnson was a stone cold southern, he would most likely drop the Kennedy civil rights bill. Against strong opposition from within his party by Rules Committee, chairman, Howard W. Smith, a Democrat and the Republicans. Senate Judiciary Committee, chairman Senator James O. Eastland, from Mississippi
    President Johnson fought hard and pushed for civil rights as well as housing, education reform and public access for minorities. We owe a lot to President Johnson but because of Vietnam. We still overlook how hard he did fight for this bill. I remember 2nd of July 1964 as one of the greatest days in black history. It was the day that paved the way for people like Senator Obama (born August 4, 1961) to have the chance to be where they are today. I was proud that Senator Clinton (Born in 1947) gave President Johnson the credit he was due. Without him, we might still be singing “We shall overcome”. I thank Martin Luther King Jr.. for risking is life by bringing our plight into the open and keeping it on the frontpage Thank you from a 55 year old man who still who remembers what it is to be black and proud.

    Dc Salters

    January 14, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  50. Jay, Massachusetts

    Talk about "Parsing"

    This whole thing smacks to me as a fight picked by the media that the campaigns are being drawn into.

    Now why don't workout how "Whitewater" was some prophetic code-worded attack cooked up by the Clinton's to attack Obama.

    I swear the media has all the moral and intellectual depth of a buoy. You're either obtuse or complicit in this insane inventa-scandal. It doesn't merely discomfort the candidate it does a disservice to the citizenry you nominally "serve" (only reason you have any enshrined guarantees or protections buckos) – just a bunch of well poisoners and corpse carrion.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  51. Michael

    The Clintons will do anything to Win. The reality is, Hillary and Obama cannot win in November without eachother. The Nation wants to see a OBAMA/CLINTON ticket. and they both better get it together!!!!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  52. Ed Harrelson, Nashville, TN

    So, the Democratic party is the part of the "Big Tent" right? This proves that wrong.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  53. Mark

    Jack, i dont understand why we still attack our small differences, we are all inherintly the same, we are all human beings, we all want the best for ourselves and our children. Why must we attack our petty differences?

    January 14, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  54. Patricia-NM

    Because if it can't be "Billary", it won't be anyone!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  55. Donald, Butte Montana

    Both leading candidates need to stop the petty pickering - and I mean BOTH of them. They and they're surrogates.

    Another senseless distraction over the real issues.

    My adivce to them is end TODAY and concentrate on the REAL ISSUES confronting this country or forfeit their status and possibly hand the White House back over to the Republicans.

    Either is stops immediately OR I will look to Senator Edwards or elsewhere!!!

    Is this the REAL CHANGE they both profess? If so, they can shove it where the sun don't shine!!

    And, by the way, I think the ultimatum should be put to them by the news media and in every debate forum or news cast/etc. they wish to participate in.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  56. Al

    If you guys would stop talking about it, they probably could. You choose what stories to report. You yourself, Jack, have dedicated today's question to the topic. Why not choose something more productive for us to comment upon? Then we wouldn't get sidetracked onto stupid, divisive issues like this. Just stop.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  57. Greg from PA

    Your question is like asking why the scorpion stung the frog even though both would drown. It's in their nature, Jack.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  58. donna sweney

    Your commentary was very good, I would have taken it a step further... I think Obama is taking the high ground in these attacks. It makes me sick how low the Clintons will go for power. I think they underestimate the judgement of the American people if they thing we cannot see through their desperate tactics to win.


    A White lady for Obama!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  59. Anthony Criscone

    Shame on the media for perpetuating on innocent remark from Hillary
    Clinton and turning it into racial tension. This remark would not have gained the steam it did, had the media not blown it up to "create" a lead story.
    This is completely and utterly shameful. The media should apologize to both the Clinton and Obama camps.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  60. Dee

    Maybe it might be said, that the Media constantly reporting the he said, she said, may have something to help the situation out. Ya Think!!!
    Media is complicit in the on going situation..and don't deny it!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  61. Karen

    Bill's got his list. The Obama camp has it's memo (Huffington Post). Bid deal. The media is making more out of this than the Democratic Party.

    Clinton in the lead, tear her down.
    Obama in the lead, tear him down.
    Dems happy with their candidates, tear them down.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  62. Patricia-NM

    Because if it can't be "Billary," then it won't be anyone.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  63. cyn

    Jack, your points are well-said, but let's not ignore the media's role in this. How about everyone stops ASKING about these stupid comments, hoping for a "gotcha" moment in order to keep the story alive? And let's take the microphones away from the race-baiters whose careers, as you said, are based on whipping everyone into a frenzy every time someone make an eye-roll worthy comment.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  64. Stephen

    Well Jack, that's the Democrats for ya! . I think it's funny, I'm sitting back and watching Bill and Hillary Clinton who claim that their the whitest black people in America and now that we have a black man that could win the Clintons just don't know what to do. Hillary is so upset because she has planned this to be her year for a long time. I say sit back because it's going to get even better.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  65. Mike R

    I am a Republican, and this still makes me cringe. I almost feel sorry for both campaigns that they must shoot themselves in the foot for a short-term moral victory. The words of both parties are a nothing but Pyrrhic victories

    January 14, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  66. jodi

    Maybe the Democrats are the ones who become embroiled in racial politics because they are the ones who have a non-white candidate. The racail divide goes deeper than the Democratic party. I applaud their courage. Perhaps can finally realize, through their openness. that we are as sick of racial ploitics as we are of negative politicking.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  67. Ben

    If a candidate wants my vote they should stop telling me what they have done for my race and instead tell me what they have done for my whole community. They seem to figure that I make my decision and live my life according to my race when I actually do it as an American.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  68. Phyllis in Indianapolis

    I'm sure it's just the vast right-wing conspiracy trying to divide the constituents in North Carolina. I'm sure people there are beginning to feel like Brittany Spears children.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  69. Diane - Madison, WI


    I have no idea why Hillary or Bill are being attacked for being racist or racist comments... everyone has known they have been loved by the African American community for years. Bill Clinton even has an office in Harlem for goodness sake!

    My question is this though, why are they (the Clintons) being questioned about racists comments when the Pastor (Rev. Wright) at Obama's church in Chicago has made outrageous statements about "White America" and the September 11th attacks in NY?

    This hasn't been touched by the media and I would like to personally see Obama speak out and denounce his Pastor for his unAmerican comments... then maybe I will listen to anything Obama has to say.

    The fact is Obama's Pastor is a racist... not the Clintons!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  70. Jenny

    Just because there's one bad Clinton seed in the bunch doesn't mean the entire party is yielding to racial politics. Obama actually has done pretty well to show respect for the other candidates, and respect for himself, by not stooping low enough to play the race card. Nothing, on the other hand, is off limits to the Clinton camp. (Ahem, staged questions & theatrical answers...)

    January 14, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  71. Jim Blevins

    Actually, the Democrats are doing pretty well when you consider the depth of hatred (and shame) associated with this countries treatment of blacks and women.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  72. Winter

    Because, idiots (present company not included), continue to fan the flames. Clinton's statement at best was insensitive at worst a non issue. But I suspect it is a good way to get ratings as we enter the South Carolina primary and upcoming CNN debates. I live in South Carolina and until you media folks stoked the fires it was a nothing moment. Not only do the candidates need to rise above race...the media needs to also...present company included...

    Aiken, South Carolina

    January 14, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  73. m. evans

    The Clintons are showing their true colors now. Bill Clinton is a brilliant politician who had the guts to inject race into the heretofore polite campaign, but he may find himself behind the times 15 years after his initial run for president. I am disappointed in them both. Maybe Bill is, after all, just a good ol' boy from Arkansas with a patronizing attitude towards women and blacks.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  74. Gail from CT

    The media has made this a story! The idea that the Clinton’s are racist is totally absurd. The democratic party is about to be divided and the cable stations are to blame! I don’t even want to watch TV anymore. Cable is always inventing news to fill their many hours of empty time!! For God’s Sake let’s stop it now!!!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  75. Barbara

    Why can't people see through the Clintons? They continue to dodge the bullet when they do underhanded things and make disrespectful statements. We have them to thank for the racial divide in this campaigne.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  76. Chuck Brewer

    WOW! Slow news day, huh? Time to start stirring up the non-existent race debate between the Clinton and Obama camps. Clinton makes some remarks (taken out of context) about the relative roles of Dr King and LBJ in advancing the cause of civil rights. Somebody gets all wound up about it, press plays it up and Hillary has to back off. Then she comes back and blames Obama for stirring it up. He says he did not do it.

    Oh my GOD! This could tear the democratic party apart! Yikes!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  77. Anne

    Dick Morris was right. He said Hillary would use race like Bill used his Sistah Soljah moment to prop himself up.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  78. Jake

    The democrats strong opposition to each other only proves that they are more concerned with winning a popularity contest rather than fixing America's problems. You would think that after Gore vs Bush they would have realized this isn't a popularity contest, but if this behavior is any indicators on the democratic candidates than I, unfortunately, can't support them either!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  79. Ray

    Because they are stupid politicians just like all the rest. They are much more interested in bashing the other candidates rather than addressing the real issues facing this country.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  80. claire G.

    The clinton's have proven in the past that they can play dirty. Sometimes even with each other. I just hope this wrong turn into racial politics looses "the Clintons" the nomination at least South Carolina.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  81. John

    The Clintons have been and will continue to go by Karl Rove's playbook.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  82. Ben C

    I think we're asking the wrong question here. The question is, how can the Republican party avoid discussing racial politics? And the answer is, just look at the field. It's a bunch of very old, very white, very mail candidates.

    Of course issues of gender and race are going to come up when there is a mixed field. It's a shame when it degenerates into negative campaigning, but it's new, it's different, and people aren't as practiced at discussing race and gender carefully in this sort of forum, so they're likely to make mistakes. This makes it exciting, especially for the press, who get to stand by, wait for a train wreck, and report it as if it is an indicator of how things are going.

    And it's good to hold the candidates' feet to the fire; it will ensure that these topics are thought about in a constructive manner. However, it's not an overall issue. Nobody in their right mind could call the Clintons racist.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  83. Mary

    Jack, The two front runners for the Presidency did not bring up the race factor. The news media did. The news media feeds it like moths to a flame. I listen to it and get disgusted by the twisted way the media behaves. It has hit an all-time low. I am more interested in the issues that face all of us, instead of the crap Americans are forced to hear not once but twenty times per day.

    I simply gave up the news on TV after watching Tim Russet yesterday. My summary of the entire 1 hour show was Bill Clinton ruined the nation and Hillary's vote alone started this illegal invasion of Iraq.

    CNN won't let the race issue die, It was brought so many times today, I turned the news off.

    I would rather watch TV Land

    January 14, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  84. Rob

    Jack, I totally disagree with you when you say that Obama won with out mentioning race.
    Candidate Obama is very good about not mentioning race, however his wife mentions it nearly every time I see her talk.
    Whether she says, " I am a black woman" or "as a blackman Barack has to worry about being shot at the gas station" (both came out of her mouth). Mrs. Obama plays the black card.
    I feel this damages their campaign. We all know they are black and most probably dont mind, however we dont have to be told about it over and over.
    Plus who did they bring in as a campaign speaker? Oprah!
    Jack you cant tell me they are not playing the black card!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  85. Rick from Florida


    It is fascinating to me how accurate the polls have been in New Hampshire and Iowa on the Republicah side. I was, however, not surprised at how inaccurate the polls wer eon the Demoncratic side. I say that because this is the first time in US History that an African American and a woman have a legitimate chance to become President of the United States. Given the absolute novelty of these events in America, I believe that :
    a. America is more ready for a woman president than it is for an African American president.

    b. While droves of people were proclaiming their support for Barack Obama in polls, the proof is in the booth.

    The fact is that when the voting curtain was closed, people voted their fears and this is why Hilalry Clinton swept New Hampshire.

    Why is this important? it's important because race has become an issue in the highest levels of american politics and we are experiencing now the pain associated with introducing such a volatile and polarizing subject in the Presidency.

    I don't think there is any way around addressing race because it is so clearly evident...regardless of what the polls might say.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  86. Richard

    It`s just like the religion thing. The American people have not advanced far enough from their puritanical beginning to understand that all people are just that, (PEOPLE). If you are are different in any way, then you stand out and are a mark for intolerance from many sides. For a country supposedly intellectual, we fall far short of any thing of the sort. Some would still be burning witches if they could get by with it.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  87. Yannick

    I believe Hillary Clinton's comments really were ill advised but what I couldn't believe were the remarks I heard from Bob Johnson in his recent speech. It is one thing to negate accusation of a twist on Clinton's words. However, it is another thing to pull Senator Obama's words from his book out of context and use his experimenting with drugs as a teen against him. Everyone has done something they were ashamed of at one point in their life and at least Mr. Obama had the courage to admit it. I just wouldn't expect Bob Johnson, another prominent African American, to become a puppet and surrogate for Clinton's dirty politics.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  88. paul Singh

    Its Simple the clinton campaign knows they have a tough battle against Obama. They are trying to get into the minds of White Americans and turning them against obama just because he is black. They didnt bring up race when hillary was ahead, but have now since Obama is neck and neck. They know the change thing is working well for Obama and they also copied the whole change idea.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  89. N. O'Reilly

    Get real guys. If you can't run a campaign without lowering yourselves into race, how are either one of you going to run this country? Everytime a crisis comes up are you going to find some race or gender to blame or support?

    Wouldn't vote for either one of you Obama or Clinton. You know there are bigger things out there than gender and color. Did you know that?

    January 14, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  90. KME

    When the color of your skin has absolutely no impact on your quality of life, maybe no election will "degenerate" into "racial" politics. But while African Americans continue to struggle against structural racism in employment, education, criminal justice, financial services, voting right, and white Americans continue to be blind to the colors of reality, any election has the potential of turning into an argument over race.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  91. Ed Reed

    The Democrats? Try to imagine an African American being a legitimate contender for the Republican presidential nomination. The southern states would secede from the party and there would probably be a shooting civil war.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  92. Amy, Kalamazoo

    Someone call me when the media and candidates and all the sheep shut up about race and gender and give a crap about our men and women in Iraq, the working class people who are still without healthcare and who are scrambling to put food on their tables and keep the roof over their heads, the environment, taxes, etc etc. you know, the REAL ISSUES.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  93. Chuck

    Will Rogers said: "I don't belong to an organized political party, I'm a Democrat"! Or words to that effect!

    The Democratic Party has the innate ability to self destruct when they smell success. Either Obama or Clinton are virtually assured of election to the presidency if the party sticks together.

    Smelling success, they enter into the no win pissing match on race. That will polarize the party and give hope to the Republicans,

    January 14, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  94. Kiersty

    Clinton is using race in the campaign as a means to attack Obama because she doesn't have anything more useful in her arsenal against him. He is poetic, inspirational and the kind of leadership that can truly unify the country. If Clinton injects race in the campaign, and spins it to seem that it was Obama that brought it up, then she parses once again, divides and conquers. I don't want a president who is committed to keeping the American people from realizing a dream, just because she has one to hold the office. That's my worst nightmare.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  95. Ian Adams

    It seems like the issue didn't even come up until the Clinton Attack Machine decided to go into full swing after losing in Iowa. I think it's especially sad, given the strong unity all the candidates had earlier in the race. Cilnton even answered "yes" during a debate to the question of whether or not she would vote for whomever the democratic candidate was in the general election; but the way she and her camp have been slinging mud in the past couple weeks, I start to doubt the sincerity of that answer.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  96. Brian

    Until this country realizes that "All Men are Created Equal" will we continue to see racial diversity. I cannot posibly imagine what a political campaign will look like if an Asian-American ever decided to run for President

    January 14, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  97. Malcolm from Orlando

    Please keep in mind that this could never happen in a Republican race simply because a black candidate would never get this far in their primary. Wait to see the race issues that come up once the primary is over!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  98. Dian

    Jack the Clintons have cleverly drawn the media attention away from the more than half dozen high-profile democrats that endorsed Obama over the weekend.It has not been mentioned at all. That would show that Clinton has lost the support many of those she expected to have. It would be interesting to hear about that.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  99. Randy Taylor

    This is becoming a racially charged campaign because Obama's camp has made it so. Clinton is not wrong to say that it takes more than talk for change to happen. She is not slighting Dr. King one bit in saying this. Obama responds by trying to sound magnanimous, but he is playing the race card now because South Carolina's vote is coming and he needs those votes. There can be a civil debate about this, but it won't happen as long as Obama plays orator and keeps using emotion over substance. We need more than talk, but we won't get that with Obama no matter how clever he thinks he is as a speaker.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  100. Dan

    Its the 24/7 insistence by the media to create and keep aflame issues that mean nothing that is the problem. Democrats will rally around whoever the nominee is...
    Why do the media through polls that don't relate to what's happening and pundits who feel they are more important than the candidates drive the train..


    Dan DeCarlo
    Boynton Beach, FL

    January 14, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  101. Barbara

    Jack it's NOT the Dems who are "stirring up racial tension. With 24 hour news and more "talking heads' than I can count I think it's the MEDIA who have nothing else to talk about. And I bet the Republicians are helping you all stir the pot! Give it a rest.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  102. Scott

    My guess is neither candidate wants this – I will blame the media here for getting this type of things going. They try and try to bait candidates into this by asking the same question thousands of different ways until some one answers one and then it gets twisted into something it wasn't meant to be then the otherside chimes in trying to get a one up and then it all of a sudden a big racial thing. Kind of been Sharptensized.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  103. Daniel

    Most Democratic primaries haven't degenerated into racial politics, primarily because, in years past, the only viable candidates were white! This campaign has taken on this new tone because the Clinton machine is so distressed by the rapid rise of Obama that they have gone into full attack mode. The attacks are racial because Clinton has no other way to differentiate herself in a positive light. She could say that she is more divisive, less engaging and has fewer years serving in elected office, but its just easier to have your hit men call Obama an Uncle Tom and then lie about it. But then again, that's about par for a Clinton's integrity.

    Foster City, CA

    January 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  104. James G

    It's because the Clintons think that pandering, whether it's to us African-Americans, or the illegal alien lobby, is actually going to get them somewhere. People are not as stupid as these out-of touch elitist (of both parties) think we are.

    By the way, Robert Johnson, founder of BET, is single-handedly responsible for spreading more negative imagery of Black people than any other man in the known universe! He has the nerve to say he's offended as an African-American by something Obama said? I'm offended that any Democrat would allow this bought-and-sold billionaire sellout to speak for anyone in the Democratic party.

    Give me a break!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  105. Dave


    The nature of campaigning dictates that candidates do whatever it takes to win. This is achieved by making the other candidate look as if they have severe character flaws. And you know it's bad when not even party loyalty is above winning.

    Americans are to blame here as well. We feed on adversity more than solutions. We swallow up negative gossip more than we consume trustworthiness and character. We're getting what we deserve...and, (if Obama and Clinton are not careful) we will ultimately pay for it.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  106. Steve


    There is something very wrong with the Clinton's. They ask black people to support them, then they (Bill and Hillary) manipulate the media so that race becomes an issue (South Carolina) so that they may somehow get blacks to turn their backs on Obama's legitimate campaign, or to turn out more white voters. They are polarizing people. Hillary has now defamed the achievements of Dr. King. Bill called Obama's campaign a fairy tale.

    Now today, Hillary has that photo op in New York speaking to a large black audience at a Martin Luther King services. She changed her tone and inflection to somehow give the impression that she is, "one of you."

    Where is the DNC? Black-Americans should make it loud and clear to the Democratic Party, stop taking us for granted, and we will not vote for Hillary Clinton.


    January 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  107. Chris Brownrigg

    There is a lot of excitement about the possibility to elect the first female or African American President. I’ll be really excited if America is able to elect an honest President. Not perfect just Honest! Maybe another Eisenhower.

    Kelowna, BC

    January 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  108. Jason, MN


    Let's be honest! Why didn't Clinton initially just ignore the issue or respond to it in a wise way so as to dismiss it and avoid the heated exchange we are witnessing? On "Meet the Press" last sunday, Clinton spent most of her time defending her stance on the Iraq war back in 2002, and couldn't admit that Obama had a better judgment back then.

    It is clear and more apparent to me that Clinton is resolved to use any means necessary to get to the White House and really thinks of the presidency as something she deserves.

    But, I hope America will prove her wrong.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  109. IHemphill

    Race? Of course it's entered into play...it's the best hope that Obama has to win over Senator Clinton. Without the race card, he can't motivate the black vote to move from the Clinton camp to his. He makes the black voter feel as if they are betraying the memory of MLKing if they don't lean in his direction. It's a powerful card to play, and although Obama has not done much for his brethren, he can still claim that he is black like they are.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  110. Don Slowik


    The way I understand this, Hillary made a mistake by saying something that could, legitimately, be construed by some to be racist, or at least belittling to the power of an historic movement. This happens. But, she should have apologized for that possible interpretation, clarified herself, and then moved on. That she instead twisted/spun it into the fault of the Obama campaign's playing the race card, is another example that she is a divisive figure in politics. America does not need that. We need a unifying leader.

    Don Slowik
    New Hampshire

    January 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  111. Renee


    Actually it is the media that has initiated and still is perpetuating the race issue. First covering the Oprah Winfrey phenom last month injecting race, and then this week constantly reporting on it. I knew you couldnt wait to trash the Dems rather than take responsibility for some of this. We want to hear about issues, we dont want to hear Wolf and Russert tear down a candidate , talk about MLK and fairy tales and ignore the meaty stuf. How will they fix the economy and the war. Thats what is the story is here.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  112. Glen

    It's not that the Clintons are racist; they have a credible record on race relations. However they love power more than any one constituency. Knowing how deeply race affects people on all sides of the political landscape, the Clintons have injected race into the campaign. God forbid anyone look at Obama simply as a candidate of hope or change who is well qualified to be President. The Clintons reminding us he is a BLACK man does two things 1. keeps people uncomfortable discussing race over teh issues and 2. engendering fear in the hearts of teh racist minority. That's typical Clintonian desperation and vicious strategy.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  113. Keith

    I am an Independent white Katrina victim in New Orleans. Racial relations are the most important domestic topic the Democrats could focus on. If they are willing to tackle this issue, with all the danger that lies therein, they'll continue to hold my attention.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  114. Dette

    I am a Black Female registered Democrat, I did not find Sen. Clinton's remark offensive in the least bit. The only people who found the remark offensive were those who had something to gain (like a vote). Blowing the remark up the way it has been is petty. I heard the speech and understood exactly where Sen. Clinton was coming from. I was looking to vote for Obama because he is Black , Now i'll vote with my head and go with Clinton.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  115. Brenda

    I listened to Obamma give his speech after the Iowa caucus and I felt he was playing the race card when he gave that speech. He appeared to be sounding like MLK, and MLK addressed racial issues. I support racial and all equality.

    However, the Democrats need unity of all races in order to take back the Presidency and the Congress, and racial issues should not have come into play. The Clinton's have always supported and assisted in racial equality, and Obamma was the one who appeared to be playing the racial card. I don't care if the candidate is white, black, brown, yellow or what, they have to be the President for all of us, and they should get the job by appealing to all citizens and not pandering to a particular race. Now, Obamma's side is decrying Clinton remarks, when he was the one pandering in his speech. I wouldn't vote for someone because of their race or vote against them because of their race, unless they were attempting to use their race to get elected. Obamma doesn't want to be judged as an African-America, as a possible leader, but then he used that very thing in an attempt to get support. It sickens me.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  116. Margie

    Hi Jack. I am a life long democrat and a white middle class middle aged woman who voted for Bill Clinton twice. I am politically aware and have watched this race closely. My impression is that the Clintons have been itching to find something, anything, to jump on Obama for. they have been waiting for him to play the race card – and he hasn't. When Bill Clinton said the "fairy tale" line is when I lost any of my respect for Bill and therefore Hillary. For me, it was the straw that broke the camels back. Obama has been holding his head high and trying to stay out of this sort of thing for the whole election. All my doubts about the Clintons (and I have tried to give them the benefit of the doubt) were put to rest then. They are willing to do anything to get her elected. Bills efforts to get his foot out of his mouth have failed. I now know why everyone used to call him "slick". If this keeps up, the Republicans will win the general election.

    Malvern, PA

    January 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  117. Amanda

    Race wasn't even an issue in this race until the Clinton's decided to make it an issue. Edwards was right on target when he said that Obama didn't see these kind of attacks from Hilary until he pulled ahead. I seriously hope voters see the despicable, dirty tactics from Hilary & Bill and see they are nothing more than dishonest, power-hungry politicians. They will do anything for power, and I for one am ready for REAL change. And change includes someone who is NOT a Bush OR Clinton.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  118. Rob

    As ridiculous as I think the racial topic is, the media isn't any better for reporting on it. The media needs to stop worrying about these tiny little conflicts amongst the campaigners and focus on the ISSUES. Every time I turn on CNN on Fox, they're debating some sort of obscure, mini-topic in the elections. How about the issues, Jack? Let's talk about those and less about the race card, who is going to win Michigan, what it will mean if Romney doesn't win Michigan, and who is stealing who's campaign slogan. Let's see some fair and balanced air time for all the candidates, too. Or is that too hard?

    January 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  119. Steve

    It really comes down to votes. Afterall, there aren't many policies that the Democratic party are talking about, let alone actually going to be able to enforce after the upcoming presidential election. The two things the Democrats have going for them are the minority vote and votes from those who are of ill health. The only way Clinton sees her ability to actually get the black vote is to try and make Obama look as though he's either an ignorant or racist African American. It's quite ironic that her spokesman of the week runs a network whose content predominately seems to promote sex, drugs, and violence

    January 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  120. Charlie

    Because despite what the candidates appear to be on the outside, everyone is always a little racist whether they like it or not.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  121. Chaz

    Jack maybe I’m living in a ‘fairytale’ but I think the American public is ready to move past race and talk about issues…unfortunately opportunistic political campaigns are just as ready to stir controversy for political gain…hopefully we can get back to talking about real issues before it’s too late

    January 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  122. Marilyn Gottier

    Because the MEDIA – and yes, that includes you too, Jack – keeps fanning the flames by playing it over and over and over. Why don't you talk about important issues; you know, like the economic problems, and/or something important that has happened in the world today. Maybe the Spears or Hilton families can have another tragic meltdown and you all will have something else to talk about.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  123. Kris Berchiolly

    Here’s my question to you: Why can’t the Democrats conduct a primary campaign without it degenerating into racial politics?

    Why? Because this country remains a white racist society. The racial divide has never gone away, and it never will. We are living in a country that boasts of equality and freedom and yet we built its foundation on the whipped backs of other human beings. And don't worry, the racism crosses party lines. Why? Jack- give me a break.

    Kris of Chicago

    January 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  124. Cathy Norem

    I listened to what Bill Clinton said about Obama being a fairy tale; he did not mean his running for President, he meant his take on Iraq. It was very plain English and clearly understandable. There was nothing racial about it. There are always going to be people who will pick every statement their opposition says and try to make something racial out of it. I blame the Obama camp for making this into a race thing. I am nither a Clinton or Obama supporter, but if I were to choose right now, I would not be considering Obama at this time because of this. He talks about the Clintons running a negative campaign; he needs to take a good long look at his own campaign and how it is going. You know what they say, "people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."

    January 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  125. Arlene

    Jack, here's the problem. Americans look at Obama and see a black man; Americans look at Hillary and see a woman; Americans look at Romney and see a Mormon; with Huckabee–a Baptist preacher..Get the picture? America has not come as far as she'd like to think when it comes to race and other prejudiced viewpoints. When we can look and see Hillary, Obama, Huckabee, and Romney all candidates running for the Presidency of the U.S., then we will no longer be a prejudiced nation. Not until we focus on something besides race, gender, or religious differences will this ever change.Arlene, Folsom, Ca.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  126. PAUL

    Jack its time the media stay out of this mess. It is the media that inflames people and most of them believe you. For you to said Obama has an honest and radical free campaign is so stupid. Why can't you be netural and tell it like it is. Everyone can see you hate the Clintons. Get over it and stop blaming the Democrats and let them work their own problems out without your help.
    If they decide to fight it out and they hurt themselves then we can blame them for a campaign that turned people off. Be like Lou Dobbs and be independent and tell it like it is not like you want it.

    Paul Minnesota

    January 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  127. Dennis Ritz


    You'd have to ask the Obama campaign for the answer to your question. It must have been his handlers were shocked into realty by the New Hampshire voters and needed to drive a negative wedge in the black vote before the South Carolina primary. Imagine anyone questioning the Clinton's on the sincerety and committment to the Black community. Absurd!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  128. Spencer

    I would like to think that our society is further along and that we as adults can debate without acting like we're in the school yard. There are better things to talk about than the color of someones skin. I do not believe in the idea of "race." Race is a made up term invented by one people to establish dominance over another people. I would like to add, although it should not matter that the color of my skin is white, but my soul is void of pigmentation.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  129. Garr

    Obama is winning.....that's why the Dems cant conduct a "clean" campaign. The Clintons are smart and they know the easiest way to stay on top is to "scare" white america. For them to speak out VIA Robert Johnson against Obama and remain silent goes to show their sumbliminal intentions. The Clintons play the game better than anyone but we are smart, we see it clear as day. Johnson is a PAID spokesman, lets not forget BET was BOUGHT BY MTV...Go figure!!! Obama 08

    January 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  130. Brian

    Jack, the reason is pure TERROR.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  131. Adrienne, Hobe Sound, Florida


    Let's get this straight, Obama never said anything against Hillary Clinton as a person or the fact that she is a woman, so this is a Clinton problem and
    As far as I'm concerned we've had hundreds of years of experience in Washington (D.C.) and it's about time that we elect someone who can bring people (Black/White, Young/Old, Male/Female, Republican/Democrat) together the best he can.

    Does that sound like Hillary Clinton to you?

    January 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  132. Patricia

    After reading all of these responses Jack, I hope you are taking notice: The viewers blame Wolf & the rest of your reporters for trying to make the Clinton & Obma campaigns about race. Stop yourselves, because we are getting tired of it!!!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  133. kenny

    Iowa, New Hampshire you can see that Obama is ready to snatch the democrats ticket. The Clinton campaign sees this and they are ready to do anything to prevent this. including bring up racial issues.This is cheap politic on their part.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  134. Faruqi

    This campaign was never about race until Bill and Hillary and their staff astonishingly started saying things about Obama (and Dr. King) that had clear racial overtones. The Obama campaign is simply responding to yet another calculated, dirty, amoral tactic by the Clintons to make this campaign about race. Hillary realizes she is in for a tough fight, but this was never suppose to be tough. She was suppose to be the inevitable candidate, the candidate who sweeped to the nomination without a hiccup. But a young inspiring Senator from Illinois ruined all that for her, and now she can't stand the fact her sixteen year quest to become President might be derailed by a new comer. The media should expose the hypocricy the Clintons have shown over the years. They never cared about African Americans, they only cared about their votes, and now that they can't count on them to vote for Hillary, they will do anything they can to win, including making the campaign about race by trying to provoke Obama with infuriating remarks.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  135. Mary Ann Hill

    I am a democrat. Have been fans of both Obama and Clinton. Was also a Oprah fan until SHE brought RACE into the primary! I was shocked at her speeches and their blatent racial bias!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  136. K.C.

    Someone please call the Republican candidates and tell them they can take the rest of the month off. We the Democrats are a trainwreck, please get out of the way and allow us to crash.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  137. Ceee

    Remember when you were in grade school and some little busybody would tell you "Bobby said such and such about you; isn't he nasty." And then the busybody would go to Bobby and embelish and pass on your response. He-said-that-she-said-that-he-said raced (no pun) all over the playground.

    Get a life. The supposed racial conflict between Obama and Clinton is largely found in the media's need to feed a 24/7 news cycle. Both candidates are breaking diversity ground. That's the story you should be reporting.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  138. Mike, Iowa

    Of course we would see this kind of cheap mud slinging happen. They promote change yet were seeing the same desperate attempts to smear an apponents image. Im in favor of Obama regardless of what crap the clinton camp can dig up. In my opinion they are the last group of people who needs to be bringing up any past history. If they really believe in change they both need to back off each other and get back to the issues at hand. The issues people care about rather then what they have done in there past. If what was done in someones past decided who would be elected president we wouldnt have ever had a president.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  139. Craig

    When a nation sits in silence while being tormented by issues of race, there can be little surprise that this kind of "much ado about nothing" arises. Even more poignantly unfortunate is the media's coverage of the whole affair. Can we get back to the issues at hand instead of worrying about Clinton's supposedly ill-advised remarks or Obama's seemingly opportunistic pounce on her misstep? Their squabbling only shows just how contrived their positions really are. Even more evident is the danger of Obama pretending that race is of little consequence at one electoral event then crying racial insensitivity the moment that someone says that the successes of the longstanding fight for racial equality are not due solely to African-American efforts. It's all pathetic really. I bet Martin Luther King, Jr, that brilliant, elegant man, would tell both of them to grow up!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  140. Charlie

    The reason the Democrats are struggling with the race issue is because more minorities have felt more comfortable in the past with the Democrats. When the southern states bolted from the old Democratic Party to the Republican Party over the passage of Civil Rights legislation in the '60s, the Republicans have not had to concern themselves with minorities (except to find a few window dressing tocken minorities) to get the majorities they need. I think many whites in general still say one thing and feel something totally different in their hearts when it comes to minorities.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  141. Chet Whye

    Let's get this straight. The Clintons had no problem portraying Barack Obama as "naive" (the other 'N' word), inexperienced and a dreamer without a plan. Obama has said that if a bunch of rag-tag colonists didn't dream to beat the British or John Kennedy dream to go to the moon or Martin Luther King have a dream, where would we be.

    In choosing to make her rebuttal with comments on Dr. King’s legacy, Senator Clinton chose to step into a land mine, stumbled miserably, then proceeded to blame everyone else for the consequences.

    The Clintons in their zeal got reckless with Martin Luther King's legacy and severely damaged there own.

    BTW: Barack Obama just elevated past Hillary Clinton in black support in New York. (New York Daily News, front page, January 13, 2008)

    Chet Whye
    Harlem, New York.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  142. Jamie McCall

    Jack the only time race will not be a factor in this country, or in the world, is when JESUS come.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  143. Carol

    Why don't all you talking heads just shut up, stop parsing and defining
    meaning and intent of the candidate's statements and let the public hear what each candidate says and WE will then parse and define meaning and intent upon which WE will then base our vote! During the past weeks I have
    heard too many fairy tales from too many self-appointed television gurus.
    Take a deep breath. Chill!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  144. michele

    Barack Obama's campaign has more class than Hillary Clinton's campaign does because he's not running on race, he's running on the issues. The Clinton's can only see power; they will do anything to get back into the White House. I haven't heard Hillary say anything original. She just mimick's whatever Obama says. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that Bill is telling Hillary what to say. My vote is still with Obama not Hillary.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  145. bill jacobs


    it seems to me that the only people playing the race card is the press.........in thier race to boost ratings it seems that the press will report on almost anything except perhaps what really matters to the american public.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  146. Ted in PDX

    It's not about race, or the associated prejudice. It's not about the Iraq war, it's not about the economy. It abouit the most disgusting methods the Clintons have spit out at us for the simple reason of reutrning themselves to the Whitehouse. They will do anything, repeat ANYTHING, to reach that goal. If it means dividing the nation by means of splitting the Democratic party... so be it. It is so blatantly obvious; they really just don"t give a damn about the America most of us have grown to love, have fought for, and cherish. Now they play the Good Cop, Bad Cop routine. Watch these phonies closely, you'll see right to the heart of their greed and vanity.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  147. Ed

    The one thing I would have expected particularly from a candidate of "change" like Barack Obama was for him to step up to the plate and acknowledge that the interpretation of the comments made by each of the Clintons is non-deserved. If anyone could have taken the high road to the interpretation of what was said was Barack Obama himself. Yet, instead, he chose to get caught up in the midst. His message of change in my view is now lost as he is acting like any other politician by letting his opponent make comments that taken out of context would lead the result of the election in his favor.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  148. Carol

    I believe the reason for all of this racial tension is that Hilary Clinton simply cannot think of another way to oust her opponent. She is DESPARATE to win the nomination and has proved that she will do and say ANYTHING to do it. Her strategy here is to use her surrogates as much as possible to bring division to the candidate of unity. We know the saying, divide and conquer. She's using both with gender and race to do just that. Unfortunately this strategy has been used with a lot of success in the past. I hope that this time will be different and that voters will say loud and clear: this type of nasty divisive politics will not work with me!


    January 14, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  149. Katie

    Jack, I'd love to say something scintillating about this question, but I was distracted and frankly terrified by Wolf's tie.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  150. ann

    Memo to the Clinton's, Sharptons and Jackson's GO AWAY..... I cant wait to see a McCain/Huckabee vs Obama race. At least we know the race will be respectful.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  151. Eddie

    I blame this degeneration on the Clintons and their cronies. In particular, Robert Johnson's comments disgust me. Johnson is judging Barack Obama based on the color of his skin and the way he talks and acts rather than the content of his character.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  152. Rick Carroll

    The Democrats cant conduct a primary campain without it degenerating into racial politcs because this is the first black man that has run for president that actually has canidates on their heels. Barack has wisely stayed away from the subject of race, but going into S.C. it was bound to rare its ugly head. I believe the Clintons have noticed this and true to their track record so far, have decided to remind everyone that this is a black man running for The President of the United States. I liked Bill Clinton as President and Hillary as first lady, but the campain they have conducted so far has deeply dissapointed me.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  153. Bill G.

    The Democratic party is more reflective of the diverse American population at large than the GOP and resembles a large dysfunctional family. Unfortunately, the media has seized on this explosive issue and magnified it way out of proportion and the dummys in both the Clinton and Obama organizations mindlessly respond to the media hype. Where is Joe Biden or Bill Richardson when we desperately need adult leadership.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  154. RPar

    It just goes to show that the Clintons are running acared, so they pull out the dirty politics. That is exactly why we need change and all, I do mean all of the oldcrowd should be sent home, maybe then we could move forward.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  155. Modern Day Plague

    How can we be surprised that this issue finally popped up? Personally, I thought it would have came along back in Iowa, but that's just me. Obama and Hilary just need to get off their soap boxes and take a look at the more important issues! How about they take a look at the way the Bush administration plans to sell $20 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia?

    January 14, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  156. Sakay


    January 14, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  157. Brett

    Jack, the big winner in all of this is Michael Bloomberg. He is sitting comfortably in New York, watching each party continue the spin and negative political tactics that have paralyzed Washington for years. As Americans, we need a leader who can either stand up or shut up. And it appears that every candidate in both parties can do neither. Bloomberg '08

    January 14, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  158. sharon

    The Democrats – like the Palestinians – never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. The folks who gave us GW will now give us our first president that doesn't believe in evolution (or was GW the lst) . In any case, the country loses once again.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  159. Annie 51 years in Michigan


    I find your question disingenuous. You are blaming Democrats for raising the issue of race. Someone has to do talk about race, and Republicans can't because the Republican party is inherently racist.

    Why is it always wrong to talk about race? Let's not pretend that there is no racism in this election. If there were no racism, then we would have already had a black president. If there were no sexism, then we would have had a female president.

    Black men have been legal citizens of the USA for 132 years, and woman have been legal citizens for almost 87 years. Neither group has been able to break the highest glass ceiling.

    You don't seem to understand that this is a HISTORIC election, Jack. Where there is growth and change, there will be dissent. If we want to have the first black president or the first female president, we are going to have to do the work and feel the pain.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  160. forrestine Eubanks

    Shame Nero fiddled while Rome burned! This is one of if not the most crucial election in the history of our nation and our enemies are circling the wagons while we deal in nonsense. I am a 62 year old African American with an M.A. in history and a student of government/politics. None of them running in this race for the presidency have the shrewdness, toughness, connections, experience, insight or the wherewithal to earn the respect of other world leaders.........that it's going to take to lead America from the brink except Hillary Clinton or John McCain. As a committed Democrat, I am choosing Hillary Clinton over McCain. The rest of them need to show their love for their country by stepping aside. The challenge will be for Hillary Clinton or McCain to rise above politics and become statesmen. Forrestine Eubanks

    January 14, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  161. Matt T.

    Here's a better question, why can't the media take its collective head out of its own posterior, and stop making a mountain out of a molehill. I haven't heard anything mentioned from Obama or Clinton that should in anyway engender race riots, yet if you listen to the sages at the media, we are bracing for racial bifurcation and the "tearing apart of the democratic party." Give me a break! You know the candidates just announced their economic plans for fending off recession, how about giving some analysis of this topic? Too bad the narrative of economic competency is superseded by yet another pointless discussion of faux-sociology and the regurgitation of polling statistics.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  162. gigi

    Hillary and her team should not have responded to the Martin Luther King Jr/Kennedy Comment. That is what clearly started this race thing. Her comment appeared as if she did not understand what he had said. Barack had no choice but to respond and he did so appropriately. The Clintons are just picking his words apart and using them against him, what a poor strategy.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  163. Arlene

    The Obama campaign is trying to sway the minority voters away from Clinton by bringing race into the race. He aught to practice what he has been preaching on the campaign trail and stop using others to attack the one person who truly will represent all the people of America. There has to be a more honorable way to win and election.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:22 pm |

    First of all, the media is the culprit causing race to become an issue. I think the media gets their jollies by causing inflamatory relations between Clinton and Obama. Remarks were made immediately after Clinton won the New Hampshire primaries, wondering if she won because of race. Then, some of the black radio talk show guests on various tv shows began making comments that the BLACKS in South Carolina would vote for Obama and make up for her winning. Okay, who is racist? Is it the whites? Blacks? Or, possibly both. May the best person, white or black win who has the concerns of our people in mind. Keep going Jack! You're the greatest!!!!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  165. Ben


    The problems is less the Democrats than the News media. I say that not as a politician but as a voter. Far too often a reporter will use an explosive adjutive to explain what a candidate said; than they run a clip of what is actually said. Why is it always nothing like the reporters characterization.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  166. Deorah

    Obama was not bringing race into the election to his credit and unlike previous black candidates was actually addressing the issues. However, the Clintons once again cannot just campaign without dirty little sneaky tricks against their main rival. Not only have they now brought race into it but how many times have they also injected the gender card? The Clintons will do anything to win and hopefully the voters will see past the crap and get back to the real issues. Obama needs to ignore their nonsense and continue to be the dynamic and real person that he is. The Clintons just want to be the "first woman president" and the "first gentleman" of the white house. They might want to shut up and remember their old skeletons lurking in their closet. Does " I didnt't inhale" and "I did not have sex with that woman" ring a bell? Get back to the issues!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  167. Eric

    I think the real reason is that America has yet to grow up. And because we are still immature on the issue of race we will continue to see things like this continue to divide people along this false issue. The reality is most people say they don't think about race but if you listen you still hear racial slurs and jokes everywhere you turn.

    From my personal experiences as a minority male in this country the fact of ethnicity is significant and completely determinant factor of my experiences and opportunities. This, I think, can only be overcome by noticing that there is in actually only one race with different flavors. Thanks.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  168. Pete, Pittsburgh

    Because no one in the Democratic party can see the big picture. By allowing the Clinton machine to "do whatever is necessary to re-gain power", the Dems are opening up a Pandora's box which may end up costing them the election. If Hillary wins the nomination, the Dems lose the coat-tails, they lose the Independents, they lose a small group of disgruntled moderate Republicans, and they'll lose my vote too.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  169. Don Slowik


    The way I understand this, Hillary made a mistake by saying something that could, legitimately, be construed by some to be racist, or at least belittling to the power of an historic movement. This happens. But, she should have apologized for that possible interpretation, clarified herself, and then moved on. That she instead twisted/spun it into the fault of the Obama campaign’s playing the race card, is another example that she is a divisive figure in politics. America does not need that. We need a unifying leader. Someone like Martin Luther King. Someone like Barack Obama.

    Don Slowik
    New Hampshire

    January 14, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  170. Mary

    There once was a man named Obama
    Who caught the eye of this mama.
    Then Clinton chimed in,
    Politicking to win,
    Now she just can't stand the drama...and she's voting for Edwards!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  171. Joseph

    As an American of African decent I was concerned that Obama might bring race into the mix and was surprised and happy that he did not. I have always supported the Clinton's and I am disappointed that this would be an issue in the Democratic Party. I guess when I was helping campaign for Bill Clinton in 1992 in Michigan and he said that in his lifetime he would love see an African American as President he ment after Hillary!! First her campaign accused him of being junkie, dope dealer now of being a racist. WOW!! Man RUSH was right there is nothing they want do or say, I am changing my party aff. to INDEPENDENT. I have never voted race will never vote race there is too much at stake!! If Hillary is the choice and McCain is the choice I will choose him or stay home..

    January 14, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  172. Sandra Mitchell

    No Jack, neither party seems to be able to behave like adults during an election. It seems that if there aren't any skeletons hanging around in closets to bring about a scandal, then something has to be started and this time we're hearing the racial card being played....again. I along with hundreds are really tired of it all. That's why I have become an Independent. Mayor Goldberg....where are you???

    January 14, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  173. Barbara Jennings

    Has any one considered that the "racial slurring" reportedly between Obama and Cliniton might be the handy work of a Carl Rove type conservative? Are they up to their old tricks, and "swift boating" again, by starting a racial argument within the Democratic party? Why do the Democrats always allow the right wing of the conservative party to define who and what they are before they are able to do it themselves. And, why is the public so gullible in these instances? Just a question.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  174. Sherry

    I think someone or group thought the campaign was getting too boring and needed spicing up. The candidates themselves did not start this, but now they don't know how to end it.

    This campaign is in a country where one of the top stories on CNN for the last month has been about Spears! That is scary.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  175. Rick

    This happens everytime. If it's not racial, it's something else. Why can't they just stick to the issues instead of wasting everyones time on all the slamming and back-biting before we lose any Independant voters we might have by looking like a bunch of 'I'm gonna tell Mom' 1st graders! After the election we still have to all live together, and usually their biggest slam target gets picked as a running mate! Time to grow up for both parties....no wonder so many quit voting years ago.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  176. KMD

    Yes, they can. The media can't. Look at that stupid picture trying to present the candidates disliking each other. If they were looking at each other in a pleasant manner, you'd try to make something out of that too.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  177. Sandi Goldsmith

    Barack Obama did not bring up the race card after the remark made by Hillary Clinton regarding Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement. It was Black pundits like Al Sharpen that first stirred up the pot and got the fire going. Barack has never brought up the race card–it is Clinton staffers and other Clintonianites that are trying to make race an issue in hopes it will hurt Obama's campaign. Americans know better.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  178. dee dee walker

    On one hand, it would be impossible for Mr. Obama (or any black candidate) to make this historic run without race coming up. For his part, I do not think Obama has played the race card. And it is unfair of the media to equate the two. However, I do think the Clintons and their surrogates have deliberately interjected race and code talk into the campaign. I don't think it's racism, rather it is more indicative of the sharp elbows the Clintons are willing to swing. If Obama is to be the nominee, he'd better get accustomed to these attacks as surely the Republicans will be even more negative and outrageous. I don't think President Clinton's comment was egregious, but the candidate herself (perhaps lacking a native appreciation of MLK as her husband and Edwards do) crossed a line on the week of MLK's birthday, that she may regret.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  179. Betty Bass

    Knock it off Jack. Anderson Cooper sounded the racial bell on the night of the New Hampshire primary when he suggested that race was a factor in the pollsters and pundits getting it so wrong. You guys want a racial argument to up your ratings and excuse your miscalls so you'll push it as far as you can. Here's a good one for you. Perhaps, since black men got the vote before any women got the vote, what you're really seeing is payback. There, you can inflame the race issue and the gender issue and watch your ratings soar. Damn the country ... feed the corporation!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  180. Robert

    You are perfectly right about the "morons" who would be mostly ignored if this were not discussed so much. Keep up the good reporting.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  181. Lori L McMaster

    Dear Mr caffery,
    I beieve that the democrats will come out of this just fine if they just drop it. The question is who planted the seed in the first place. Gulliani was are ready in hand in Iowa telling his supporters to vote for Obama while he was in Florida. Could it be the seed started from the Republicans? They know how to conquer and divide.

    I think that if the media stop reporting if there is nothiing else said about it, then the topic will go away. I still believe that the american people can see through the smoke screen and vote for who will bring this country together.

    To have another Republican in office is a scary thought with Bush in the middle east making alias with saudi arabia and other counties agains Iran; I have to say it has been a good life when I met Dave if something happens, because we will be playing with fire if another Republican is put into office.
    peace Lori

    January 14, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  182. Deborah

    Jack, I am someone who twice voted for Bill for President, and I currently support a democrat other than Hillary and Obama. I am absolutely appalled at the eagerness of the Clintons to constantly inject race and gender baiting into the primary race. The media are incorrect to paint this as a back-and-forth...Obama has never attacked the Clintons or their surrogates for their trash slinging. Under the Rovian tutelage of Mark Penn, Hill-Billy is deadset on conducting a slash and burn policy against their opponents that could ultimately destroy our Democratic party and our chances to regain the White House. We don't need 4 more years of this toxic, destructive behavior! Shame on Bill, especially...

    January 14, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  183. Harry Moyer

    Racial and gender equality issues will be with us for a while. If you look at our society as a whole, we are just really coming to grips with how to deal with these issues. What I find fascinating is that it is the Democrats that are taking the bull by the horns and taking on these challenges. Someday the Republicans will too, although the longer they wait I fear the more bloody it'll be for them.

    Honestly it comes down balancing the rhetoric. In my view Barack's comment concerning Hillary's remark was sensible. For without the activist's like Mr. King, President Johnson wouldn't have even "dreamed" of signing equal right legislation. Not belying the fact that there wouldn't have been any legislation in the first place.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  184. Celeste Guerrero

    Jack, the real story about the race story is this: Chris Matthews started the talk about race when it looked like Hillary was going to win in New Hampshire. He had been promoting the Obama campaign for months. Before the final numbers were counted, he had this so-called professor on his show to prove that the voters of New Hampshire were racist. I thought everyone would dismiss this nut, and the next thing I see is the same phony professor on the Anderson Cooper show. Do you guys have to get down in the gutter with MSNBC? I stopped watching them because of this kind of cheap talk, now I guess I have to stop watching CNN. Oh well, C-span is honest, a little boring, but honest.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  185. Harold Voorheis

    The Clinton campaign cannot deal with the metoric rise in the popularity of Obama and fear he will "steal" the one "sure thing" that Bill & Hillary thought they had...namely the black vote–but now they are running scared...so what do they do??Try to convince us that it takes a white president to translate black aspirations and hope into a political reality!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  186. Steve Chapman

    If I did not know better, I would think the Democratic Party had a "summit" a few days ago, and decided they really didn't want to win the Presidential election, and the best way to ensure it would be to start playing racial "gutterball".
    I am white, and cannot think of a more insulting way to trat black Americans, treating them like they can't make informed decisions on the issues at hand.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  187. Darlene

    Sorry, to say but I think this is brought on by the media. Bid deal, this will all be tomorrows new in a couple of days. How about we all try to look at the issues, and what kind of qualification and service these individual have to become this great nations leader?

    January 14, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  188. Jan

    The race issue as well gender are unavoidable. Unfortunately, the Clintons are playing them both with no first hand experience of being black in this country. There is a tried and true element of divide and conquer which I suspect the Clintons factored into the Media's willingness to blow their trifling and insensitive comments out of porportion to race-bait Senator Obama into a lose-lose battle. Personally, I view their comments and actions as very calculating, polarizing and toxic to the democratic process. We wonder why so many Americans want to see change in our political process ... it's call Bush/Clinton/Bush fatigue and the Rove madness of so much evil and personal attacks. Let's get back to the real issues... A $20 Billion Arms deal for the Saudis. What are the candidates saying about this?

    January 14, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  189. Ezelious Adams

    Why can’t the Democrats conduct a primary campaign without it degenerating into racial politics?
    Answer: See MLB.
    It doesn't matter how the game is played its who reaps the benifit of victory. Besides, we are divided, maybe one is hedging their division is bigger than the other.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  190. Adam

    Hillary is right. The Clintons' comments were taken badly out of context. But Obama doesn't get the blame, even if his comparisons to MLK strain credibility. The media is to blame. Any supposed pundit who claims that the "fairy tale" comment was racial was either stupid, not paying attention, or so blinded by politics to care about the facts. In other words, acting like George W. Bush.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  191. Ken from Jersey

    It's not just the Democratic Party that's making race a divisive issue in this country. It's you, CNN and the rest of the media that's giving this nonesense air time. Use some common sense in making value judgements about what is worthwhile televising on a national news media outlet.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  192. Penny Marwede


    With all of this racial controversy, which, incidentally, has nothing to do with real issues like the economy, health care and the war, why does no one talk about Obama's upbringing as a midwestern white guy. Does bi-racial make him black?

    When Hillary rolls out Dorothy Rodham, where is his mother in the conversation.

    There is alot of coverage of the Kenyan connection, but happened to the white DNA.

    Many thanks
    Penny Marwede
    Worcester, Vermont..

    January 14, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  193. Gary Randall

    Racial tension is what divides us as one nation. Sen Obama is a Prersidential Candidate that happens to be African American and not playing the race card as a African American Candidate, I feel this country will understand the difference.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  194. Mike Allen

    The Democrat Party has always been racist. they created the slums in the inner cities by addicting the poorest of black america to welfare programs that allowed them to subsist but not progress. They try to claim the black vote with promises of social programs that seldom deliver, are grossly wastefull and that perpetuate the poverty cycle. Do you see any high ranking black people that have served in a Democrat administration?Now that a qualified, excellent African American Candidate has surfaced and offered his leadership to the Democrats, they show their true colors and try to put him down. And their disgracefull lap dogs like Brown, Sharpton Et Al are only to quick to join their bigot white partners in these nausiating attacks.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  195. Rose

    Let us move on to smelling the flowers, change the participants who claim experience and try something new, since we all know the old way is NOT working.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  196. Conda

    I don't know why anyone continues to interject race whenever convient. The ongoing debate was obviously taken out of context and I for one am disgusted with Obama! I am an African American and he just set us back 50 years. How can we prove we are ready to move beyond race when he is so fixated on it? The Clintons have been more supportive of racial issues since Kennedy and Johnson. The Clintons have paid their dues. Obama needs to pay his and not assume "WE" all support this charade!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  197. Ron In Texas.

    Why, Why you ask, You of all people to ask this question. The news media is at fault.
    Just as CNN, just done at the very start of todays show, only showing part of what Bill said about the Fairy Tale.statement. I have seen it played this way on every cable news station. Ya'll play only enough of the clips, from what Bill and Hillary say so that you can spin it into more than it really is. Why can't you news people tell the truth about what is being said. The next time you have a question like this. Don't ask it on the air, just go look in the mirror, and you will find the real answer.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  198. rachel


    I honestly believe that in this case, the issue lies more with the voters than the candidates or their campaigns. I don't think we have "outgrown our petty racial bickering," as you stated, because, unfortunately, race will always be the focal issue for many voters. Just as some are concerned only with Iraq, the economy, health care, etc, race is still the point of contention for many Americans.

    Do you think any of this would be discussed if Obama was caucasian? Doubtful.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  199. Mary Holden

    First of all I have a problem indentifying the continual racial injustice in the country as racial crap. That has/is the problem. I applaud the demoncratic party for there continue sensitivity to all people and cultures in the united states trying to make a living in this country and intergrating ideas,and cultures, which is our national heritage. They talk about in and do things to make this and inclusive community . Not and I say Not like the Republican party who address and come to the aid of the wealthy and affluent community in this country.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  200. Victor Chris

    Thank you for bringing this up. I am an African -Aerican, and a Demecrat.
    I like both Obama and Clinton. I think this racial issue is nonsense.
    I dont care what the Obama camp are saying. I am highly convinced the The Clintons love African-Americans more than any of the presidential candidates.
    I am for Senator Clinton.
    The Obama camp can look for something else to talk about.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  201. marge

    Who didn't see this coming?First,didn't Hillary win somehthing?Who knows,because all the focus was on Obama.
    Oh,by the way, he is not African American.He is bi-racial.I have 2 bi-racial grandchildren & resent that he's running as African American.Let's see,his mother was "white" , his "white" grandparents raised him in Hawii where he went to a private school.
    Why is it that we never see pictures of him growing up there or pictures of his "white" grandparents who raised him,but we see his grandmother in Africa and a picture of him when he was younger visiting there.
    So,really,who is the racist.Why doesn't the media ask him about this?Why is it ok for him to cancel out half of his heritage.Maybe if he'd acknowledge it.he wouldn't be considered a racist.Crossing out half of his heritage is much worse than anything Hillary could ever say or do.
    Since CNN is tabloid news now,a twin channel of Fox,and all the news channels are following your lead,there's no hope for real news.You manufacture it.Don't blame the "Dems"(why can't you spell it out) blame the media,and blame Obama for being the racist that he is.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  202. Adela

    I don't agree that the Democrats are forcing this election season onto the topic of race nor are they causing this sudden turn to "fighting dirty" again. I have not heard one word from either Hillary or Obama that is unfair or slurring. But I am disgusted with how quickly the media pundits characterize straight talk as "controversy". and intrepret what they say to mean something shocking rather than looking deeper into their proposals. These are 2 great patriots with great ideas for reforms we badly need. Can't you all just listen to them and report only what they do say, not what you want to twist into controversy. Is the media so hungry for attention that it can no longer stick with the job of reporting facts??? This is a great disservice to the country and continues to turn us all off of politics. Give us more of what they candidates say and less of what the pundits think please. So far, 2008 is just another circus.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  203. tony z

    race was never mentioned until the upset in new hampshire.....and then chris matthews,,,,,had to get egg off his face...so he injected that the white people lied in the polls...that got the race ball rolling , and of course the rest of rhe media jumped in and now we have racial campaign ,,,,i hope everyone is happy now ....i think we should try to read the whole statement someone says instead of putting a racial twist on everything ....

    January 14, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  204. carla

    This is out of control. I am a grade school teacher. We don't let this behavior go. If you choose to mishave you go to the principal's office. We don't let children fuss about race or gender. It is stopped quickly. It' hurts too many people. We use opportunites like this to teach what is right. We as Americans are better than this. This race should not be about race or gender. It should be on issues that will effect our future, like education, healthcare, etc. I blame the media for letting this get out of control. Someone step up and stop this . I know a teacher would.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  205. wildcatmark

    The "fairy tale" comment was made in the first place to try to destroy Obama's lack of experience, and it ended up backfiring by lessening King and Kennedy's role in the Civil Rights movement. Clinton shouldn't trying to clean up her image after the fact (going to speak at the King memorial thing, Bill turning into a traveling salesman on the radio waves, etc). That makes the fairy tale comments look intentional in the first place!

    I personally don't like Clinton, but the media is making too much of this, and I wish Obama would take a step back and quit playing the media's games–this is why I support him. He seems to be losing steam on his clean campaign, however.

    Jack, you ask why America can't get over racial politics. Don't be naive in thinking that every American is past racial bigotry. Since Obama is the first serious African American candidate, these feelings are starting to come out of the woodwork again. It disappoints me, but it doesn't surprise me. America has a lot of growing up to do.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  206. Ramona Acord

    "Give me an Excuse to betray Hillary!" I think the black male establishment is trying to find a reason to change from supporting a person who has shown by words, as well as a whole life of actions, that she supports black interests because it is the right thing to do. Now instead of admitting that they (black politicians) want to support someone of their race no matter his experience, qualifications and proven track record – they are trying to manufacture a reason. Who, in their right – reasoning mind could twist Hillary's remarks to being racist? I'm ashamed of once supporting Jesse Jackson even though I am white. Why? I was really a naive fool, thinking that race didn't matter. It obviously doesn't matter if you have one of the most intelligent, competent woman running for President, ever. AT last we have a woman that can match any male – remember that Oprah, the next time you talk about standing up for woman's rights. All that matters is that the black male establishment can support a black male!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  207. Claire Sliptchuik

    Hi Jack,
    What makes you think this is a Democratic inspired feud? This sounds suspiciously like something generated from the Republican Party to make both Democratic front runners look bad. Where did this originate? Are you sure?

    January 14, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  208. ron

    Mr.Cafferty as long as people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are around there will always be racism.Its as though thry feed on it or they would be out of a job.In the beginning there was talk about Obama and the black communities and if he was swayed by the white voter.As long as we have people stirring the pot it will make it very hard for an african american to run for this office .They need to deal with what is at hand and not stray from the focal points.Thia indeed does hurt the democratic run.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  209. DKincaid

    Isn't it great to be a part of the majority and not have to deal with race. Obama and his campaign knew what they were doing. And whoever it is that is afraid that a woman or a Black would be elected – REPUGNANTS are sure to win. I am Black and I have lived through this all of my life. People are so afraid of the Clintons they are willing to do anything. GOOD LUCH IDIOTS you will have eight more years of foreclosures, wars, deaths, jobless claims that have given out and REPUGNANTS in power. God bless.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  210. Linda Wolff

    The Democratic Party has been infiltrated by race baiters for years. I'm not sure when it started. There are just too many factions within the party who each want to be center stage. For instance, we have the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, etc. These are mostly Democrats. Why can't we all just be Americans? Democratic candidates are too easily intimidated by any one of these groups.

    I’m a lifelong Democrat, but am seriously considering voting Republican in the November elections – especially if John McCain is nominated. He’s sounding firm on border control and is also sympathetic towards the global warming problem. Also, the Republican don't give a damn what they say, and nobody seems to care. They’re much freer to voice their opinions and ideas.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  211. Alice


    The media is reporting on the brawl between Obama and Clinton but we can all see what is going on here. The only one involved in this brawl is Hillary Clinton. This was an attempt to make the nation think that Barack Obama has played the "race card" but it is not working out that way for her. It is obvious that Sen. Obama has the Clinton camp scared ****less. To his credit Sen. Obama has kept his integrity. It is truly a sad day for the Clintons. Desperation is an ugly thing. Knock it off Hillary (and Bill).

    January 14, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  212. JonDuffey

    Just another stupid move by the party that is committed to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in '08... and it will cost them the White House again! They insulted EVERYONE here in Florida and Michigan by refusing to count our votes in January... Well, in the fall... that will cost them one vote in nine cast in the U-S... that come from our two states!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  213. Julie Boler

    The campaign has hardly "degenerated into racial politics". This is hard stuff – of course it was going to come up. We should be elated that once again our peaceful -repeat peaceful – democratic process is taking on another one of our country's sore spots. It will undoubtedly be transformed in some way after this process no matter the election outcome. Obama should stay as relaxed as possible and continue to take the high road.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  214. Ruth Herbst

    So, Mr. Obama is turning this into a race issue. Neither Senator Clinton nor President Clinton said anything, or meant their words to imply anything, about race. When Mr. Obama, like Mr. Thomas before him, has his back to the wall, he chooses to turn it into a "race issue." What else is new? Mr. Obama has nothing in common with Martin Luther King or President Kennedy, or Bobby Kennedy. When people like Mr. Obama have no record to stand on, they always turn it into a "race" thing. I'm with the president of BET, the black people in this country are definitely NOT stupid – they can see through this.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  215. Michael Primm

    I, don't beleive either candidate has racial issues. In fact they're both good decent people. I do know that individuals and media are trying to hype this issue and its a shame for our Country. I am Black American and I would not vote for Barrack Obama just because he's Black. He will get my vote although, because I beleive he is the best candidate and what he says makes the most "common" since to me. But there are many so called good Americans that won't vote for him just because he is Black, even though they know he's the best choice at this time. I am a public servant / Law enforement, when me and my partner went to the Boston Common to listen to Barrack Obama speak, upon our arrival at the Boston Commons my white partner stated to me " I will wait here in the car, I don't want to hear nothing that man has to say". Well truth be told he should have replaced "that Man" with the "N" word. He made an issue of race in this election for me at that very moment. When I never had a thought of race prior to his ignorance. I left his Dumb...... in the car and enjoyed a wonderful speech and endorsement of the next President of the United States. This Race nonsense needs to end and Barrack and Hillery both need to step up and put an end to this now!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  216. Cristine

    Jack, I've stepped back and looked at the sound bites as carefully as I could. I'm sorry, but the people that are slapping Obama around for this need to go take another look. He repeatedly has attempted to say little and stay above the fray. If you go back about 6 weeks ago and the Obama rise in the polls, that's when all of these little things started to slip out of the Clinton camp – one after another. The latest dig by Mr. Johnson is disgusting and he should know better. There is not one person in America that heard his comment and know exactly what he meant. He was trying to push the drug thing and then had the unmitigated gall to say that he was talking about Obama's organizing work in Chicago. Everyone knows that was a lie and he should admit it and own up to it completely. It makes me ashamed of the Clintons. Until recently I was a Clinton support. I want no more Bushes and no more Clintons. Bill Clinton's comments of late and then his spinning of them are very upsetting and unbecoming of a former president.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  217. jim barry

    Jack, if you are basically referring to the comments Bill Clinton said about the " fairy tale" or Mrs Clintons referance to Martin Luther King' need of President Johnsons assistance, I don't see anything wrong with those comments and they aren't racist. I am a white male and I am insulted that YOU would infer that race is being introduced to racism by the Democrats. These comments by the Clintons are being dissected only by pundits who are trying to pick apart every word and only certain snippets of what was actually meant

    January 14, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  218. vlevymaganavv

    I am a 49yr female who was for Richardson. Then I become undecided., so I started to tried to fing the differences between OB and HC. Edwards is too populas for r the general election. I am left of left but agreeds with HC.
    As an activist I learned that you can mobilize all you want but until you get a politician on your side to push through legislation you can march all you want . J Short of revolution the politcal process is how change is made. MLK marched but he needed the like of an LBJ to get it into LAW

    January 14, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  219. Jack Timlock

    While I am a Canadian and have no say in the US elections, I am an avid CNN watcher and listen daily, every day, all day to all your programmes.

    Hopefully, there will be no Republican President at the end of this year, but I am surprised at how partisan the CNN coverage has become. CNN has Barack Obama elected and moving into the White House already and seems to be fueling the racial fire. All day today, black reporters intereviewing black pundits have been stating that the race has become a racial fight.

    I really am not concerned who wins as long as it is a Democrat, but am amazed at how pro-Barack Obama your station has become.

    Especially Wolf Blitzer who airs Obama more than any other candidate and keeps repeating misquotes from the Clintons. Is this really fair?

    January 14, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  220. Phil Van Voorhis

    Bill and Hillary did whatever it took (as they always have) to win in New Hampshire. Their timing was perfect. It gave the Obama camp no time to respond, and the voters no time for thoughtful reflection. Now, it has followed them to South Carolina.

    Here's a thought: Wasn't it Bill who put the finishing touches on NAFTA? Hasn't Hillary already been endorsed by Wall Street? I'm betting that the North American Economic Union ( i.e. NAFTA Phase II ) is tops on Hillary's agenda.

    We need to DEMAND that the dialogue between the Clintons and the Obamas return to something more meaningful then th"He said...She said" nonsence.

    Or perhaps we'd like a common currency with Mexico and Canada?

    January 14, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  221. Emeka Baltimore, Md

    Clinton made an important point by questioning Obama's comparison of himself with JFK and MLK. These two men did alot blatantly inaddition to their hot rhetorics. JFK was a war hero and had adequate experience in politics before he ran for president. MLK on the other hand made inspirational speeches like Obama but unlike him, MLK was active in civil rights movements. As a black, I can see the comparisons that Hillary was drawing and it was by no means racial.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  222. Michele from ATL

    As you say there is intense competition for the black vote, and some candidates will pounce on anything that they can trump up to seem racially motivated. I have an idea- why doesn't the medias stopped covering such nonsense ad nauseum and got back to covering what the candidates did and said on the real issues?

    January 14, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  223. Dolores Ward

    If the media would just shut up there would be no problem between the Clinton and the obama camp except f or trying to get the nomination. Senator Clinton was honest in her assessment of the Martin Luther King roll in the civil rights movement. He was certainly instrumental in getting the civil right movement going and he did so much in doing so. But we all know, or should know that MLK could not sign a bill into law. It did take a President to do that. MLK backed LBJ and they worked together to get this into law but MLK COULD NOT sign the bill. That is all that Senator Clinton said and I don't see how anyone could take that as being negative to MLK or diminishing his roll in the civil rights movement. Obama should not try to make something of this. The media should not try to make something of this. The media has become like the National Inquirer and will do and say anything to stir things up. I have been a CNN junkie for many years but lately have been turning to FOX who is more fare to Senator Clinton then CNN. For some reason CNN does not like Senator Clinton and they waited and watch for a misspoken word so that they can jump on it and run it in the ground for days on end. Try being fair to ALL candidates and as hard as it will be, try not looking for something that is unimportant and change it around to make a story that you think is more juicy.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  224. jvan

    Sounds like Senator Clinton was speaking about cooperation in achieving a goal
    But some including the press seem to want to sling the mud. maybe the press CNN or
    Maybe Cafferty would like to be on the ballot.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  225. Daraya2

    The comment had nothing to do with the color of his skin, but he sure is ready and willing to pull the "race" card out. Johnson DID sign the Civil Right Act – THAT'S the point – it may have been King's dream, but it took the President of the US to implement that dream!! How is that saying ANYTHING negative toward MLK? Pretty simple to understand, it's OBAMA that's playing the race card. The Clinton family has done more for minorities in the country than Obama can shake a stick at. Hillary has been constantanly attacked – it's the American way....this country has been more accepting of black men than of ANY woman. The anti-woman campaign has been going on for over 300 years. If Hillary were a white man running for President, this discussion would even be happening. Hillary has ran her campaign with an enormous amount of grace...and restraint.

    Someone had the nerve to ask McCain "What are we going to do about the 'B' with an itch" – all he did was laugh... Imagine if someone said, "What are we going to do about the "N" word ????....I don't see anyone bringing this BLATANT insult up??? Double standards ALL the way.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  226. Duwli

    Jack, this is not rocket science, the Clintons are a very lettered couple and can communicate without having to always explain themselves. Obama has made it clear that he's running as an American, black, yellow, white, green, you get the picture. However, the Clintons having fought hard to bring him down with no success are again using another strategy to get Obama involve in the war of racial politics which to Obama's credit he has not obliged but he can not control how other people read into the Clinton's comments. Few months ago Senator Clinton was adamant about being the democratic candidate in the general even when she was made aware of the tinest possibility of not winning. Fast forward, she and former President Clinton are now acknowledging that Barack has a chance. GO FIGURE!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  227. Jim H, Glendale, CA

    Let's see: after Chris Matthews got his ears pinned back for being a sexist jerk, what did he do the next day, after saying that Hillary got elected "because her husband cheated on her"? Oh, the next day, he was full of speculation that the voters of New Hampshire were racists, because they voted for the white woman, not the black man. And his partner in crime on Meet the Press edited Bill's remarks to make it seem that he was criticizing Obama's whole campaign, instead of the "fairy tale" of his purity on Iraq. And Russert edited the MLK remarks to make it seem that Hillary was disrespecting Martin Luther King. Really? Anybody remember Bill at Coretta Scott King's funeral? Hillary's point was that Martin wanted civil rights legislation to end segregation, and a voting rights law to protect blacks at the polls. And as much as JFK may have wanted to pass that legislation, he couldn't get it through Congress. LBJ, the master politician, did it. That was what Hillary was trying to say. Seems to me that Hillary isn't trying to "inject race" into the debate, but that a certain candidate's supporters are trying to hang racism on the Clintons just for political gain in South Carolina.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  228. Norm Welton

    Jack–Passing the Civil Rights Bill required the strong political leadership of President Johnson. The opponents had fought changes in our racial policies
    since the Civil War.
    The media has failed to focus on this history –and that Hillary was correct in her comments. It was not an attack on Osama.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  229. April from LA

    As an independent African-American Woman voter, I'm honestly split over the issue of race. On one hand, race has been and will continue to be an issue as long as people make it one. The other hand says there needs to be an open, honest discussion on race as it pertains to the America's past, present and future. But from personal research and numerous media outputs, I must say that I'm disturbed that "The Clintons" actually began this unnecessary "she say, she say" of race. Instead of "The Clintons" focusing on what they want hope to accomplish, they continue to attack a member of their own political party in order to divide the vote! It's obvious that nothing will stand in the way of the Clintons and The White House and the dubious tactics they're using are turning my stomach. I applaud the Obama camp for staying away from race being an issue and they now have my vote.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  230. Xavier

    This is a fight between the Clintons and the media. The Clintons made some comments, some which were questionable and some which were merely taken out of context, and people reacted negatively. Even though the Obama campaign remained silent, Sen Clinton blamed Sen Obama and the media portrayed it as a back and forth. The fact that Obama is being dragged into this is shameful, especially since he has gone out of his way not to bring race into this campaign. Shame on the Clintons and shame on you (i.e., the media).

    January 14, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  231. Graham

    I'd really been getting pissed off over the weekend over the latest flap from Camp Clinton, because I think the reporting has been a mischaracterization of Senator Obama, saying that he's "embroiled" in a dispute with the Clintons. I hadn't heard one word from Senator Obama until yesterday.

    Then I realized – CNN nor any of the other major news outlets care about facts or accuracy. They just want a good story, and they work really hard to manufacture "controversy" – a word that should be retired from the news lexicon.

    MSM cares only about entertainment, not the voters – many of whom rely on the major news outlets for their impressions of the candidates. It's unfortunate.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  232. Fred

    Am an African American who is not angry at America and am a supporter of Obama but I may change to Hillary. Obama had won me over because he appeared to be beyond looking at issues from racial prism. He must reign on his supporters especially the African Americans not to this campaighn on racial issues. Sincerely we know the Clintons are not racists, so for the Obama campaign to accuse them of being insensitive to black issues is being disingenous. I do not want the Democratic party fractured along racial lines.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  233. HD Walker

    Dear Jack, they both must have powerful quadriceps, from all of that low stooping.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  234. Richard Nasados


    January 14, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  235. Bob

    Just wait and see what the Republicans do if Obama is the Democratic candidate. I'm afraid that we we will see more of the Swiftboat type of tactics.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  236. Dolly


    The staff of every campaign cannot resist picking every little word and phrase apart looking from something to draw a headline. Where has all the commonsense gone!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  237. Brett Bretterson

    Here is what Obama should have said in response to Hillary's remarks:

    "If Hillary wants to compare herself to LBJ and myself to Dr. King, then I am happy to accept those comparisons. Now I ask you, if LBJ and MLK were here today running for the Democratic nomination, who would you vote for?"

    January 14, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  238. sick & tired

    I believe that the Democratic Party can run a successful campaign without interjecting Obama's ethnicity. After all is he White & Black or just Black. So which one came first, the chicken or the hen. There are so many important things concerning the American People, lets not allow race to be another. I LOVE ALL PEOPLE!

    January 14, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  239. Peter Johnon

    The reality is that the Democratic Party is racist and classist it doesn't really help minorities or the poor, it patronizes and provide patronage to them to "fix" real and perceived problems. These policies are divisive and more often than not don't cure the disease they only combat the symptoms. Anyone not sticking to the party's top down model of transformation, like Obama, in their minds is not worthy to be their nominee. They love to inject race or poverty because you can't provide top down solutions unless there is a emotionally powerful problem for which the only cure they know is more Alphabet Soup.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  240. Sara

    With no offense intended for anyone, I am ready to vote for any one of them who could keep his/her mouth closed for a few minutes. How can they just go on and on? I am exhausted!
    Sara in Maine

    January 14, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  241. Winfield G. James

    Come on Jack, you know that the Clintons cannot survive this race without application of their coded racial politics! It has always worked for the Clintons. They usually use their surrogates like Bob Johnson to do their dirty work and then issue a lame "apology or corection" after the damage has been done. And then the media eats up the "correction" of the statement and start explaining the matter exactly the way Bill or Hilary wants it explained to all the naive folks who thinks their is something special about Bill. Have you heard Charley Rangel lame statements lately?

    January 14, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  242. Shelby

    Did Obama bribe you?

    January 14, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  243. Barbara

    I have listened to the remarks by both Sen. Clinton and her husband. As a black woman, I find nothing remotely racial. I would hope Sen. Obama would back his words of bringing the country together. This is his opportunity to stand up and end this bickering. As for the media, they need to report the news and stop trying to make or control the news.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  244. Brian Nancoo - Trinidad

    The question is misleading. The actions/reactions in the campaign are not as a result of the 'Democratic' party but by individuals in the respective campaigns. Senator Obama is running as a Black Presidential Candidate and knows, just like OJ's lawyers knew, that you can get a lot of traction by playing the race card.And you can get that traction because a lot of people still think that way.Don't blame the Democrats,a lot of people's thinking is still stuck in the 60's when it comes to race issues.Can't do anything about that,only time can change that.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  245. Jared Gunter

    Democrats have to hold together a coalition of a higher number of immigrants, asians, latinos, and almost all black voters who will undoubtedly have moderate to conservative views. When you have a situation of diversity within a country that is exacerbated by a parties ethnic make up race is going to come up. If the GOP was not so homogeneous you would certainly see more instances of racial arguments instead of only ones in which somebody likeTrent Lott gets in trouble for comments that really are degenerate. Its easy to not feel the impact of race when everyone's skin is the same color.

    January 14, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  246. Ross

    What worries me is.....that 'some' people might think that Obama, or his group, are 'SO' sensitive to any kind of conversation about Martin Luther King or something similiar...that they would immediately jump to ONE conclusion and yell 'race card'. I think this gives most Americans an 'uneasy feeling'...black or white. And – trying to turn people against the Clintons on civil rights? Not a good idea.

    January 15, 2008 at 7:34 pm |
  247. tim hammer

    In agreement with sick and tired, is he white or black. The answer is BOTH, biracial parents as we ALL know!!! Lets get on with the issues, and lets address the issues instead of mud slinging. Obama , Clinton, all the presidential hopfulls
    how are you, all of you, and when are all of you going to address the issues. I won't vote for chuck norris , oprah, kerry, they don't mean a hoot to me, so at this time we have maybe one honest person, RON PAUL !!!

    January 15, 2008 at 8:05 pm |
  248. Shelly

    H. Clinton is an Obama -Nation ,she will promise everything,condem everyone in her path.We need real honesty,Integrity.Our Great Nation is in peril.She would drowned it,with her lies and non performance.

    January 15, 2008 at 8:19 pm |
  249. Rosemary

    For the One Millionth time. The Obama Campaign did not open this door on race.
    Two other prominent African American Leaders, Congressman Jim Clyburn of South Carolina and Donna Brazile a CNN Analyst both had some reservations about what the Clinton were saying out there. Neither of these 2 people are part of the Obama Campaign . The Clintons started laying the blame on Obama and the Mainstream Media ran with saying he was firing back at her. He was wondering where all of this was coming from.

    The Clintons have put their feet in their mouths and some prominent African Americans feel they need to help them extricate them of their mouths.

    Please get it straight Media. It seems like a ploy to derail the Obama Campaign.

    January 15, 2008 at 8:34 pm |
  250. JOE REGO


    As an immigrant and of brown skin, I found no racial undercurrents to either Hillary or Bill Clinton's remarks on MLK/LBJ and the "fairy tale" issue of Obama's record. I did find some of the Clinton's handlers remarks were definitely uncalled for and irresponsible. What was absolutely irresponsible and uncalled for was the American media scooping up this sensitive isssue and trying to score points. In turn the Obama camp decided to jump on the media wagon and increase their chances of winning South Carolina. In the short term I'm sure the Obama camp would gain; however it would be America's loss in the long term with a split Democaratic party and the republicans back in the white house. It's a damn shame that in the 21st century race has taken first place to other life and death issues.

    I find both, Senators Clinton and Obama, excellent Presidential candidates, and my vote will be decided on who will better address the very serious issues plaguing this great country. If the media had been so "vigilant" in 2002/2003 we never would have been in Iraq and this country would be in a much better state than it is currently in. Shame on the American Media!!!!

    P.S. The only two people I respect on their views and stances are you and Keith Olberman at MSNBC.

    January 15, 2008 at 8:42 pm |
  251. BM

    Jack,Jack, how can you and CNN be so bias. Larry is the only one lately that is fair. Listen to the people and give Hillary as much good coverage as you give Obama. My question to you is, are you prejudice and don't want a woman to win?

    January 15, 2008 at 9:54 pm |
  252. EriK

    It's really upsetting to see the Clinton camp's strategy. It now seems to be "find a way to bring mudslinging into the public arena without OVERTLY slinging mud." By talking about how *you're not talking about something,* you are effectively talking about it. I'm sad at Bob Johnson and Charlie Rangel are right on board with this scheme, as well. This is the kind of old-style politics Obama and his supporters want to see change. It's shameful, to be quite honest.

    What's really surprising is how obvious (to me, at least) that that's what they're doing. I hope it's not actually working on the American people.

    January 16, 2008 at 12:48 am |
  253. Mr. Brown

    Obama mother is white and his father is black. He have always run a campaign of bringing together black,white.democrat and republican as one America.Hillary Clinton realize after Iowa that Obama may win the democratic nomination.First she cried to gain sympathy votes .Now she inject racism and sexism into her campaign to her benefit.She said she have 35 years experience. How much of her experience is as president or vice president.She plan to turn over her presidency to Bill Clinton to serve a third term.

    January 16, 2008 at 1:12 am |
  254. Ryan

    Petition Obama and Clinton to leave race out of it at http://dontuserace.com

    January 16, 2008 at 10:47 am |
  255. Ron Brown

    Jack Cafferty's book "It's Getting Ugly Out There is tremendous, and should be a best seller. It contains all the Republican abuse of power, crimminal acts, incompetence, ignorance and destruction of everything this country has stood for since 1776. If one reads his book, they will most likely vote straight Dem like myself, regardless of the candidate.

    January 16, 2008 at 12:14 pm |
  256. Mr. Brown

    Obama have been ask tough questions, like is the rumor true that he is a terrorist. Nobody ask Hillary tough questions out of fear that she may cry again.I would like my questions answered because it is important to me.Is the rumor true that Hillary used drugs when she was a hippie? Is the rumor true that Hillary had a lesbian affair with her female personal assistant? I know the Clintons have a don't ask don't tell policy in the military that resulted in male U.S. soldiers having anal sex with other male U>S soldiers and not be discharged.

    January 16, 2008 at 12:46 pm |