Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Halperin Creates Clinton Race-Card Scenario

Political analyst Mark Halperin is a journalist in a position to be heard and trusted by many people. You'd hope he'd be responsible in his reporting. He should know better than to place divisive race-laden words into a Presidential candidate's mouth while admitting she never once said those words. [Watch him on FOX News in the video above].

Mr. Halperin on Mrs. Clinton's alleged strategy to win over Superdelegates:
"What she's hoping, although she wouldn't say this to me, I tried to press her on it -- is that the exit poll that Fox and others do in Pennsylvania show that white voters are turning against Obama in Pennsylvania, even more than Ohio."
Mr. Halperin adds building blocks to his irresponsible framing of Senator Clinton's alleged race-based gamble in seeking the Democratic nomination. Halperin sets it up,
"Now, that is the biggest challenge to getting elected President as a Democrat is winning enough of the white vote. She hopes to show, perhaps based on what's happened with Reverand Wright, perhaps based on Obama's appeal in Pennsylvania, she hopes to be able that to superdelegates: 'look at what happened on Ohio, look at what happened in Pennsylvania, this guy can't win'. That's the mindset, that's the argument."
If you read this carefully, you'll see that, by claiming Hillary's too politically correct to admit she's betting on racism as a strategy toward winning the Democratic nomination, Mark Halperin just created a frame that is not based on any statement from Hillary Clinton or her campaign. This is how conventional wisdom grows (with no particular homage paid to the value of truth). This is what I truly hate about politics. Mr. Halperin should be ashamed. I'm ashamed for him. A person in his position should be reporting the facts and, at the very least, being careful about how he approaches the topic of race in this primary contest. He can be as non-PC as he wishes....but I firmly believe that stuffing words in Clinton's mouth while saying she refused to say the words herself our of PC-concerns is a violation of ethics in his line of business.

Out of the many reasons there are for Clinton to truly believe she'd be a better President, Mark Halperin chose the race card for her.

Isn't that special?

UPDATE: A recent development shows that Clinton campaign strategist Harold Ickes freely admits that the Reverend Wright issue has been discussed with Superdelegates. Ickes says that the Superdelegates have what he feels to be genuine concerns about voter reaction in the aftermath of Wright's decidedly startling comments..Obama's speech notwithstanding... and he felt it was appropriate to listen to those concerns. Mrs. Clinton has reacted:
Hillary spokesperson Doug Hattaway offered some clarification to ABC News: "She was and is unaware of anyone on the campaign pushing [the Wright] issue with superdelegates. She wants anyone who is talking to superdelegates to focus on our message, which is that she's best prepared to be president and beat John McCain."
Should Mrs. Clinton tell Harold Ickes to never talk about the Reverend Wright issue again? I'm not sure we should be muzzling any frank behind-the-scenes discussions about the political realities and the potential for the kind of swift-boat damage that the 527 groups so easily placed into the minds of American voters in the 2004 contest. Is it racism or is it staring into the abyss of cold hard reality? Is it worth going into denial mode for the sake of political correctness? Is it honest or is it racist to talk about the risk of loss of cross-over voters in November over Reverend Wright's statements and the public perception of Obama's long-term spiritual relationship with him?

I still hold to the belief that Mark Halperin took the lazy path to reporting this in the frame of the race-card when the issue goes much deeper in political reality.