The "native Clothing" Two-step

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THE PLANK FEBRUARY 26, 2008

The "native Clothing" Two-step

1) The Clinton campaign is accused of circulating a photo of Barack Obama wearing Somali garb on a visit to Africa, and declines to deny that someone on the campaign may have been responsible.

2) The Clinton campaign says that, regardless, there's nothing wrong with Obama's wearing that clothing, and that it's absurd to call it "divisive."

1)  On "Morning Joe," Hillary supporter Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones says that the Clinton campaign would not "condone" the circulation of such a photo, and that "I would not personally have done it." But she adds,

2) "I have no shame, or no problem, with people looking at Barack Obama in his native clothing, in the clothing of his country." [itals mine] For any dim enough to have missed her implication, seconds later she brings up peoples' right to wear "the clothing of their nation" yet one more time. (Video below)

At this point, it seems to me there are really only two plausible interpretations: Either Stephanie Tubbs Jones is an imbecile, and the Clinton campaign is enormously unlucky that it keeps looking as though they're trying to paint Obama as an exotic, probably Muslim foreigner. Or the Clinton campaign is trying to paint Obama as an exotic, probably Muslim foreigner, and they think they can get away with the smear as long as they add, "not that there's anything wrong with that."

At this point, I'm afraid I know which I believe. 

 

--Christopher Orr

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