Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have released statements essentially calling a truce to the race and gender distractions the campaign has taken on lately. This is good.
Said Obama to the media in Reno, Nevada yesterday afternoon:
“You have seen a tone on the Democrat[ic] side of the campaign that has been unfortunate. I want to stipulate a couple of things. I may disagree with Senator Clinton and Senator Edwards on how to get there, but we share the same goals. We all believe in civil rights. We all believe in equal rights. They are good people. They are patriots….I don’t want the campaign at this stage to degenerate to so much tit-for-tat, back-and-forth, that we lose sight of why we are doing this. Obama said he wants to send ‘a strong signal to my own supporters’ that let’s try to focus on the work that needs to get done. If I hear my own supporters engaging in talk that I think is ungenerous or misleading or unfair, I will speak out forcefully against it….Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton have historically been on the right side of civil rights issues. They care about the African American community…. That is something I am convinced of. I want Americans to know that is my assessment.”
Clinton released this statement soon after:
“Over this past week, there has been a lot of discussion and back and forth – much of which I know does not reflect what is in our hearts. And at this moment, I believe we must seek common ground. Our party and our nation is bigger than this. Our party has been on the front line of every civil rights movement, women’s rights movement, workers’ rights movement, and other movements for justice in America. We differ on a lot of things. And it is critical to have the right kind of discussion on where we stand. But when it comes to civil rights and our commitment to diversity, when it comes to our heroes – President John F. Kennedy and Dr. King – Senator Obama and I are on the same side. And in that spirit, let’s come together, because I want more than anything else to ensure that our family stays together on the front lines of the struggle to expand rights for all Americans.”
Let’s hope they stick to it.