Barack Obama | Election 2008 | Hillary Clinton | News

Clinton and Obama Call Truce Over Civil Rights Accusations

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."

ClintonClinton 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.

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  1. January 15, 2008:
    The race begins to attack your least favorite Democratic candidate, and least favorite candidate by proxy bloggers, today on Towleroad! Who will be the first to drift from the article and rehash the same arguments? Bonus points for being able to use the words banana, obsequious, atrabilious, and cunt licker.

    ...and go!

    Posted by: justincredible | Jan 15, 2008 8:44:27 AM

  2. WOW...let's see if they can stick to this "truce"! Time will tell, but someone in their camps will open their mouths before this is over.

    Posted by: RB | Jan 15, 2008 9:05:29 AM

  3. I bet both recieved a good toungue lashing from party leaders.

    Anyway; good for them.

    Peace to all my fellow non-repubs.

    "I am not a cunt licker. The very thought of it is atribilious. Now banans are a different story. They cause me to become obsequious." There you go justincredible.


    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Jan 15, 2008 9:17:23 AM

  4. ....this is just the kind of crap that will send another Republican straight to the Oval Office. This Obama/Clinton power grab is turning the majority of Americans off. The Clinton political machine has long been known for throwing bombs and then acting as though they are the victims. This behavior is certainly going to stir up VERY negative memories towards her and her husband.

    One only needs to do some short searches on Youtube to see Hillary proclaim how Jewish, black, Italian, Vulnerable, Independent, dependent, liberal, conservative, and the list goes on she is.

    You don't see this crap going on on the Republican party...if the Dems lose the White House you can blame Hillary and the rest of that group for blowing it.

    Posted by: GayPolitico | Jan 15, 2008 9:32:30 AM

  5. This is just a shame, and, get ready for 4 more years of the Repugs, thanks Bill and Hillary for playing the race card as well and anyone of the GOP frontrunners.

    Posted by: Sebastian | Jan 15, 2008 9:53:58 AM

  6. They're saying the right words, but this has a feel of yet another round of slugging ("I'm bigger than this" "Me, too"). This round should go to Obama simply for getting to the moral high ground first, but nobody wins like this.

    Posted by: Greg | Jan 15, 2008 10:26:23 AM

  7. Wouldn't it have been nice for the Clinton Campaign to include gay and lesbian rights along with the list of other civil rights.

    Another missed opportunity from the group that gave us "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
    Bob in BC

    Posted by: Bob in BC | Jan 15, 2008 10:36:53 AM

  8. we must be careful of stepping on the BANANA peel of OBSEQUIOUS commentary that so many employ in the sevice of obama or the ATRABILIOUS epithets they fling at hillary -- not the least of which have been: oligarch, liar, lesbian, CUNT-LICKER, etc. -- lest we plunge down the slippery slope of internecine fighting that will hand the general election to the repugs.

    when cooler heads prevail, hillary will win the nomination as the most qualified and electable contender against the best of the worst of the grand (jejune) old party.

    Posted by: nic | Jan 15, 2008 10:41:53 AM

  9. I'm still not convinced either of them are anything but political hacks who will say or do anything to get elected just so they can bow at the feet of moneyed corporations in order to fill their own coffers. I already offered my first opinion by writing in Lou Dobbs in the other section of my absentee ballot for February's primary vote in California. Democrats or Republicans - I've had it with both parties and officially became an Independent two months ago.

    Posted by: philbert | Jan 15, 2008 10:49:18 AM

  10. The barometer of how rotten the brains of so many have become are the posts above that decry and distrust this unprecedented joint effort in the middle of a political war to stop race bombs from being thrown by the leading candidates more rabid supporters. Add to that the "pulled from their asses" absurdity about Republicans and the ever more tiresome Professional Clinton Hating for its own sake and, perhaps the most ridiculous claim--that people are being turned off by whatever the nutjob thinks "this" is when the turnout of voters in New Hampshire was record setting.

    This is a victory for our better natures but Internet-bred cockroaches are all too eager to snatch defeat from it.

    Posted by: TJ | Jan 15, 2008 11:05:04 AM

  11. Philbert

    Gore Vidal said we only have 1 party here in the US. The dems are just the more liberal wing of it.

    I wish I could remember the exact quote. If anybody is feeling a little lazy than I they can google and then post it.

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Jan 15, 2008 12:26:30 PM

  12. I meant "a little less lazy than I"

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Jan 15, 2008 12:27:56 PM

  13. I have to say that both campaigns have missed opportunities to stand on the premise of change. barack, who first coined the phrase, delinated from that whe he made potshots at Hillary for a comment she made about Lyndon B. Johnson and Martin L. King. Rather than just keep his eye on the prize, which is his run for the presidency, he chose to lambast her for her OPINION. That, to me, forces him to lose points.

    With Hillary, I already knew enough about her and her style to be critical. Take it or leave it, she is who she is and she's not one to mince words in the face of the media or pundits. I give her the edge in this childish debacle because she spoke her mind...whether you like it or not is your business. But, don't try to patronize one candidate for speaking their minds and then not patronize the other for playing with the people's minds.

    I'm black and I'm not stupid enough to fall for the race card like Barack and everyone else. If barack saw a race card played, he could've taken the higher ground by using humility as a way to get past it. After all, isn't it he who's running on the premise of character and not race?

    Posted by: Keith | Jan 15, 2008 12:43:33 PM

  14. if memory serves, this was the chronolgy of events that lead to the recent contretemps between the obama and hillary camps:

    1) hillary allowed that obama is a first rate orator and quoted mario cuomo from a number of years back as saying, "you campaign in poetry, govern in prose." recently (sep. 10, 2007, however, he said that the dems had to add specificity to their speeches.
    2) obama responded that both jfk and mlk were eloquent speakers.
    3) hillary responded that obama should not compare himself to either, citing differences between obama's life expeience and those of jfk and mlk. she futher said that while mlk was a great and inspirational leader for civil rights, it was lbj who forced through legislation in 1964 that enabled the passage of the civil rights bill that mlk had so heroically fought for. none of what she said was untrue or racially charged.

    the dust-up that ensued was indeed unfortunate. however, no democrat in his or her right mind would believe that obama (who is half white) or hillary and bill (the first "black" president) are bigots.

    thankfully, i am in the happy position where i am content with all the dem candidates and hold ill will toward none. to me, the only consideration is electability.

    Posted by: nic | Jan 15, 2008 1:05:31 PM

  15. It's just sad that not one front runner in either party is on the side of the gay voters.

    Posted by: | Jan 15, 2008 2:02:57 PM

  16. I agree NIC, I will vote for any of the Dems, even Edwards, who I do not like. Anyone but 4 more years of the GOP. I was going to vote for Obama before he defending his choice in keeping that homophobe Ex-Gay Preacher in charge of his SC fundraiser.

    Stating he wanted 'everyone to have a seat at the table'. Does that include the KKK and Nazi party? Then there was his backhanded compliment to Hillary in the last debate. When she was asked why
    so many people disliked her, Obama, threw in, 'You're like able enough'. Gee thanks. He is a phony.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Jan 15, 2008 7:14:47 PM

  17. The problem with Obama and Clinton is that they’re Democrats. They're kissing cousins of the Republicans. Both use gender and ethnicity to belittle their opponents in the campaign and both patronize GLBT folk while pigheadedly opposing samesex marriage. They pander to the superstitious vote.

    US politics has always been a cesspool of bigotry and both parties use it as a divide and rule tactic. Clinton and Obama contribute to the cycle of bigotry and divide and rule. It helps cover their real agenda, which is to get elected and make a lot of money. Although the Democrats have controlled the Congress since 2006 they refused to end DADT, gutted ENDA to placate big business, refused to revoke Bill Clinton's federal DOMA and 'misplaced' the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill so it wouldn't be an issue in the 2008 elections. They won't even impeach Bush.

    On other questions Obama, Clinton and the Democrats join the Republicans in voting to fund the war every time it comes up. Clinton supports Bush’s demented plan to extend the war into Iran using nukes. Obama is just as retarded – he wants to extend the war into Pakistan, but the Pakistanis have their own nukes - they can bite back. Both obstinately oppose socialized medicine but support union busting measures like NAFTA. Clinton and Obama, like all the Democrats vote for an endless series of tax cuts for the only people who don't desperately need them, gazillionaires.

    Their bipartisan 'deregulation' bills have let corporate tigers loose in the streets and caused the mass foreclosure crisis facing homeowners.

    The Democrats are a roadblock to GLBT equality, a fair standard of living, ending the war, socialized medicine and the fight against all forms of bigotry. A vote for them or the Republicans is a wasted vote.

    With Democrats like these who needs Republicans?

    Posted by: Bill Perdue | Jan 15, 2008 7:20:27 PM

  18. That was great, Jimmyboyo and Nic! I guess I'll be the first to drift here because I have nothing to add.

    This will be a small, atrabilious memory anyway in a few weeks. I'm sure it will be lost in the obsequious pandering and mud slinging to come in the next several months. It's gonna make us go bananas. And Ew! I'm not gonna say cunt-liker again.

    Posted by: justincredible | Jan 15, 2008 7:25:04 PM

  19. jimmyboyo, Gore Vidal is arguably the premier US essayist and author of the last century. Note that he says that the Democrats AND the Republicans are right wing:

    "[t]here is only one party in the United States, the Property Party...and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt—until recently... and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties."

    This quote deserves memorizing an antidote to the Democratic (sic) party line which tells us how lucky we are to have Clinton and Obama as friends. The truth is Clintons real friends are more like Rupert Murdoch or her fellow board members at Wal-Mart. Obama’s real friends are bigots like McKulkin. Keep this quote in mind when you question if real friends would have given us DOMA, DADT, or gutted ENDA or who 'lost' the hate crimes bill in the shuffle.

    Posted by: Bill Perdue | Jan 15, 2008 8:03:01 PM

  20. @BILL (Debbie Downer) PERDUE:

    bill, bill, bill... what to do with you? how do you drag yourself out of bed in the morning?

    yes, gore vidal is probably the most incisive political critic of his generation (and at least two more thereafter). and, while that redacted quote (which smells more than a little Wiki-ish to me) implies a disdain for both parties, his own history shows an affinity for the democratic party. last month, he endorsed kucinich.

    vidal is easily in his eighties, so one might excuse a cop-out on his part. nevertheless he did not surrender to the counter-productive idea that there is NO difference between the two major parties. what is your excuse?

    gore vidal has been an unapologetic homosexual for decades, and he has routinely cast his lot with the democrats. what will you be doing, bill? ...cutting off your nose to spite your face? or will you be lighting a candle for the democratic candidate, rather than cursing the darkness?

    Posted by: nic | Jan 16, 2008 6:46:16 AM

  21. Gore Vidal likes to pretend that there is no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans, but he knows better. I don't think there's any doubt that Vidal will be voting for the Democrats this year. If Vidal has a weak spot, it is that he has never actually been penniless and had to worry about lack of health insurance or being fired for being gay. He knows that the Democrats are the only party who might make SOME kind of advance for us in these areas. He is correct when he says that both parties are too conservative and too controlled by corporate interests, however.

    Posted by: Hephaestion | Jan 20, 2008 10:04:48 AM

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