Jerame Davis

The Messiah Wears No Clothes

Filed By Jerame Davis | April 27, 2008 4:24 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics, Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, campaign 2008, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Indiana, John McCain, presidential politics

Indiana has becomeObamattack2.jpg the center of the universe thanks to the red hot contest between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. I cannot recall the national interest in what Indiana has to say about the presidential race ever reaching this point. The commercials, the radio ads, the unending rallies and press conferences. And the mail.

In fact, campaign mail is a big part of what I want to focus on. I believe one of the reasons Obama has gotten such a pass on the "negativity factor" is that the mainstream media (MSM) hasn't bothered to look at his direct mail.

More on the duality of the Obama campaign and the full 4 page glossy attack ad I received after the jump.

Keep in mind - this oversized, 4 page, glossy attack ad was the very first piece of mail I received from the Obama campaign upon their descent into Indiana. They didn't even bother to start by telling me how great their candidate is, but rather how awful Clinton is instead.

I highlighted part of page two of the ad above because it highlights a number of things I want to point out.

First, let's talk about language. Obama supporters have repeatedly decried how language is so important and we should never be attacking our fellow Democrats with "Republican-style" attacks. Can someone please read for me the first sentence on this page of the ad highlighted in big yellow text?

"We can't trust Hillary Clinton to protect Indiana jobs."

Let's break this down...

She's not trustworthy - Right out of the Republican attack machine. We've heard for 15 years how Hillary Clinton is out for herself, she's a devil, she is a self-promoting, self-serving political machine that wants nothing more than to see herself installed in the White House and will stop at nothing to attain power. We've heard it from Republicans. Why are Democrats, who speak of a new kind of politics - a refusal to bow to "Washington-style" politics - now attacking Hillary Clinton with the same language as the Republicans they are so afraid will win in November if she attacks Obama? How is this change? How is this positive?

She won't protect your jobs - Ugh. No one can protect Indiana jobs. It's just a lie. We've been shedding jobs for years and it will continue. Our state has for far too long been dependent on manufacturing and farming to survive. Hillary Clinton is talking about "Green Collar" jobs and other job sectors she wants to grow. Indiana's mostly "blue collar" workers are the perfect fit for those "Green Collar" jobs. We don't need protection, we need a new direction. Hillary speaks of that new direction.

There is plenty more tripe in the ad where that came from, but I'd like to move on to another Obama supporter favorite: The manipulation of images.

Take another look at that picture of Hillary Clinton. In fact, click on the PDF and look at the full size images there. I scanned these at really high quality and didn't Photoshop them at all. They are exact representations of what I got in the mail.

See how fuzzy, dark and sinister Hillary looks on the cover of that magazine? Do you think the magazine published their cover with Hillary looking like the image of death? Hell no, they have to sell copies on the newsstand.

Should we make a big deal out of it like the Obama people did about making him appear "more black" in some of her ads? I mean, Hillary looks a lot darker than she is in this ad, were the Obama people trying to make Hillary Clinton "more black" too? Look at the other pics of Hillary. The one on the front makes her look really old and harsh. Is that agism creeping into the debate now also?

Come on. It's shitty Photoshopping, poor quality images, and quick turn around that caused this just the same as what happened with "Blacker-gate".

And let's be clear. This has been going on throughout the campaign. In the neighboring state of Ohio, the attack ads from Obama via direct mail were so appalling and dishonest that Clinton publicly shamed Obama for them. It's too bad the MSM didn't bother to actually follow up on the story and look at direct mail. Instead they said Hillary was "harsh" and "crying foul." The truth is this has been systemic within the Obama campaign from the start.

Obama paints a rosy picture when he's on TV. He's ads are positive. His speeches are positive. But his direct mail is nothing close and his surrogates on the ground are just as bad.

Just last week I went to dinner with a group of Obama supporters in the local LGBT community. An Obama campaign staffer was the guest of honor among 8-10 people. The entire discussion was just a rehash of the nasty, negative, campaign that Obama has waged against Clinton.

For the record, everyone knew I was the Hillary supporter at the table, so I wasn't spying or looking for information - I was asked to be there, so I went. Friends are friends before politics for me.

The point is that this is how the Obama campaign has kept their nose clean. They've used the low visibility of small events and direct mail to wage their smear campaign while talking about hope and dreams when the cameras are on. The MSM has taken care of the rest. It's just unbelievable to me how many people don't see it.

Need more proof? Look at the Obama staffers who've had to resign because of the venom spewing forth from them regarding Hillary. If it has bubbled out from the highest reaches of the campaign (where we expect the most discipline and loyalty,) and we find it in the ads, and we hear it in the small group settings, are we to believe this negativity and hate-mongering doesn't exist throughout the campaign?

After all, this is the exact same logic the Obama supporters try to use against Clinton with racism and the "destroying of the Democratic party."

I have to give them this, the Obama camp is brilliant in their ability to wage a dirty, misogynistic, and divisive campaign and get everyone to blame only Clinton. I've seen a few in the MSM and elsewhere start to wake up to this fact. I hope more do.

As a good friend said to me recently about the whining coming from the Obama supporters, "It's time to put your big-girl panties on, this is politics." Got 'em on? Now here's the truth:

  • The Obama campaign resorts to negative attacks.
  • The Obama campaign lies.
  • The Obama campaign distorts.
  • The Obama campaign uses "Republican-style" tactics against fellow Democrats.
  • The Obama campaign Photoshops pictures that turn out looking bad for their opponent.
  • The Obama campaign does everything they've accused the Clinton campaign of doing and more.
  • The Obama campaign has benefited from the the laziness and bias of the MSM.
  • The Obama campaign is no different than any other.

The Messiah wears no clothes.

Obamattack3.jpg
Click to see the full PDF version.


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That needed to be said Jerame and I agree. There are many things that I like about Obama but underhanded attacks are still attacks.

His campaign has been "politics as usual" in a much more passive aggressive manner.

There's nothing wrong with drawing contrasts between campaigns on issues, which is what this mailer is doing (pointing out all the lobbyist money HRC is taking, pointing out her NAFTA boosterism).

That's very different from the crazy, irrelevant stuff Hillary's campaign is throwing at Barack; the "elitism" stuff, the Rev Wright manufactured controversy, etc.

Sportin' Life | April 27, 2008 6:53 PM

Definitely negative, definitely an attack ad, but:

Highlighting praise for Hillary from Fortune magazine and from big business is definitely NOT a Republican style attack. It's an attack from the left, on behalf of (or pandering to, depending on your point of view) the working class.

Hillary is way too cozy with wealthy corporate interests for my comfort. I look positively (though a bit skeptically, based on recent experience with the Dems) on Obama adopting economic populism as a campaign theme.

Sportin' Life | April 27, 2008 7:05 PM

BTW, as I pointed out to Sara on one of her recent threads, the argument that Obama is just as bad as Hillary is not a very convincing argument in Hillary's favor. As much as she has always presented herself as the inevitable candidate and the default nominee, she isn't that. She's losing, so she has to offer a tangibly better alternative. (I know her supporters think she does, but the rest of us need to be convinced.)

Bruce Parker Bruce Parker | April 27, 2008 7:53 PM

Jerame,

You seem to be saying that Obama does not care who he has to hurt or damage to get to the White House. It seems like he will lie, cheat, steal, disenfranchise voters, be racially divisive and sexist in order to achieve power. I am tired of of him acting like Hillary is doing something wrong by staying in the race when there are votes left to be cast and in the case of Florida or Michigan to be counted.

Politics as usual.

Yeah, I don't get how Hillary gets to be Ms. Salt of the Earth while Obama's a "snob," as her supporters have been saying, while she appears on the cover of Forture magazine.

Whatever. I'm so over this in many ways. It's Obama vs. McCain now unless Obama dies or something. It's time to mobilize in that direction.

Although Moses was a leader, luckily he never had to run an election campaign for U.S. President. Neither did Jesus of Nazareth, neither did Gandhi, and neither did MLK.

The campaign process has come to be an intrinsically corrupting transfiguration. If you come out the other end with your integrity totally intact, then you will come out as one of the losers. Between having to convince large pockets of voters who think like they are still in the sixth grade, and finding multi-millions in funding, it guarantees that by the time we have our new president, he or she will have done things that were less than honorable.

That is the world we live in. I don't know anyone who has bought a house in the last 30 years who, at the closing table, didn't sign at least one document that they knew was bogus. Wink. Blink. Nod.

I will say that, when a campaign goes negative, someone has to go first, and since Hillary is the one behind, she was the one that went first. Even though the mailers may be worded as "attacks" I suspect that Obama feels that he is merely doing what it takes to protect his lead from erosion by dis-information.

Jerame, put that mailer in the bottom of the bird cage where it belongs and don't give it another thought --- unless it's the last straw and you're ready to start thinking about moving to Canada or Amsterdam or Australia.


Hillary is too cozy with the weathy business types? what the hell about Obama and Rezko? what about Obama's 4 million dollar income last year?

geeze, c'mon here.it's okay for him to have wealthy friends, make tons of money but not her?

there are a lot of people who totally disagree with you Alex. Clinton can win. It's not a done deal and if it were, then why would Obama be smearing her so bad?

and no "but..." I'm sick of Obama folks claiming to be so different and so much better when they do the same things. but... he's a good guy. but... he will be better president... but...

indeed, time to get on the big girl panties. it is politics.

and the race will continue. there are a whole heck of a lot of people out there still to vote.

there are a lot of people who totally disagree with you Alex. Clinton can win. It's not a done deal and if it were, then why would Obama be smearing her so bad?

This isn't all that bad. Really, she was on the cover of Fortune and she's been presenting herself as working class. Seems like a contradiction.

And I know a lot of people would disagree. They're called Hillary supporters. But those people who disagree rarely point out why or explain her path to the nomination in terms that work with the pledged and super delegate counts now. Actually, last refutation of that that I read, the author simply said that women aren't that good at math so Hillary shouldn't have to pay attention to numbers.

Either way, it's not really about agree or disagree. I understand she has many die-hard fans who aren't going to let go and think she can win, much as the Kucinich and Gravel did back before Iowa. (While that's where I was most comfortable in terms of policy, I never said that I thought they could win. And if I said that they couldn't, one could have very easily said "there are a lot of people who totally disagree with you Alex" at the time and been 100% correct.)

It's more just like, do we really have to fight about this so much when she has no path to victory other than Obama's implosion or death?

indeed, time to get on the big girl panties. it is politics.

Sara, if you start saying that along with Lori and Jerame, I'm gonna plug my ears. LOL It really will be like having you as part of the family! *grins*

Hmm so far non of this is what id call mud.A little old tad of badmouthing perhaps but hardlly mud or nasty.Ya'all sound like you never have seen a truly nasty campagin in your lives.Politics is a contact sport with no rules then being from Georgia I have seen some that would make you run for the hills and not come back! Im talking Democrats here to until very recently there was no such thing as a Georgia Republican other than some name on the ballot in November.

Carry on

Caty

Rev Wright manufactured controversy

Jerame,

Your next article should be about the idiots who drink the Kool-Aidâ„¢ and are more brainwashed than Winston Smith.

For the Kool-Aidâ„¢ drinker who made the above stupid remark:

1. The Wright controversy isn't manufactured. The people of the US are rightfully ticked off at and disappointed in Obama.

2. It wasn't the Clinton campaign anyway. It was Sean Hannity of Fox News. That's the source that bought copies of all the sermons out of curiosity. They're the ones who published these YouTube clips. They're the ones to blame - or thank.

3. You gotta stop drinking those Peoples Temple beverages. For your own sake and for the welfare of your country. And you gotta do it by yesterday. Grow up and be and act like an adult.

I actually have a copy of that issue of Fortune. Honestly, I think the version on the Obama mailer is more flattering.

Bruce Parker Bruce Parker | April 27, 2008 11:21 PM

It seems to me like the point isn't that the mailer that the Obama campaign sent out wasn't all that bad. The point seems to be that while Obama seems to insist in his speeches and television interviews that he refuses to engage in "politics as usual" his campaign is doing just that. I don't think that this proves that he is unfit and should lose. In fact in some ways it makes me more likely to support him because he is finally getting "real" in some sense.

I suppose whether it makes you like him less or more at the least his supporters should start facing the facts that you can't be above the fray, leading a movement, making people feel good all the time and be a successful politician. Perhaps, it is too bad that our system works that way or perhaps it is good because it may prevent someone becoming dangerous in their appeal and charisma.

Hillary hasn't been presenting herself as working class. She has been presenting herself as more able to understand/communicate/represent the working class than Obama. I am not even saying I agree with her and I see that Pennsylvania may have had as much to do with racism as with how convincing she was.

Alex, I can't help but think that some folks who aren't "Hillary supporters" or at least not the type of Hillary supporters that you are talking about don't want this race to go on. I am conflicted about a lot of dynamics going on, but think that it is really troubling for people to be so eager to call on her to give up.

If Obama has it locked up I think his campaign would have the remaining super delegates endorse him and be done with it. He doesn't. I am troubled that it is starting to be assumed that Florida and Michigan are going to be totally disenfranchised. We are pretty much handing them to McCain if we don't sort out something regarding them.

Most troubling about your response is the invocation of the "women are bad at math example." Please, don't belittle the folks who think she has a chance by repeating a sexist statement you heard.

Saying that something isn't really about agree or disagree tries to make it sound like you think your above having an opinion when your comment made your opinion really clear. You think she should drop out and framed it like everyone else should think that as well. Jerame, Sara and I don't agree with you. Lots of folks in Pennsylvania don't agree with you and a lot of folks who donated to her campaign don't agree with you.

Obama seems to be wilting under the pressure. I am glad we are seeing this now. In a lot of ways, I hope that he gets it together and proves he has the staying power. Right now it is looking bleak.

Can we please go back to arguing about trans folks in public showers?? Please? It made me want to stab myself in the eyes slightly less.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 28, 2008 4:43 AM

I am glad to know that "Fortune" would find Hillary a friend to business. Business needs friends too as without industry and jobs little else can be accomplished. Perhaps we can even avoid the usual downward pressure on the stock market when a Democrat wins. The reason the super delegates are waiting to end this are the states Hillary has won. Dependable Democratic states that would bring her an electoral college victory.

We can go on about number of states Obama has won and whether or not he has gotten more votes than Hillary but if Obama's delegate lead is from states that go McCain in November we will have done a disservice to the party and the super delegates know it.

Besides, Al Gore got more popular votes that George W. in 2000 and it did not matter. It is only about electoral votes.

Jerame: There was a time several months ago when the campaigns of Senator Clinton and Senator Obama were all about the issues. Senator Clinton was losing badly. In fact, here in Colorado, Senator Obama got 66% of the vote in the caucuses. Senator Clinton fires her campaign manager, hires a new one and the dirty politics begin. As a result of these new tactics, she starts winning some states. Gutter politics prove to be successful, and the attacks continue and intensify. Senator Obama has to respond in kind to these attacks to remain viable. These nit-picking virulent attacks are dividing the Democratic party, and making what should have been a shoo-in for a Democratic candidate now look like another 4 or 8 years of Republican misgovernance by the party that is certainly no friend to the LGBT community.
Senator Clinton's campaign is responsible for this ugliness, and that is why the McCain is so hopeful that she is the nominee. Her nomination will unite the Republican party whereas Senator Obama wanted to unite the nation.
I remember the campaign of Governor Dukakis that resulted in his being the nominee despite his being least qualified to be president. He lost in a landslide - to Richard Nixon.
Michigan and Florida broke the rules, and they shouldn't be rewarded for breaking them by becoming the states that determine the nominee.

If you go back and reread the original article, there is not a single word there about issues. Why? Simply because Senator Obama's plans are best for this country. Senator Obama's funding comes from ordinary American citizens while Senator Clinton's comes from big business. Big business had an ally in thw White House for the last 8 years, and I think it's high time when the ordinary citizens have one. I also think that it's time for the LGBT community to have a friend and ally in the White House, and that person is Senator Obama.

The Rev Jeremiah Wright story, whoever manufactured it, has been played to the hilt by Clinton and minions. A lot of us out here really gotta wonder - just what did the Rev say that was so wrong? Scratching our heads on that one... And funny to see how the people who continue to trot out their shock and dismay have done ZERO background to try and understand some context - like say, listen to the whole sermon, maybe.

By they way, the sermon MLK was set to preach the Sunday afer he was assassinated - titled "America Is Going to Hell."

Jeremiah Wright is a good man. Obama should have defended him with MORE enthusiasm, rather than denounced him at all. Unfortunately, he kowtowed to the "flag waving masses".

Anyone who actually thinks that America is all about freedom and justice and without sin is either incredibly naive, incredibly ignorant, incredibly stupid, or all of the above.

We need a president who will defend the principles of our Nation...not the history. God damn the historical America that enslaved and degraded generations of peoples. God damn the historical America that valued profit more than human life. and God damn the flag wavers that helped them to do it.

Some things actually are worth fighting and dying for....Liberty, justice, freedom, human dignity. These concepts are greater than any Nation, and inspire peoples under any flag. Jeremiah Wright understands that.

Is that a controversy?

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 28, 2008 9:48 AM

jerindc

I agree with you, damn ignorance, damn stupidity, damn people who give lip service to our being a "color blind" society. Now given all that, please (now that we have grown to not any longer being exploiters domestically) don't damn profit looking forward.

Unless we want to just keep flipping hamburgers for one another we have got to remember that there is capitol and labor. Without return on capitol outlays there will be no labor. Now, my dad worked for the railroad and we lived in a wood frame house next the the RR tracks of the line he worked. Before college, I worked for that railroad on a track crew, real, back breaking labor.

I knew at eighteen that without "big shots" to put up the money, I would not have even had that crummy job. Don't damn profit. Damn stupidity, damn dropouts, damn drug use, damn everything that saps individual excellence. And while you are at it, mentor young people, Gay and Straight in any way that you can, to help them to become more successful in navigating life. Deeds friend, are a thousand times more important than just words, unless you are reading to children. I am childless, but I have literally dozens of "children" I have mentored ranging in age from 15 to 70. Life and "living" is about so much more than one upsmanship in politics.

Forgive me if I am overly sentimental, but I can never damn America, just her ignorance.

Those who criticized Reverent Wright's speech last night probably didn't even see it. The man told it like it is, whether White America wants to hear it or not. Sometimes the truth hurts, but truth it was.

I came away from the eloquent speech that was brilliantly delivered firmly convinced that it could only help Senator Obama's campaign, and nothing was said in my opinion that Senator Obama has any need to distance himself from.

Yes. This country needs dialogue.
Yes. This country needs change.

Yes. We can.

So.... Obama is just like Hillary. But not quite in her league. Thus we should vote for Hillary. Hold that thought for a moment.

Does anybody know the name of the leading Obama campaign staffer who owns company that has employees working on McCain Campaign and who also was working with the Columbian Government for a Free Trade deal while at the same time working on a campaign who's officially against that same Free Trade proposition?

(Crickets)

I guess I have to agree. Obama just aint in the same league as Hillary. Better vote for Hillary then. NOT!

Robert, I was not "damning" profit. I like industry, I like profit - just not profit that is produced by corruption, war, death, and the degredation of the planet....profit that is valued over the welfare of people. Not profit, by itself. We need to bring profitable and constructive business back to the U.S. instead of exporting our jobs to other Nations for cheap labor. Or importing cheap labor at the expense of American unemployment.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 30, 2008 10:40 AM

Jerindc, well said, but understand there is always a "perception" that an employer is on easy street and the employee is in the downtrodden masses and it ain't so Kokomo.

I have been both, and it is a heck of a lot easier to be an employee who can walk away at day's end than someone with their money in a business trying to make it work against all competition foreign and domestic.