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Clinton Surrogate Uses FOX News To Attack Obama Over His Pastor

Reported by Ellen - April 2, 2008 -

I hate the thought of getting involved in the Obama/Clinton fracas but how to excuse Clinton pal Lanny Davis going on FOX News to add to their relentless pile-on against Obama? It’s unlikely that enough Democratic primary voters are going to be swayed by such a tactic that it would put Hillary in the lead either with delegates or the popular vote. But Davis made it clear that he was using FOX News to damage Obama enough so that Clinton can argue that the Super Delegates should step in and overturn the results of the primaries. With video.

Frankly, I think Clinton would have done herself, her Party and her country a favor by doing the right thing and stepping up to the plate to defend Obama in the Rev. Wright controversy. She could have looked magnanimous as well as tough, presidential even, had she taken to the airwaves and said that despite being Obama’s opponent, she refused to debase the campaign by smearing an honorable candidate and a clergyman with an honorable record for the sake of political gain. She could have pointed out that the issue of his pastor is an irrelevancy that distracts from the real issues that matter to voters. Instead, she looks (to me, anyway) like a political opportunist joining the ranks of those whom she would never be caught associating with under other circumstances and those who will turn around and knife her in the back the moment the spotlight moves away from Obama. Her surrogates have sunk to the level of a Sean Hannity. Shame on them.

With words that could have been written by Hannity, Davis asked, “When did Senator Obama hear these hate-filled sermons or newsletters? Did he know of them? Why did he not leave the congregration and why did he appoint him his religious advisor in the campaign?” Are these really the issues that are important in a Clinton campaign? I thought she was better than that.

Kudos to Alan Colmes for getting what was wrong with this picture and speaking out against it. Colmes said, “You’re in league with those people who obviously don’t like Obama because you want Hillary Clinton. I’m a Hillary supporter but I’m very uncomfortable with going after somebody based on who their preacher is and what they said in a pulpit in a church which is a personal choice.”

With nauseating unctuousness, Davis said he respected Colmes’ “reaction” but that judging Obama over his pastor “is an appropriate issue, Alan, because it’s out there and it’s being talked about by a lot of voters.” So are Hillary's misstatements about Bosnia but that doesn't mean I think Obama should go on FOX News and start making a bigger deal out of it.

Colmes responded, “It’s appropriate to judge Obama on his votes, what he’s done as a state senator, what he’s done as a national senator, what his own speeches and two books have said. He has plenty of his own paper trail that should reveal who he is.”

During his turn, Hannity went on to smear Obama even further. Davis sat there agreeably, making some mild refinements to the parameters of the attacks, in an apparent effort to look reasonable and principled.

Hannity asked Davis if he could make the argument now that the Super Delegates should step in and give the nomination to Clinton

Davis answered, “If Barack Obama wins the popular vote and all of the delegates, there will have to be a powerful argument, based on facts, that the national polls show that he cannot defeat John McCain… I certainly am making the argument that if he cannot defeat John McCain, it’s up to the Super Delegates to vote for the nominee who can.” Perhaps in a moment of concern for his Party or maybe just to hide his blatant opportunism, Davis added, “and that will be at great risk and the Obama supporters would have a right to be upset.”

Then Davis went on to argue that the polls show Clinton ahead of Obama when it comes to beating McCain.

Davis’ tactics disgusted me so much that I just donated money to Obama.