Don’t stand so close to me

You may remember how Hillary Clinton liked to plant interesting characters in the backdrop of her campaign speeches. Well it seems Barack Obama likes to pluck them from his. Barry got into hot water recently over his handling of a potentially troublesome visual dilemma that reared it’s scarfed head at a rally in Detroit.

From The Hill:

When Barack Obama apologized in person last week to two women at a rally in Detroit wearing head scarves, he did it only after Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), one of two Muslim members of Congress, confronted him about the incident. An Obama campaign volunteer removed the women from Obama’s backdrop so they would not appear behind him on camera.

Sources tell Betsy Rothstein, editor of The Hill’s In the Know, that Ellison confronted Obama last Thursday during a closed-door meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).

Holding the numbers of the two women, Ellison told Obama the actions of his volunteers were wrong, saying his campaign needed to maintain an air of openness, not discrimination.

The conversation got so heated that CBC Chairwoman Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-Mich.) banged her gavel to try and quiet Ellison. Obama though asked Kilpatrick to let Ellison speak.

After Ellison finished, Obama told the caucus that he regretted the incident, but said that he had not ordered the women to be removed. Following the meeting, Obama called the women to apologize.

An Ellison spokesman says the meeting satisfied the Minnesota lawmaker’s concerns.

Personally I don’t buy that Obama didn’t know about this incident. But it’s much easier to remove the embarrasing “element” and then blame it on his staff than to have an image of Muslim women in Senator Hussein’s background making the blog rounds. This kind of situation will likely come up again in a different form and it will be interesting to see how Obama deals with it in the future. With a campaign so focused on tolerance, will the H come to stand for hypocrite?


5 Comments so far
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I disagree with you…..How could Barack know everything that happens? Of course he is going to be held responsible for everthing…..just like anyone that manages people….mistakes are made…..I am a black muslim women and I know that many muslim women are no better than any other woman….some of these muslim think they are better….especially immigrant muslim women whom discriminate against black muslaim women….which is why I rarely ever attend the muslim….as a matter of fact….most immigrant muslims are just as racist or more racist than portions of white america…

Comment by Musheera

Plus…..John McCain probably sent them as plants….number one….most muslims are Repulicans and voted for George Bush….because they are against abortions….gay marriage…as a manner of fact….most muslims do not buy into the democratic platform……..so I am pretty sure they were plants fromt the the right wing….I betcha if they did a background check on these women…..they probably never cover their hair……and possibly are not muslim…..

Comment by Musheera

Y’know… on that last point I’m not sure you’re so far off. It did cross my mind that they could have been plants from the opposition. Politics can be a dirty game and I’m not so enamored with McCain anyways.

I do disagree with you on the first point but I appreciate the fact that you stayed on topic.

Comment by hopperbach

hopperbach: Are you nuts? How could he possibly have known that this was happening? He would have been backstage at the ttime that this occurred. Prior to the incident, he was photographed with a woman wearing a headscarf so we have a permanent record (a photograph) indicating his willingness to appear with women wearing headscarves. He’s not a hypocrite; you are paranoid.

Also, how dare you use the title of a Police Song to promote your hysteria. The Police are a great rock band that has always represented tolerance and change. At their recent concert, they promoted awareness of how poverty affects children around the world. They would not want their music associated with this ridiculous post.

Comment by Di

:) Ah feel the love… This was actually a fairly calm post so I don’t think the hysterics are coming from this end, my friend…

First of all, I’m pretty sure Obama gets the chance to take a glance at the stage before his own rallies. I would also wager a guess that there are monitors backstage that he could see. If a Muslim woman comes up to have her picture taken with him he’s not going to tell her to go away. But he does have a little more control over who appears on the stage behind him. This is not at all suggesting that he hates Muslim women. Just that on a PR level (because of his middle name) he may be trying to avoid that association. Not, paranoia — just an (unhysterical) opinion.

Second, I LOVE The Police. They and U2 are two of the most unique and innovative bands to come along since the Beatles. Granted, Sting is somewhat of a sanctimonious do-gooder with an oversized ego (I already have an “awareness” of poverty and I don’t like it any more than he does). But I also think he and the band are brilliant musicians. I was having a little fun with the title but God forbid I should associate such a great rock band with a post that is critical of Obama [slapping own wrist]. I’ll be more careful next time.

Comment by hopperbach

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