David Axelrod of the Barack Hussein Obama campaign may have decided in a Karl Rove style move to attack someone in the Clinton campaign for racism because he had advanced warning that the ABC News piece on Wright was coming. This may be because ABC had asked the Obama campaign about it already.
In a March 7, 2008, article in the Torrance, California newspaper, The Daily Breeze, Ferraro said regarding Clinton’s nomination rival that “If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position”. Ferraro had made a similar comment in 1984 about Jesse Jackson. The comment drew heated criticism from the Obama campaign and many others, and although Clinton did not call for her resignation from the campaign, she did express disagreement with its substance. On March 11, again speaking to the Breeze, Ferraro remained defiant: “I really think they’re attacking me because I’m white. How’s that?” Ferraro refused to apologize. She resigned from Clinton’s finance committee the next day, citing a desire to stop hurting the campaign.
- 21^ Farber, Jim. “Geraldine Ferraro lets her emotions do the talking“, The Daily Breeze, 2008-03-07. Retrieved on 2008-03-12.
- ^23 a b “Ferraro leaves Clinton post after furor over Obama comments”, AP, March 12, 2008.
- March 7 Daily Breeze comment by Ferraro
- March 8 onwards the Axelrod Obama campaign jumps on this innocuous comment, which is the same as everyone has been saying, as has been documented since then.
- March 11 Ferraro defends her comment.
- March 12 Ferraro resigns from Clinton campaign.
- March 13 ABC News Story on Reverend Wright.
Sen. Barack Obama’s pastor says blacks should not sing “God Bless America” but “God damn America.”
This is the story that “broke” the story for ABC. You can tell that from the way it was written. Its not referring back to a prior ABC News story but pretends this is all new. As if Steve Sailer and others hadn’t covered it already.
Media Matters helps document the chronology of the ABC story.
On the March 14 edition of ABC’s Good Morning America, host Diane Sawyer noted that “ABC played some explosive statements by [Sen.] Barack Obama’s preacher about America and race,” and asked: “Is it fair to hold the candidates responsible for their preachers, for their friends, allies?” However, while ABC aired reports on Jeremiah A. Wright, Obama’s former pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, during the March 13 editions of Good Morning America and World News (in addition to Sawyer’s mention of Wright’s “explosive statements”),
This documents the chronology of the broadcasts from the Media Matters point of view.
David Axelrod of the Obama campaign likely knew this was coming. The Church probably passed the word that ABC was asking questions.
From the story on ABC
“I wouldn’t call it radical. I call it being black in America,” said one congregation member outside the church last Sunday.
That would be March 9th.
Rev. Wright, who declined to be interviewed by ABC News, is considered one of the country’s 10 most influential black pastors, according to members of the Obama campaign.
Wright could have warned Obama when he was asked for an interview. This seems likely to have been a good time earlier for March 13 publication date. They likely wanted him to go on tape and be interviewed, so they would have asked considerably earlier. Since they were at the Church on Sunday March 9, they likely asked Wright for an interview before they went to the church.
March 7 was a Friday when the comments by Ferraro broke. They likely asked Wright on a weekday for the interview, so it had to be March 7 or earlier that they called. Since they had a trip planned to his church for Sunday March 9, they probably called earlier than the Friday before for an interview. A minister has a busy day on Sunday. So they likely asked for an interview at least a week before the Ferraro comment. Wright then warned the Obama campaign is a reasonable supposition. So the Obama campaign knew a week before the Ferraro comment that ABC would do a major attack piece on Wright.
Wright thought it would be an attack piece because he turned down the interview. The reason he turned it down was he already thought it would hurt Obama. He may also have asked Obama if he should do the interview. So the Obama campaign likely knew all this and had decided this was a hostile hit piece a week before Ferraro’s comment and they told Wright don’t do the interview.
So one week at least before the Ferraro comment, the Obama campaign knew that ABC was going to do a major hostile hit piece on the Obama Wright relationship. Its possible that this happened much earlier and Obama’s comments about Wright earlier were already damage control for that piece. But they needed to go on offense to take control of the news coverage of race in the campaign.
They needed to make the controversy about the Clinton campaign and race, not the Obama campaign and race. So they needed to attack someone in the Clinton campaign first for racism. It needed to be someone big enough that it would get wall to wall media coverage. Ferraro was a previous vice presidential candidate. That made her perfect. If Obama attacked her personally, it would be guaranteed to take over as the top story. Obama in fact did attack her personally.
The following MSNBC page also shows the chronology. The Ferraro flap is in full gear on March 12, 2007 but the Obama Wright expose is not until later.
by Josh Drobnyk
FAIRLESS HILLS, Pa. — Sen. Barack Obama said today that any notion that his race has helped him in his campaign for president is “patently absurd.’’
“I don’t think that Geraldine Ferraro’s comments have any place in our politics or the Democratic Party,” Obama said in an interview today with The Morning Call of Allentown, Pa., after a campaign event in Bucks County. “I think they were divisive.
“I think that anybody who understands the history of this country knows they are patently absurd,’’ Obama added. “I would expect that the same way those comments don’t have a place in my campaign, they shouldn’t have a place in Sen. Clinton’s.”
This was Tuesday March 11, 2008. ABC had been outside Wright’s church on March 9, 2008. So when Obama made these comments he very likely knew about the ABC piece coming. By personally attacking Geraldine Ferraro, a previous Vice Presidential candidate of the Democratic Party, Obama knew this would become the main story. He did this 2 days before ABC ran its story on Wright.
==Damage Control on Wright had started earlier
From ABC story linked to above
In a campaign appearance earlier this month, Sen. Obama said, “I don’t think my church is actually particularly controversial.” He said Rev. Wright “is like an old uncle who says things I don’t always agree with,” telling a Jewish group that everyone has someone like that in their family.
More on that meeting:
WASHINGTON — The Sunday meeting with Cleveland area Jewish leaders was not on the schedule Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign gave reporters, but the stop in Mayfield Heights, hosted by Ron Ratner, a major fund-raiser for Obama, was one of the most important of the day.
The stop was Feb 24, 2008. The NY Sun above has Obama’s speech and the questions and answers.
He is like an old uncle who sometimes will say things that I don’t agree with.
So on Feb 24, 2008 the damage control on Wright had started. The Obama campaign was likely planning an attack on someone in the Clinton campaign as racist. This was a plan to pre-empt the issue. Then the ABC story would come second and might even be ignored.
David Axelrod “dirty politics”
“Axelrod, veteran of Chicago’s ugly racialized battles,”
Obama switched to down and dirty Chicago style.
David Axelrod “dirty politics” smear
Ferraro has also made comments indicating she thought there was a real effort to get her.