The McCain campaign watched and learned from the Democratic primaries:
More at the link.“The Clintons are racist” - chicken come home to roost
August 5, 2008 ·
Politico is finally delving somewhat into what was done never before addressed in the media
Of course Ben Smith goes out of his way to contend thatbut there’s one sore point they’re not quite ready to absolve: Leaving the impression that Bill and Hillary Clinton have a race problem.
“I am not a racist,” Clinton said Monday in a testy interview with ABC News in Monrovia, Liberia, in response to a question that wasn’t quite related to that subject. “I’ve never made a racist comment and I never attacked [Obama] personally.”
When he directly accused all Clintons voters of racism, it kinda followsObama himself never suggested that the Clintons had harbored racial animus
This confirmed that McCain hit a nerve with his “race card” statement:
The depth of the anger in Clinton’s circle became clear Friday, when McCain’s chief strategist compared his candidate to Bill Clinton, and the Clintons seemed to accept the analogy.
“Say whatever you want about Bill Clinton, but it’s deeply unfair to suggest his criticism of Obama was race-based,” McCain adviser Steve Schmidt told Politico, after his campaign blasted Obama for suggesting the McCain campaign would use his race against him. “We knew it was coming in our direction because they did it against a president of the United States of their own party.”
Clinton’s staff declined to comment, but her campaign communications director, Howard Wolfson, appeared on Fox News later that day to, in effect, back Schmidt up. “I think the McCain camp watched our primary on the Democratic side very carefully and they know that any accusation of racial divisiveness can be very, very harmful for a candidate’s prospects.