While speaking to reporters in Long Beach, CA, Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin denied an AP analysis of her recent remarks suggesting that Barack Obama’s relationship with Bill Ayers is akin to Obama palling around with terrorists were racially tinged.
Palin said, “The Associated Press is wrong. The comments are about an association that has been known but hasn’t been talked about. I think it’s fair to talk about where Barack Obama kicked off his political career, in the guy’s living room. Palin also kept up the smear, It’s important for Americans to know. It’s really important for Americans to start knowing who the real Barack Obama is.”
The AP analysis by Douglass K. Daniel was careful to point out that Palin was not engaging in overt racism, but her remarks were designed to create a subtext, “Palin’s words avoid repulsing voters with overt racism. But is there another subtext for creating the false image of a black presidential nominee ‘palling around’ with terrorists while assuring a predominantly white audience that he doesn’t see their America?”
I do agree with Mr. Daniel in the respect that her remarks were designed to create a subtext, but I don’t think that subtext was racially based. I think that they were trying revive the failed theme that Obama is a radical who hates America. Palin was lying when she said that the Obama/Ayers association had not been talked about. The topic was not only talked about by Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primary campaign, but she also ran TV ads trying to raise doubts about Obama due to his association with Ayers.
What Palin is trying to do is straight out of the GOP 2004 playbook. She is trying to create a scandal and doubts about Obama’s character, but what happened to John Kerry in 2004, Obama already faced these tactics in the primary, and is ready for them now. What happened here is that Palin tried to Swiftboat Obama, but the media isn’t playing along this time, so her offensive move has ended up putting the McCain campaign on the defensive.