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Obama Campaign: We Don't Know About Email's Origins

10:57 AM, Feb 25, 2008 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
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In a conference call with reporters this morning, Barack Obama foreign policy adviser Richard Danzig admitted that the campaign did not know the backstory of the Obama photo allegedly circulated by Hillary Clinton's campaign. That lack of knowledge did not keep the campaign from denouncing it as "offensive" and "fear-mongering."

Said Danzig, in response to a question about the emailed photo's provenance: "I'm afraid we're not terribly well informed about it."

This is deeply revealing. Given a chance to position its candidate as the victim of a smear, the Obama campaign didn't even wait to find out if its candidate was, in fact, the victim of a smear. As we noted here, this is a problem for the McCain campaign.

On the other hand, Clinton campaign manager Maggie Williams issued an odd statement in response to the flap, one that did not include a denial of claims that the campaign "circulated" the email.


If Barack Obama's campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing is divisive, they should be ashamed. Hillary Clinton has worn the traditional clothing of countries she has visited and had those photos published widely.

This is nothing more than an obvious and transparent attempt to distract from the serious issues confronting our country today and to attempt to create the very divisions they claim to decry.

We will not be distracted.

Even if she's right that this is an attempt to create "diversions," it is odd that Williams didn't deny the basic thrust of the story. Who was "circulating" the email? Did the Clinton campaign send it to reporters?

Ben Smith has the goods on all of this -- go there and keep scrolling.