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Obama in Kenyan Dress

Is This Photo a Big Deal? Whose Response Was Right?

This photo showing Barack Obama wearing traditional Kenyan dress was widely circulated this weekend. Rumorists pointed to Hillary Clinton's campaign as the source of what is now being called "the dressed" photo by the Drudge Report and others. Some believe that the Drudge Report received the photo from Hillary's campaign.

Barack Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe said, showing the picture was evidence "her campaign has engaged in the most shameful, offensive fear mongering we’ve seen from either party in this election," and said it was, "divisive."

Hillary Clinton's campaign manager retorted back,

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 people 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.

Michelle Malkin has a roundup of famous photos of leaders in native costume — just for comparison's sake.

nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
Jovian he is in somalia and is wearing Somalian dress. His dad is Kenyan so that person i very badly mistaken.
JovianSkies JovianSkies 9 years
Oh, I forgot to add that the person who commented the photo was on AOL, so it may still be there.
JovianSkies JovianSkies 9 years
Now, I'm not going to claim that I'm an expert on this (or that I even know what I'm talking about), but an individual from Kenya commented that there IS a difference between wearing what's appropriate in the area, and what it means to wear the garb from the tribe of your father. To wear the dress of your father's tribe is more serious, and means that you are an advocate of him and his beliefs, as opposed to being a guest and fitting in. Like I said, I don't really know anything but what I'd heard from someone else, so I can't verily defend it, or agree. Just thought it was interesting.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
I think this is good. Obviously Obama can't be attacked on anything substantial, if the best any opposition (official or not) has to throw at him are a few pictures of him in Somali dress :OY:
bethany21 bethany21 9 years
After a long day of grading papers and reading psychoanalytic and Marxist theory that is beyond my comprehension, I am so grateful to come home and read the wonderful and funny comments of cabaker, cine, and raciccarone! I am so happy to belong to an online community where everyone has different viewpoints that we can share with one another in a mature, rational way and also still joke around! Y'all pretty much made my night. :) And Cine- if you really ever want to run for public office, I do know of a couple crazy, backwards, sparsely populated places that may still vote you in knowing your previous non-involvement with the KKK. Let me know and I can hook you up. lol
lms lms 9 years
I was thinking the same exact thing as what Hotstuff said.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
I also think her reaction to the NAFTA issue was probably not a good move. She has tried to take credit for what her husband did in office (where else did "35 years of experience" come from?), and then at the same time acts like Obama is sooooo out of line for saying she supported NAFTA. If she would have said that upon reflection, she changed her views, it would be different. Instead she says, "Shame On You!"...for pointing out my failed policy. Can't have it both ways, Hil!
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
A new poll CNN aired on the Situation Room today said that Obama is ahead in Texas with 50% against Clinton's 48%, which is within the margin of error but it was exactly the other way around a week ago. She needs Texas, so this will be interesting. I think this publicity stunt of theirs will pull away voters. I don't understand why she keeps shooting herself in the foot. Younger voters know when they are being manipulated, and older ones recognize desperation from past candidates, from past elections.
Cadet Cadet 9 years
I'm not trying to pin this on Obama's camp, I'm just saying that people are quick to take sides without knowing any facts and that it may not be what everyone assumes that it is. It doesn't stop people from jumping to conclusions, though. You'll notice how everyone has decided that this picture appearing equates Hillary being ruthless and immoral. It's a picture, and it obviously hasn't helped her any. But maybe I'm just not seeing what everyone so obviously is.
JuliusCaesar JuliusCaesar 9 years
This just shows - Barack Obama looks good in ANYTHING! Seriously though, Obama is probably going to win the Democratic Nomination. The republicans, if they play dirty, will use his family history against him as many people will vote based only on his 'American-ness'. For Obama to release this would be like shooting himself in the foot. Clinton's campaign probably hoped to bring these cultural differences to the surface without looking insensitive.
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 9 years
I usually take Hillary's side however I'm with Barack this time; it was an underhanded move. Things like this make me wonder if I should be rooting for Obama.
hotstuff hotstuff 9 years
Funny how the Clinton campaign are only just now, within the past hour, actually denying they sent out these pics! I'm sure someone will be investigating this and then a staffer will be blamed as usual!
sugarbean sugarbean 9 years
Wasn't it just in the last week that Clinton accused Obama of relying on "Karl Rove" Tactics? This puts Rove to shame -- and is oddly reminiscent of the Atwater/Bush "illegitimate" child phone campaign that cost McCain the SC primary 8 years ago... but on a much larger platform and with less room for missing the hint. There's a fair amount of evidence (albeit circumstantial) that the Clinton campaign was behind the Obama-the-radical-Islamic email that was (is?) circulating the inboxes of Americans. Now that the email fury has died down and the Clinton campaign cannot survive without winning at least OH or TX, it's beyond convenient that a picture (linked to the Clinton campaign -- remember, Maggie Williams has refused to deny that their camp has nothing to do with this) surfaces which will resurrect the claims of that email without having to articulate the content of the debunked email
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
Hillary has no values, morals, and will resort to anything.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
I think it is quite a stretch to try and pin this on Obama's campaign. I don't think it is a stretch to think that the website might have a clue where they got it from. Do you really think Drudge would lie to help Obama?
laceykk23 laceykk23 9 years
i just dont see the point in having this pic out there. is it supposed to prove something? the clinton camp is getting really desperate but the debate should be fun to watch. i cant wait to hear what kind of questions tim russert asks hillary b/c we all remember how pissed she got at him after one debate. she was handled delicately at the CNN debate so it should be good, lol.
Cadet Cadet 9 years
"Ummm...did you not see where the website that posted it lists her campaign as circulating it?" That doesn't mean they did. How do you know Obama's campaign didn't circulate it saying they were Clinton's campaign to make her look bad for stooping to that level? It's obvious that no matter of propaganda is going to keep him down. I'm not saying that happened, but I'm just amazed at the conclusions people draw and choose to believe based on absolutely nothing substantial. No one wins.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
And this phot is supposed to do what prove he has muslim leanings??? The sad thing is there are so many ignorant people who will be like I told you he's a muslim blah blah blah.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
"I like how so many Obama supporters are quick to assume that Clinton's camp did this." Ummm...did you not see where the website that posted it lists her campaign as circulating it?
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Well just to put in prospective the amount of blue I have seen, I am from New York, lived in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and now back to New York. I have a feeling if I move to a red state I am in for a welcome and complete culture shock.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
I'm out, have a great night!
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Yea I totally agree.. I actually considered not voting until I realized I can still make my vote count for NH and therefore matter a bit more.. I have to tell you though, I've been living here for 2 years now and its soooo nice. You're gonna love it, it will be like night and day.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
I might be moving to a red state for the first time in my life come this fall. I am actually really excited at the prospect, although I would sort of rather be in a swing state, so that my vote actually mattered.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Cine - Not anti-McCain... just don't like him as much as I like Romney. Plus I live in a red state now so I feel like I can slack off... If I was going to work for Rom, I would have moved in with my inlaws in good ole swing state NH for the summer and done it there where its interesting!
indielove indielove 9 years
This is pathetic to say the very least. I have faith that the public will not fall for this little smut tactic. I'm sure there's many people who don't even know where Somalia is and the significance of the dress is. Pfft.
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