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Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Well, that didn't take long.

Fresh from the "subliminal racism" scandal, the Hillary campaign is now accused of darkening Obama's face in their ad.

There are two questions here: 1) did they do it and 2) if they did, was there a racial motive?

Did they do it?
As my earlier post on this subject noted, the Clinton campaign has taken pains not to darken Obama's image to the traditional black and white. This too is a color image, so they didn't go the black and white route. Still, they could have altered the coloring to darken him up, but given they are clearly aware of this possibility, my sense is that they would have avoided it because of the potential for this circus, which doesn't help Hillary, at least as I see it.

Let's say they did do it. This doesn't have to be a racial thing -- this is standard practice in the campaign advertising game. One thing to ask is whether Obama, as a black candidate, gets a new set of rules that don't apply to any other candidate when it comes to images. Only great color shots of Obama are allowed. I'm not sure that works.

My prediction - white candidates will start demanding the same treatment. If I were a campaign manager for a campaign, the first time someone ran a black and white slow motion shot of me, I'd cry foul and "racism." It will happen this cycle and, depending on the effectiveness of the charge, may become the equivalent of the "push-poll" accusation -- an unprovable and ridiculous counter-attack that is meant to inoculate the candidate against an attack ad.

Counting down, 10-9-8...

On the other hand, there are good reasons to question the Clinton team's tactics.

Here's a behind the scenes look at the Clinton campaign's effort to sign up volunteers in Texas. As you can see, they are playing the race-card big time.

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