Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Obama supporter compares Bill to Lee Atwater

Is Bill Clinton acting like Lee Atwater?, a Obama supporter is suggesting it:
In an interview with CNN, Dick Harpootlian, a former chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party and an Obama backer, said some of Clinton's recent remarks on the campaign trail were appeals based on race and gender, meant to "suppress the vote, demoralize voters and distort the record."

Harpootlian said the remarks were "reminiscent of Lee Atwater," a hard-hitting Republican strategist who worked for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and whose tactics were reviled by many Democrats.

Looking at some of the things Atwater was known for:

Atwater's aggressive tactics were evident in 1980, when he was a consultant for Republican candidate Floyd Spence in his campaign for Congress against Democratic nominee Tom Turnipseed. Atwater's tactics in that campaign included push polling in the form of fake surveys by "independent pollsters" to "inform" white suburbanites that Turnipseed was a member of the NAACP. He also sent out last-minute letters from Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) telling voters that Turnipseed would disarm America and turn it over to liberals and Communists. At a press briefing, Atwater planted a "reporter" who rose and said, "We understand Turnipseed has had psychotic treatment." Atwater later told the reporters off the record that Turnipseed "got hooked up to jumper cables" - a reference to electroconvulsive therapy that Turnipseed underwent as a teenager.

"Lee seemed to delight in making fun of a suicidal 16-year-old who was treated for depression with electroshock treatments," Turnipseed recalled.

I'd have to say that Bill Clinton is no Lee Atwater...

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