James Forsyth

A double-edged compliment

A double-edged compliment
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Bob Kerrey, a maverick former Democratic senator, was out stumping for Hillary Clinton in Iowa yesterday and had this to say about Barack Obama:

"I like the fact that his name is Barack Hussein Obama, and that his father was a Muslim and that his paternal grandmother is a Muslim. There's a billion people on the planet that are Muslims and I think that experience is a big deal.”

Now, maybe Kerrey—who is generally regarded as a decent guy—was being genuine. (The full context of his remarks lends support to that theory) But considering how the Clinton campaign had to stand down a campaign co-chair in New Hampshire for speculating about whether the question of whether Obama’s admission of past cocaine use would lead to questions about whether he had ever dealt drugs and fire an aide in Iowa who forwarded an email suggesting Obama was an Islamist sleeper, this incident is likely to be chalked up as similar to Hillary’s chief strategist Mark Penn declaring on TV that “the issue related to cocaine use is not something that the campaign was in any way raising.” 

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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