MSNBC analyst: Rove Obama attack close to 'outright racist'
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Friday January 11, 2008 |
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Keith Olbermann began a segment on the presidential primary campaign with a disclaimer about the irrelevance of endorsements, saying the last time one may have made a decisive difference was when William Jennings Bryan backed Woodrow Wilson in 1912.

That said, he noted that Barack Obama has been picking up a large number of endorsements this week, the most high-profile coming from Sen. John Kerry, who proclaimed, "The old guard sometimes has a hard time acknowledging an individual who breaks the mold. ... Barack Obama isn't just going to break the mold. Together, we are going to shatter it into a million pieces and rebuild our nation."

"No official endorsements for Senator Clinton today," Olbermann stated, "but it sure appeared as if Karl Rove was back to backing the candidate he'd love to see beaten ... writing an op-ed in the now Murdoch-owned Murdoch Street Journal, in which he explains why Mrs. Clinton won in New Hampshire and otherwise eviscerates Senator Obama, saying of the Illinois Democrat's performance at the debate Saturday, 'His trash talking was an unattractive carryover from his days playing pickup basketball at Harvard, and capped a mediocre night.'"

Political analyst Richard Wolffe joined Olbermann to comment on the Kerry endorsement, which he called "very well timed ... because there is a question of foreign policy experience, of where the establishment of the party is likely to go."

He further explained that the endorsements by Kerry and by a congressman who is extremely close to Nancy Pelosi are not really intended for voters, but should be taken as "important signals to the party that not only can Obama be taken seriously, but they should consider where they put their endorsements."

Of the Rove editorial, Wolffe stated, "Talking to some of Obama's aides, I think they detected a pretty ugly undertone in Rove's op-ed there. The 'trash-talking.' The 'basketball.' The 'lazy' thing. Is he suggesting that there's some sort of color aspect to Barack Obama's behavior that he's getting at? It was uncomfortably close to the edge of being plain-out racist."

"That's Karl," said Olbermann.

The racist slant of Rove's op-ed has already been widely noted among bloggers, with one of the more vehement writing, "When you take into consideration the malevolent genius of Karl Rove - The god damned Johnny Appleseed of fear harvesting - and understand that the higher echelon of the Republican base is being spoon-fed a concoction that consists of a feminist-socialist lesbian wife of a shill president or a lazy, jive-talking, b-ball playing huckster boy politician from Chicago ... Rove's ability to triangulate issues and interweave them with subtle strereotypical imagery would be fun to read if it was fiction. Unfortunately in real life, the fat master has stirred and is testing the waters to see if his style of politics still plays."

This video is from MSNBC's Countdown, broadcast January 10, 2008.