Talking Points: Photograph Appearing on Drudge Report
This morning, the Drudge Report claimed that the Clinton campaign was supposedly circulating a photo of Barack Obama wearing traditional Somali clothing. Below is Q&A on this issue and an excerpt from an interview that Obama supporter, Gov. Janet Napolitano, gave to CNN this afternoon.
Q: In the campaign’s official statement today Maggie Williams does not directly respond to whether the Clinton campaign circulated this picture. Do you know whether anyone in your camp circulated this picture
A: No. I was not aware of it, the campaign didn’t sanction it and did not know anything about it.
Q: Have you asked all of the campaign staff about this?
A: We have over 700 people on this campaign and I’m not in a position to know what each one of them may or may not have done.
Have you actually seen the email the campaign is supposedly circulating? If you do see it, let me know.
For now, all we know is that the Drudge Report mentions an e-mail, but you haven’t seen it and to date, it’s not clear whether this e-mail even exists.
Q: Are you going to make any effort to question the staff about whether anybody actually sent out an e-mail like that?
A: I’m not in the position to ask 700 people to come in and answer questions about it. To put this as clearly and simply as I can: I was not aware of it, the campaign didn’t sanction it and did not know anything about it.
Transcript - CNN Situation Room
Gov. Janet Napolitano on BHO Native Garb Photo
WOLF BLITZER: Have you seen that photo circulating on the web now with Obama dressed in sort of Kenyan, Muslim garb that's been circulating? The Clinton campaign is not saying - there it is behind you if you want to take a look, you see it right there. What do you think of this development? Sort of, I guess the implication being to reinforce the notion that he is, at least on his father's side, there's some Muslim ancestry.
GOV. JANET NAPOLITANO: Oh, I think it's irrelevant to the issues of the campaign. I know there's some back and forth today; the Clinton campaign says they have nothing to do with it. I take them at their word. We need to move on. The people of the United States, the people out in Arizona aren't interested in a photo. What they're interested in is a president who will lead; who will help them deal with the economy, with health care, with foreign policy, and by the way with a new vision for the war in Iraq.
Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.