Obama Smears Are Low-Profile Precision Strikes

Efforts to emphasize Democrat's "foreign-ness" dodge publicity
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Sep 24, 2008 10:52 AM CDT
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama speaks during a campaign stop at Macomb Community College in Warren, Mich., Wednesday, May 14, 2008.    (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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(Newser) – This election’s smear campaigns are precision strikes flying under the radar, unlike the publicity assault from the Swift Boat attacks last time around, the New York Times reports. An independent group has run cable ads heavy on racial overtones in Detroit’s suburbs, linking Barack Obama to controversial black figures such as his former pastor, Detroit’s disgraced mayor and, in a coming ad, Kenya’s prime minister.

The chairman of the local Democratic Party where the ads are running dismisses the campaign as “race oriented,” but the director of the group behind the spots said race had “zero” role in them. Throughout the campaign, there have been a number of efforts to define Obama as foreign through false information in fliers and chain emails.