The obligatory “Obama volunteers bar women in headscarves from stage” post

posted at 1:34 pm on June 18, 2008 by Allahpundit

Not the first time an Obama event coordinator’s displayed a little extra nuance in shaping the onstage demographic, don’t you know.

In fairness, I doubt this is official campaign policy. For one thing, I dimly recall seeing women in headscarves in the audience behind him during some speech earlier this year and being impressed, given the grief he’s gotten from the Muslim rumors, that he’d have them up there. Granted, St. Barack isn’t above revisiting certain dearly held principles if he thinks it’ll benefit him politically, but like Politico says, if this is official policy then why was he posing for photos with a woman in a hijab the very next day? And how would it make sense politically to alienate millions of Muslim voters just on the odd chance that a few suspicious undecideds will have this eureka moment on Election Day: “You know, come to think of it, I haven’t actually seen him with any Muslims.”

“This is of course not the policy of the campaign. It is offensive and counter to Obama’s commitment to bring Americans together and simply not the kind of campaign we run,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton. “We sincerely apologize for the behavior of these volunteers.”…

[F]or Obama, the old-fashioned image-making contrasts with his promise to transcend identity politics, and to embrace all elements of America. The incidents in Michigan, which has one of the largest Arab and Muslim populations in the country, also raise an aspect of his campaign that sometimes rubs Muslims the wrong way: The candidate has vigorously denied a false, viral rumor that he himself is Muslim. But the denials seem to some at times to imply that there something wrong with the faith, though Obama occasionally adds that he means no disrespect to Islam.

“I was coming to support him, and I felt like I was discriminated against by the very person who was supposed to be bringing this change, who I could really relate to,” said Hebba Aref, a 25-year-old lawyer who lives in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills. “The message that I thought was delivered to us was that they do not want him associated with Muslims or Muslim supporters.”

It is odd that the campaign itself is willing to call the Muslim rumors a “smear” on its anti-smear site. Doubtless that too in short order will be blamed on (a) conservative bloggers, (b) Fox News, (c) conservative bloggers by people on Fox News. Ah well. Speaking of Muslim rumors, though, go read Jake Tapper’s analysis of the interview on Israeli Radio with Obama’s half-brother Malik. The Jerusalem Post published a short item last week claiming that Malik said Obama had a “Muslim background.” Tain’t so.


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First a Che flag, then a call for more white people, and now removing Muslims from campaign pics. Quite an interesting group of campaign workers Obama’s got there.

amerpundit on June 18, 2008 at 1:37 PM

Headscarves, meet Bus. Bus, meet Headscarves.

Same thing. Different day.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on June 18, 2008 at 1:38 PM

amerpundit on June 18, 2008 at 1:37 PM

When your image is all you have, you must be very careful with that image.

misterpeasea on June 18, 2008 at 1:40 PM

BHO doesn’t mind Muslims in the background photos and video, just not identifiable Muslims. Men in suits: good. Women in hijad: bad. I bet the full niqab is considered extra-bad.

The best part of the Politico piece are the comments. Politico’s comment section has long been hijakced by Obamabots but even the faithful are pissed over this episode. Too much hope, not enough change.

Vote Sauron 08 on June 18, 2008 at 1:44 PM

Heh, AP said “taint”…

I see a major tangle coming up from all this Muslim stuff. He’s setting himself up to misstep sometime soon.

When your image is all you have, you must be very careful with that image.

misterpeasea on June 18, 2008 at 1:40 PM

Exactly. He’s got a difficult campaign ahead with all the posturing he’s done in the past in his books and speeches.

NTWR on June 18, 2008 at 1:44 PM

A photo is one thing but a televised speech is another.

William Amos on June 18, 2008 at 1:45 PM

I blame fox news, first!

lorien1973 on June 18, 2008 at 1:47 PM

Even more disturbing:

Hospital brass had gathered to break ground for a children’s wing when African-American protesters broke in with bullhorns, drowning out the proceedings with demands that the hospital award more contracts to minority firms.

The executives froze. (Michelle) Obama strolled over and offered to meet later, if only the protestors would pipe down. She revised the contracting system, sending so much business to firms owned by women and other minorities that the hospital won awards.

Hmmmm if a person without politiclly correct pigmantation revised contract awards systems so as to block out women and minority owned businesses what would we call that…..?? Would they get an award?

Alden Pyle on June 18, 2008 at 1:48 PM

Taint so

A person has to be a real dimwit to say or believe that.

Muslim Dad and Stepdad. Lived in a Muslim country for 4-5 years. Learned Arabic. Worshipped in a mosque. Studied the Koran (probably knows Koran better than most believers know the Bible)

faraway on June 18, 2008 at 1:48 PM

Obama: It’s obviously the wrong time of month for these sweeties who are bitterly clinging to their headscarves out of a sense of antipathy to people who aren’t like them.

Jeeves, fire up the bus.

IreneFingIrene on June 18, 2008 at 1:50 PM

They should’ve asked them to fake a faint … two birds, one stone.

Tony737 on June 18, 2008 at 1:53 PM

Still, she said, it was difficult to hear a Obama’s message of unity among races.

“As he’s saying it, I’m thinking, ‘Well, wait a minute, I was obviously … profiled and discriminated against an hour ago.’”

He said ‘among races’ not religions. Islam ain’t a race, sweeheart. Maybe the hijab muffles her hearing.

Vote Sauron 08 on June 18, 2008 at 1:53 PM

more Gaffe-a-rama-obama. Everyday. Will anyone notice?

kirkill on June 18, 2008 at 1:55 PM

Our savior of the world, the great uniter, change we can believe in…

He’ll be black and non-Muslim (in the primaries), and white and Muslim in the general, depending which audience or camera is needed.

This is the Messiah and he can metamorph into whatever he needs.

If you don’t like it you suffer of Barackaphobia.

I don’t know what the clinical antidote is for that, yet.

Entelechy on June 18, 2008 at 1:56 PM

Oops. I see what AP is saying now. I just read the Tapper piece. Tapper is saying that Malik never said any such thing.

/dimwit

faraway on June 18, 2008 at 1:56 PM

Its not the Obama campaign’s fault, yet there must be SOME sort of undercurrent which directs people to believe they must do things such as this.

Bishop on June 18, 2008 at 1:58 PM

even a campaign whose supporters chant “race doesn’t matter.”

By all indications, race is the only thing that matters to Obama supporters.

Jaibones on June 18, 2008 at 2:09 PM

If a Republican candidate’s campaign staff did this…well, as my grandma used to say, “Katie, bar the door!” The media would be going full-tilt ape-shi* right about now. It would be a HUGE, HUGE story, with CAIR reps all over the talk shows. When Obama’s people do it? Not so much.

Rational Thought on June 18, 2008 at 2:11 PM

It makes perfect sense to something as stupid as that if you see everything through a racialized prism. Identity politics, pure and simple.

Lunkinator on June 18, 2008 at 2:11 PM

So whom is it that is actually pulling the strings on this marionette who is running for President?

Brat on June 18, 2008 at 2:11 PM

“America is just plain mean. My husband is only reacting to a fundamental flaw in American society. America is Capitalist. America is misogynist. America is racist. America is simply wrong. It is flawed. My husband is only reacting to the reality of the situation. If he had it his way, my husband would be pictured with every Communist, Socialist, Feminist, Black Muslim/Liberationist, Abortionist and Homosexual possible. But, he can’t do that. He can’t represent the Workers. The Proletariat. Not yet. But, he will. His change will come.”

Michelle Obama

OhEssYouCowboys on June 18, 2008 at 2:13 PM

Well, by all means, let us not mistake any message from Hussein’s brother Malik.

Jaibones on June 18, 2008 at 2:16 PM

FWIW, a DUer posted this

I was volunteering at the rally and spoke to someone whose assignment was to select people to sit behind the stage. There were very strict guidelines as they randomly selected people to sit there. I don’t know all the rules they were given, but I know they were told to select small groups with no young children (because they didn’t want children to start fidgeting there, have to leave to go to the bathroom, etc.) and no one wearing T-shirts with slogans on them. I don’t know if they were specifically told not to select anyone with headscarves, but I seriously doubt it. Once someone was selected, they had to go to a specified spot to get a yellow wristband, which would gain them access to that seating area.

Obviously their selection criteria is a work in progress, since the guys with the A&F shirts a few weeks back do not fit the current selection criteria. What may have been permissible at previous events, may not be permissible now.

rw on June 18, 2008 at 2:16 PM

CHANGE: Change outta that burka, and you can stand behind the messiah.

Vincenzo on June 18, 2008 at 2:18 PM

Hmmmmm….

Let me see if I understand this. Muslims are arguably some of the most conservative people in the world. No homosexuality, no abortion, no women’s rights, yada yada. Why on earth would there even be a Muslim at an Obama rally. Oh, wait a minute. Silly me. I forgot that the destruction of Israel and pulling out of Iraq and going soft on the terrorists must be their issue.

mrsmwp on June 18, 2008 at 2:19 PM

As a compromise, from now on supporters should be able to stand behind Barack Obama wearing Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirts over their heads.

jon1979 on June 18, 2008 at 2:20 PM

Please give us a thread with Michelle O’s reintroduction to us. The NYT captured it. It must be significant.

The cameleons need a make-over. They’ll have many between now and Nov. Then comes the shocker.

Entelechy on June 18, 2008 at 2:26 PM

Obama is using clever technique here to avoid pandering but also to avoid being associated with muslims.

Snub, then apologize quietly. It avoids photos, which are far more damning than reports of apologies are.

Watch out for this guy, folks. He’s dangerous.

fossten on June 18, 2008 at 2:27 PM

He always makes sure that it’s all or mostly white people sitting behind him in his photo-ops. Now he’ll have to be sure they are not wearing hats or head scarves.( unless, of course, they are good old boy caps to prove he’s one of the bitter and gun loving).

jeanie on June 18, 2008 at 2:46 PM

If the McCain camp would have done this, the explosive cries of racism from the left would be so loud they would cause an earthquake.

Maxx on June 18, 2008 at 2:47 PM

CHANGE: Change outta that burka, and you can stand behind the messiah.

Vincenzo on June 18, 2008 at 2:18 PM

ROFLMAO!

TheBigOldDog on June 18, 2008 at 2:51 PM

“This is of course not the policy of the campaign.”

More Obumbling.

Of course.

fogw on June 18, 2008 at 2:51 PM

Actually, while they did this in public, behind the scenes, Obama met with Hezbollah’s top American propagandist, whose brother works for Al-Manar.

Debbie Schlussel on June 18, 2008 at 2:53 PM

But McCain could have a woman in a hijab behind him during a television appearance, and people wouldn’t wonder if he’d sell the country out to radical Islam (I’m not suggesting there’s anything radical about this woman – it’s just the image I’m talking about). Obama, on the other hand – you just never know what he’s really thinking about all this, and I get the feeling he’d like to keep it that way.

capitalist piglet on June 18, 2008 at 2:55 PM

If a Republican candidate’s campaign staff did this…well, as my grandma used to say, “Katie, bar the door!” The media would be going full-tilt ape-shi* right about now. It would be a HUGE, HUGE story, with CAIR reps all over the talk shows. When Obama’s people do it? Not so much.

Rational Thought on June 18, 2008 at 2:11 PM

Come on now! All the Lefty bloggers and media would obviously be saying, “In fairness, I doubt this is official campaign policy.”

TheBigOldDog on June 18, 2008 at 2:56 PM

It’s the ol’, “Methinks the lady doth protest too much” scenario, the same reason that the “whitey” rumor got traction. Muslim women would be evidence of “diversity” behind McCain, but it’s a problem for Hussein because it plays to perceptions. No one would believe that Cindy McCain would use the n-word, but it’s plausible that Michelle would use the w-word.

Perception is reality, and usually for good reason.

Akzed on June 18, 2008 at 3:00 PM

If you don’t like it you suffer of Barackaphobia.

I don’t know what the clinical antidote is for that, yet.

Entelechy on June 18, 2008 at 1:56 PM

I find ignoring him to be therapeutic. And never look directly into his eyes, for his omnipotence will overtake you and cause you to say, “Change we can believe in”.

fogw on June 18, 2008 at 3:01 PM

Actually, while they did this in public, behind the scenes, Obama met with Hezbollah’s top American propagandist, whose brother works for Al-Manar.

Debbie Schlussel on June 18, 2008 at 2:53 PM

Muslim and Gay are the same? – Apparently, Marc Ambinder thinks so.

Anita on June 18, 2008 at 3:01 PM

“This is of course not the policy of the campaign. It is offensive and counter to Obama’s commitment to bring Americans together and simply not the kind of campaign we run

Yah like that’s something that will really bring all Muslims Americans together, property women being covered.

MB4 on June 18, 2008 at 3:04 PM

Flashback: Get me more white people, we need more white people!

Terp Mole on June 18, 2008 at 3:05 PM

So they are trying to protect the campaign from people who won’t vote for him anyway by discriminating against Muslim women…Pass me a smooth ale please.

tomas on June 18, 2008 at 3:06 PM

And never look directly into his eyes, for his omnipotence will overtake you and cause you to say, “Change we can believe in”.

fogw on June 18, 2008 at 3:01 PM

I’m pretty sure you know me to be stronger than that :)

Entelechy on June 18, 2008 at 3:06 PM

Actually, while they did this in public, behind the scenes, Obama met with Hezbollah’s top American propagandist, whose brother works for Al-Manar.

Debbie Schlussel on June 18, 2008 at 2:53 PM

Obama’s got Hezbollah’s top American propagandist and McCain has got La Raza/Aztlan’s top American propagandist, Juan Hernandez.

We are so scroomed.

MB4 on June 18, 2008 at 3:12 PM

I have a suggestion. In the spirit of bringing Americans together, diversity and inclusion, for every woman in the audience who is wearing a head scarf there should be one who is wearing a mini skirt.

MB4 on June 18, 2008 at 3:20 PM

She was grateful that the group she was with at the rally, which included her brother, Sharif, as well as non-Muslim colleagues of his, declined the invitation to take seats behind Obama after she was refuse

Uh these people need to be woken up to the fact that Islam is not a race. It’s an ideology. Not a very nice one either.

dogsoldier on June 18, 2008 at 3:24 PM

It’s an ideology. Not a very nice one either.

dogsoldier on June 18, 2008 at 3:24 PM

It is a cancer which is metastasizing. Women should start wearing mini skirts again in protest.

MB4 on June 18, 2008 at 3:30 PM

Will they let you wear beanies? Cause I’ve got a neat beanie.

Travis1 on June 18, 2008 at 3:31 PM

Practicing Muslims do not soil themselves with democratic behavior unless instructed by an Imam on what to ask for and who to vote for. I watched the Liberal leadership convention. The Muslims stood around in small blocks like British squares at Waterloo awash in infidel cavalry. They were voting as a unified block and were pandered to by the candidates as a block. One of their apparent mission was to spread the rumour that one of the front runners had a wife that was a Jew. It came to light when one of the Moops whispered this in the ear of said Jew wife. One of those awkward gaffes that Moops tend to make.

Obamas people were operating on gut instinct. Moops are political poison for anyone to be seen with. No one will say it but the majority of non Muslims with common sense know that Islam is not a healthy/safe companion on this planet.

BL@KBIRD on June 18, 2008 at 4:02 PM

“I was coming to support him, and I felt like I was discriminated against by the very person who was supposed to be bringing this change, who I could really relate to,” said Hebba Aref, a 25-year-old lawyer who lives in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills.

Hurt feelings? Nah. Testing…testing…

Connie on June 18, 2008 at 4:34 PM

i bet there will be at least one within a week.

palefaced on June 18, 2008 at 5:03 PM

They should’ve asked them to fake a faint … two birds, one stone.

Tony737 on June 18, 2008 at 1:53 PM

Ha! True story.

loganthompson on June 18, 2008 at 7:08 PM

Obama also met with “community leaders” in an off the record meeting.

Why no press? Could it be it’s because one of them is a Hezbollah supporter? No headscarves, but private meeting with radicals. Which is worse?
Private Meeting

PattyJ on June 18, 2008 at 10:30 PM

Meet Hebba Aref of the MSA. Same woman? I dunno. But I wouldn’t be surprised.

PattyJ on June 18, 2008 at 10:47 PM

“Barack Obama is not the Barack I knew”, Barack Obama.

91Veteran on June 19, 2008 at 1:09 AM

I don’t get it…Isn’t the whole point of wearing a hijab? To not be seen?

Cheesestick on June 19, 2008 at 8:49 AM