The Dirty South: Part II

Clinton and Barack Fight Over Black Vote in S.C.

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They might not have unleashed the blatantly negative attack ads yet, but Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are getting nasty as they want to be -- or at least as they dare to be at the moment. I don't think I was going out on a limb when I predicted as much last week, but it's interesting to see how it's playing out. Barack Obama's supporters are probably thrilled that Clinton's words last week about Martin Luther King Jr. are still alive and strong in the news cycle. While Hillary Clinton tapped BET Founder Robert L. Johnson to hit back. But while doing so, Johnson seeming made a sly reference to Obama's past drug use. He's doing damage control now, saying it's now what he meant, but you look at the statement and decide:

And to me, as an African-American, I am frankly insulted that the Obama campaign would imply that we are so stupid that we would think Hillary and Bill Clinton, who have been deeply and emotionally involved in black issues since Barack Obama was doing something in the neighborhood --­ and I won't say what he was doing, but he said it in the book --­ when they have been involved.

The question is, who's doing the better job of protecting "the brand"--Obama or Clinton? And, if Clinton's the "marketer" in this case, how does she go after the competition without turning off a large part of the audience that might be inclined to support him?
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