Clinton Staff Accused of Releasing Photo of Obama in Muslim Garb

Just how silly is the Silly Season? Consider the story that has quickly come to dominate the political world's attention this morning and this afternoon. Drudge is running this report, alongside a photo of Barack Obama visiting Africa and wearing Somali garb. The headline reads, "Clinton staffers circulate 'dressed' Obama."

With a week to go until the Texas and Ohio primaries, stressed Clinton staffers circulated a photo over the weekend of a "dressed" Barack Obama.
The photo, taken in 2006, shows the Democrat frontrunner fitted as a Somali Elder, during his visit to Wajir, a rural area in northeastern Kenya.
The senator was on a five-country tour of Africa.
"Wouldn't we be seeing this on the cover of every magazine if it were HRC?" questioned one campaign staffer, in an email obtained by the DRUDGE REPORT.
It's hard to know where to start with a story like this, though I couldn't help but notice that Drudge showed other pictures with his report of prominent political figures -- including George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton -- also wearing foreign attire while visiting overseas. (When Drudge feels compelled to add important context, you know the story is weak.)

Given that, the more politically salient question seems to be whether the Clinton campaign would really be so desperate as to send this picture around to reporters. Remember, the right loves what are called "bank-shots" -- attacking Obama and trying to pin it on Clinton, and in the process hitting both. This happened, of course, back with the original madrassa story, which the Clinton campaign apparently had nothing to do with.

Drudge claims that Clinton's team is circulating the pic, and the Obama campaign issued a statement working under the assumption that the Clinton campaign is responsible: "On the very day that Senator Clinton is giving a speech about restoring respect for America in the world, her campaign has engaged in the most shameful, offensive fear-mongering we've seen from either party in this election. This is part of a disturbing pattern that led her county chairs to resign in Iowa, her campaign chairman to resign in New Hampshire, and it's exactly the kind of divisive politics that turns away Americans of all parties and diminishes respect for America in the world."

I was skeptical about whether this was the right move -- it's never wise to just accept Drudge reports at face value -- but the official Clinton response was less than helpful.

After about an hour of reporters seeking comment, this is what the Clinton campaign sent out:

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