Obama in Kenya

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In February 2008, amidst a bitter Democratic presidential nomination race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, a photograph circulating on the Internet of Barack Obama dressed in traditional local Somali garments during a visit to Kenya in 2006. The Associated Press photograph, posted on the conservative blog the Drudge Report, portrayed Obama wearing a white turban and a wraparound white robe presented to him by elders in Wajir, in northeastern Kenya. Obama’s estranged late father was Kenyan.

The Drudge Report claimed that it was being circulated by “Clinton staffers”, it was a statement that fired up presidential campaign over what constitutes a smear. Obama campaign manager David Plouffe accused Clinton’s campaign of “the most shameful, offensive fear-mongering we’ve seen from either party in this election.” Obama said voters are “saddened when they see these kind of politics,” and added, “Everybody knows that whether it’s me or Senator Clinton or Bill Clinton that when you travel to other countries they ask you to try on traditional garb that you have been given as a gift. The notion that the Clinton campaign would be trying to circulate this as a negative on the same day that Senator Clinton was giving a speech about how we repair our relationships around the world is sad.”

We will leave you with the New York Times’ response:

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