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Past Events => Campaign 2008 => Topic started by: Justin Garrow on January 11, 2008, 04:36:15 pm

Title: Clinton Support Andew Cuomo Gets a Little Racist in latest attack on Obama
Post by: Justin Garrow on January 11, 2008, 04:36:15 pm
Hillary Supporter Andrew Cuomo On Her NH Win: "You Can't Shuck And Jive" w/Press Corps

By Eric Kleefeld - January 10, 2008, 12:10PM

A big Hillary Clinton supporter and statewide official in New York might have just given the Hillary campaign a real headache. During an appearance yesterday on talk radio — at almost the same time as Obama co-chair Jesse Jackson Jr. questioned Hillary's tears — New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo used some words with a very troublesome racial history, apparently in reference to Barack Obama.

"It's not a TV crazed race. Frankly you can't buy your way into it," Cuomo said, according to Albany Times Union reporter Rick Karlin. He then added, "You can't shuck and jive at a press conference. All those moves you can make with the press don't work when you're in someone's living room."

According to Joan Houston Hall's Dictionary of American Regional English, the phrase "shuck and jive" means, "To be deceptive or evasive; to tell tall tales or lies; to fool around. esp freq among Black speakers," and "stalling or obfuscating, especially to avoid having to admit that you did not know something or were trying to divert someone's attention."

(Via Ben Smith)

Late Update: Ben Smith hears directly from Cuomo on this and adds this:

Though the report I link refers specifically to New Hampshire, Cuomo called to play the tape of the interview, in which he says nice things about Obama, and in which the quote above is describing both Iowa and New Hampshire -- meaning it's not a direct reference to Clinton's primary victory, or attempt to explain it.
"Barack Obama is a beautiful symbol. He's a powerful speaker. He's a charismatic figure. And what he has to say is important for the Democrats," Cuomo says in the interview, with the New York Post's Fred Dicker.

"It was never about Obama in the first place," Cuomo told me of the use of the phrase, which he said he was using "as a synonym for 'bob and weave.'"

Late Late Update: The Albany Times Union blog, which originally broke this story, adds this update that would appear to suggest that there's less here than meets the eye:

We’ve been getting calls from the Cuomo people on this who want to point out, correctly, that the AG was not referring to Barack Obama when he used the phrase “shuck and jive,” but to what politicians in general do with the media. Cuomo’s point was when candidates meet a substantial proportion of primary voters or caucus goers in person, such as in NH or Iowa, there is a certain genuineness that can be avoided in a big-state media-heavy campaign.