Republicans Use Obama as Weapon in House Contest in Mississippi

In advertisements and speeches, Republicans have repeatedly associated Travis Childers, the white Democrat threatening to take the seat away from the Republican Party, with Mr. Obama. Republicans say Mr. Obama’s liberal values are out of place in the district. But for many Democratic veterans here, the tactic is a throwback to the old and unwelcome politics of race, a standby in Mississippi campaigning.

Former Gov. William Winter, a Democrat, expressed shock at the current campaign.

“I am appalled that this blatant appeal to racial prejudice is still being employed,” said Mr. Winter, who lost the 1967 governor’s race after his segregationist opponent circulated handbills showing blacks listening to one of his speeches. Mr. Winter went on to win the governor’s office 12 years later.

“I had thought we had gotten past that,” Mr. Winter said. “That was a tactic that was used against me in the 1960s.”

The chairman of the University of Mississippi’s department of public policy leadership, Robert J. Haws, said he had also noted the use of race in the contest. “Does this reflect a certain level of desperation?” he asked.

NY Times
5/13/8

Would the NY Times report on this handbill distributed courtesy of the DCCC: