A lot of people are discussing the way the Clintons have deliberately, slyly injected race into the campaign:

DILLON, S.C. (AP) – He’s not on the ballot but Bill Clinton seemed to dominate the South Carolina presidential campaign, disparaging Barack Obama and journalists and predicting that many voters will be guided mainly by gender and race loyalties.
The former president suggested that his wife, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, may lose Saturday’s Democratic primary because many black voters will side with Obama. The unusually direct comment on the possible role of race in the election was in keeping with the Clintons’ bid to portray Obama as the clear favorite, thereby lessening the potential fallout if it proves true.
Voting for president along racial and gender lines “is understandable, because people are proud when someone who they identify with emerges for the first time,” the former president told a Charleston audience Wednesday while campaigning for his wife, a role he has played all week.

While the immediate effect of portraying Obama as “the black candidate” is to defeat Obama, I think it can also be seen as very shrewd deep strategy. The Clintons and most of their baby boom supporters in the Democratic Party have been saying that racism is right wing (and therefore Republican) for so long that they actually believe it. The conventional wisdom is that the Democratic candidates have to run to the left to win the primary, and then later are forced to run to the middle to win over the mainstream voters. By painting this as “Obama’s race war,” the Clintons are defying this conventional wisdom and in terms of public perceptions, they seem to be running to the right of Obama (even as they claim to be running to the left) Note that they don’t really have to run to the right or the left in terms of actual political positions (which mean little to the unprincipled); all they need to do is lie about Obama and make him out to be a racializer.
It’s a fake Sister Souljah move — a sleight of hand controlled by the Clintons, for having framed Obama as the racializer, they can say that he “goes too far,” “now is not the time,” “I’d love to vote for him someday,” etc.
I am sure they believe that they are setting themselves up to be seen as moderates by middle America, and no doubt they will portray Obama as having been far to the left of them even though they’re also attacking him now as being on the “right” by lying about the Reagan quote.
Bill didn’t get the name “Slick Willie” for nothing.
MORE: Via Glenn Reynolds, a reminder that today is the 10th anniversary of the famous “I did not have sex with that woman” lie, and a link to this video.
One good video deserves another:

Bout time for another cigar.
UPDATE: My thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the link, and a warm welcome to all!