Ludacris Provides Obama With More Unwelcome Help

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By Laura Yao
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 31, 2008

Once again, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is hurt by the ones who love him.

On YouTube yesterday, rapper Ludacris released a song called "Politics," in which he denigrates President Bush, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) -- all in the space of about two minutes.

"Well, give Luda a special pardon if I'm ever in the slammer/Better yet put him in office, make me your vice president," he raps. In the next line, the three-time Grammy Award winner calls Clinton an "irrelevant [slur for female]." He goes on to suggest that 71-year-old McCain belongs in a wheelchair rather than the White House.

The Obama campaign was quick to distance the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee from the song. Spokesman Bill Burton told Politico, "As Barack Obama has said many, many times in the past, rap lyrics today too often perpetuate misogyny, materialism and degrading images that he doesn't want his daughters or any children exposed to. This song is not only outrageously offensive to Senator Clinton, Senator McCain and President Bush, it is offensive to all of us who are trying to raise our children with the values we hold dear. While Ludacris is a talented individual, he should be ashamed of these lyrics."

WomenCount, a political action committee formed in response to Clinton's primary season defeat in order to target sexism in the media, called for an apology from Ludacris and a condemnation from the Democratic National Committee, Republicans and the Obama campaign, whose statement did not mollify the group.

"This is about beginning the grinding and painful process of rooting out this kind of hate language and behavior whenever and wherever it exists," Rosemary Camposaro, the group's communications director, said in a statement. "The Democratic leadership have pledged to unhinge our nation from gender-bias, hate-language and misogyny and we are taking them at their word."

In his song, Ludacris calls himself Obama's favorite rapper, perhaps because the candidate said in a June interview with Rolling Stone that he listens to Ludacris on his iPod.

We'll see how long that lasts.


© 2008 The Washington Post Company

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