Obama Campaign Fund-raising Off Sarah Palin 'Civil War' Comments

Sarah Palin is the gift that keeps on giving to the Obama campaign.

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Truly, former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is the gift that keeps on giving. Obama campaign manager Jim Messina sent an E-mail to supporters Saturday flagging the latest Palin-ism, from an appearance on Sean Hannity's Fox News Channel television show. "She accused President Obama of discrimination, saying he was taking the country back 'to days before the Civil War, when unfortunately too many Americans mistakenly believed that not all men were created equal,'" Messina wrote, adding, "And she wasn't kidding."

[ See a collection of political cartoons on Sarah Palin.]

Palin had made the comments on Hannity's show last Thursday. According to ThinkProgress, she added that:

Now, it has taken all these years for many Americans to understand that that gravity, that mistake, took place before the Civil War and why the Civil War had to really start changing America. What Barack Obama seems to want to do is go back to before those days when we were in different classes based on income, based on color of skin.

That seems like a reasonable assertion on Palin's part. One can easily imagine President Obama sitting in the Oval Office yearning to exchange the burdens of the presidency for the opportunity to be bought and sold as chattel.

[ See pictures of Obama's re-election campaign.]

Messina's E-mail ("Sorry to bring up Sarah Palin on what was otherwise a perfectly good Saturday," he wrote) asked supporters for a $3 contribution—enough to build donor lists, keep supporters engaged, and goose the campaign's base of small dollar donors.

Using caricatures of high profile members of the opposing party to raise money and organize is a tried and true part of politics. For years Democrats raised cash off of Jesse Helms, for example. The GOP used Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton to the same effect. The virtue of Sarah Palin so far as Democrats are concerned, however, is that she doesn't require caricature; all she needs is a television camera.