"Shuck and jive"?

A Clinton supporter says the great thing about New Hampshire is what you can't do there.

By Tim Grieve
January 11, 2008 12:42AM (UTC)
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On the same day Barack Obama national co-chairman Jesse Jackson Jr. suggested that African-American voters in South Carolina might be interested in "analyzing" Hillary Clinton's teary-eyed moment in New Hampshire -- she didn't cry for Katrina, he said -- Clinton-supporting New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said the thing that's great about New Hampshire is that you have to go out and meet people rather than "shuck and jive" through press conferences there.

Talking Points Memo says the comment was "apparently" a "reference" to Obama. The Huffington Post goes further with the headline: "Hillary Supporter: Obama Tried To 'Shuck and Jive' With Media."


But Albany Times Union reporter Rick Karlin, who first reported Cuomo's comments, says it's not exactly like that. "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,'" Karlin writes on the paper's blog. Rather, Karlin says, Cuomo's people insist he was referring "in general to what politicians do with the media."

What Cuomo said of New Hampshire on an Albany radio station: "It's not a TV-crazed race. Frankly, you can't buy your way into it. 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."

Update: We just talked with Karlin, who told us that Cuomo's "shuck and jive" remark was "so far removed, temporally and contextually, from any discussion of Obama" that he didn't hear it as a reference to Obama at all. Karlin pointed us to Newsday's Spin Cycle blog, which has posted a partial transcript of the radio interview made from a tape provided to it by Cuomo's office. The transcript confirms that Cuomo was answering a general question about the retail nature of politics in Iowa and New Hampshire generally, and there's nothing in his long answer to suggest that he was referring to Obama rather than to politicians in general.

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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