From the New York Times:
Speaking to black and Hispanic New Yorkers, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton tried on Monday to quell a controversy over race in the fight for the Democratic presidential nomination by praising the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and describing him as a trailblazer for both herself and her rival, Senator Barack Obama.
Last week, Mrs. Clinton said President Lyndon B. Johnson had been the shepherd of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, enacting a priority of Dr. King — a comment that Obama supporters and some other people viewed as minimizing Dr. King’s work.
In regards to this little dust-up, I can only see that where these two candidates diverge is largely between their viewpoints on what class of person can enact change in the culture. Obama seems to believe that an individual from the ranks of “the people” can create a voice so powerful that it not only speaks for “the people” but gathers the people to him or her en masse, forcing cultural and governmental changes to occur.
Clinton, on the other hand, believes that the real change occurs between governmental officials who have the big money and connections necessary to make a change happen, and that the person who has gathered an impressive group together against the status quo are simply “the messengers” and have nothing to do with the real power dynamics that shape a culture.
In other words, Obama seems to think power is in the hands of the people, and Clinton believes it’s in a particular class of people who have “real” power to affect change through money and status.
Hmm. That clears up a lot about both of them for me.