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Obama Photo at Center of Latest Political Dust-Up

A photo shows Sen. Barack Obama dressed as a Somali Elder, reportedly taken while he was visiting Kenya in 2006. c/o Drudge Report hide caption

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c/o Drudge Report

Just one week before the make-or-break March 4th Democratic primaries, a photo has surfaced showing Sen. Barack Obama dressed as a Somali Elder — reportedly taken while the senator was on an extended tour of Africa in 2006.

Rivals have sought to undermine Obama's presidential bid by spreading rumors that he secretly follows the Islamic faith. (Obama, whose Kenyan father was Muslim, says he is a Christian. Listen to our interview.)

In response to the photo's release, Obama's campaign said the following:

"On the very day that Senator Clinton is giving a speech about restoring respect for America in the world, her campaign has engaged in the most shameful, offensive fear-mongering we've seen from either party in this election. This is part of a disturbing pattern that led her county chairs to resign in Iowa, her campaign chairman to resign in New Hampshire, and it's exactly the kind of divisive politics that turns away Americans of all parties and diminishes respect for America in the world."

And from Sen. Clinton's camp:

"Enough. If Barack Obama's campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing is divisive, they should be ashamed. Hillary Clinton has worn the traditional clothing of countries she has visited and had those photos published widely. This is nothing more than an obvious and transparent attempt to distract from the serious issues confronting our country today and to attempt to create the very divisions they claim to decry. We will not be distracted."

So ... is that an implicit admission that they released the photo? What do you think? And how will this impact the campaigning heading into next week?

And for good measure, here's the Drudge Report post that started it all. We'll tackle this issue in today's bloggers' roundtable.