My own sense is that Hillary Clinton’s initial gaffe – implicitly analogising herself to Lyndon Johnson and Obama to Martin Luther King – was an accident. She meant to make the point that she is a doer and he is merely a speaker. But inevitably it came off as condescending – as if black people always need white leaders to gain their own rights.
Headland, January 15, 2008, in "Playing the 'They are Playing the Race Card' Card":
Was this the plan all along? Perhaps, but it is just as likely that this new strategy is a desperate response to the fallout from her grotesque gaffe. It is quite possible, at least initially, that Hillary only meant to say that Obama is a man of words and she is a woman of action. In comparing herself to LBJ, she took her point to be the modest one of suggesting that, while not an inspirational speaker, she is an effective leader. By giving Obama the analogous role to King's, however, and by intending to insult Obama as ineffective, she incredibly failed to draw the obvious implication that she would thereby diminish the patron saint of civil rights.