I’m with Al on this One

Lost in the teapot tempest over Harry Reid’s obnoxious observations, is a bigger gem dropped by none other than Bill Clinton. Game Change, which isn’t actually living up to its name (yet), reveals that the former prez dropped some old school truth on his bud, Teddy K.

In the book, Clinton is quoted as telling Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), “A few years ago, this guy (Obama) would be getting us coffee.”

Wonder if that had anything to do with Kennedy’s momentous endorsement of Pres. Obama. I can’t ask him, but I can only hope he had that in mind as he refused to sign up for another Clinton go-round. Yes, I know, it was Hillary running, not Bill, but their win-at-any-cost attitude was definitely shared. South Carolina proved that.

I don’t know why I’ve heard so much about what Reid said and so little about this Clinton quote. Oh wait, yes, I do. Alleged conservatives are only interested in pounding Reid so they can delay health reform, they don’t really care about who said what. For those who do, let’s talk about Clinton’s faux pas. It’s racist as hell, no gettin’ around that. And it matters because he will always matter. He was the leader of this nation, for crying in the night, and when the camera’s are off he’s a cracker. Talk like that, private or otherwise, makes people see one another just a bit differently. And every little bit counts. It keeps us from wondering just exactly why one in nine young black males is in prison. It keeps us from flooding the newspaper with protests when it refers to people as “illegals”. Sheeeeit, it makes it just that much easier to re-segregate schools, doesn’t it? If you think it’s just political trivia or gossip, think again. Ask not for whom the bell tolls, Wake County.

The other thing I have to ask is, what did we do to deserve politicians like these? From McCain trashing his integrity by picking an astoundingly unqualified running mate for opportunistic reasons to both of the Edward pimping their faltering marriage for votes to the former leader of the free world dismissing someone because of the color of his skin, we were really scraping the bottom of the barrel in 2008. I dread the next national contest.


  1. Frank

    January 13, 2010 at 2:26 pm


    Are you aware that this “statement” by Clinton is not a quote, but a paraphrase? In the original book, the statement is not included in quotation marks. The authors note that any statement not in quotes is a paraphrase. And, conveniently, the only other person who could independently verify the quote is dead.

    You haven’t heard as much about this because, other than the Beltway gossip columnists who are creaming their pants over it, most other reasonable people are seeing this “quote” and this book for what they are – unadulterated gossip.

    And if one doesn’t like Bill Clinton, one doesn’t have to invent statements like this to make him seem both timely and an ass. He’s got a 747 full of baggage that he created all on his own.

    Be indignant, but do your homework first. Commenting on a third- or fifth-level retelling of a tale of a book that isn’t even widely available yet is the surest way to drive right off a cliff.

  2. TinmLina

    January 13, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Great article! I love your analysis. HOWEVER, here is the problem – I have read a lot about this issue but I have found no one courageous enough to point out that even Obama’s top black appointees are mostly if not all light-skinned people. From the White House to his cabinet, from the EPA to NASA, all the black appoints seem light-skinned. Could this be the reason Obama quickly forgave Reid??? This problem is much deeper in the black community than most whites think.

    I hope one reporter/analyst picks up on this.

  3. Jeff

    January 13, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    “Alleged conservatives are only interested in pounding Reid so they can delay health reform, they don’t really care about who said what.”

    I might be called an alleged conservative – some would even call me a classical liberal – libertarian – Constitutional republican – I’ve even heard “Tea Bagger” kicked around, and my motive for Harry Ried is not delay at all. I’m thinkin’ there gotta be some jail time in there for the guy, and not that he’s alone There’s a bunch of others with “R’s” after their name I’d like to see wearing orange too. What Ried said is not off base nor is what Clinton uttered to his pal Ted.
    This coming Monday we will celebrate the life of a great man and his color had nothing to do with the content of his character and we are the better for it.

  4. old social worker

    January 14, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Thanks for reminding us that our thoughts and our language form the world. (That’s a Buddhist concept also respected in Christianity, for fans of both Brit Hume and Tiger Woods.)

    While none of us will ever be perfect in regarding those unlike us, it’s clear that many powerful people who should know and do better shoot for far less than perfect when their career/legacy is on the line.

    The light skin vs. dark skin bias is an intraethnic issue around the world, not just in the African-American community. So is one’s ability to speak both colloquially and formally. Politicians manipulate often superficial questions of ethnicity and dialect to distract from their shortcomings or from more material problems.

    Your post and the fine 3 posts following it are a fine antidote.

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