Understanding the dialect of Democrats.
In the 2008 primary, according to Game Change, Harry Reid judged Barack Obama by the color of his skin while Hillary Clinton honed in on the content of his character. Reid thought him sufficiently “light-skinned” for victory; Hillary thought him corrupt enough for defeat.
The book says Hillary approved of the comment made by her New Hampshire campaign co-chair, Billy Shaheen, who had said that Obama’s disclosures of cocaine and marijuana use would expose him to Republican attacks. “The Republicans are not going to give up without a fight…and one of the things they’re certainly going to jump on is his drug use,” he said.
Press accounts at the time said Hillary apologized to Obama directly for Shaheen’s remark. In reality, according to Game Change, she was overjoyed by it, saying to aides privately, “Good for him!” and “Let’s push it out.”
As cynical apologies go, however, Hillary still can’t top her husband’s mea culpa to “mafioso type” Mario Cuomo for that remark to Gennifer Flowers which he had insisted to the press he didn’t make.
Hillary’s now-known pride at Shaheen’s slight, by the way, throws light on another glorious moment in the campaign: BET founder Robert L. Johnson cast Obama as a former drug dealer at a Hillary event while the candidate looked on approvingly. “Good for him” was apparently the thought behind Hillary’s purring gaze.
But these days the Democrats, while not exactly a happy family, are a less rancorous and more pragmatic one, even if Nancy Pelosi at press conferences flinches a bit at Harry Reid’s touch. They rallied to Reid without hesitation this week, judging him according to the content of his voting record. Reid enjoys the protected status of a rapper: he can use “N” words with impunity, because his “heart” is in the right place.
“What is the big fuss about the word ‘Negro’?” said James Clyburn of the Congressional Black Caucus on that source of enlightenment and subtlety, MSNBC’s The Ed Show. Racial unity has taken an unusual turn in Obama’s first year, with black and white Democrats joining together to prop up a pol who uses anachronistic racial language.
Bill Clinton has received much more of a drubbing for his reported comment in Game Change, though it is not clear if he was referring to Obama’s race or inexperience. According to the book, he had offended Ted Kennedy by dismissing Obama as a “guy who would have been getting us coffee” a few years ago. Perhaps that was Clinton’s way of referring to Obama as a political novice.
Why is Reid’s comment understandable and Clinton’s “disturbing,” as Al Sharpton put it? Because Clinton isn’t crucial to the passage of ObamaCare. Pent-up anger at Reid has found an outlet on Bill Clinton.
But Hillary is safe. She won’t have to resign for having peddled cocaine stories against her boss, an odd line of attack since drug use was a qualification for high office during the Clinton years. Like Reid, Hillary is crucial to the success of the Obama administration, so all can be forgiven.
Obama, in his largesse this week, seems to be treating Reid like his late white grandmother. He once referred to her as a “typical white person” who didn’t harbor “racial animosity” but was thrown by unfamiliar circumstances. Obama had to retrieve his grandmother from underneath the campaign bus after Hillary Clinton’s adviser Mark Penn sought to marginalize him as too alien for ordinary Americans. Retrieving Reid this week was another unpleasant chore for Obama but simply had to be done.
The Democrats’ picture of comity is shredded by Game Change’s picture of sinister comedy. How they view each other is bad. But how they view the American public is even worse.
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Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
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It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
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