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                                       politics + culture

Monday, April 21, 2008

Bill Clinton: "They played the race card on me"

This WHYY interview is revealing of Bill Clinton's bitterness about the reaction to his Jackson comment after the South Carolina primary:

“I think that they played the race card on me. We now know, from memos from the campaign that they planned to do it along.” - President Bill Clinton.

And that’s how President Clinton begins his answer to WHYY’s Susan Phillips who, during a phone interview earlier this evening, asked the President how he feels about one Philadelphia official who says she switched her support after interpreting Clinton’s remarks in South Carolina as an attempt to marginalize Obama as “the black candidate.”

Clinton goes on to say that “you have to really go some to play the race card on me.” He lists a number of his accomplishments on behalf of people of color, inexplicably putting the fact that he has “an office in Harlem” at the top of the list.

Am I feeding resentment by playing this radio clip? I don't think so. I think it should be heard and discussed. Bill Clinton's accusations about playing the race card are a serious matter.

Listen to President Clinton in this clip and especially listen to the undertone of what he's saying.

I'll spell it out from my point of view. Bill Clinton is clearly saying that African-American voters "owe him" on some level whether that's on the level of respect or voting for his wife. He also feels angry enough to hurl some pretty divisive accusations inside the Democratic party. Personally, however, I find it shocking that Bill and Hillary Clinton, a couple who are essentially asking all of us Americans to return them to the White House, would talk like this.

It's destructive. It's bitter. It's assuming the worst of others. And it's not fitting for an ex-President in my opinion.

Should people respect Bill Clinton? Of course. But not when he talks like this. Not when he makes accusations like this. That is a kind of politics of destruction.

That is not "chilling out" and it makes talk of a "Dream Ticket" sound pretty naive at this point.


  • Umm...am I outta my mind or did I hear him say "I don't think I can take any shit from anybody on that, do you?" after signing off but before sound totally cut out?

    Not that it matters in substance, really, but it gets to that "undertone" thing.

    The vibe is one of "I've done all of the right things, dammit!!!" *stamping feet* "I have! I have! I have!" *stamp* *stamp* *stamp*

    And his horseshit about gay staffers? Please. Don't ask, don't tell? DOMA?

    If that's a friend to the gay community, the term has no meaning.

    By Blogger jiminy jilliker, at 12:28 AM  

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