Harry Reid on Obama

According to a new book, during the 2008 campaign Harry Reid called Pres. Obama “light skinned” and said he had “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”  Sen. Reid apologized for the remarks today.

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

25 thoughts on “Harry Reid on Obama

  1. Maybe it’s just me, but where’s the story here? Harry Reid has moved heaven and earth to help this president. Must be a slow media day, as many appear to be . .

  2. Frankly, I’d expect Sarah Palin to say something like that. She has accused him during the campaign of terrorist ties, and all sorts of nonsense—but I think her track record speaks for itself. Harry Reid has been a supporter of President Obama, and continues to be. It’s probably well documented Reid said what is reported; but, Obama has dismissed it, accepted an apology–yet the media in its myopic focus will beat this to death the entire weekend, if not longer. Is there really nothing more significant to report than this? Nothing to see here . . . move along . . .

  3. So, bottom line: if a Bad Republican says it, they should be pummeled mercilessly as a racist, bigot, idiot, etc. If a Good Democrat says it, the comment should be ignored. Does that pretty much some up your position?

    (In case you were wondering, I still think Palin is a disaster for the Republicans, and I almost certainly won’t vote for her — just using her as a foil for this particular post).

  4. No, stupid comments are stupid comments regardless of their source. Obama was stupid to say what he did about the Cambridge police. People say stupid things all the time. That doesn’t mean they are bigots. Harry Reid is not a bigot. He said something stupid. As far as I know Sarah Palin is not a bigot—but nor is she the most capable and competent candidate for any office, let alone a national one . . . There are plenty of good republicans. Their saying stupid things doesn’t make them bigots. I don’ t know of anyone with any respectability who would categorize Reid as a bigot–other than some perhaps on the extreme fringe. Of course, the comment is great fodder for the media which has an economic interest in broadcasting bad news and sensational headlines such as this . . .

  5. OK, Guy, you know I’m just yanking your chain a bit. Some Saturday afternoon banter. I hope you’re enjoying that central coast weather — it’s been COLD in Colorado.

  6. Yeah, I know. I’m sitting here at home, working away. It’s a bit more cloudy here today . . . but still nothing like it probably is in Colorado . . .

  7. Like almost everyone I know over the age of 60, Reid is a little dense when it comes to anyone that doesn’t look like him (old and white).

    Other than that, I agree with everything Guy has said.

  8. I love feinged outrage by you republicans. After Regan announced his canidancy in the deep south where civil rights workers were murdered and talked about “states rights” wink, wink, you get all out of sorts when Harry Reid says “negro dialect”? Did you hear half the things said about Obama during the primary and election? Harry encouraged Obama to run in the first place. Given Hary’s age, its a wonder that N_____ didn’t come out of his mouth when he said this. Give him a break.

  9. I don’t see any feigned outrage here, just an observation that the rules are different for Republicans who say dumb things.

  10. I think it is amazing that Obama can say doofus stuff and get a complete pass by the media; where as Dan Quayle and George Bush get knocked down at every turn.

  11. What if Trent Lott had foremost in his mind Senator Strom Thurmond’s support for the Constitution and the Tenth Amendment (States’ Rights). If we were a “post-racial” society, as Obama says, it wouldn’t have crossed anyone’s mind that Senator Thurmond was also a segregationist in his earlier years. Wasn’t Senator Byrd (D-WV) a KKK member?

    One has to admit that if Senator Thurmond had been elected president, we would have slowed the slide into the Federal takeover of many aspects of our lives which the Founders never intended. Let’s remember the name of his party was the “States’ rights party”, not the Jim Crow party.

  12. Where is the racism in what Reid said? I only see an observation of the electorate. It is possible for a white man to talk about racial issues without being a racist. Negro is not in popular usage now, but at one time was the preferred way to refer to “black” people (There is a large organization called The United Negro College Fund). Obama is an educated, “light-skinned” African-American who can talk in various ways for a given situation. The media always likes to praise Obama for how well he can speak, without calling him an “Uncle Tom.” The media also criticized George W Bush for his lack of speaking ability. Reid was simply pointing out his observation of Obama and his chances of winning the election. If Al Sharpton observed the same thing, would that make Sharpton a rascist?

  13. I think the Republicans are just trying to neg Reid so his fall election is more difficult. But this is a tempest in a tea pot. Which isn’t to deny a big hypocrisy. After all a prior Senate majority leader was none other than Byrd who had been a klansman, filibustered the Civil Rights bill and more. Yet he was lauded by Democrats. However charges of hypocrisy, however valid, don’t really get you that far. Especially when polls show Republicans haven’t exactly earned any trust. I think most people are moving to the “a pox on both houses.” Especially when Republicans aren’t exactly showing they’ve learned anything the past years – including on race. (Sorry – appointing a buffoon as party leader because he just happens to be black isn’t helping guys)

  14. Coming late to the discussion. I’d note a lot of conservatives are very worried about the Republican strategy of demonizing Reid here. I think this will come back to haunt them.

    One thing that has been very discouraging the past 20 years of my political life is seeing how escalation in politics then becomes the norm. Republicans justify their acts because of how Democrats treated Reagan. Democrats justify their acts because of how Republicans treated Clinton. Republicans justify their acts because of how Democrats treated Bush. And at each stage the perceived wrongs of the other party become the norm because “well they did it…” There’s a myopia in all this that is very disappointing. (The perennial focus on hypocrisy being one example)

    We really need to back off this and focus more on the issues themselves and the debate about ideas.

  15. Clark, you are of course correct. But I still think the whole “pointing out hypocrisy” issue is important simply because it helps people keep perspective. If you are a Democrat and are upset about what Trent Lott said, it is important to keep perspective and give Lott the benefit of the doubt that perhaps he didn’t say it out of racism but instead for other reasons. By the same token, Harry Reid is not a racist, he just uses language from a different era. So by focusing on this, we can perhaps keep perspective that can raise the level of civility in political discourse, not decrease it.

    I’m not saying this will happen, but I am saying that keeping perspective may help people see the other side of an issue that they might not otherwise consider. Next time a Republican accidentally refers to a South Asian as “Macaca” perhaps we will give him a break because we gave Harry Reid a break on the whole “light-skinned” and “Negro” comments. Maybe.

  16. “Next time a Republican accidentally refers to a South Asian as “Macaca” perhaps we will give him a break because we gave Harry Reid a break on the whole “light-skinned” and “Negro” comments. Maybe.”

    But what about when George Allen does it on purpose? Hi, Geoff.

  17. The thing the makes me mad about all this is now I will have to donate more money to Reid this election year than I had planned. I am applying for a job in Vegas. If I get it, that will mean two more Dems in Nevada.

  18. Funny. I actually posted that last comment to the wrong blog. Fortunately I had open the Reid post here rather than something else.

    Chris, the difference is that negro really isn’t that bad a word. It’s slightly inappropriate at best. Whereas “macaca” is an outright slur. Further this illustrates the very point I was making. Using purported hypocrisy to justify our own sinning in the same way.

    I think hypocrisy is important only to keep the press honest. That is to say to the press – you need to be judicious and fair in how you handle the parties. Of course with the financial meltdown of the press we ought expect them to get worse and worse, sadly. My problem is that hypocrisy isn’t typically aimed at the press. In any case, why not adopt a Reaganesque attitude of, “there they go again” with a cheerful grin? I think it works better.

    The big problem with Republicans, as I’ve noted many times, is that they still haven’t learned from 2006 or 2008. They still don’t really stand for anything. Their platform is basically “we’re not Obama” and “everyone else are hypocrites.” They keep looking to 1994 forgetting that despite not getting implemented that Republicans ran on a national platform with a lot of positive messages. What are the positive positions Republicans hold now beyond defeating health care?

    It really frustrates me.

  19. Clark, I am aware of the difference. I am avoiding getting into any real debate here. However, watching the right try to deal with the issue of race is amusing to me.

    The GOP lacks of a figure like Gingrich who can engineer the 1994 victory. I am all for the right pooring there energy into 912 clubs and tea parties rather than the GOP.

  20. I agree. (Gingrich today is nothing like the Gingrich of ’94 despite his thinking he is) I personally don’t find the tea parties useful beyond being a pressure valve. Reminds me of the Perot voters back in the day. (And I’m praying they don’t form a 3rd party with similar results – although at this point the real issue in Congress)

    I also agree about race. The GOP really has some issues there in a variety of ways.

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