On page 37, a remark, said "privately" by Sen. Harry Reid, about Barack Obama's racial appeal. Though Reid would later say that he was neutral in the presidential race, the truth, the authors write, was that his:Steele is livid, demanding a resignation and attempting to compare this to Trent Lott's embracing of segregationist candidate Strom Thurmon:encouragement of Obama was unequivocal. He was wowed by Obama's oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama -- a "light-skinned" African American "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one," as he said privately. Reid was convinced, in fact, that Obama's race would help him more than hurt him in a bid for the Democratic nomination.
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott issued a written apology Monday evening over his comment that the United States would have avoided "all these problems" if then-segregationist Strom Thurmond had been elected president in 1948.Clearly, not even close.
But what of Steele and his glass house. There are several examples of him 'misspeaking', but lets start with this one:
Steele: I'll Woo Blacks To GOP With "Fried Chicken And Potato Salad"Maybe everyone just needs to put the rocks down. We have work to do, maybe placing ourselves above the fray will put us on a track to reconciliation. But then the Right would have to allow President Obama to succeed, and they have clearly shown that is not their plan, even it it means the country stalls.
Yes, that's right. To lure African-Americans into the GOP, Steele is offering "fried chicken and potato salad."
*UPDATE* dot.comments, WaPo goes through their feedback section to look at the various points of view. Interesting read.
More from Anthony Cooley at CNN (emphasis mine):
By Sunday morning, Beltway Republicans -- ignoring Reid's long commitment to equality and justice, including the decades-old effort to integrate the Las Vegas Strip and gaming industry -- were calling for his resignation.
But along the way, they forgot one important point: African-Americans, like everyone else, are more concerned with what politicians do than with what they say. And on that measure, Harry Reid is second to none.
When it comes to issues that matter -- affordable, quality health care; good-paying jobs with benefits; safe schools and communities; more middle-class tax cuts; less government waste -- Reid gets it right.
He has a 100 percent rating on the NAACP's legislative report card. As for Jon Kyl and John Cornyn, the two Republican senators who have called for his head? An F for each of the past six years.
Coming from these guys, this latest attack is weak and pathetic. Perhaps it would have more weight if they were consistently on the side of the issues that matter to African-Americans or if Reid wasn't. Neither is the case.