Another hot excerpt from the same book that’s got Dingy Harry groveling. What a treat to hear how the Lords of Tolerance talk to each other behind closed doors.
This is turning into some day.
[A]s Hillary bungled Caroline, Bill’s handling of Ted was even worse. The day after Iowa, he phoned Kennedy and pressed for an endorsement, making the case for his wife. But Bill then went on, belittling Obama in a manner that deeply offended Kennedy. Recounting the conversation later to a friend, Teddy fumed that Clinton had said, A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.
As politically tempting as it is to demagogue this, and duly aware that the left would never give the benefit of the doubt to a conservative in an argument over racial subtext, I can’t believe Billy Jeff meant it “that way.” Comparing a guy running to become the first black president to some sort of servant is astoundingly tone-deaf, but that was par for the course for Clinton throughout that campaign. Remember when he idly compared The One to Jesse Jackson in the run-up to the South Carolina primary, at a moment when the media was paranoid that Hillary would try to “racialize” the campaign? All he meant by the coffee remark, I assume, was that The One was too young and green to be president, not far removed in age and experience from, say, a Senate aide. Which is also plenty insulting given how long Obama spent as a state senator, but certainly not racially untoward. The great mystery here is why Teddy was so offended by the remark. Did he perceive some racial subtext in it? Hard to believe he’d flip out simply because Clinton belittled Obama’s resume.
Ambinder’s got a new list up of juicy quotes from the book, including reports of our eventual secretary of state cheering on attempts to push the cokehead meme against Obama, so go check that out. A parting thought that scarcely needs articulating: Had a Republican said what BJ said, he’d be finished, finished, finished.
Update: A theory as to why Teddy might have been pissed at Clinton for denigrating Obama’s youth: JFK was even younger than The One when he became president, and Teddy and Caroline were both eyeing Obama as some sort of lost heir to Camelot. Not absurd to think he might have taken it personally somehow.