Reid apologizes for questioning Obama’s racial authenticity; Update: Apology accepted, says Obama; Update: Sharpton backs Reid, of course; Update: Obama 2002: The GOP must drive Lott out

posted at 3:31 pm on January 9, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Whoa:

The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate apologized on Saturday for comments he made about Barack Obama’s race during the 2008 presidential bid.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada described then-Sen. Barack Obama as “light skinned” and “with no Negro dialect.” Obama is the nation’s first African-American president.

“I deeply regret using such a poor choice of words. I sincerely apologize for offending any and all Americans, especially African-Americans for my improper comments,” Reid said in a statement released after the excerpts were reported on the Web site of The Atlantic.

Why did Reid suddenly feel the need to confess?  He’s trying to beat the media to it:

Reid’s comments are included in a book set to be published on Monday. “Game Change” was written by Time Magazine’s Mark Halperin and New York magazine’s John Heilemann; the pair describe the book in interviews during Sunday’s “60 Minutes” on CBS.

Reid, facing a tough 2010 re-election bid, needs the White House’s help if he wants to keep his seat. Obama’s administration has dispatched officials on dozens of trip to buoy his bid and Obama has raised money for his campaign.

When Trent Lott made a foolish statement at Strom Thurmond’s birthday party about his presidential run on a segregation tick, the media outcry forced Lott to resign his leadership position.  Will this more explicit insult create any consequences for Reid?  It certainly won’t help his favorability ratings, which have tanked even before this incident.

Update (AP): That was fast.

Reid folks in overdrive to shut story down. Obama puts out statement on Reid’s apology: ” I accepted Harry’s apology without question.”

Update (AP): Reader Geoff A. e-mails with a reminder that when Don Imus made his own problematic racial crack a few years ago and then apologized, The One was … less forgiving.

Update (AP): A day dedicated to revisiting liberal racial hypocrisy ends happily, with a statement from demagogue par excellence Al Sharpton that all is instantly forgiven for his Democratic comrade in arms.

I have learned of certain unfortunate comments made by Senator Reid regarding President Barack Obama and have spoken with Senator Reid about those comments. While there is no question that Senator Reid did not select the best word choice in this instance, these comments should not distract America from its continued focus on securing healthcare or creating jobs for its people. Nor should they detract from the unquestionable leadership role Senator Reid has played on these issues or in the area of civil rights. Senator Reid’s door has always been open on hearing from the civil rights community on these issues and I look forward to continue to work with Senator Reid wherever possible to improve the lives of Americans everywhere.

Update (AP): A little more kindling on the flames of hypocrisy. Obama 2002:

“It seems to be that we can forgive a 100-year-old senator for some of the indiscretion of his youth, but, what is more difficult to forgive is the current president of the U.S. Senate (Lott) suggesting we had been better off if we had followed a segregationist path in this country after all of the battles and fights for civil rights and all the work that we still have to do,” said Obama.

He said: “The Republican Party itself has to drive out Trent Lott. If they have to stand for something, they have to stand up and say this is not the person we want representing our party.”


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He’s a liberal. There is no consequences for him.

Chudi on January 9, 2010 at 3:34 PM

H. Reid and the Congress are in sync.

Schadenfreude on January 9, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Media:

“Well, everything he said is the truth. Whats wrong with that? Move along.”

BobMbx on January 9, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Thanks God he’s a democrat so this doesn’t become a distraction!

PatMac on January 9, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Stick a fork in, he’s done. What a peice of work.
So long Harry, we hardly knew ye.

RobCon on January 9, 2010 at 3:36 PM

Is that what Reid thinks will clobber him in the upcoming elections? Couldn’t be anything else he may have done could it?

Electrongod on January 9, 2010 at 3:37 PM

“racism. straight up”. garfalo.

kelley in virginia on January 9, 2010 at 3:37 PM

“macaca”

Seven Percent Solution on January 9, 2010 at 3:38 PM

why are all our comments flagged?

kelley in virginia on January 9, 2010 at 3:38 PM

I could be wrong, but I think Reid may just get the comeuppance he deserves on this one.

The left is already mad at him for ditching the public option, and all the apologies in the world won’t erase this.

IrishEi on January 9, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Hey kids, Time for another exciting game of…..!

“What if a Republican said that”!!!!

RobCon on January 9, 2010 at 3:38 PM

7%: please don’t remind me. I’m a Virginian.

kelley in virginia on January 9, 2010 at 3:38 PM

I’d say that is the final nail in Reid’s coffin, except that the socialized medicine bill contains about 216 nails.

Vashta.Nerada on January 9, 2010 at 3:38 PM

why are all our comments flagged?
Flag Comment

kelley in virginia on January 9, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Not yet!

the flags are there in case you want to flag one as inappropriate.

IrishEi on January 9, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Apology #1. Check.
Only a million more to go.

PoodleSkirt on January 9, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Flag glitch…..its getting me nervous!!

RobCon on January 9, 2010 at 3:39 PM

What is a “Negro dialect”?

How does one sound or speak using a “Negro dialect”?
(Are there different “Negro dialects” in different parts of the country/world?)
Can a non-Black person speak with a “Negro dialect”?
Can Harry Reid speak with a “Negro dialect”?

albill on January 9, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Racist!

Oh, wait….

AW1 Tim on January 9, 2010 at 3:39 PM

The media here in Nevada will sweep this under, please help make this happen…..

https://www.icontribute.us/dannytarkanian/initiative/sitebutton

gaius on January 9, 2010 at 3:40 PM

If Biden didn’t pay a price for his comments about candidate Nobama, then I think Reid will skate.

joejm65 on January 9, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Do you think Harry Reid is enough of a team player to do something personally stupid on purpose to take the heat off the Democrats as a group? Now they can say disapproval of Reid is for racist comments, not the fact that he’s a leader of the very unpopular Democrats.

zmdavid on January 9, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Scratch a democrat, find a racist.

jukin on January 9, 2010 at 3:40 PM

the flags are there in case you want to flag one as inappropriate.
Flag Comment

IrishEi on January 9, 2010 at 3:39 PM

I just noticed this, too. ABOUT DAMNED TIME!

MadisonConservative on January 9, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Hey kids, Time for another exciting game of…..!

“What if a Republican said that”!!!!

RobCon on January 9, 2010 at 3:38 PM

As I said in the headline threads… why go for just any ordinary Republican?

What if Governor Sarah Palin had said that?

Enoxo on January 9, 2010 at 3:40 PM

“with no Negro dialect.”

LOL. Apparently Harry didn’t catch all of Barry’s speeches — especially the ones he gave to predominantly black audiences.

AZCoyote on January 9, 2010 at 3:41 PM

What is a “Negro dialect”?
albill on January 9, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Dig up an old Starsky & Hutch episode that features Huggy Bear. I think that’s where Reid was leaning…

joejm65 on January 9, 2010 at 3:41 PM

You asked

Will this more explicit insult create any consequences for Reid?

The answer is a clear “NO”, for two reasons. The first is obvious…the media approach to the issue. Obviously Sen. Reid will get a pass.

The second reason is that Sen. Lott, as a Republican, can be shamed. Sen. Reid, as he and his co-Democrats in the House and the Senate have amply demonstrated, cannot be shamed. If they cannot be embarrassed, and they control all processes,how in the world can he be pressured into resigning?

Blaise on January 9, 2010 at 3:41 PM

The vast right-wing conspiracy obviously misquoted Harry out of context. /sarc

Liam on January 9, 2010 at 3:42 PM

What goes around comes around. Funny how those who claim to hold the most tolerant political philosophy in America are actually the least tolerant among us.

kingsjester on January 9, 2010 at 3:42 PM

Why even say a f—ing stupid thing, especially if you are a politician?

He’s dumb as sh–.

therightscoop on January 9, 2010 at 3:44 PM

Since there is no thread about the Obama musical, is there a Chris Matthews lookalike who breaks out into “I Touch Myself”?

Speedwagon82 on January 9, 2010 at 3:44 PM

What is a “Negro dialect”?

Not entirely sure, but it likely has something to do with being “clean and articulate.”

You’ll need to check with your nearest racist, er . . . Democrat, to be sure.

AZCoyote on January 9, 2010 at 3:45 PM

I await the flood of condemnation from the Left.

Chris_Balsz on January 9, 2010 at 3:45 PM

The Democrat establishment think Obama is a “clean, articulate,light skinned, no negro dialect POTUS!” What could go wrong? They are ALL democrats.

AnthonyK on January 9, 2010 at 3:46 PM

Will this more explicit insult create any consequences for Reid?

No.

ddrintn on January 9, 2010 at 3:46 PM

he is scared and thinks he needs the black vote to win.

This is a sign of TRUEST desperation. Who even recalled him saying this crap?

Better yet, WHO CARES.

/the last one was rhetorical.

RealMc on January 9, 2010 at 3:46 PM

This will be ignored and won’t impact Reid. The only thing that will knock him off his Senate throne is the will of the finally-awake people of Nevada in November.

KS Rex on January 9, 2010 at 3:47 PM

Democrats eating their own; I love it!

Willie on January 9, 2010 at 3:47 PM

And the excuses begin!

From the cesspool that is DailyKos:

The apology from Reid was necessary. But he shouldn’t be fitted/measured for a white sheet either. I believe that he simply made a mistake and is sincerely sorry about it.

IrishEi on January 9, 2010 at 3:48 PM

Reid stinks and I don`t give a flying duck what color a person is. Obama or otherwise. I do care about character (the better the better) and deeds matching words, if the rationale behind the words is in conformity with the Constitution. Obama fails on character then. Badly, to say the least.

What a damn stumble-bum he is!

Foot in his mouth and how does he stand the taste of shoe polish all the live-long day? (Along with da Gibbs-meister.)

I despise the fellow.

And Reid,too.

Sherman1864 on January 9, 2010 at 3:48 PM

There is as many red flags on this page as DHS had for the crotch bomber.

farright on January 9, 2010 at 3:48 PM

I dont see any flags*shrug*

theTarCzar on January 9, 2010 at 3:49 PM

oopz spoke to soon.Now they appeared.

theTarCzar on January 9, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Uh oh. Lorien 1973 wont like this new flaggy thingy dingy.

Weight of Glory on January 9, 2010 at 3:50 PM

I dont see any flags*shrug*
Flag Comment

theTarCzar on January 9, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Right here—————————————>

IrishEi on January 9, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Flush….Bye, bye Uncle Harry…..
We won’t miss you.
Make him Amb to Nigeria.

RobCon on January 9, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Hey where’d they go?

Weight of Glory on January 9, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Oops. They’re gone!

IrishEi on January 9, 2010 at 3:50 PM

This guy is lost. LMFAO

RobCon on January 9, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Sad day for the media, if Only Sarah had said that…..

Juno77 on January 9, 2010 at 3:51 PM

Funny how those who claim to hold the most tolerant political philosophy in America are actually the least tolerant among us.

kingsjester on January 9, 2010 at 3:42 PM

Racist!

Del Dolemonte on January 9, 2010 at 3:51 PM

Reid must have missed some of the One’s speeches to ACORN and SEIU – especially the famous single-payer speech – in which the One felt compelled to shift into a dialect that he evidently felt was more appropriate to the venue.

PoodleSkirt on January 9, 2010 at 3:51 PM

Looks like the NV race will definitely be decided in the Republican primary.

Daschle? Check.

Reid? Check.

Nnnnnnext!

OhioCoastie on January 9, 2010 at 3:51 PM

Where is that FREAK Nancy Pelosi on this?!?

RobCon on January 9, 2010 at 3:52 PM

Ring-a-lario time!

IrishEi on January 9, 2010 at 3:52 PM

And we’re just now, in 2010, finding out about this 2008 comment because of…..?

SlaveDog on January 9, 2010 at 3:52 PM

who asked what was a Negro dialect?

I have a southern Virginia accent. we were in Eastern SC last week. they have a particular accent. you could call it a dialect though that is not correct.

black people have their own particular accent. at least the ones from the South do.

and if this comment is deemed racist, then how many libs have noticed that the Brits talk different than we do?

kelley in virginia on January 9, 2010 at 3:53 PM

Racist!
Del Dolemonte on January 9, 2010 at 3:51 PM

And you anudder one!

kingsjester on January 9, 2010 at 3:53 PM

I’ll start calling him former Senator Reid now.

RobCon on January 9, 2010 at 3:53 PM

He meant to say he doesn’t sound a thing like President Camacho from Idiocracy.

Disturb the Universe on January 9, 2010 at 3:53 PM

Rush should have fun with this on Monday.

Weight of Glory on January 9, 2010 at 3:53 PM

“No Negro dialect”?

What a foolish man. He’s an embarassment.

A dialect isn’t racial, Senator; it’s a regional, social or geographically-acquired way of talking.

Race has nothing to do with it.

Dope.

SteveMG on January 9, 2010 at 3:54 PM

The race card only gets dealt one way.

farright on January 9, 2010 at 3:55 PM

It’s storybook, man!

SlaveDog on January 9, 2010 at 3:55 PM

If Reid had any conscience, he would not apologize. He just said out loud what everyone was thinking. By furthering the nonsense that that it is off-limits to discuss the implications of the Black culture in America he keeps the racial pot boiling, which is what the Democrats want.

pedestrian on January 9, 2010 at 3:56 PM

I think the “light skinned” part is more offensive.

Disturb the Universe on January 9, 2010 at 3:56 PM

If we must have flags, all Harry Reid posts should have white flags.

Buy Danish on January 9, 2010 at 3:57 PM

New drinking game…

When the “red flags” appear, Drink!

When they disappear, refresh your glasses.

Seven Percent Solution on January 9, 2010 at 3:57 PM

I have a southern Virginia accent. we were in Eastern SC last week. they have a particular accent. you could call it a dialect though that is not correct

Yes, but it’s regional, social or geographic. Not racial.

A black man or woman from Philadelphia will have a different dialect than a black man or woman from Eastern SC. Or white person from Philly…. et cetera.

They aren’t inherited dialects; they’re acquired culturally or socially.

SteveMG on January 9, 2010 at 3:57 PM

What is a “Negro dialect”?

How does one sound or speak using a “Negro dialect”?

Ask Hillary

SDPlissken on January 9, 2010 at 3:57 PM

the flags are there in case you want to flag one as inappropriate.
Flag Comment

IrishEi on January 9, 2010 at 3:39 PM
I just noticed this, too. ABOUT DAMNED TIME!

MadisonConservative on January 9, 2010 at 3:40 PM

It will have a chilling effect on honest expression and debate.
I saw this type of “attitude” develop on a weightlifting board that I belonged to- the board was dead within a few months.
Unintended consequences.

justltl on January 9, 2010 at 3:58 PM

Reid is pretty much like this guy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0H2W1lK7P-I

LegendHasIt on January 9, 2010 at 3:58 PM

Well, for the first time Harry Reid and I agree on something.

Firstly, I think everyone pretty much knows what he means by Negro dialect. That being said, he’s spot on that b. Hussein Obama only turns on his black dialect when it’s convenient and he can score some points with it. Same with Hillary and her southern dialect.

Think to the tape of the woman in Detroit who was standing in line for “Obama money” who didn’t know where it came from… is there anyone who can’t tell she’s black/African American just by the way she sounds? Anyone? That’s what he’s referring to.

And the latest flap over having Negro on the census form is ridiculous too. I know a black person who prefers that term. I have no idea why. I think I asked but that was a while ago and I can’t remember the response. I think it’s ridiculous to have so many choices just so as not to offend though. Sheeesh!

I can’t believe anyone is making a big deal of this. There’s plenty to pile on to Harry Reid without focusing on this non-issue.

Joy on January 9, 2010 at 3:58 PM

SDPlissken on January 9, 2010 at 3:57 PM

She “aint now ways tired.”
Good catch.

AnthonyK on January 9, 2010 at 3:59 PM

I think the “light skinned” part is more offensive.

Disturb the Universe on January 9, 2010 at 3:56 PM

In a sense true, but even black women criticize black men for preferring light skinned black women. It is just one part of what is considered physically attractive at the present time.

pedestrian on January 9, 2010 at 3:59 PM

Isn’t “Ebonics” a dialect?

Disturb the Universe on January 9, 2010 at 3:59 PM

. By furthering the nonsense that that it is off-limits to discuss the implications of the Black culture in America

I’ve met a high number of black Americans and they all talked (broadly speaking) differently.

There is no singular black “dialect” anymore than there is a singular white “dialect”.

He’s spouting silliness.

SteveMG on January 9, 2010 at 4:00 PM

Did he really say “Negro”?

Just a reminder: Harry Reid is a 70 year old white man.

SlaveDog on January 9, 2010 at 4:00 PM

For shizzle!

Emperor Norton on January 9, 2010 at 4:00 PM

Ask Hillary

SDPlissken on January 9, 2010 at 3:57 PM

It works better with the linky…

Seven Percent Solution on January 9, 2010 at 4:01 PM

SDPlissken on January 9, 2010 at 3:57 PM

Ooops. Sorry I meant to say.

She (Hillary).. “I aint no ways tired.”
Good catch.

AnthonyK on January 9, 2010 at 4:01 PM

Firstly, I think everyone pretty much knows what he means by Negro dialect.

Sorry, I just don’t.

Who exemplifies it? Al Sharpton? Jackson? Farrakhan? A rapper?

I understand regional or geographic dialects but not racial dialect.

SteveMG on January 9, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Time for comment count predictions on this one?

AnthonyK on January 9, 2010 at 4:02 PM

I’ve met a high number of black Americans and they all talked (broadly speaking) differently.

There is no singular black “dialect” anymore than there is a singular white “dialect”.

He’s spouting silliness.

SteveMG on January 9, 2010 at 4:00 PM

Yes, there are many different dialects that are recognizably Black. But Obama does not use any of them. Reid chose the word Negro to encompass them.

pedestrian on January 9, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Will this more explicit insult create any consequences for Reid?

Of course not. The only recourse is that Reid is tanking so horribly based on a litany of stupid statements AKA lies.

It’s sad to hear an American of such prominence dealing is such archaic racial-mythology.

The Race Card on January 9, 2010 at 4:03 PM

I’ll start calling him former Senator Reid now.

RobCon on January 9, 2010 at 3:53 PM

That has such a nice ring to it. Can we add “who ended his career in disgrace”?

sherry on January 9, 2010 at 4:04 PM

I’m sure Anderson Cooper will highlight Reid’s racism on his next 60 Minutes expose, just like he did Schmidt on Sarah Palin’s “bombshell” comments about O’Biden. /

conservative pilgrim on January 9, 2010 at 4:05 PM

I’ve always wanted to ask, this seems like the best place to do it…

What the heck are those noises that come out of Jessie Jackson’s mouth?

Seven Percent Solution on January 9, 2010 at 4:05 PM

Reid chose the word Negro to encompass them.

But there is no “them” to group together as representative of THE “Negro dialect”.

I’m repeating myself so I’ll stop.

It’s a bizarre statement to me.

SteveMG on January 9, 2010 at 4:06 PM

Negro dialect Reid is referring to the way Rev Jackson and Rev Sharpton speak….somebody quick inform media matters/SARC.

Geeze Harry that sounds so Progressive of you…snark….

Dr Evil on January 9, 2010 at 4:07 PM

Reid’s words can’t be taken back. People can see how he thinks about racial issues and they won’t forget.

dogsoldier on January 9, 2010 at 4:07 PM

Firstly, I think everyone pretty much knows what he means by Negro dialect.

Your assertion is emblematic of the problems caused by stereotyping. I guarantee that you would not be able to detect my racial or ethnic makeup based on my voice or speech patterns.

While traveling, I’ve been told that I have a “California accent.”

The Race Card on January 9, 2010 at 4:07 PM

I’ll start calling him former Senator Reid now.

RobCon on January 9, 2010 at 3:53 PM

That has such a nice ring to it. Can we add “who ended his career in disgrace”?

sherry on January 9, 2010 at 4:04 PM

How about this:

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who ended his political career in disgrace with racist remarks, ……

conservative pilgrim on January 9, 2010 at 4:07 PM

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