Obamateurism of the Day

Barack Obama really let Harry Reid have it for suggesting that Obama fakes “a Negro dialect” when it suits him politically:

“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,” said Obama.

“The Democratic Party itself has to drive out Harry Reid. If they have to stand for something, they have to stand up and say this is not the person we want representing our party.”

Oh, wait, I’m sorry — that’s not what Obama said about Harry Reid. He said this in 2002 while in the Illinois state Senate, about Trent Lott when the then-Majority Leader toasted Strom Thurmond on his 100th birthday by saying that the country would have been better off if Thurmond had won his 1948 presidential bid, run on a segregationist platform:

“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.”

Well, how about a Majority Leader who suggests that Obama himself fakes a “Negro dialect” in order to impress African-American voters? That doesn’t speak to an inherent racism, or at least a stereotype about African-Americans? I’ll bet Obama really let him have it:

“Harry Reid called me today and apologized for an unfortunate comment reported today,” President Obama said in a statement today. “I accepted Harry’s apology without question because I’ve known him for years, I’ve seen the passionate leadership he’s shown on issues of social justice and I know what’s in his heart. As far as I am concerned, the book is closed.”

Well, I guess it’s been a long time since Lott’s remarks. Maybe Obama learned that getting hysterical about dippy comments is a waste of time, or at least a waste of a national politician’s time. Right? Er …

In April 2007, then-Sen. Obama [and declared presidential candidate — Ed] told me that NBC should fire Don Imus for his “nappy-headed hos” reference to the Rutgers University women’s basketball team, a comment for which Mr. Imus apologized profusely.

“I understand MSNBC has suspended Mr. Imus,” Obama told ABC News, “but I would also say that there’s nobody on my staff who would still be working for me if they made a comment like that about anybody of any ethnic group. And I would hope that NBC ends up having that same attitude.”

Obama said he appeared once on Imus’ show in 2005, and “I have no intention of returning.”

“He didn’t just cross the line,” Obama said. “He fed into some of the worst stereotypes that my two young daughters are having to deal with today in America. The notions that as young African-American women — who I hope will be athletes — that that somehow makes them less beautiful or less important. It was a degrading comment. It’s one that I’m not interested in supporting.”

It seems Obama doesn’t have a problem with a Democrat perpertuating a stereotype about “a Negro dialect.”

Oh, and by the way — Lott was not the “president” of the Senate.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

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