Michael Gaynor
Harry Reid really apologized for being truthful, but politically incorrect
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By Michael Gaynor
January 10, 2010

Harry Reid's comments were politically astute, but politically incorrect, so he had to apologize, for being truthful, albeit privately, and embarrassing Obama.

On page 37 of Game Change, authors John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, reported what Senate Majority leader Harry Reid had believed and had said "privately" during the last presidential campaign about now President Obama.

Officially, Reid had been neutral as between then Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. Heilemann and Halperin reported that in fact Reid's "encouragement of Obama was unequivocal" because Reid "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," and Reid "was convinced, in fact, that Obama's race would help him more than hurt him in a bid for the Democratic nomination."

On January 9, 2010, Reid issued this statement of apology: "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. I was a proud and enthusiastic supporter of Barack Obama during the campaign and have worked as hard as I can to advance President Obama's legislative agenda. Moreover, throughout my career, from efforts to integrate the Las Vegas strip and the gaming industry to opposing radical judges and promoting diversity in the Senate, I have worked hard to advance issues important to the African American community."

Predictably, President Obama quickly tried to close the book.

President Obama: "Harry Reid called me today and apologized for an unfortunate comment reported 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."

No surprise that Obama wants the book closed or that he took a diametrically opposed position regarding then Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott's remarks celebrating the late Senator Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday.

From the December 12, 2002 issue of the Chicago Defender:

"Illinois [State] Senator Barack Obama (D-13th), who hosted WVON's Cliff Kelley Show, challenged the Republican Party to repudiate Lott's remarks and to call for his resignation as senate leader.

"'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.'"

Of course, Obama, ACORN and SEIU want Reid leading his party in the United States Senate, so the voters of Nevada (as it was for the voters of South Dakota in the case of former Democrat Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle) will "have to stand up and say this is not the person we want representing" us.

In "Why Obama Won and McCain Lost" (November 5, 2008) (http://www.webcommentary.com/php/ShowArticle.php?id=gaynorm&date=081105), I explained:

"Obama won, because McCain lost.

"McCain lost because (1) the predominantly liberal mainstream media abandoned him for Obama and the campaign coverage of ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC was biased in favor of Obama and against McCain; (2) McCain accepted public funding for his presidential campaign, as he promised, while Obama broke his own promise, refused public funding and outspent McCain hugely, without being blamed for breaking his promise and trying to buy the election; (3) three-fourths of the voters believed (rightly or wrongly) that the country was on the wrong track; (4) the country was eager to elect its first African-American president, with white opposition to Obama suspected as racist and nearly unanimous black support for Obama excused as a fitting expression of racial pride; (5) Obama's clam and polished manner contrasted sharply (and very favorably) with the manners of the Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, prior African-American presidential hopefuls; (6) only Fox really scrutinized Obama and many voters never learned important facts; (7) McCain expected to win because he is much better prepared to be President of the United States instead of realized that he could win under the circumstances only by showing that Obama was unfit to be President, (8) for decades Obama's radical allies had prepared the way for him to win this year, instead of setting the stage for the financial crisis that put Obama ahead in the polls after McCain had taken the lead; (9) the mainstream media, led by ABC's Charles Gibson, CBS's Katie Couric and NBC's Tina Fey, made it seem like Palin was unfit to be President instead of Obama, even though she had executive governmental experience and he had none; and (10) the mainstream media, particularly The New York Times, kept a lid on the ugly truth about ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) and its ties to Obama, the Obama campaign and the Democrat Party."

Obviously Senator Reid realized that I was right about "the country [having been] eager to elect its first African-American president, with white opposition to Obama suspected as racist and nearly unanimous black support for Obama excused as a fitting expression of racial pride."

The truth is that candidate Obama was a rookie United States Senator with no military or executive experience.

But, thanks to the liberal media establishment, he was sellable.

The editorial review of Joe McGinniss's The Selling of the President on the 1968 presidential campaign states: "McGinniss examines the repackaging of Richard Nixon by the men Roger Ailes, now working on the George Bush campaign, and Frank Shakespeare who first suggested that issues bore voters and that image is what counts."

With many, many voters, image IS what counts and it worked well for Obama against both Clinton and McCain.

Harry Reid's comments were politically astute, but politically incorrect, so he had to apologize, for being truthful, albeit privately, and embarrassing Obama.

© Michael Gaynor

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)

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