Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sorry. Sorry. And ... sorry.

Has Hillary Clinton finally tired of race-baiting politics?

"Clinton apologizes to black voters for racial comments," read the head at

"Clinton apologizes to black voters," said in a headline.

Apology No. 1 of the series of three made before the National Newspaper Publishers Association, a group of more than 200 black community newspapers across the country, dealt with comments her husband, former president Bill Clinton, made in the wake of Barack Obama's overwhelming victory in South Carolina. "Bill Clinton said Jesse Jackson also won South Carolina when he ran for president in 1984 and 1988, a comment many viewed as belittling Obama’s success," the story explains.

"I want to put that in context. You know I am sorry if anyone was offended. It was certainly not meant in any way to be offensive," Hillary Clinton said. "We can be proud of both Jesse Jackson and Senator Obama."
Apology No. 2 came regarding Clinton fundraiser and former vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, who went off the deep end last week and said that Obama would not have made it this far if he were white:

Of Ferraro’s comment, Hillary Clinton told her audience: "I certainly do repudiate it and I regret deeply that it was said. Obviously she doesn’t speak for the campaign, she doesn’t speak for any of my positions, and she has resigned from being a member of my very large finance committee."
(Sidebar: What distinguishes a "large" finance committee from a "very large" finance committee? Is there a book someone can get for me on this?)

Finally, Clinton turned Apology No. 3, regarding the response of the federal government in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, into a criticism of President Bush:

"I’ve said it publicly, and I say it privately: I apologize, and I am embarrassed that our government so mistreated our fellow citizens … It was a national disgrace," she said.
Time will tell whether Clinton was simply seized by an inexplicable and temporary attack of phony contrition, or whether she genuinely intends to lay down her campaign's race-baiting flamethrower.