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Harry Reid in '08: Obama's Race is a Plus Because He Doesn't Have a 'Negro Dialect'

If Mitch McConnell said it...

4:38 PM, Jan 9, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Yesterday, Marc Ambinder quoted the following from the new book Game Change:

[Harry Reid's] encouragement of Obama was unequivocal. He 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.  Reid was convinced, in fact, that Obama's race would help him more than hurt him in a bid for the Democratic nomination.

Today, Reid apologized in a statement:

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.

Well, since Reid did have, as he points out, the integrity to oppose Clarence Thomas and Janice Rogers Brown, let's let bygones be bygones.

Update: Obama accepts Reid's apology:

"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."

Via Ed Morrissey: "when Don Imus made his own problematic racial crack a few years ago and then apologized, The One was … less forgiving."

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