It probably wasn’t a question Hillary Clinton expected to face, even at a national convention of black journalists.
But CNN anchor Suzanne Malveaux, acting as moderator during Clinton’s appearance here Thursday at the National Association of Black Journalists’ annual gathering, uncorked it anyway:
“Are you black enough?” asked Malveaux, echoing a question often asked of rival Democratic candidate Barack Obama, who is biracial. “What makes you a better candidate over a black man representing issues confronting African Americans?”
Facing a room packed more than 1,000 journalists, Clinton chuckled a bit before launching into a generalized tribute to campaign diversity.
“I am thrilled to be running at a time when, on the stage, you can see an African American man, a Hispanic man and a woman,” she said, referring to Obama and fellow Democratic candidate Bill Richardson. “Democratic primary voters don’t have to be against anyone. You can be for the person you believe will do the best job as our President.”
That was the tone during much of Clinton’s 30-minute appearance, in which she answered questions from the crowd after a short speech.
Through queries about post-Hurricane Katrina rebuilding, picking an ethical attorney general and genocide in Darfur, the candidate offered responses so lengthy and generalized, some audience members wondered if she actually answered the question posed.