Eye on 2016, Clintons Rebuild Bond with Blacks

Amy Chozick and Jonathan Martin, New York Times, December 1, 2013

Inside Bright Hope Baptist Church, the luminaries of Philadelphia’s black political world gathered for the funeral of former Representative William H. Gray III in July. Dozens of politicians—city, state and federal—packed the pews as former President Bill Clinton offered a stirring eulogy, quoting Scripture and proudly telling the crowd that he was once described as “the only white man in America who knew all the verses to ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing.’ ”

But it was the presence and behavior of Hillary Rodham Clinton that most intrigued former Gov. Edward G. Rendell: During a quiet moment, Mrs. Clinton leaned over to the governor and pressed him for details about the backgrounds, and the influence, of the assembled black leaders.

Since Mrs. Clinton left the secretary of state post in February, she and her husband have sought to soothe and strengthen their relationship with African-Americans, the constituency that was most scarred during her first bid for the presidency. Five years after remarks by Mr. Clinton about Barack Obama deeply strained the Clintons’ bond with African-Americans, the former first family is setting out to ensure that there is no replay of such trouble in 2016.

Mrs. Clinton used two of her most high-profile speeches, including one before a black sorority convention, to address minority voting rights—an explosive issue among African-Americans since the Supreme Court struck down part of the Voting Rights Act in June. A month after Mr. Gray’s funeral, Mrs. Clinton and her husband both asked to speak at the service for Bill Lynch, a black political strategist who is credited with the election of David N. Dinkins as mayor of New York, and stayed for well over two hours in a crowd full of well-connected mourners. And there have been constant personal gestures, especially by the former president.


This task has taken on new urgency given the Democratic Party’s push to the left, away from the centrist politics with which the Clintons are identified. Strong support from black voters could serve as a bulwark for Mrs. Clinton against a liberal primary challenge should she decide to run for president in 2016. {snip}

Her appearance before the sisters of Delta Sigma Theta in July, which she opened by offering condolences to the family of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old who was killed in Florida last year, and her voting rights address to the American Bar Association in August drew significant attention among black leaders.

“That speech that she gave regarding voting suppression was very, very significant and meaningful,” said Representative James E. Clyburn, a South Carolina Democrat and the highest-ranking African-American in Congress. Mr. Clyburn, who clashed sharply with Mr. Clinton in 2008, said Mrs. Clinton was “now in a very good place with the African-American community.”


The Clintons appear to be taking nothing for granted. Mr. Clinton did not just attend the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington on the National Mall in August, but also showed up at Arlington Cemetery in June to honor Medgar Evers on the 50th anniversary of his assassination. In May, Mr. Clinton was the commencement speaker at Howard University in Washington, posing for pictures with all who asked and sitting on stage next to one of the school’s best-known graduates, L. Douglas Wilder, the nation’s first elected black governor from Virginia, a longtime friend and rival of Mr. Clinton’s.


Mr. Clinton has a rich, if occasionally fraught, history with African-Americans. He was a New South governor and a progressive on race who would eventually be called “the first black president” by the author Toni Morrison. But he infuriated blacks in 2008 when, after Mr. Obama won a big South Carolina primary victory, he seemed to dismiss the achievement by reminding the press that the Rev. Jesse Jackson had won the state twice and calling Mr. Obama’s antiwar position “the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.”

Many African-Americans took Mr. Clinton’s fairy tale comment to mean that Mr. Obama’s candidacy itself was a hopeless fantasy.


For other black leaders, Mr. Clinton’s showstopping speech at last year’s Democratic convention was equally important.

“The defining moment for me was both when Hillary Clinton became secretary of state and Bill Clinton’s tremendous speech on behalf of President Obama,” said Representative Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democrat who backed Mr. Obama in 2008. “Those both occurred when a lot of people in the community were paying close attention.”


Topics: , , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Luca

    Can’t wait to hear Hillary make speeches in her “negro dialect”. As long as she preaches discrimination, racism and taxpayer gifts from the public treasury, she probably won’t need much of a dialect.

    However, I hope as many opponents as possible bring up “Benghazi” in every single debate and I hope that same word is shouted from every heckler at every speech.

    • me

      Lewinsky, Whitewater, Vincent Foster, the Rose Law Firm scandal, Travelgate, Filegate, the Whitehouse Lincoln Bedroom brothel, John Huang and James Riady ‘donations’, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, etc. Boy, there’s a lot of ammo there–but the castrated ‘conservative’ Republicans won’t go for the jugular, like they should do.

  • “Clintons repair bond with blacks”

    Phooey. If she’s the Democrat nominee, she’ll get almost 100% of the black vote. It may not be as huge of a black turnout, but she’ll get almost all of it.

    What do you expect Bellcurvius to do? Vote for a Republican? Even one as liberal as Krispy Christie? Yeah, there’s a good laugh.

  • NeanderthalDNA

    “Her appearance before the sisters of Delta Sigma Theta in July, which she opened by offering condolences to the family of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old who was killed in Florida last year, and her voting rights address to the American Bar Association in August drew significant attention among black leaders.”

    Thanks Hil. God knows who the pubs will puke up to oppose her.

    • me

      That fat-arsed, cankled, criminal psychopath in polyester clothing had better not win the next election for Prez. I will probably die of a fatal brain aneurism if this happens. Does no one besides myself see the fact that this ‘woman’, and her ‘husband’ are the two most evil maggots that ever bore holes in feces? Oh my god! Just having the support of the Bantu community should be enough reason to reject vote this vile, criminally insane spawn of Lucifer!

      • dd121

        I couldn’t agree more but half the people in this country get free stuff from the guvment. They don’t care who/what the dem nominee is. They’re voting for him/her.

      • Bon, From the Land of Babble

        It’s already been decided.

        • dd121

          I thought it was after Bush too, then along came the magic negro.

  • DaveMed

    Hillary would be a bigger problem than Obama. She, at least, is a somewhat competent leftist.

    • Fighting_Northern_Spirit

      I don’t know if I’d go that far. That hare-brained “managed care” socialized medicine scheme that went nowhere during Billy Jeff’s presidency was her baby. At least Zero got his passed, barely.

  • D.B. Cooper

    I can already see the GOP stabbing each other in the back, wasting millions of dollars, and kissing black behinds in order to get the Black Vote.

    As for the white vote? Zero dollars will be spent by the GOP. Unless you specifically say you are trying to get more white voters, then it doesn’t count.
    Let’s go, republicans! I have my very short list of hardcore right wingers I’m voting for, but the rest will be for democrats running against the republican who dares utter the phrase, “We need to reach out to more minorities and bring diversity to the Republican Party.”

    Keep up your same old, failing tactic, and the mastodon will be your new pachyderm symbol.
    You’ll be as extinct as he is.

  • Spartacus

    Race traitor scum !

  • My take on President Oogabooga is that he is more shoe-shine-boy material. The natural baggage porter in this administration is Eric Holder.

    • MBlanc46

      I’d say Obama is more like affirmative action law firm material.

      • bilderbuster

        Like the Rose Law Firm was for Hillary.

      • He couldn’t even get that ….. so he became an AA lecturer at UofC.
        He was never a professor.

        • Bon, From the Land of Babble

          True. I’m sure he’s glad he DIDN’T work for Rose Law Firm or might have ended up like Vince Foster.

          • Jackryanvb

            Amren doesn’t allow comments pushing wild conspiracy theory nonsense. This Vince Foster CT was supposed to spread THE TRUTH that would overturn the election of Bill Clinton, same as the Missing birth certificate was supposed to overturn the election of Obama…

            CTs are the waste of time of American loner, loser Right Wing nuts.

          • Alexandra1973

            Some of us “right wing” nuts don’t believe in the coincidence theory.

          • Bon, From the Land of Babble

            Obviously my comment wasn’t taken down. Did you notify the moderators?

            And I defy you to point to where exactly it is posted that AR “doesn’t allow the ‘pushing’ of wild conspiracy theory nonsense?”

            Better to believe the government’s version of events, right? They’d NEVER lie to us would they?

            “If you like your health care, you can keep it.”


          • Bon, From the Land of Babble


        • MBlanc46

          He became a state senator; the UC gig was never anything but a stroke.

  • MBlanc46

    Whoever the 2016 Dem presidential candidate is will get the lion’s share of the black vote. The question is, will blacks turn out in record numbers for that person as they did for Obama. Maybe they will turn out for a tight-assed millionaire white woman. Maybe they won’t.

    • me

      Dey’s be votin’ for da Clintons ’cause ol’ Billy was da ‘first Black presiden’, ‘member dat?
      Who else would shove a Cuban cigar up a non-goy slut’s vag? Bill IS ‘Black’.

      • Lagerstrom

        Mmmm. I don’t know what the second sentence implicates. I don’t think I need to know either.

        • Katherine McChesney

          I”m curious but don’t want to know what it means. It was a distasteful comment.

    • blacks will not turn out if the candidate is White.
      blacks will now feel entitled to a black candidate.

  • MBlanc46

    She has very little charm. In 2008 she was unable to beat a little known senator from Illinois with almost no political experience (although it was more than Clinton’s).

    • exlib93

      “What difference does it make???”

    • Garrett Brown

      Your point being?

      • MBlanc46

        She has very little charm and in 2008 she was unable to beat a little known
        senator from Illinois with almost no political experience (although it
        was more than her’s).

        • Garrett Brown

          You already typed that.

          Again, your point being?

          • MBlanc46

            That was my point. Are the words too big for you?

          • Garrett Brown

            You didn’t use any big words.

            So your pint was she’s lacking in charm? Which has absolutely nothing to do with politics now a days? Woah! What an epiphany!

            This just in! Hillary has no charm! What an amazing physical diagnosis!

            Thank you for your contribution Mr. Blanc

  • me

    Porter? Nope. I wouldn’t even trust that pompous commie liar to clean the overflowing toilets at a Mexican bus stop.

  • me

    The only ‘improvement’ to her speeches is that she can lie even better while keeping a straight face. Psychopaths are adept at doing that….

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Five years after remarks by Mr. Clinton about Barack Obama deeply strained the Clintons’ bond with African-Americans.

    This innocent remark?

    “A few years ago this guy would have been fetching us coffee”?

    Well, Pandering is Hard Work!!

    And…as Hillary says…


    • ms_anthro

      She’s starting to look a bit like Henry Kissinger.

  • Tim_in_Indiana

    But he infuriated blacks in 2008 when, after Mr. Obama won a big South Carolina primary victory, he seemed to dismiss the achievement by reminding the press that the Rev. Jesse Jackson had won the state twice and calling Mr. Obama’s antiwar position “the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.”

    In other words, no one better ever dare criticize the Great Black Hope…or else!

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Hilary is being groomed for a Presidential run in 2016, it is her turn and she’s remained a loyal soldier of the New World Order. For that, she will be rewarded with the title of “First Female President.”

    Already there is HillaryMania building up in the media. Crispy Creme Christie will be the Republican candidate who will have the honor of being defeated.

    Hillary has a great background for a NWO, Amerikkan kommisar:

    As Hillary Clinton came under increasing scrutiny for her story about facing sniper fire in Bosnia, one question that arose was whether she has engaged in a pattern of lying.

    The now-retired general counsel and chief of staff of the House Judiciary Committee, who supervised Hillary when she worked on the Watergate investigation, says Hillary’s history of lies and unethical behavior goes back farther – and goes much deeper – than anyone realizes.

    Jerry Zeifman, a lifelong Democrat, supervised the work of 27-year-old Hillary Rodham on the committee. Hillary got a job working on the investigation at the behest of her former law professor, Burke Marshall, who was also Sen. Ted Kennedy’s chief counsel in the Chappaquiddick affair. When the investigation was over, Zeifman fired Hillary from the committee staff and refused to give her a letter of recommendation – one of only three people who earned that dubious distinction in Zeifman’s 17-year career.

    ‘Because she was a liar,’ Zeifman said in an interview last week. ‘She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality.’

    Stay tuned, this should be interesting…

    • ms_anthro

      Well then, according to Zeifman’s assessment of her character, she’ll make a great POTUS by our modern American standards. She might even be overqualified.

  • Pro_Whitey

    One thing I take from this article is to think, hey, new Senator Cory Booker, don’t get any ideas, or you will find yourself “committing suicide” (Vince Foster) or in a fiery plane crash with no survivors (Ron Brown).
    As for the GOP, I am still holding out hope for Jeff Sessions of Alabama. He seems to be getting it that immigration is a means to cut American workers’ wages and degrade their working conditions. Because most American workers are white, he might be willing to push what is at least an implicitly pro-white agenda with immigration control, trade balance, and, as a cherry on top, ending affirmative action policies.

    • mikebowen55

      Anyone who is pro-White in any way, shape, or form will not get the nomination. End of story.

  • CharlesFinley

    That! Exactly!!!

  • Jackryanvb

    But Hillary Clinton or any other Liberal Democrat will have a hard time getting the Black vote now that Libertarians like Rand Paul and Paul Ryan are making “outreach” to Blacks and Latinos in Detroit and Chicago. These poor minorities are supposedly “natural conservatives” who want to get off the liberal welfare state plantation.

    Hah ha.

    Here’s hoping Rand Paula nd Paul Ryan and their enablers suffer the date of Amy Biehl or Rachiel Corrie.

    • Katherine McChesney

      Did you mean ‘fate’ instead of ‘date’?

      • Jackryanvb

        Yes, but “date” also works well. Idiot, traitor Libertarian Jack Kemp used to insist he was heir to Ronald Reagan because he had showered with Black men…

        Dating, rape, murder, racial genocide, they kind of go together.

  • Jackryanvb

    The Presidential election is three years away. All the candidates in the running are anti Whites. Let’s not waste time obsessing about this on Amren. Concentrate on things, elections where we have some chances for modest success.

    • Dr. Möbias

      As the old expression goes: All politics is local.

      It’s important to participate in local, low voter-turnout elections. It’s easier to hold the local politicians’ feet to the fire, attend town hall meetings, call local offices, write letters in the local papers and talk to others who will be affected by the same policies. These guys on city councils, school boards, etc. can and have caused a lot of damage to my community. I keep a sharp eye on them, I vote and contribute to those who express my views. I have to live here, after all.

  • Allan477

    Years ago I would have known all the verses of “Lift Every Voice and Sing”. At the time I was teaching in James Weldon Johnson Public School on the West Side of Chicago. Unlike Clinton, I was living my ideals, not just spouting them.

  • John K

    Why not? The Clintons know that blacks are allowed to vote multiple times. One street thug admitted he was registered to vote 73 times after the 2008 election. Another savage said that it felt so good to vote for a black communist, he went back in and voted again. Blacks always vote Democrat, they like to know the welfare check will be there at the first of the month.

  • Alexandra1973

    I saw a quote from a pro-white forum a while back, Clinton’s take on blacks…if they can’t eat it, sell it, or screw it, they’ll destroy it. Or something like that.