From Gina Gray: Speaking of the Clintons’ behavior, here’s my essay on Lanny Davis’ appearance on the Ed Schultz Show this past Thursday… During Bill Clinton’s impeachment ordeal, Lanny Davis was there. In fact, throughout the ’90s, Davis was the Clintons’ chief legal counsel and has been a loyal friend and very close confidant for at least 25 years. So if one wanted to produce a list of people who could bring quality, unbiased insight into the minds of Hillary and Bill Clinton, that list would include James Carville, Paul Begalia, David Gergen and Terry McAuliffe. But Lanny Davis is your best bet and should appear at the very top of that list. That is why some have expressed dismay with Lanny’s words when he appeared as a guest on the Ed Schultz Radio Talk Show the other day. On Thursday, Lanny tells Ed that Hillary is depressed because she feels betrayed by Obama supporters, particularly her colleagues in the Senate with whom she has known for many years; the superdelegates like Jim Andrew (former DNC Chair) and George McGovern (former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate), and others that she felt should have remained loyal to her rather than defect to Barack Obama’s camp. Understandably, she was upset at Obama and Edwards for not allowing her to enjoy a day basking in the glory of her WV win before trotting out John Edwards in MI for an endorsement. I do understand her gripe there. I thought that it was a little tacky for the Obama team to do this, but I guess that it became tiresome for them (and for many of us who found her comments quite detestable), listening to her and the media repeat ad nauseam that Obama can’t win “hard-working white” voters. Further, Lanny tells Ed that she is disappointed by what she called “the arrogance of the Obama camp” because they are planning to declare victory on May 20 before all the primaries are finished and before the Credentials Committee meets on May 31. Again, on this point I agree with the Hillary camp wholeheartedly. I hope the Obama team will rethink this strategy because it could do more damage than good, and may anger Hillary supporters. Why not allow the voting continue until the primaries are completed before declaring victory? I believe that he has the nomination wrapped up, but the more he throws it in her face, the more despicable her behavior becomes. But the aspect of the Lanny discussion that is most troubling–and I have been thinking about this now for two days–is that he told Ed that Bill and Hillary have worked tirelessly throughout their lives on behalf of civil rights and racial justice. Lanny stated that civil rights is one of the issues that is “nearest and dearest” to Hillary’s heart, and therefore the “betrayal of African Americans” was most hurtful. Lanny kept using the words “hurtful” and “betrayal”. Why are Lanny’s words disturbing? Because it speaks to the larger issue of who Bill and Hillary Clinton really are. The Clintons really believe that nothing else matters besides loyalty. They are convinced that they are entitled to the presidency. Judging based on Lanny’s account of Hillary’s state of mind, the concept of loyalty is much more important than doing what one believes is right. Their behavior so reminds me of how the Bush administration operates: rewarding loyal friends, punishing others who fall out of line even when doing so is the right thing to do. When Hillary Clinton announced that she was running for the presidency, she enjoyed nearly 80% of black support. When Kucinich, Edwards, Dodd, Biden and others announced, that support declined to about 60% or thereabouts, mainly because Edwards is also very popular in the black community. (I became a supporter when Dennis dropped out, and Martin Luther King, III praised Edwards’ Poverty Initiative.) Despite the fallacy that African Americans supported Obama from the beginning, the media, Clinton supporters and their surrogates, and the Clintons themselves, continued to repeat that falsehood. The unvarnished truth is that many blacks were distrustful of Obama and didn’t believe that he should run for office. Black women especially were concerned for his safety. But many of us also believed that he didn’t have enough experience. Perhaps he should finish out his term in the Senate and wait until 2012 to run. Additionally, there was a question of whether or not Obama could relate to the African American experience, since he spent a good portion of his life outside this country. I remember that even Jesse Jackson was highly skeptical. The ultimate irony is that he was squarely in Hillary’s camp until his own son, Jesse Jackson, Jr., convinced his father that Obama was “an o.k. guy.” Cornel West and other prominent African American intellectual stalwarts questioned Obama’s integrity. It is highly offensive when White America assumes that blacks simply fall in line without any critical thought. There was much critical analysis going on prior to the SC primary. If anyone listened to black talk radio, there was some serious analysis going on. Support for the Clintons all but fell apart the closer we got to the SC primary and Obama started doing well… The Clintons damaged any good will left from the black community when both Bill and Hillary–aided by the media and their surrogates, black and white–started making veiled references to race and using subtle, racially coded language to drive a wedge within the Democratic party. My point is that it is blacks who feel betrayed by the Clintons, not the other way around. Like any other candidate, one has to earn voters’ trust and support. It’s not just about loyalty. The Clintons have specialized in the Art of Projection, accusing their opponents of doing exactly what they are doing, then feigning outrage at the reaction of their opponents who are disappointed and frustrated by their offensive actions. The bottom line is that whatever you feel about Obama supporters, it is the Clintons who must make amends to the black community for their despicable behavior throughout this campaign–for the Bob Johnsons and the Geraldine Ferraros. For the Ed Rendells and the “hard-working white” folk. For subtly downgrading the role of MLK, Jr., a man who they say they admire greatly. For suggesting that Obama is not a Muslim…as far as she knows. It is the Clintons who owe blacks the biggest apology if they are really sincere about wanting to bridge the divide and move forward. It behooves Hillary and her husband to want to work to bring healing to the party. I believe that Obama supporters will be forgiving and will apologize, too, for their behavior. But the politics of division always fails and will destroy this party, despite what Lanny Davis says! I am confident that the Democrats will come together in the fall no matter what but, it would be nice if the healing started now rather than later…

Warmly, Regina “Fool me once…shame on…shame on you. Fool me…can’t get fooled again!” – George “Dumbya” Bush “