Politics is a funny thing. Except there are a lot of people who dont think its so funny when politics looks like a teeming, dishonest hornets nest of people vying for power and who can rarely be trusted but are making decisions that affect peoples' lives.
Today James Clyburn of South Carolina endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president. In 2008 he destroyed her.
It was in 2008 right before the South Carolina primaries when Clinton was running against Obama that behind the scenes, Clyburn formulated an attack against Hillary Clinton on the subject of race which resulted in her landslide loss by 29 points. Which makes his endorsement of Clinton now hollow and reeking of the kind of phony, worthless backroom politics that is clearly part of Clinton's backroom deal with Obama, which so far ironically, like most of Obama's policies is failing.
For anyone who remembers 2008, it was in South Carolina that Clinton took the biggest blow of her presidential campaign. Up until then she had been splitting the African American vote with Obama 50-50.
But in a speech in South Carolina, Clinton, in trying to re-enforce her credentials as someone who had the experience to be president and that Obama didnt, Clinton made the point that while Martin Luther King was the conscience of the country and the spirtual force behind the civil rights movement, it took a president with the know how and experience of a Lyndon Johnson to actually get the Civil Rights Act passed through congress .Which was all true.
Tom Brokaw in his book about King said the same thing. But Tom Brokaw wasn't running for president. And wasn't running for president against a black man representing the cause celebre of electing the first black president.
With Clyburn pulling the strings behind the scenes it didn't take Obama long to seize the opening. And the Obama campaign unleashed a furious assault on Clinton claiming she had disparaged Martin Luther King and diminshed his leadership in civil rights and put King in the backseat behind a white man even if he was president. Only it could never have been Obama's idea. James Clyburn is as wiley a politician as there is. Clyburn has forgotten more about politics than Obama will ever know. And even though it cant be proved and neither Obama nor Clyburn would admit it, what happened in South Carolina had James Clyburn's fingerprints all over it. So much so Bill Clinton blamed Clyburn for Hillary's loss. Which makes the image of Clyburn and Hillary Clinton embracing like old friends evidence of exactly the kind of phony, dirty politics that is the opposite of everything Sanders stands for and why he is attracting younger voters.
Clinton could have stood by her comments which were true and gone to the mat over them. Instead she started backpedalling and apologizing much the same way she did recently during a speech when she said " All lives matter" and Black Lives Matter activists in the audience took offense, chided her and she backed off promising never to say "all lives matter again." Very inspiring.
So watching Clinton literally embrace Clyburn and listening to Clyburn trip over himself to tell us all the wonderful things he thinks about Hillary Clinton and how " my heart has been with Hillary from day one" is making a lot of people who remember 2008 gag. It also means Clyburn lives by his own calender since no one can figure out when day one for Clyburn was. Some think it was the day before yesterday.
"Day one" is also probably the day Obama gave Clyburn his marching orders to endorse her in return for Clinton's willingness to throw herself prostrate on the ground in front of Obama and defend his failures in return for Obama pulling strings to try and get her the nomination, an amusing but maybe not so funny look at what Democratic politics has become. Thankfully, so far its been failing against Sanders.
It's not the kind of politics Sanders represents and one reason why voters are flocking to Sanders in record numbers and why he destroyed Clinton in New Hampshire not just in the overall election by 22 points, but among voters 45 and under 84-9. That along with Sanders advocating policies far superior to the Obama retread Clinton is pushing as part of her Obama deal .
Clyburn confided in his memoirs that he received a call from Bill Clinton at 2 a.m. after the primary where Bill unleashed a tirade at Clyburn blaming him for Hillary's loss and saying, " if you bastards want a fight we'll give you one". Of course they never did.
So its almost political satire now to see Clyburn endorsing Clinton and seeing all those warm hugs and the old style political machine both represent. Which is another big reason why Bernie Sanders is winning. And why Clyburn's endorsement may mean nothing.