Bill Clinton on Obama: “A Few Years Ago, This Guy Would Have Been Carrying Our Bags”

In advance of Clinton’s speech, at the Democrat convention, there have been amazingly a bunch of articles recalling Clinton’s disparaging remarks about Obama during the 2008 campaign. Now, that book Game Change, which HBO made into a movie about Sarah Palin, Mark Halperin’s book, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. They described Clinton trying to get Ted Kennedy’s endorsement for Hillary, and they had Clinton talking to Ted Kennedy. They quote Clinton as saying: (paraphrasing) “You know, Ted, a few years ago this guy would be getting us coffee.”

In the New Yorker, Ryan Lizza reports that the late Tim Russert told him of a similar comment by Clinton. According to Ryan Lizza, via Tim Russert, Clinton said to Ted Kennedy: “You know, Ted, a few years ago this guy would have been carrying our bags.” And Clinton’s impression of Obama hasn’t improved since 2008. Last year he told a bunch of friends, and this is in Ed Klein’s book, The Amateur, Clinton told a bunch of friends: (summary via Clinton impression) You know this guy, Obama, he doesn’t even know how to be president. He doesn’t know how the world works. How could he? He’s been too busy fetching my coffee, carrying my bags. (chuckling)”

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, named after a prison, interviewed Ryan Lizza on Clinton’s remark about Obama fetching baggage and Soledad called the remark racist. Ryan Lizza said, “I don’t think it’s racial. I don’t think Bill Clinton has a racist bone in his body.” See, when a Democrat describes a black guy as a step and fetch it, that’s not racism, because Democrats can’t be racist. Clinton was just trying to talk about how relatively inexperienced Obama was. He didn’t have any experience. That’s all Clinton was saying when he told Ted Kennedy just a few years ago this guy would be fetching our coffee.

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