Ed Morrissey writes that Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) “apologizes for questioning Obama’s racial authenticity”:
The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate apologized on Saturday for comments he made about Barack Obama’s race during the 2008 presidential bid.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada described then-Sen. Barack Obama as “light skinned” and “with no Negro dialect.” Obama is the nation’s first African-American president.
“I deeply regret using such a poor choice of words. I sincerely apologize for offending any and all Americans, especially African-Americans for my improper comments,” Reid said in a statement released after the excerpts were reported on the Web site of The Atlantic.
Why did Reid suddenly feel the need to confess? He’s trying to beat the media to it:
Reid’s comments are included in a book set to be published on Monday. “Game Change” was written by Time Magazine’s Mark Halperin and New York magazine’s John Heilemann; the pair describe the book in interviews during Sunday’s “60 Minutes” on CBS.
Reid, facing a tough 2010 re-election bid, needs the White House’s help if he wants to keep his seat. Obama’s administration has dispatched officials on dozens of trip to buoy his bid and Obama has raised money for his campaign.
When Trent Lott made a foolish statement at Strom Thurmond’s birthday party about his presidential run on a segregation tick, the media outcry forced Lott to resign his leadership position. Will this more explicit insult create any consequences for Reid? It certainly won’t help his favorability ratings, which have tanked even before this incident.
Turn out the lights, Sen. Geary — it’s over:
Update: At Big Government, Mike Flynn writes:
Saturday is my favorite day to read the newspaper. That’s the day reporters and editors print stories they know they have to cover but don’t want to get wide attention. The latest evidence for this theory is the Washington Post’s treatment of the revelation of remarks made by Sen. Harry Reid during the 2008 Presidential campaign.
Incidentally, this is just the latest self-inflicted wound from the always-quotable Harry Reid.
Update: Al Sharpton, the legacy media’s final arbiter on these matters, gives Harry a pass. And why not? As Glenn Reynolds notes, “I don’t really think Reid will follow too far in Trent Lott’s footsteps, though. Obama wants him to stay — and, I suspect, so do the Republicans . . . .”
Well, ’til November at the latest.
In contrast, “Obama in ’02: ‘The Republican Party itself has to drive out Trent Lott.'” And he was right. Keep the Dixiecrats in their original party.
Update: Cuffy Meigs jokes that he has exclusive audio of the Democratic senator’s racist remarks towards Obama:
Update: On Twitter, Salena Zito of the Pittsburgh Tribune–Review writes that it “feels like the White House reponded quicker than to Reid than Christmas Day bomber.”
Ted Koppel could not be reached for comment.
Update: Jennifer Rubin asks, “Why Does Obama Get to Absolve Reid?” And if you haven’t read about it yet, Bill Clinton’s performance on the 2008 campaign trail isn’t exactly worth writing home about, either.