Bill Clinton’s certainly not afraid of being a racialist when it suits his or his wife’s goals, but I don’t think this quote from Clinton qualifies as racist. At the Politico, Ben Smith writes:
One of the enduring mysteries of the 2008 campaign was what got Ted Kennedy so mad at Bill Clinton. The former president’s entreaties, at some point, backfired, and the explanation has never quite emerged.
I’ve finally gotten my hands on a copy of Game Change, in which Heliemann and Halperin report:
[A]s Hillary bungled Caroline, Bill’s handling of Ted was even worse. The day after Iowa, he phoned Kennedy and pressed for an endorsement, making the case for his wife. But Bill then went on, belittling Obama in a manner that deeply offended Kennedy. Recounting the conversation later to a friend, Teddy fumed that Clinton had said, A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.
Yeah, you don’t want to offend the guy whom Teddy and his family dubbed the latest in a seemingly endless line of JFK successors.
Update: Allahpundit concurs with my assessment, and adds, “What a treat to hear how the Lords of Tolerance talk to each other behind closed doors.”
Update: Welcome Mark Steyn readers from the Corner — further — and more critical — thoughts here.