The Associated Press: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says his description of Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential bid as "light skinned" and "with no Negro dialect" was "a poor choice of words."
Reid: Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid apologized on Saturday for saying in 2008 that Barack Obama should seek — and could win — the White House because Obama was a "light skinned" African-American "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."
Obama: Obama quickly accepted, saying "As far as I am concerned, the book is closed.
The surprise source: The revelations — included in Time Magazine's Mark Halperin and New York magazine's John Heilemann "Game Change" to be released on Monday and obtained by The Associated Press on Saturday — are based on interviews with more than 200 people involved in the campaign, including Obama. The writers' sources were granted anonymity and the writers offer no documentation for their accounts.
For a moment, I forgot Reid was a democrat.
Obviously, Reid should have been more circumspect in many ways. Obama, knowing Reid, very likely dismissed the report as incomplete or inaccurate, and we see evidence of such, in addition to behavior becoming a gentleman, in the immediate acceptance of the apology.
Yet, we who live in these United States know an unfortunate and ugly truth. There are common threads of physical characteristics in our leaders, and this is well-known among those who study leadership.
I watch it daily, the ongoing preference of surface features to demonstrated competence.
What do we like? Young. Tall. Thin. A bit of a tan, or perhaps more accurately, neither white nor black in extreme. Little or no accent. Hair on the head is good. Masculinity helps a lot.
Competence often takes a backseat to surface features, and we see that more and more often in this world.
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