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Monday, August 25, 2008

Delegate says Jones called her 'Uncle Tom'

I would often like to think even black politicos can get along better than this. That or perhaps someone did say something in jest only to pull an emotional trigger. It's best to do this with people who might actually laugh at what you said. From today's Sun-Times:
A black Hillary Clinton delegate on Sunday accused state Senate President Emil Jones of calling her an "Uncle Tom."

Jones -- Barack Obama's political mentor -- denied using the racially loaded slur against Chicago political consultant Delmarie Cobb, but two aldermen who said they witnessed the Saturday night exchange back up Cobb's account.

"Last night, I was called an 'Uncle Tom' by Emil Jones in the lobby of the hotel, right in front of [Ald.] Freddrenna Lyle and [Ald.] Leslie Hairston and [Ald.] Latasha Thomas," said Cobb, a member of Clinton's Illinois Steering Committee. "I walked over to him and asked him, 'What did you just call me?' "

The embarrassing flap came on the eve of the Democratic National Convention, which will open tonight with a string of Chicago speakers talking about Obama's life story. Jones is often referred to as Obama's "political godfather.''

Lyle, alderman of the South Side's 6th Ward, said she was standing with Jones when the conversation took place in the lobby of the hotel where the Illinois delegation is staying, but she dismissed it as Jones engaging in harmless banter with someone he knows, although Lyle said she told him, "Emil, that's bad even for you."

Another of the aldermen who was standing in the lobby added, "He said it in jest."

Cobb has been a high-profile Clinton supporter, and she said she is still paying the price in the African-American community.

"If people are still making digs at the Hillary Clinton people because we supported her, that is not going to bring us on board. It makes us feel as though we're outsiders, and we're Democrats," Cobb said. "The litmus test for being black is [seen as] supporting Barack."

Lyle said she saw Clinton supporters walking into an Illinois delegation meeting at the Marlowe Restaurant on Sunday and being handed Obama buttons, only to put the buttons in their pockets. That prompted the greeters to say, "You can tell the Hillary Clinton people, they never take the buttons."

Speaking outside Denver's Palm Restaurant, Jones said he never called her the name.

"I emphatically deny it," he said. "I told her I never said that. She may have misunderstood."

Told that Lyle heard him call Cobb the name, Jones said, "That was not. That was not. That's all I have to say."
I would imagine that the only time this could come up is when two black politicians, one an incumbent the other the upstart, would engage in this type of banter. It's dirty banter, but some politicians will engage in that behavior even if it may make them look bad. Still it could make the other party look worse.

Besides, I remember watching the film Street Fight, this is the type of activity that you would see. It pitted an upstart running in Newark, New Jersey against a long-time incumbent mayor who wasn't ready to let go of his office. Such a story almost reeks of a serious beat-down because this upstart dared to run against him. But that's politics for you.

Now it boils down to who you support, whether that's Sen. Clinton or Sen. Obama. You know I haven't decided who to vote for in November. I still intent to vote for the best man for the job. My POV is that she, Ms. Cobb, should have been able to support who she want's to support. Ideally since the primaries are over and Obama is the presumptive nominee, then that means Cobb and her fellow Hillary supporters will support the man who lead the party in November.

Obama is already getting hammered by the Republicans and I'm sure by others for not choosing Hillary, although Sen. Clinton might be OK with that. Clinton will also have a roll call vote at the convention. Clinton still has her crew who still believe she should be the nominee although the numbers at the moment doesn't add up. Does anybody remember how women Democrats just took issue with Obama being ahead of Hillary?

Anyway interesting article and hat-tip goes to Marathon Pundit. Oh and the Democratic National Convention starts today!

I should comment on this article but Marathon Pundit already gave his two cents. It was about how the outgoing Senate President saw the young Obama before he started his political career.

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