Eye on 2016, Clintons Rebuild Bond With Blacks

by
December 1, 2013

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Inside Bright Hope Baptist Church, the luminaries of Philadelphia’s black political world gathered for the funeral of former Representative William H. Gray III in July. Dozens of politicians — city, state and federal — packed the pews as former President Bill Clinton offered a stirring eulogy, quoting Scripture and proudly telling the crowd that he was once described as “the only white man in America who knew all the verses to ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing.’ ”

But it was the presence and behavior of Hillary Rodham Clinton that most intrigued former Gov. Edward G. Rendell: During a quiet moment, Mrs. Clinton leaned over to the governor and pressed him for details about the backgrounds, and the influence, of the assembled black leaders.

Since Mrs. Clinton left the secretary of state post in February, she and her husband have sought to soothe and strengthen their relationship with African-Americans, the constituency that was most scarred during her first bid for the presidency. Five years after remarks by Mr. Clinton about Barack Obama deeply strained the Clintons’ bond with African-Americans, the former first family is setting out to ensure that there is no replay of such trouble in 2016.

Mrs. Clinton used two of her most high-profile speeches, including one before a black sorority convention, to address minority voting rights — an explosive issue among African-Americans since the Supreme Court struck down part of the Voting Rights Act in June. A month after Mr. Gray’s funeral, Mrs. Clinton and her husband both asked to speak at the service for Bill Lynch, a black political strategist who is credited with the election of David N. Dinkins as mayor of New York, and stayed for well over two hours in a crowd full of well-connected mourners. And there have been constant personal gestures, especially by the former president.

“I think that this is an effort to repair whatever damage they felt may have been done in ’08,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton. Mr. and Mrs. Clinton “know that there are some who have lingering questions, if not antipathy, towards them,” Mr. Sharpton said.

  • BH

    How low will they go? There is nothing they will not do if it will further their political ambitions. Remember his “instant tear” when he realized the camera was on him at the Ron Brown funeral? He came through Virginia campaigning for McAuliffe telling lies and promoting the crook that got elected Governor.

  • Joe the nobody

    How did Obama’s rebuild with black America go???

  • Charles Kimberl

    Anyone, black or white, that buys into the Klinton BS is a fool.

  • Jeanne Stotler

    I hope anyone thinking about voting for another Clinton WILL REMEMBER she was responsible for Benghazi, she was the SEC> OF STATE, Obama is to blame as well, BUT she is the one wanting to cover it up the most, she wants BACK IN THE WH.

    • Noah Rosenblum

      all that is irrelevant these days, as the voters do not vote for the better candidate, but against one.
      Ford pardoned Nixon, so the public voted against Ford, and for an unknown peanut farmer from Georgia.
      Later on, the public was fed up with the Republicans especially in light of exert Storm, and voted for an unknown Governor from Arkansas, B. Clinton, who was invoked in the shady White water real estate deals.
      Years later again, the public was fed up with G. W. Bush and voted against the Republican party and for an unknown rookie senator (B. Obama). Lastly, if Hillary runs in 2016, the Democrats will lose.
      Only because she is a woman. The American public is not mentally ready for a Woman president.
      Fact, a few months ago, here in NYC the heart of the Liberal Democratic Jungle, the voted against the leading Democratic candidate C. Quinn, who was a Lesbian woman (2 strikes) and voted for Bolshevik candidate, and ultimately against the Republicans.

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