Carol Moseley Braun vs. Bill Clinton

When Bill Clinton was president, he was a supporter of Senator Carol Moseley Braun. In fact, he even nominated her to be an ambassador to New Zealand. So it’s probably a little awkward now that Moseley Braun is in a public feud with the former president, over Mr. Clinton’s support of Rahm Emanuel in the election for Mayor of Chicago.

After Mr. Clinton’s visit to Chicago last week to stump for Mr. Emanuel, Moseley Braun took to her website with a scathing rebuke of the former president’s involvement in Chicago city politics:

President Bill Clinton does not live or vote in Chicago. He’s an outsider parachuting in to support another outsider. For him to come on the day following Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday to insert himself in the middle of a mayoral race, when the majority of the population and mayoral candidates are African American and Latino, is a betrayal of the people who were most loyal to him. It’s a mistake.

Mrs. Moseley Braun ratcheted up the rhetoric against the former president later in the week, referencing a time that the African American community supported Mr. Clinton “when he was having Monica Lewinsky problems” during his presidency. She then went on to again chastise him for not supporting a minority candidate in the race for mayor of Chicago.

Now, I don’t have a stake in the Chicago election for mayor, and I don’t have an educated opinion about Mr. Clinton’s endorsement of Rahm Emanuel or anyone else. I do, however, think it’s pretty cheap to connect the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Mr. Clinton’s decision to back one candidate or the other.

Say that the former president has no business making public statements about Chicago elections, if you wish. That’s a perfectly understandable point of view. And if you really think that the African American community’s support of Mr. Clinton in the 90s means that he’s obligated to support African American candidates, regardless of his personal opinion, then I will even grudgingly accept your right to have that opinion. (I think it’s ridiculous, but I don’t have to agree with your opinion.)

But pointing to the MLK holiday in your statement, and bringing up Mr. Clinton’s public embarrassment about an oral sex scandal in the 90s, is just plain cheap. Carol Moseley Braun owes Mr. Clinton and the public an apology.

One Response to Carol Moseley Braun vs. Bill Clinton

  1. Dar says:

    If MLK knew how often his legacy would be reduced to encouraging people to react based on race, stir up white guilt or shore up a weak argument King would roll over in his grave and never dream again. I am African American and like many people of many races have read King’s letters, sermons and speeches. I remember the parts about freedoms and equality but also unity. The tactics of Braun and others work counter to his purpose.

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