Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) spoke to reporters today about his now-infamous comments on President Obama's race before the 2008 campaign, trying to close the book on the whole affair, which has generated lots of attention and debate since they surfaced this weekend.
"I'm not gonna dwell on this anymore. It's in the book," Reid said at the end of his Q&A with reporters, after announcing that "I've apologized to the president, I've apologized to everyone...with the sound of my voice that I could have used a better choice of words."
One thing that's stuck out about Reid's remark, reported in Mark Halperin and John Heilemann's "Game Change"--that Obama would be more palatable to voters as a "light-skinned" African American who doesn't speak with a "Negro dialect"--is that political commentators seem to think it's sound analysis, something that was remarked on privately, to some extent but without the same words, before and during the campaign by reporters and analysts themselves.
Reid was asked point-blank by a reporter how he feels about commentators who have endorsed his analysis, if not his word choice, and he basically dodged the question: "I have really appreciated people writing nice things about me," Reid said, referencing columns from the LA Times and the Huffington Post, "...but I am very proud of the fact that I can still remember the meeting that took place in my office with Senator Barack Obama, telling him that I think you're gonna be elected president," Reid said.
As he continued, the majority leader focused mainly on all the support he's received from minority colleagues in government. Attorney General Eric Holder called to tell him, "If there's anything I can do, anyone you want me to talk to, I can do that," Reid said; Interior Secretary (and former Senate colleague) Ken Salazar called him in the middle of the night to say, "Harry you, make sure you tell everyone that you've done more for diversity in the United States Senate" than anyone else, Reid also said; and he's talked to the highest ranking African American lawmaker in the nation, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC).
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