House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-SC, the highest-ranking African-American in the Congress, has some tough assessments of la famille Clinton today.
To Reuters, Clyburn — who is officially neutral in the Democratic presidential race — repeated the speculation that Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, is looking to destroy Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, so that Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., wins the White House in November and Clinton can make another run in 2012.
"I heard something, the first time yesterday (in South Carolina), and I heard it on the (House) floor today, which is telling me there are African Americans who have reached the decision that the Clintons know that she can’t win this," Clyburn said. "But they’re hell-bound to make it impossible for Obama to win."
Clyburn did not call for Clinton to bow out, just to take the rhetoric down a notch.
"There’s a difference between dropping out and raising all this extraneous scurrilous stuff about the guy (Obama). Just run your campaign … you don’t have to drop out to be respectful of other people."
Clyburn also took aim at the Clinton campaign’s sudden voting-rights fever for Florida and Michigan to count, even though those states disobeyed party rules and held contests in which no candidate competed and where, in the case of Michigan, Obama wasn’t even on the ballot.
"I think it’s so disingenuous … (adviser James) Carville and Sen. Clinton were all on TV. I’ve seen them two or three times this week, talking about counting Florida and Michigan."
Obama did not campaign in those states because the Democratic Party said Florida and Michigan wouldn’t be included in the formal tally for the nomination. "Her name was the only one on the ticket in Michigan and still 42, 43 percent of the vote was against her," Clyburn said.
To the New York Times Clyburn said there was a near "unanimous" view among blacks that the Clintons are "committed to doing everything they possibly can to damage Obama to a point that he could never win."
Clyburn also said of the many comments former President Bill Clinton has made about race — most recently his curious complaint that the Obama camp played the race card against him, then his denial that he’d said that — that "black people are incensed over all of this."
"When he was going through his impeachment problems, it was the black community that bellied up to the bar," Clyburn said. "I think black folks feel strongly that that this is a strange way for President Clinton to show his appreciation."