Alexander Cockburn: The Campaign in Black and White
The Clintons' relationship with African-Americans has always been starkly instrumental. When he was in trouble with white voters in New Hampshire in 1992 Governor Bill sprinted back to Little Rock to preside over the execution of a mentally retarded black man. To ensure her husband's victory in his reelection race in 1996 Hillary insisted Bill chop poor mothers--a good slice of them black--off the welfare rolls. Nonetheless many blacks rooted for Bill, absurdly dubbed by Toni Morrison "the first black president" and in the impeachment crisis over Monica Lewinsky they were his most steadfast friends, as Bill recognized when he summoned the Rev Jesse Jackson into the White House to help him pray for forgiveness and redemption.
Other well known landmarks in the Clintons' relations with blacks include Bill Clinton's set-up of Sister Souljah and his disgusting treatment of Lani Guinier and Jocelyn Elders. The Clintons reach out when they have no alternative and stab you in the back when it seems marginally to their advantage. They are without doubt among the most unprincipled duos ever to have operated in the upper tiers of American political life.