April 16, 2008

"Screw 'em," Hillary said about working-class white southerners.

"You don't owe them a thing, Bill. They're doing nothing for you; you don't have to do anything for them."

21 comments:

Bob said...

You mean us rednecks don't really have a chance at a nice day in the duck blinds with Hillary and fun evening doing boilermakers afterwards?

Hoodah Thunkit?

Bob said...

Now I'm bitter...

Excuse me, I have to go clean my gun and hug my Bible for comfort...

Seven Machos said...

Don't forget to hate a few immigrants.

Simon Kenton said...

But do forget your economic interests. After all, you are the victim here.

Meade said...

"Screw 'em, Bill"

So he was just following orders.

Balfegor said...

Yes . . . kind of a gotcha! moment, but it's actually consistent with her character arc on the public scene -- look at the timing.

In January 1995, as the Clintons were licking their wounds from the 1994 congressional elections, a debate emerged at a retreat at Camp David. Should the administration make overtures to working class white southerners who had all but forsaken the Democratic Party? The then-first lady took a less than inclusive approach.

"Screw 'em," she told her husband. "You don't owe them a thing, Bill. They're doing nothing for you; you don't have to do anything for them."


Her health care plan has just blown up in her face and lost her party control of Congress. They don't get it back for over a decade. This is around the time her husband starts accusing his political opponents of fomenting domestic terrorism (Oklahoma City). This is the time she starts wild-eyed ravings about a Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy.

This is twelve years ago.

Since then -- really, since 2000 -- her public face has mellowed considerably. In the 2000 election, she got booed by firemen and policemen and other working class types at a number of campaign events. They didn't like her much, and I'm sure she returned the favour. Over the ensuing eight years, though, she's developed (rediscovered?) a rapport with those communities, and those communities have become more comfortable with her. I think her constituent-service after 9-11 was a large part of it, but part of it is also that she seems to have become less combative and less strident than she was in the mid-90s, in the nadir of her husband's presidency.

SteveR said...

I'm sure there are trancripts of the actual conversations in the soon to be released records from the Clinton Presidential Archives. You know, the ones which document her experience.

Bumsurf said...

If Hillary gets elected, one year from now we'll all know what "getting screwed" really means!

Jennifer said...

Finally she says something Kos can identify with!

section9 said...

Bless 'er heart, she's channeling Scarlett O'Hara!

ricpic said...

I don't know which is worse, The Powerful or The People.

Chet said...

Well, at least the gloves are off.

Or, at least this particular pair.

A woman who owns a lotta gloves !

Pastor_Jeff said...

Well, at least sneering condescension is one thing they agree on!

Daryl said...

She wasn't condescending to them.

She just wanted to pursue policies that they would not approve of.

It happens, in a democracy, sometimes. White males don't always get what we want.

Michael_H said...

And the question was: "Mrs. Clinton, what does your husband do with female working-class white southerners?"

Call me Carnak.

TMink said...

Wow, something that the Senator and I agree on! The government truly does not owe us a thing! By "screw em" I assume she meant "ignore them." What a wonderful concept! Government apathy toward and a particular group leads to prosperity.

Trey

Nichevo said...

TMink,

Reminds me of Baker on Jews.

Pastor_Jeff said...

She wasn't condescending to them.

She just wanted to pursue policies that they would not approve of.


The article doesn't talk about policy proposals. Bill wanted to reach out to draw "Reagan Democrats" back from the GOP, and Hillary's response was essentially, "Their values and concerns don't matter."

So, perhaps it's not flat-out condescension but calculated political arrogance.

As another commenter pointed out, though, on balance, Hillary ignoring people is probably the best thing that could happen to them.

titusinatizzy said...

I say screw the south all the time.

But in a very respectful way.

TMink said...

Nichevo, I missed the reference entirely! Could you clue me in on Baker on Jews?

Thanks!

Trey

Nichevo said...

Trey, you never heard of James Baker saying "Fuck 'em, they didn't vote for us?"

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/1999/12/03/jews/
Salon News | Jews for a day


By Jake Tapper

Dec. 3, 1999 | WASHINGTON -- "Fuck 'em," Bush Secretary of State Jim Baker allegedly said about American Jews in March 1992. After all, Baker accurately -- if irrelevantly -- assessed, "They didn't vote for us."