2008 Juan Williams, Thy Sin Is… Timothy Egan’s?!
posted by January 17 at 9:05 AMon
I recently criticized Juan Williams for not identifying HRC supporters as such when they were asked to comment on Obama’s campaign. Now the New York Times’ Timothy Egan has committed the same sin:
When [voters] see black this or black that — even a positive black first — it’s trouble.
I say this from the experience of having followed as a reporter two of the most talented African-American politicians in the land — Norm Rice, the former Seattle mayor, and Ron Sims, the chief executive of King County, the 12th most populous county in the United States, which includes Seattle. In their earlier campaigns, race was not a factor because people were too nice, in our Northwest, Scandinavian-liberal tradition, to bring it up.
And so it seemed reasonable that both men could step up. Rice ran for governor, and so did Sims, in separate open elections. Rice lost to a man who became America’s first Chinese-American governor. Sims lost to a woman.
In both cases, barriers were broken. But the ceiling seemed to remain only for blacks. What happened to them is what could lie ahead for Obama.
“He’s got to stay away from race,” said Sims when I spoke to him this week. “He’s got to stay away from it. Race remains the one thing a black cannot talk about openly in a political campaign in this country.”
Sims endorsed Hillary Clinton in September.
Besides that, Egan’s tale seems like a radical oversimplification of the Gregoire-Sims primary race. Remember, Sims broached the sacred income tax question? But in any case, identifying Sims as a Clinton supporter would have sufficed.