From the Portrait Unveiling Ceremony at the White House today:
“You know, Most the people I’ve known in this business, Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, were good people, honest people, and they did what they thought was right. And I hope that I’ll live long enough to see American politics return to vigorous debates where we argue who’s right and wrong, not who’s good and bad.”
–Former President Bill Clinton
I was similarly thoughtful while watching a Larry King interview with President Reagan (obviously repeated as a memorial) done in I think 1993.
Larry King asked him if he thought that in his lifetime he would see a black or woman president. After initially being amused and skirting around the fact that he probably wouldn’t, being incredibly old, he gave the most sincere statement I think I’ve ever heard a politician make on the subject.
[keeping in mind that it was obvious President Reagan was already having trouble forming completely eloquent answers]
He said something like “It doesn’t matter whether you are black or whatever in my mind, only if you are a democrat or republican”. And he had very little to say otherwise on the subject even when Larry King pressed about the recently elected black governer of some state. “Well Mr. so and so is a democrat so of course I disagree with a lot of his ideology but I will say that being a governor is the best preparation for being president that there is”. And he continued about the similarities of president and governor without even considering what Larry was trying to say about race.
It just didn’t seem like a political move or an act. This guy really couldn’t care less what color someone was, only with what they thought.
I loved it. More politicians should be about what people are believing and implementing than whether the competition gets shady blow jobs while in office.