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Joy-Ann Reid On Race, Obama, And The Clintons

Joy's new book, Fracture, takes a look at how we've gotten to this point in race relations.

Joy-Ann Reid's new book, Fracture, takes a close look at race relations in this country and the history of how we came to be where we are today. Joy is one of the best commentators around, and I'm looking forward to reading her book.

On Monday, she appeared on Amy Goodman's show to discuss the book, the Clintons, race and politics.

The video is above and the full transcript is here.

A few teasers follow, but I recommend watching the whole thing.

On Bill Clinton, Jesse Jackson, and the Democratic move to the center:

And Bill Clinton really led that in 1992, when he essentially rebuked Jesse Jackson, and he was also at the same time, people will recall, rebuking Mario Cuomo and the liberal, McGovernite wing of the party. And he did so in very stark terms, as a way of signalizing to really white working-class voters that this is a party that’s not beholden to the Jackson wing, this is a candidacy that’s not beholden to Jackson himself. And that rejection of Jackson in 1992 really reset the party with white working-class voters, helped Bill Clinton to win the White House.

But it set a tone for the party that was very center-right and that had liberals within the party really left yearning for a movement of their own. And it took quite a long time for the liberal wing to come back and for the African-American sort of part of that movement to find its own voice. But they definitely did in 2008.

On Hillary Clinton:

Yeah, it’s interesting, because Hillary Clinton has had this remarkable arc over the course of her life, from being a sort of conservative, "Goldwater Girl" teenager to being this really fierce, feminist young lawyer in Arkansas and this, you know, advocate or this acolyte of Marian Wright Edelman, to then having to shift back into a traditional first lady role after really being rebuked for trying to have a policy portfolio of her own with healthcare. And so she sort of occupied this strange space that has mirrored the Democratic Party, that’s gone left, she’s gone right, she’s been hawkish, she’s been sort of the neocon in the party. And now she’s trying to find her own individual voice and balance whether she is, in a sense, looked at as a Clinton restoration candidate or an Obama continuation candidate, because she has a role, really, in both of those administrations, in both of those wings of the party. So she has this sort of odd space, and she hasn’t really decided which camp to really come down on. And she really needs to, because she needs that ascendant Obama coalition in order to become president.


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Joy's book is available on Amazon. I'll review it after I've read it.

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