Maybe it’s his decades of residence in lily-white Vermont. Maybe it’s his stubborn streak. Maybe it’s the overweening self-regard that inevitably develops in the mind of the successful politician. But Bernie Sanders is having an awful time getting over his “black problem.”
It’s gotten to the point where a possibly innocuous move like visiting Jesse Jackson takes on a “some of my best friends are black” vibe.
“Longtime friends, the senator and the civil rights leader held a very productive, hour-long meeting on important issues confronting the country and the African American community,” spokesman Michael Briggs wrote in the statement.
Err, Mike. Don’t try too hard with the “longtime friends” stuff.
Bernie ought to be the candidate of racial justice as well as the economic variety. But he can’t quite seem to find his footing after twice being challenged by “Black Lives Matter” protesters. The latest gaffe came Sunday on “Meet The Press”:
CHUCK TODD: Buzzfeed has an article out this morning. Headline is this: “Sanders Campaign Reaches Out to Black Lives Matter Activists.” Quote, “I apologize it took our campaign so long.” Tell me more about it.
BERNIE SANDERS: Well, that was sent out by a staffer, not by me. Look, we are reaching out to all kinds of groups, absolutely.
CHUCK TODD: I understand that but, you said a staffer put it out, but you felt an apology was necessary?
BERNIE SANDERS: No, I don’t. I think we’re going to be working with all groups. This was sent out without my knowledge.
Well, that’s just great.