Sometimes, things happen in politics that give you a little thrill as a partisan observer. A Democrat says something blatantly outrageous, and you just know the political fallout will be enormous. A liberal accidentally takes the mask off their radical views, exposing millions of Americans to the truly extreme agenda hiding behind all the hope and change talk. Scandals. Upsets. And so on.
Then there are stories like this one, where there’s a conflict. The joy is there, but it’s bittersweet. A Democratic politician gets raked over the coals in the press – always a good time – but for reasons that say a lot about what’s wrong in this country. Reasons that put you in the unenviable position of defending Hillary Clinton, guaranteeing the need for an afternoon shower.
So, if you haven’t heard, the story revolves around a skit Clinton performed with NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. at a dinner Saturday night. The three had a scripted joke in the skit that went like this: Clinton thanked de Blasio for his endorsement, tempering her gratitude with, “It took you long enough.”
De Blasio said, “Sorry Hillary, I was running on CP time.”
According to reports, this drew some gasps from the audience.
Odom, who is black, said, “I don’t like jokes like that, Bill.”
Which set Clinton up for the punchline: “Cautious politician time.”
As far as jokes go, this one’s pretty weak, but Clinton isn’t being hammered for her comedy chops. No, because the well-known “CP time” actually stands for “colored people time,” everyone’s running to their outrage machines.
Normally, this would be a blast to watch. And because Clinton herself has engaged in these kinds of “jump on a comment” politics, there’s still plenty of joy to be had.
But on the other hand, is anyone genuinely offended by this? Is even a single Hillary supporter going to switch their vote over this joke? Who knows. Maybe. It’s constantly amazing how vigilantly we police what celebrities and politicians say. Some actor makes a joke that we wouldn’t blink at if we heard it at work, and suddenly the whole nation is up in arms. Our political correctness boundaries keep shrinking. Sometimes, amusingly, the PC police arrest one of their own. But that amusement is mitigated by the depressing fact that they exist at all.
Still, while this skit doesn’t really tell you anything about Clinton’s character, it does speak to her judgment. She hasn’t been frozen in a cryogenic chamber for the last thirty years. The checkout guy at 7-11 could tell you that you don’t mess around with race jokes if you’re running for president. If Hillary looked at this script and thought there wouldn’t be blowback, she’s not as smart as she’s made out to be.
Or maybe she’s a genius. After all, the controversy does take focus away from the much less flattering fact: that she was endorsed by Bill de Blasio.