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Donna Brazile Is Not Going to the Back of the Bus
October 9, 2008 3:56 PM   Subscribe

Donna Brazile Is Not Going to the Back of the Bus. Stirring remarks from an October 4, 2008, New Yorker panel discussion, "If I Were Running This Campaign."

Partial transcript:
I'm gonna say it and get it off my chest, because for the next thirty days, I'm gonna be the best Catholic woman ever....As a child who grew up in the segregated Deep South, we've come so far in this country....But I remember when I used to get on the bus: my mother would tell me, "Donna, when you get on the bus, you and your brothers go all the way to the back, and don't look at anybody." We have changed. This is a more tolerant, open, progressive society. And yet, we're having this conversation because [Obama] is biracial. He spent nine months in the womb of a white woman. He was raised...by his white grandparents...He got out of school and went to Harvard, and all of a sudden he's "uppity" and there's something wrong with him? What is wrong with us?...You can vote against him, but don't ever put me in the back of the bus. I'm not going to the back of the bus! I'm not going to be afraid! My black skin does not make me inferior! And may I add: being a female does not make me dumb! Don't let people trick you, and distract you and divide you...Don't let no one take us back! Because many of us are not going back--we're going forward! And come with us!
"Earlier, the panel's moderator, Jeff Toobin, had remarked: 'It's Donna's world; we just live in it.' Now all he could say was: "I will spare the other panelists from having to follow Donna.'"
posted by kirkaracha (44 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
I didn't like Donna Brazile before, now I do.
posted by Rubbstone at 4:05 PM on October 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


That was wonderful. Thank you.
posted by MegoSteve at 4:07 PM on October 9, 2008


Donna Brazile is awesome. That's all. She should have her own show. I want her to be my boo.
posted by billysumday at 4:12 PM on October 9, 2008


Well, she did run Al Gore's campaign. No offense to Donna Brazile, but Obama's campign sees to be doing better than Al's.
posted by orthogonality at 4:13 PM on October 9, 2008


Took awhile to get up to speed, but... yeah, nice. I had no real opinion about Brazile either until now. Brazile++.

My favorite quotes aren't even in the snip above. For example, the fact she can say "Being a female does not make me dumb, [either]" and the crowd all knows exactly what she's talking about... without context or explanation...

Heck that's almost as big a wow for me, right there.
posted by rokusan at 4:24 PM on October 9, 2008


I lost any and all respect for Donna Brazile when I found out she was getting in touch with Karl Rove to "chirpily exchange e-mail, chat on the phone and write letters, indulging in their shared zeal for the inner workings of politics." [nytimes]
posted by Auden at 4:46 PM on October 9, 2008


You mean because she was negotiating with the enemy?
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:50 PM on October 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


I lost any and all respect for Donna Brazile when I found out she was getting in touch with Karl Rove to "chirpily exchange e-mail, chat on the phone and write letters, indulging in their shared zeal for the inner workings of politics." [nytimes]

Eh, I've had pretty fascinating discussions with assholes, too. I wouldn't hold it against her too much.
posted by jnaps at 4:51 PM on October 9, 2008


Eh, I've had pretty fascinating discussions with assholes, too.

We oughta make a website.
posted by rokusan at 4:54 PM on October 9, 2008 [19 favorites]


This clip, which is about the seating of the Michigan delegates in the primary, impressed me months ago. The fun starts at about 2:45.
posted by ferdydurke at 4:55 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, she did run Al Gore's campaign.

On the other hand, Al Gore didn't really lose to Bush. Or, rather, it's tough to fault Brazile for Al Gore not having enough family friends in the right places.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:59 PM on October 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


We oughta make a website.

But what would we call it?

Multiple Entertaining Talks with Assholes...?
Me and Everyone Talk to Assholes?

I guess you don' t want to report the boring ones, so it should have something about filtering in there.

hmm, I give up.
posted by freebird at 4:59 PM on October 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


I liked it when she was flirting with Steven Colbert — I think being so happy with the effect his show was having on the Right after the Correspondents Dinner — and told him (addressing his charachter AND the real Steven), unashamedly, that she would "rock his world" if given the chance.

And you know I believe that she would. In more ways than one.
posted by tkchrist at 5:02 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Or, rather, it's tough to fault Brazile for Al Gore not having enough family friends in the right places.

Is that some new slang term I'm unfamiliar with?

I know I often have to adjust mine to get them in the right places... and it can be awkward when I have to do it in public... especially in tight pants... but "family friends?" Really?
posted by rokusan at 5:07 PM on October 9, 2008


From her wikipwedia page -
In an interview with political satirist Stephen Colbert, Brazile stated, "Look, I'm a woman, so I like Hillary. I'm black; I like Obama. But I'm also grumpy, so I like John McCain."

I had forgotten she got booted off the Dukakis campaign for speaking openly about G.H.W. Bush's relationship with Jennifer Fitzgerald...back in the dark ages when affairs could be open secrets and the gentlemen of the press would leave personal lives out of it (if they liked the guy).

I've been missing Molly Ivins' voice this election. Maybe she'll take her place for me.
posted by readery at 5:29 PM on October 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


<3
posted by empath at 5:31 PM on October 9, 2008


If you get the chance, listen to the entire panel discussion. Interesting stuff for those interested in the nuts-and-bolts of campaigning.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:38 PM on October 9, 2008


Metafilter: pretty fascinating discussions with assholes.
posted by ikahime at 5:38 PM on October 9, 2008


Donna made my heart grow three sizes today.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 5:41 PM on October 9, 2008


I wanna be her boo.

Awesome post.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:02 PM on October 9, 2008


"We oughta make a website.

But what would we call it?"

ShakingHandsWithTheDevil_(only_kidding).com
posted by Auden at 6:59 PM on October 9, 2008


But what would we call it?

goatse.cx
posted by fungible at 7:19 PM on October 9, 2008


goatse.cx

Oh hey! That's pretty catchy and clever. Lemme go see if somebody has it already... alright, misspelled it the first time in the navigation bar, now let me get it righOHMYGODMYEYESMYEYESIHAVEGONEBLINDANDALLIWILLSEEFORALLETERNITYISTHISHORROR
posted by Kattullus at 7:30 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


I've been missing Molly Ivins' voice this election. Maybe she'll take her place for me.

Man, oh, man do I miss Molly Ivins. She had it all: brains, heart, fearlessness, and a wicked sense of humor.

I've always liked Donna Brazile, but she is definitely wonky for the machinations of politics. She has a dignity and air of competence about her that I've always found compelling, though.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:38 PM on October 9, 2008


Auden: "I lost any and all respect for Donna Brazile when I found out she was getting in touch with Karl Rove to "chirpily exchange e-mail, chat on the phone and write letters, indulging in their shared zeal for the inner workings of politics.""

She's not the only one.

(And am I the only one that expected to see some smoke rising from Rove's shoulder there?)
posted by Rhaomi at 7:53 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just as a non-American, I'm not so aware of every single person involved in American politics, so this was my introduction to Donna Brazile. And compared with the way Palin has been so intent on setting us women back, it's great to be able to point to someone and say "LOOK. This is how it's supposed to be in 2008". This is the intelligence and composure a woman in politics and the media is supposed to present.* Perhaps we can sit the two of them down in a room somewhere and Brazile can give Palin some kind of schooling as to the ways of the world. Probably wouldn't work but it's a nice thought.

*someone is now inevitably going to post a link to DB doing something questionable and crush my dreams.
posted by saturnine at 7:57 PM on October 9, 2008


No offense to Donna Brazile, but Obama's campign sees to be doing better than Al's.

Al didn't have the advantage of voters having seen what eight years of George would do.
posted by oaf at 8:08 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Perhaps we can sit the two of them down in a room somewhere and Brazile can give Palin some kind of schooling as to the ways of the world.

I see that meeting turning into Brazile scoring a first-round knockout on Palin. Besides being intelligent, passionate and wise, Brazile has a hell of a right cross.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:11 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Rhaomi -

If any photo demands to have "thought bubbles" added to it, it's that one.
posted by Auden at 8:13 PM on October 9, 2008


If any photo demands to have "thought bubbles" added to it, it's that one.

Obama is thinking, "I oughta rub his head."
posted by felix betachat at 9:25 PM on October 9, 2008


watching the full panel discussion was probably the best 80 minutes I've spent in front of my computer in a long time. Brazile shines throughout the discussion
posted by captainsohler at 9:28 PM on October 9, 2008


I watched the FPP clip and am baffled. WTF is she ranting about? Who is saying - or intimating, or suggesting, or otherwise inferring - that she or any other black person has to go to the back of the bus in any context?

Seriously - what is going on? Is she implying that if Obama doesn't win, America will somehow be magically transported back in time to segregation days?

In short: huh?
posted by davidmsc at 10:19 PM on October 9, 2008


Somehow, I doubt Brazile rides the bus anymore. I still do. It should be an interesting ride on November 5th.
posted by eegphalanges at 11:45 PM on October 9, 2008


Oh hey! That's pretty catchy and clever. Lemme go see if somebody has it already... alright, misspelled it the first time in the navigation bar, now let me get it righOHMYGODMYEYESMYEYESIHAVEGONEBLINDANDALLIWILLSEEFORALLETERNITYISTHISHORROR

Huh. That would have been a lot funnier if goatse.cx were still a picture of Bill O'Reilly.
posted by stet at 12:25 AM on October 10, 2008


Karl Rove has what the Germans refer to as a Backpfeifengesicht.
posted by chillmost at 1:00 AM on October 10, 2008


Wow Rhaomi, that photo is legendary.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:19 AM on October 10, 2008


Also, in the words of Chris Rock, if Obama wins and you have any sort of activity planned for Nov 5th that involves black people, it's not going to happen. Need to fly? Nobody's going to carry your bags. Carry them yourself, we've got a black president now.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:28 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Holy wow, sorry about the delmoi triad, but when I posted that comment just now I was immediately overwhelmed by that superstitious should-not-mention-Obama-win feeling. There should be a word for that specific fear -- too bad "Baracknophobia"'s taken.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:30 AM on October 10, 2008


if Obama wins and you have any sort of activity planned for Nov 5th that involves black people, it's not going to happen

BUT MY COTTON WHO WILL PICK MY COTTON?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:30 AM on October 10, 2008


Well, she did run Al Gore's campaign.

Weeeeeeeelll, yes and no. Yes in that she was the campaign manager, but no in that, from what I've heard, Clinton's DLC people were pretty much running the show there. Not that Brazile had no hand in the strategy, but it's not all on her head.

My dream is for her to become DNC chair once Dean is done. In addition to being a pundit, she really came up through the ranks as an organizer.
posted by lunasol at 6:20 AM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Look, I just want to be clear. When I am president, I will sit down and have talks with Karl Rove without precondition. Over time we have learned that when we refuse to talk to petty tyrants, they simply get stronger. In the time that we have refused to talk to Iran, they have acquired thousands of centrifuges, and North Korea multiplied its nuclear stockpile. We cannot allow Karl Rove to go nuclear - that would simply be a game changer. But if we get him into negotiations, we can really bring the full brunt of the international community to bear. Karl Rove is an oil-importing nation - as we become independent of the muck he produces, we can cut off his own oil supplies, and have a powerful new set of sanctions to discourage his race for nuclear weapons. And let's be clear - I'm not talking about sitting down for tea or anything like this. I mean, c'mon. The guy's still an asshole.
posted by kaibutsu at 8:23 AM on October 10, 2008


When I am president, I will lure Karl Rove to the White House and then stuff him down the laundry chute.
posted by sugarfish at 9:31 PM on October 10, 2008


You really think Rove would fit down a laundry chute? He is not a skinny man. You know he'd just get stuck half-way through the flap and his legs would be all poking out and flailing.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 10:15 PM on October 10, 2008


That's when we'd get the sticks.
posted by sugarfish at 10:16 PM on October 10, 2008


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