Along with some other presidential hopefuls, Hillary Clinton spoke in Selma, Alabama, on Sunday to commemorate the famed civil right march that put that city on the map.
Hillary was not the first politician to conjure up an ersatz southern accent to show her street cred. In 2007, Barack Omama used the occasion of the march’s 52ndanniversary to show down he was with the movement in what biographer David Remnick charitably called “a slightly different dialect.”
The full 30-minute speech
In fact, Obama used his best black preacher voice to tell his audience a story so comically unanchored to reality that had a black Republican’s told it his candidacy would have died before the evening news even aired. Scarlet Letters: The E... Check Amazon for Pricing.
“My very existence might not have been possible had it not been for some of the folks here today,” Obama told the civil rights veterans gathered to mark the events of “Bloody Sunday.”
“Something happened back here in Selma, Alabama,” Obama continued. This something “sent a shout across the ocean,” which inspired Obama Sr., still “herding goats” back in Kenya, to “set his sights a little higher.” This same something also “worried folks in the White House” to the point that the “the Kennedy’s decided we’re going to do an air lift.”
As the saga continued, Obama Sr. got a ticket on the airlift and met Obama’s mother, a descendant of slave-owners. “There was something stirring across the country because of what happened in Selma, Alabama, because some folks are willing to march across a bridge,” preached Obama.
“So they got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born. So don’t tell me I don’t have a claim on Selma, Alabama. Don’t tell me I’m not coming home to Selma, Alabama.”
He didn’t, and he wasn’t. Something about Selma inspired Obama to aggrandize his history to Homeric levels. For starters, herding goats in his father’s town was like mowing lawns in an American one. Everyone did it as a kid, even the son of the village’s most affluent guy.