Invoking King May Backfire for Clinton in SC

Influential congressman reconsiders neutral stance in primary
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2008 4:30 PM CST

(Newser) – The highest-ranking African American in Congress, Rep. Jim Clyburn, is reconsidering his neutrality in South Carolina’s Democratic primary after comments by Hillary Clinton he perceived as “denigrating” Martin Luther King. Competing with Barack Obama over the legacies of JFK and MLK, Clinton said: “King’s dream began to be realized when President Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It took a president to get it done.”

The civil rights activist is also miffed by Bill Clinton’s “fairy tale” dig at Obama, the New York Times reports. "We have to be very, very careful about how we speak about that era in American politics," Clyburn cautioned. Hillary Clinton hopes to inherit her husband’s popularity among black voters in South Carolina, and Clyburn’s disapproval could be a major setback.