Mr Clinton was forced to telephone the nationally-syndicated radio talk show of the Reverend Al Sharpton, the outspoken black preacher, to deny that he had dismissed Senator Barack Obama’s bid to become the first black president as “the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen”.
Donna Brazile, a leading black Democratic strategist and former Clinton insider, said that many African-Americans had found his widely publicised comments condescending and insulting. “For him to go after Obama using 'fairy tale’, calling him a kid as he did last week, is an insult,” she said. “As an African-American, I find his words and his tone to be very depressing.”
Some black radio stations and internet blogs contained much harsher criticism and alleged the put-down was racially-charged.
Mr Clinton, who is still revered by many African-Americans from his time as president, insisted that his “fairy tale” jibe was aimed not at Mr Obama’s presidential aspirations but at uncritical media coverage of his much-vaunted opposition to the Iraq war. Indeed, he produced unusual praise of his wife’s rival, telling Rev Sharpton: “He’s put together a great campaign... He might win.”................. MORE