It's irresistible to play the game of imagining the MSM response had a prominent Republican been caught saying of Barack Obama that "a few years ago this guy would have been carrying our bags." In the case of a Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan, calls for them to quit the campaign would be echoing from the halls of MSNBC to the shores of the New York Times.
But let a Democrat say it, in the person of The World's Greatest and Most Beloved Politician, AKA Bill Clinton, and well, no problem. The MSM reacts with a yawn. Take Ryan Lizza, the New Yorker correspondent who actually broke the story. Appearing on CNN this morning, Lizza assured host Soledad O'Brien that "I don't think it's racial. I don't think Bill Clinton has a racist bone in his body." View the video after the jump.
For that matter, in introducing the issue, O'Brien leads with the more benign explanation of Clinton's comment, suggesting he was simply commenting on Obama's relatively young age, before mentioning that others found it to be "racial." Again, do you think O'Brien would have cut a Republican any such slack? Watch the MSM cover for a Dem caught in what could have been a career-ending comment if made by a Republican.
Note: apologies to readers for the less-than-stellar video quality. I've just moved into a new home and don't have my normal recording system set up yet.
RYAN LIZZA: [In 2008] the Obama campaign ran essentially a character attack on Hillary Clinton. It wasn't just a policy attack--it was a character attack. And so there were some real, real hard feelings that these two camps had to get over once Obama won.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN: You talk about, I guess where President Clinton said "a couple of years ago, he'd be carring our bags." And some people said that was just a comment about the age of President Obama and lack of experience, others said, that's a racial comment.
LIZZA: I don't think it's racial. I don't think Bill Clinton has a racist bone in his body.