Long before there was Barack Obama, there was L. Douglas Wilder. Elected as Virginia’s first African-American Governor, he was also the first elected African-American Governor in American history. Wilder briefly ran for President back in 1992, but left the race quickly, and is now the Mayor of Richmond, and a supporter of Barack Obama.
And, oh yeah, he’s none too happy with Bill Clinton right now:
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – The nation’s first elected black governor said Saturday he is not ready to excuse comments former President Bill Clinton made about Barack Obama.
In campaigning for his wife last month on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, Clinton called Obama’s opposition to the Iraq war “a fairy tale.” Clinton suggested Obama had toned down his early anti-war fervor during his 2004 Senate campaign.
“Barack Obama is not a fairy tale. He is real,” former Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder told reporters at a Democratic fundraiser as the former president spent the day campaigning for Hillary Rodham Clinton in Richmond and three other Virginia cities.
The grandson of slaves, who was elected in 1989 in what was once the Confederate capital, endorsed Obama last month. Now Richmond’s mayor, Wilder’s comments still get the attention of the state’s black voters, though his influence has waned since he left office 15 years ago.
Clinton also implied that an Obama victory in South Carolina would amount to a reward based on race, like the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s 20 years earlier.
Wilder said the former president’s comments stung him and other black voters and diminished their respect for Clinton.
“It’s not just me (who) feels that; any number of people feel that,” Wilder said. “A time comes and a time goes. The president has had his time.”
I’m beginning to think that a lot of people feel that way.