Dr. Adolph Reed observed Barack Obama methodically plotting a path for himself in American politics in the late 1990’s. He warned everyone against being sold a the bill of goods by young Obama even back then, but it didn’t end there. In a 2008 editorial entitled “Obama No” , Reed excoriated Obama, calling him “vacuous” and an “opportunist”:
He’s a vacuous opportunist.I’ve never been an Obama supporter. I’ve known him since the very beginning of his political career, which was his campaign for the seat in my state senate district in Chicago. He struck me then as a vacuous opportunist, a good performer with an ear for how to make white liberals like him. I argued at the time that his fundamental political center of gravity, beneath an empty rhetoric of hope and change and new directions, is neoliberal.
His political repertoire has always included the repugnant stratagem of using connection with black audiences in exactly the same way Bill Clinton did—i.e., getting props both for emoting with the black crowd and talking through them to affirm a victim-blaming “tough love” message that focuses on alleged behavioral pathologies in poor black communities.
During a recent interview with Bill Moyers, Reed points out that Democrats seem committed to electing whatever Democrat is running for office, noting that liberal voters aren’t benefiting even when Democrats win big.
What follows is Bill Moyer’s full interview with Dr. Reed: