In my previous post, commenter Linda wonders whether I should have been more aggressive about connecting the dots:
Just guessing here, but does it seem to you that the event was ‘long ago’ planned? Would Donna Brazile with some major league Civil Rights headliners be on the planning committee promoting Voters Rights? Since timing is everything, would the event have been planned at a time when Hil’s declarations was planned for a later date? That the issue of voting rights getting the spot light was more the ‘reason for the season’ and Bill’s induction designed to bring ‘star power’ to the event.
Or, if according to your ‘last minute addition of Bill coming’, was his induction into the Voting Rights Hall of Fame a negotiated deal by the Hil campaign to up-stage Obama?
Which made me think, as Linda’s comments so often do: Hmmm…. So I made a few more calls, and here’s what I came up with after talking to Alabama State Senator Hank Sanders, the former chairman of the board of the National Voting Rights Institute and Museum:
The award is something that the NVRIM has given, more or less annually, to many luminaries of the civil rights movement–among them, John Lewis, Jesse Jackson and Hosea Williams. The decision to honor Clinton was made some weeks back; initially, they also wanted to include a posthumous award to LBJ, but didn’t have any luck getting a response from his relatives. Clinton, by the way, is the only President to have ever made the annual pilgrimage across the bridge, which he did in his last year as President.
All that said, the decision by both Clintons to actually show up for the award is very much a last-minute deal, as evidenced by this story from the Selma Times-Journal.
CLARIFICATION: If I hadn’t made this clear in this and earlier post, all this followed Obama’s decision to attend by about a week.