Ten years ago, in a winter 2005 issue of Washington Monthly, the magazine's editors said "It's time for Democrats to think beyond the usual suspects" when it came down to picking a Presidential nominee. A list was offered that included names like newsman Tom Brokaw ("you know him, you trust him"), Tom Hanks ("a convincing multimillionaire everyman"), and, uh, uh-oh, Bill Cosby.
What makes Cosby qualified to be president? His Ph.D. in education certainly helps. Further, he's "also a master of reframing." You don't say!
He has since drawn upon his beloved-icon status and personal fortune to stump for early-reading initiatives and endow college scholarships; now, he's putting his popularity on the line to criticize the lax parenting and low academic standards he sees in black America today. These recent remarks, that drew defensive fire, proved the former Jello spokesman has guts and thrust Cosby back onto the national stage.
Respectability politics, America needs 'em!
The capsule on Cosby ends up on a potential disqualifier: "Has admitted cheating on his wife."
More disqualifiers would be forthcoming.
To be fair, most of the sexual assault allegations against Cosby only surfaced recently, with only a scant few being public knowledge in the five years before the magazine went to print. Then again, part of the magazine's mission statement is finding out and revealing "who’s a fraud and who isn’t."
It's an interesting reminder of just how far Bill Cosby's star has fallen, and how his credibility has been destroyed, in the last couple of years. Here was a left-leaning magazine offering the Democratic Party suggestions for popular and charismatic figures who could rally voters who may have been bored by Al Gore and John Kerry.
In addition to Cosby, the piece also suggests current Republican candidate Carly Fiorina and current across-the-board-persona-non-grata Lance Armstrong. As writer Dylan Matthews put it, this is a piece that did not age well.
[H/T Dylan Matthews]
David Matthews operates the Wayback Machine on Fusion.net—hop on. Got a tip? Email him: firstname.lastname@example.org