Democratic strategist Donna Brazile comes to Hyde Park

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL
Staff Writer

Democratic strategist Donna Brazile presented the University of Chicago Organization of Black Students’ annual George E. Kent Lecture last Thursday at Mandel Hall, 1131 E. 57th St.

In an meandering lecture on her career and the contemporary Black political experience, Brazile rained praise on President Obama while addressing the minimum wage, access to health care and internal disputes within Martin Luther King’s family over an alleged plan to sell the late civil rights activist’s Bible.

“You can’t sell history,” she said. “You can live it, you can make it, but we shouldn’t put it on the auction level.”

Despite her glowing review of Obama’s presidency, she also said she asked him on a recent trip to the White House whether he would address voting rights in his State of the Union Speech, an inquiry to which he responded with a nonplussed expression. (He eventually did, albeit in passing.)

“We did not put him there simply for him to skip over the issues we fought for,” she said.

During her lecture, Brazile drew from her extensive career serving as a campaigns – seven presidential, 19 state and local and 58 congressional by her count.

“I work for one more state and I’m going to be named Miss U.S.A. without a bikini,” she joked.

At the end of her lecture, Brazile engaged the audience in a question-and-answer session during which she – despite her employment as a CNN political commentator – blasted the 24-hour news cycle and cable television. She called journalists lazy, adding that “you can quote me on that.”

“Don’t believe the lies,” she said. “Find the truth and praise it – and tweet about it.”