That’s the combined assessment of Barack Obama by his vice president (the articulate and clean part) and the Democratic Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (the Negro dialect part):

The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate apologized on Saturday for comments he made about Barack Obama’s race during the 2008 presidential bid.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada described then-Sen. Barack Obama as “light skinned” and “with no Negro dialect.” Obama is the nation’s first African-American president.

You see, Democrats are so enlightened about race, while conservatives and Republicans are unreconstructed racists. Everyone knows that, right? Oh, and here’s what Bill Clinton really thinks of the Democrats’ African-American standard bearer. This is from the same book in which Reid is quoted making the “Negro dialect” comment:

Recounting the conversation later to a friend, Teddy fumed that Clinton had said, A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.

These guys have been hanging around Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd too long.

UPDATE: Or maybe they were reading Josephus Daniels, editor of The News & Observer, and good friend of fellow Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Here are his enlightened views on race:

“The South is serious with regard to its attitude to the Negro in politics. The South understands this subject, and its policy is unalterable and uncompromising. We desire no concessions. We seek no sops. We grasp no shadows on this subject. We take no risks. We abhor a Northern policy of catering to the Negro in politics just as we abhor a Northern policy of social equality.”

Go to this link to see the views of other Democrats on race.