Remember back in 2001 when Bill Clinton made a big news splash by deciding to locate his offices on 125th Street in Harlem? Sure you do. The media gushed. Charles Rangel gushed when he introduced his pal Bill at the Harlem welcoming ceremonies as “the last president we ever had that was elected.” Bill gushed too: “Now I feel like I’m home,” he told the cheering audience. He went on to
bullshit tell the crowd about how, as a student, he would “walk down 125th Street, all the way west. And people would come up and ask me what I was doing here. And I said, `I don’t know,’ I just liked it. I felt at home.”
Clinton’s choice of Harlem for his offices moved columnist DeWayne Wickham to say that Clinton’s presence will be “a boon to Harlem.” He went even further:
It will bring to this long-ignored corner of New York City a flood of powerful white politicians who will have a vested interest in improving the lives of the people in Bill Clinton’s adopted neighborhood — and ignite a second Harlem Renaissance.
Mr. Wickham, you’ve been had.
If there is to be a “second Harlem Renaissance,” it sure as hell won’t be due to Bill’s presence in the neighborhood, because as Country Store points out, he is hardly ever there. This is not the first time his absence has been noted, but then, as now, there are plenty of people who are more than willing to give him a pass.
As you may recall, he chose Harlem as the location for his offices when a firestorm erupted over his first choice for office space in pricey midtown Manhattan that would have cost the taxpayers $800,000 per year. His Harlem digs will cost the taxpayers a mere $354,000 per year over the course of a ten-year lease.
We’ve all been had … again.