Former President Jimmy Carter Backpedals About Racism Comments

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Published October 05, 2009

| FoxNews.com

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Distant Replay

Former President Jimmy Carter is walking back comments he made last month about President Obama and racism.

On October 1, 2009, Carter said to CNN he did not mean protesters were upset at the reality of a black president: "If you read the remarks carefully, you'll see that's not what I said. I said those that had a personal attack on President Obama as a person, that was tinged with racism. But I recognize that people who disagree with him on health care or the environment, that the vast majority of those are not tinged by racism."

Well, here is what the former president said to "NBC Nightly News" on September 15, 2009 when asked about anti-Obama protests and tea party demonstrations last month:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FORMER PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER: I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he is an African-American.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

So is the former president right in his new defense of those comments? You decide.

Booking It to the Top

Sarah Palin is out of office, but she's certainly not out of her critics' line of sight.

One person characterized by The New York Post as a lecture-circuit expert insists her speeches are a tough sell: "The big lecture buyers in the U.S. are paralyzed with fear about booking her, basically because they think she is a blithering idiot... Palin is so uninteresting to so many groups — unless they are interested in moose hunting."

Liberal blogger Andrew Sullivan writes in the Atlantic: "(Palin) remains the hood ornament for a marketing campaign that now passes for the conservative movement."

Despite all of the visceral criticism. Palin's upcoming book "Going Rogue" is already No. 1 on the Amazon and Barnes & Noble bestseller Web sites, even though it has only been available for pre-sale this week and won't be released until mid-November.

Above the Law

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says too many smart people are being wasted in society by working as lawyers.

Scalia told C-SPAN: "I worry that we are devoting too many of our very best minds to this enterprise." Scalia says he sometimes listens to a brilliant lawyer and wonders: "Why isn't she out inventing the automobile or... doing something productive for this society? I mean lawyers, after all, don't produce anything."

Monday, Special Report will be live from the Supreme Court as the new term begins with interesting stories and a behind the scenes look at the Court. Join us at 6 p.m. ET.

— FOX News Channel's Lanna Britt contributed to this report.

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