Bill Clinton and the Race Card in Chicago’s Race for Mayor

Chicago mayoral hopeful Congressman Danny Davis (D-Ill.) insisted that he is not playing the race card as he threatens to turn the African American community against former President Bill Clinton, if he comes to the city of the big shoulders to stump for Rahm Emanuel.

"It's a friendship card," Davis said, emphasizing the long relationship between himself and Clinton, who once wore the label "the First Black President."

You can read the language and judge for yourself.

"The African American community has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with the Clintons, however it appears as though some of that relationship may be fractured and perhaps even broken should former President Clinton come to town and participate overtly in efforts to thwart the legitimate political aspirations of Chicago's Black Community," Davis said in this morning's release.

Davis and former Senator Carol Moseley Braun poll at the top of the African American candidates in Chicago's Mayoral free for all. However, Rahm Emanuel enjoys a comfortable overall lead and he is receiving considerable support from minority voters.

"All we're saying is give us a break," Davis told me. "Let this thing play out and everything is going to be cool. Mr. President, don't come. Don't help Rahm."

Davis and his spokesperson repeatedly returned to the notion that he and the former President had shared origins from Arkansas and they were good friends.

When I asked the spokesperson if this would end the long friendship, she responded, "We didn't start it, He did."

Emanuel's campaign declined to comment.