Closure: Sister Souljah of Clinton's 1992 Campaign

Starting Point
While campaigning in 1992, Bill Clinton criticizes rapper and activist Sister Souljah for her "racist" remarks following the L.A. riots. "If black people kill black people every day," she'd said, "why not have a week and kill white people?"

Fever Pitch
Jesse Jackson and allies accuse Clinton of political opportunism, and Souljah calls him a draft-dodging, pot-smoking racist. But distancing himself from her remarks pays off: polling shows his Souljah slam as a turning point in a tight presidential race, earning Clinton the support of white, right-leaning "Reagan Democrats."

Souljah (born Lisa Williamson) is now a best-selling author with a novel due out on Nov. 4—yes, Election Day—and her name has become political shorthand for a Clinton-style, break-with-the-base maneuver. She declined to be interviewed, saying she saw no reason "to discuss the election of 1992 in such a pivotal and exciting election year."