Detroit Kilpatrick: 'I hated on' Obama a little bit Memoir to be released Aug. 1

By Mike Householder

Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) -- Disgraced ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick "hated on" then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama as he watched 2008 election coverage from his jail cell, Kilpatrick writes in his upcoming memoir.

"In (what) was my most honest moment ever, I was robbed of diplomacy on American history's biggest political night," Kilpatrick writes in "Surrendered! The Rise, Fall and Revelation of Kwame Kilpatrick," which is to be released on Aug. 1. The Associated Press obtained an advance copy of the book.

"How poetic. Detroit's biggest political figure, prostrate on a jail cell floor as Barack Obama wins the presidency."

Kilpatrick writes he and his fellow Democrat from Illinois developed a relationship over the years based on "mutual respect." Obama attended a fundraiser for Kilpatrick's mayoral campaign in Chicago, and Kilpatrick held a fundraiser in Detroit for Obama's Senate campaign, Kilpatrick writes.

That relationship was tested in June 2008 when Obama made his first public visit to Detroit after winning the Democratic presidential nomination. At the time, Kilpatrick was awaiting criminal charges in a text-messaging sex scandal with his former top aide and was conspicuously absent from the downtown Obama rally.

In a conversation they had at the time, Kilpatrick writes Obama "was sincere and wished me well. And I told him I was so very proud of him and wished him and his family well."

The imprisoned ex-politician, though, describes watching election coverage on a TV in his cell on the night of the general election. And while Kilpatrick at first felt pride at seeing a fellow African-American win the historic election, he writes he quickly dropped into an "emotional abyss" and turned his enmity toward the president-elect.

"I hated on him a little, asking God, 'Why? Why him and not me?'"

Kilpatrick's book is billed as the true tale of the saga that saw him fall from Detroit's popular second-term mayor to a state prisoner.

The 41-year-old pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in the text-messaging sex scandal and no contest to assault and served time in the county jail. He was sent to state prison last year for not adhering to the terms of his probation, which called for the truthful disclosure of his finances. The former mayor is set to be paroled within weeks.

Upon his release, however, Kilpatrick will need to prepare for a federal corruption trial. He faces charges including fraud, tax crimes and a racketeering conspiracy. An indictment describes a scheme in which Kilpatrick and his father allegedly took kickbacks and bribes to steer city business to certain contractors. Father and son have pleaded not guilty.

Published: Wed, Jul 13, 2011