Hillary Clinton has brought a new twist to the contest to be Democratic presidential candidate by declaring she is black.
The flaxen-haired New York senator told reporters gathered outside her offices on Thursday that a recent DNA test had proven textile executive Hugh Ellsworth Rodham was not her biological father.
A subsequent search found it to be Thomas L. Jackson, an African American bartender in Chicago.
"I was shocked at first to find out that the man I thought was my dad was not really my dad," said a bleary-eyed Clinton, flanked by her husband, former president Bill Clinton, and daughter Chelsea.
"But when I found out my real dad was actually black, I was overwhelmed with joy," she said.
"The truth is that, like many white people, I've always wanted to be able to say things like 'go girl' and 'you 'da man!' without sounding like a total freak."
Clinton's mother, Dorothy Rodham, could not be reached for comment.
Republican observers are already casting doubt on Clinton's claim, calling it a political ploy to attract black voters and "get one up" on black Democratic rival Barak Obama.
"Hillary Clinton is just desperate to capture the middle ground and this is by far her most cockamamie ruse," said a bristling Texas Republican Rep. Jim Pitts. "I mean for God's sake she's blonde!"
Clinton was quick to respond to questions about her distinctly non-African American appearance by arguing that she was simply light skinned, adding that the "black gene" had clearly been passed to her daughter.
"Just look at the frizz on this girl," she said, grasping a tuft of Chelsea's hair. "This is all natural!"
Clinton was accused of playing the race card last January when she told a Harlem church that Republicans had run the White House "like a plantation," adding, "you know what I'm talking about."
But Global Insight political analyst James Oppenheimer believes Clinton's blackness now gives her license to make all manner of racial gaffes. "Now she can easily get away with stuff like that," he said.
"Eventually saying the 'N' word might be taking it a bit far, but if anyone has the balls to test the public's reaction, Hillary does."
Clinton for one seems enraptured by her new racial status. "They said my husband was the first Black president. Well soon they'll say that and mean it because I am black and proud!" she cried to woops and cheers from a nearby crowd of mostly white Democrats.
Clinton announced that she would be making a whistle stop tour of the southern states where she would "break bread with my black brothers and sistas," and "have some good old fashioned soul food."
"Collard greens, corn bread and chitlins! Mm, mm, mm!" Clinton exclaimed in a southern accent while shaking her head from side to side.
When asked if she knew what chitlins, or fried offal were, Clinton incorrectly guessed they were a form chick peas.