From Freedom's Lighthouse:
During a eulogy delivered today for the late Sen. Robert Byrd, former President Bill Clinton defended Byrd before a West Virginia crowd when he said that Byrd had a “fleeting association” with the Ku Klux Klan in his early life because he was “trying to get elected.” Clinton said Byrd then spent the rest of his life trying to make up for it, which, he said, “that’s what good people do.” Clinton, who is no stranger to an embarrassing past, also said “there are no perfect people” in this world, and certainly “no perfect politicians.”
I don't know how "fleeting" Robert Byrd's association with the KKK was or if his motivation was truly to "get elected." The Examiner has an excerpt from a letter Byrd allegedly wrote in 1944 to Mississippi Senator Theodore Bilbo. Read it and make up your own mind.
"I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side... Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds." - Robert Byrd in letter to Mississippi Senator Theodore Bilbo in 1944.