Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas by Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson:
Looking back, Thomas and many of his admirers would explain his migration to the right as a genuine intellectual evolution resulting from long hours of reading and discussion, which persuaded him that the liberal remedies for poverty and racism were not only ineffective but harmful. Inevitably, others were less convinced by his increasingly conservative ideology and saw rank opportunitism in this political transformation. They charged that Thomas’s ideals seemed tailored to fit the opportunities, which, starting with the moderate Republicanism of Danforth, followed an increasingly rightward course. In all likelihood, Thomas’s conversion was some combination of the two, both an iconoclast’s rejection of conventional thinking and a young man’s recognition of the path that offered him the best chance to get ahead.
Thomas was unabashed about the usefulness of being a black conservative. Cindi Faddis, who met him during the years he worked for Danforth, remembered that “he said that he thought he’d have an advantage as a Republican. He was up front about it. He said, ‘If I belong to the Republican party, I could go further.’”