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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Sat. 05/24/08 09:08:06 PM
Defend Hillary Clinton? Who Me?
Well, not exactly. But close. At least this one time.
Good grief. We've reached the point where a candidate for the presidency has to apologize for merely having made a reference to a significant event in American history. Here's a synopsis.
During a (videotaped) meeting with the (Democrat) editors at the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader, yesterday, Hillary Rodham Clinton made the following comments (EB denotes a remark from the Editorial Board):
This is the most important job in the world. Itís the toughest job in the world. You should be willing to campaign for every vote. You should be willing to debate anytime, anywhere. I think itís an interesting juxtaposition where we find ourselves and you know, I have been willing to do all of that during the entire process and people have been trying to push me out of this ever since Iowa and I find it
EB: Why? Why?
I donít know I donít know I find it curious because it is unprecedented in history. I donít understand it and between my opponent and his camp and some in the media, there has been this urgency to end this and you know historically that makes no sense, so I find it a bit of a mystery.
EB: You donít buy the party unity argument?
I donít, because again, Iíve been around long enough. You know my husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere around the middle of June
We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. Um you know I just I donít understand it. Thereís lots of speculation about why it is.
Barack Hussein Obama's campaign jumped on the statement immediately:
Senator Clinton's statement before the Argus Leader editorial board was unfortunate and has no place in this campaign.
Robert "Envirowacko" Kennedy Jr. has issued the following statement, which I think is spot on:
It is clear from the context that Hillary was invoking a familiar political circumstance in order to support her decision to stay in the race through June. I have heard her make this reference before, also citing her husband's 1992 race, both of which were hard fought through June. I understand how highly charged the atmosphere is, but I think it is a mistake for people to take offense.
The newspaper's executive editor also chimed in:
The context of the question and answer with Sen. Clinton was whether her continued candidacy jeopardized party unity this close to the Democratic convention. Her reference to Mr. Kennedy's assassination appeared to focus on the timeline of his primary candidacy and not the assassination itself.
Still, Clinton thought it expedient (yes, that's the right word) to issue an apology/explanation/clarification/whatever:
I was discussing the Democratic primary history and in the course of that discussion mentioned the campaigns of both my husband and Senator (Robert) Kennedy waged in California in June in 1992 and 1968 and I was referencing those to make the point that we have had nomination primary contests that go into June. That's a historic fact. The Kennedys have been much on my mind the last days because of Senator Kennedy. I regret that if my referencing that moment of trauma for our entire nation and in particular the Kennedy family was in any way offensive. I certainly had no intention of that whatsoever. My view is that we have to look to the past to our leaders who have inspired us, give us a lot to live up to, and I'm honored to hold Senator Kennedy's seat in the United States Senate from the state of New York and have the highest regard for the Kennedy family.
What more needs to be said? Well, how about this: Barack Hussein Obama is the most
Finally, one astute individual notes the effect of Core's Law of New Media:
Mary Frederick, 50, who works in health care in Sioux Falls, said Clinton probably deserves the benefit of the doubt.
"It was a statement of fact. She probably meant the race is still on," Frederick said....
That type of instant parrying leaves no room for someone to make an historical reference, in this case a specific time reference to remind others that campaigns run into June.
"Right or wrong, it's part of where we are right now in our society," Frederick said. "It's frustrating to me sometimes. We'd better all be prepared. Anything we say can be published instantly. That's just reality."
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