When Bill Clinton asked voters to give his wife a break when she lied about being under sniper file in Bosnia in 1996 because, after all, she dropped the whopper late at night and she's 60 years old, it seemed that few people who did not already love Hillary were willing to excuse her--especially when they realized that Bill himself had his facts wrong or deliberately "misspoke." Hillary had told the Bosnia lie not late at night but late in the morning.
This time when Hillary cited Bobby Kennedy's assassination after he won the California primary in June in 1968--along with her own husband wrapping up the nomination in June 1992--as reasons why she should not drop out in May, finally, she does seem to deserve the benefit of the doubt.
Watch the video of her talking to the editorial page editors of the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; she looks tired but does not look like someone who has dropped a verbal bomb that is about to explode in her face. "People have been trying to push me out of this ever since Iowa," she complained.
I was on a national radio show recently promoting my book about Bill Clinton's post presidency, Clinton in Exile: A President Out of the White House. After the show ended, a man whose name would be familiar to many and who has been analyzing politics for decades--as far back, in fact, as 1968--told me that he knows why Hillary is staying in the race even though she has no chance of catching Barack Obama on pledged delegates. "She's hoping Obama will be assassinated and she can then claim the nomination."
I was stunned. I am a skeptic at heart, I don't take most politicians at their word. My experience following Bill and also Hillary every day since April 2006, when I started the reporting for my book, left me with the belief, often stated, that the Clintons will do and say just about anything to win.
Yet this time, it was clear to me what she meant and it had nothing to do with the possibility that harm might come to Obama. Yes, I believe that if Obama wins the nomination she hopes he'll lose in the general election so she can run in 2012. But that doesn't change the fact that if there is an example of politicians and their strategists and spokesman being willing to say and do anything, it seems to me that it's Obama's people who fit that bill.
It would be interesting to get Obama's unfiltered take on Hillary's comment.
Obama promised a new kind of politics; but this is just more of the same old slop so often flung by the Clintons.