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Friday, May 23, 2008

Hillary Clinton Says She’s Staying In Because Someone Could Assassinate Obama Like RFK....Update # 4

Priscilla's Musings: Samantha Powers was right.

Clinton's Campaign:
"She was simply referencing her husband in 1992 and Bobby Kennedy in 1968 as historic examples of the nominating process going well into the summer. Any reading into beyond that would be inaccurate and outrageous."

Hillary Clinton:
4:52PM Hillary apologized to the Kennedy family for saying that one of the reasons she's waiting to drop out is because Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June.

Oliver Wills:

She is fracking crazy.
Hillary Clinton today brought up the assassination of Sen. Robert Kennedy while defending her decision to stay in the race against Barack Obama....

...Obama, the first African-American to advance so far in the race for the White House, has faced threats, sources have said.

Seriously, who says this sort of thing? Your average person doesn’t say it, let alone somebody running for president. Hillary Clinton didn’t lose this race because she was a victim of sexism. She lost this race because people are tired of her clawing for power and running over everything to do it.

New York Post dispatch that started this latest exchange.

For those who contend that Clinton was referring to competitive contests or example, why didn't she bring up Ted Kennedy in 1980? Or Gary Hart in 1984? I think she was pointing to primary races where the eventual nominee was unknown at this point in the cycle.... But 1984 would apply more, her husband was the de-facto nominee at this point, and the compressed calender really renders such comparisons null and void.

More to Come.......

Swampland–Time: Hillary's Bizarre RFK Comment

Though she has now apologized for that very strange and tasteless comment to the Argus-Leader, this was not the first time she's said it. This from her interview with TIME Managing Editor Richard Stengel, published March 6:

TIME: Can you envision a point at which--if the race stays this close--Democratic Party elders would step in and say, "This is now hurting the party and whoever will be the nominee in the fall"?

CLINTON: No, I really can't. I think people have short memories. Primary contests used to last a lot longer. We all remember the great tragedy of Bobby Kennedy being assassinated in June in L.A. My husband didn't wrap up the nomination in 1992 until June. Having a primary contest go through June is nothing particularly unusual.

Her excuse now is that the Kennedys have been "much on my mind these days" with the illness of Senator Edward Kennedy, but that doesn't explain what brought it to mind more than two months ago.

UPDATE: H/T to commenter Elvis Elvisberg, who notes that even the reference to her own husband's campaign was wrong. Bill Clinton's primary race was effectively over in March.

Update # 2:

Andrew Sullivan:

I was on the stairmaster when the news came through. And I saw the apology as well - an apology to the Kennedy family, I might note, not to Senator Obama. Since some seem unwilling to point out why this remark was more than unfortunate, it is worth remembering that we have the first black candidate for president. You only have to spend a few minutes talking with African-Americans about this campaign to discover that the fear that Obama could be assassinated is very much on their minds. It is in everyone's subconscious, especially Michelle Obama's. To refer to the June assassination of Bobby Kennedy in the context of reasons to stay in this interminable race against Barack Obama is therefore catastrophically inappropriate. Coming after her pitch for "white votes", it is reckless.

As for her argument that June primaries are nothing new, she is correct. But in no previous primary election did the voting start just after New Years' Day. The New Hampshire primary in 1968 was on March 12, two months later than this year. For June, therefore, read August. Yes, this season has gone on for ever. And for Senator Clinton, it has now obviously gone on too long.

She's been waiting for Obama to implode. Instead, she just has.

Update # 3

Josh Orton at MyDD:

This must now end.

Over the past weeks, many have called for Clinton to end her campaign based on metrics. But with the infrastructure-building the primary keeps delivering, I've been reasonably comfortable waiting until June for closure.

But this is unacceptable.

The United States has a history of profound political violence - and the use of violence to oppress and coerce. And while I'm not quite willing to accept that Clinton spoke maliciously - it doesn't matter. There is no excuse for flippantly referencing assassination, especially given the historic nature of Obama's campaign and our nation's grim history of racial oppression through violence. When Hillary Clinton speaks of our history, she is not reflecting academically or only in a vacuum - her words and influence are real. To act otherwise is negligent, at best.

No context can save her. She must go.

Once might be a mistake, twice and it’s a tactic. An offensive, ugly tactic from a failed campaign whose only hope is to raise the possibility that something might happen to Obama. The willingness to say such a thing in a cheap effort to sway superdelegates is disgusting.

liza at culturekitchen:



Unfit to be President Of The United States.

Brad at Sadly, No!:

OK, I've defended Hillary against sexism. I can't defend her against charges of being completely tasteless ....I got nothin' to add to this. Wow.

Al Giordano:

I’m not going to dignify Senator Clinton’s latest statement with a new thread, nor say anything about it on this thread. It stands on its own as repugnant and I think that it would be playing with fire to give it any more legs than it already has.
And I wish that Field Hands would likewise resolve not to repeat it or spread it or comment on it.

Update #4

Houston Chronicle blog:

So she has to hang around just in case Barack Obama gets shot? I tell you, the lady has completely taken leave of her senses.
Al Gore's 2000 campaign manager Donna Brazile, an uncommitted superdelegate who has been complimentary to Obama, told Newsday: "I am numb."

"My jaw just dropped -- I think she just basically shattered her hopes of being named as vice-president," said New York State Sen. Bill Perkins (D-Harlem), one of Obama's top backers in Clinton's home state. "To use example of an assassination I think leads one to believe that she may be talking about something unfortunate happening to Barack Obama. Couple that with the other remarks she made recently about winning the white vote and her husband's statements and I'd say something is seriously amiss," Perkins said.

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, a staunch ally of Obama, accepted Clinton's explanation, saying "It was ... a careless remark and we'll leave it at that."

Rolling Stone:
If there’s an innocent explanation for this, it escapes me.... And of all the weeks to be invoking dead Kennedy’s. She’s got a touch of Michael Savage in her, this one.

UPDATE: Clinton apologizes… to the Kennedy’s. Not Obama... All class.
Dallas Morning News blog:
I said earlier that I couldn't imagine Clinton making things worse for herself. Well, OMG. She now says she is staying in the race just in case we have something happen like what happened to Robert Kennedy in 1968... I just don't know what to say.
CQ Politics:
Here's one way not to become Barack Obama's running mate.
National Post:
[O]ne wonders how much longer Democratic elders will stay silent.

"This is beyond the pale," Rep. James Clyburn, an undeclared superdelegate and the third-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, told the New York Times.

Clinton just made a phenomenal political mistake, whatever her intent. Absent a primary or another significant political event over the Memorial Day weekend in the U.S., the assassination remark is all anyone will be talking about.

In the past few weeks, Clinton has repeatedly appealed for more time to make her case to voters, more time so Florida and Michigan could count.

She just gave Democrats a reason to say no.

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