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May 23, 2008

To Be Fair

Here's Hillary Clinton, explaining why it makes sense for her to still be in the race:

My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it.

The analogy to 1968 actually is somewhat accurate, in the sense that in June, 1968 Hubert Humphrey was far more likely than Robert Kennedy to get the nomination. And I'm sure that's what Clinton had in mind; ie, that she, not Obama, is playing the role of Kennedy here.

Still: bad idea.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at May 23, 2008 04:48 PM

On the other hand, they were still active in June because *California* was still coming up, not the delegate-rich states of Montana and South Dakota, etc.

Also, in 1968 New Hampshire's primary was in March, not right after New Years.

Posted by: Jon H at May 23, 2008 07:05 PM

I'm not saying it makes much sense, just that she wasn't saying "I'm going to stay in the race because Obama might get shot!"

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at May 23, 2008 07:20 PM

oh dear - oh well i suppose it's a long shot . . .

Posted by: deon at May 23, 2008 08:02 PM

Who can really think they know Hillary's mind at this late date? We're on the receiving end of all the anger and outrage bottled up in her since the '90s, and isn't it frickin' typical that a liberal would take vengeance on Republican dirtmongers by beating up on her own party?

And every time I try to wrap my brain around what Bill's been about, little blood vessels in my brain die.

Posted by: Mark Gisleson at May 23, 2008 08:41 PM

If assassination wasn't on her mind then why does she keep bringing it up? This isn't the first time and in my pathetic humble opinion I think she has gone PSYCHO. Obama best take care cause Clinton is gonna take him out with a 2x4 to the knee ala Tanya Harding!

Posted by: popin-in at May 23, 2008 09:48 PM

It certainly was sweet of Hillary to choose my old hometown (and the press room of my former hometown paper, no less) in which to finally and spectacularly implode.

Unless of course she's planning to pop down to south Florida and mention the Holocaust as another reason she's staying in, just for an encore.

Posted by: W. Powell at May 24, 2008 02:26 AM

So she wants to stay in the race so she can be gunned down? "I don't understand it." Indeed.

Posted by: cavjam at May 24, 2008 05:16 AM

this is from a comment thead at "Mahablog", which struck me as darn apt:

This isn’t the first time that she’s hinted at assassination, or even said it.
To watch her non-apology apology, I don’t think it’s dawned on her yet what a stupid, corrosive, hideous and insensitive remark she’s made.
No matter her intent, words are, to politicians and poets, their life’s-blood. And once poison enters that bloodstream, it does its work on their reputation.
Take Ezra Pound, a once lionized American poet. As his work became more sympathetic to Italy and Germany in the 1930’s and ’40’s, his reputation sank like a stone.
And so her comment should sink her campaign.
At this point, no amount of mea-culpa’s can help her. Maybe if she had addressed it immediately and profusely apologized to Obama and McCain for even saying such a loaded thing, her comment could have been, to some degree, if not forgiven, at least excused as having been a horrible gaff committed by an exhausted politician.
But, again, this isn’t the first time she’s hinted at assassination. And, as such, it reveals a darkness in the soul; an ambition so overbearing that it can even subconsciously conceptualize the hope that she could win by means of a bullet fired by a madman.

Comment by c u n d gulag

Posted by: Jonathan "wily stealer of comments"Versen at May 24, 2008 11:38 AM

the claim that she was thinking of herself as RFK is specious in that she used the analogy to justify herself staying in the race.

the "explanation" of her statement is that (a) she's in second place, (b) rfk was in second place, (d) rfk was assassinated, therefore, she should stay in the race because obama might be assassinated?

given any contextual twisting, there is simply no defense of such a horrific statement, and it shows an incredible lack of judgment that one has come to expect from the worst kind of politician. the only conclusion i can come to is that, ipso facto, clinton herself is the worst kind of politician and i wouldn't want to see her as dog catcher, let alone president.

that being said, i would vote for her over mccain because, where she now causes vomit to come up into the back of my throat, the idea of a mccain presidency forces the vomit right up against the back of my front teeth.

Posted by: karen marie at May 24, 2008 12:58 PM

I think she referred to RFK because she's thinking of the Kennedy family due to recent events and because RFK was actively campaigning when he was killed in June.

I don't defend her because I like her. I despise her. But I don't think it's right to put the worst possible interpretation on someone's words unless there's good reason for doing this. I might change my mind in this case if I were familiar with the other cases when she is alleged to have hinted at assassination.

Putting the worst possible interpretation on someone's words is one of the traditional methods used to discredit leftwingers. See Jeremiah Wright for a recent example, and it's a good one, because he did say some stupid things which were then made to seem ten times worse by the media lynch mob. Hillary is not a leftwinger, but still, I don't want to participate in the process. There are plenty of real reasons for despising her.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at May 24, 2008 07:15 PM

Hillary want us to think of her as an insurance policy, it's too bad her analogy doesn't work.

After Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June, the Democratic party lost. This is Hillary's rationale for staying in the race. After something happens to Obama, she can step in to pick up the pieces -- and, following Hillary's own historical analogy, lose to the Republican John McCain.

Posted by: RJ at May 26, 2008 11:26 AM

Clinton: I should not be asked to exit the race, it's not even June, and I'm within 1% in popular vote and Obama doesn't have enough delegates to clinch. Let me think of the candidates who were still campaigning in June (LIVE interview).

1. Well, my husband didn't have it wrapped up before June, I was there, and remember it well.

2. We all remember when RFK was killed, that was in June, and it was during the campaign.

Only the Clinton Rules allow for her to be condemned for this. The Obama supporters who are fine with the Clinton Rules make me despise them the way I despised those who invented Whitewater.

Posted by: mere mortal at May 26, 2008 11:10 PM

I call rubbish on this. The comparison to 1968 is spurious, at best. For one thing, the nomination process, itself, is completely different than it was in 1968.

Humbert Humphrey led in the delegate count even though he hadn't won a single primary. The reason for this is that he focused on states in which party leaders controlled delegate votes rather than states in which there were actual primaries.

In those states, the contest was between RFK and Eugene McCarthy. Because of the the heated battle between those two, the "primary delegates" were split between them and there is no way either could defeat Humphrey as long as the other stayed in the race.

Posted by: static at May 27, 2008 12:05 AM