Saturday, May 24, 2008

Never Having to Say I'm Sorry

I think it doomed her campaign from the beginning, so I suppose it's a fitting ending.

Hillary Clinton's biggest mistake in her quest for the presidency was not just that she voted for the Iraq War, but that she never expressed her regrets for doing so. As the public turned against the war in substantial numbers, long after the revelation that we had all been conned by the Bush White House about the basis for the war, it would have been the perfect opportunity. But no, like George Bush, she just couldn't bring herself to acknowledge that she was wrong.

I guess it's only to be expected that an apology would not emanate from her lips after her egregious comments today about why she has refused to gracefully depart from the race despite the fact that she has clearly lost. While it is certainly her right to make a fool out of herself and alienate many of her long time supporters, it is not acceptable for her to raise the specter of a possible deadly assault upon one of her opponents, as she most certainly did by mentioning the June 1968 assignation of Bobby Kennedy as a reason why she should stay part of the primary process. Clinton Kennedy Assassination Reference: Raises Bobby's Death To Explain Why She Stays In Race.

Even after her comments generated swift rebuke, Clinton merely expressed "regret" to the Kennedys (not the Obamas) for her statements. You know -- regret, the term politicians use when avoiding direct responsibility for having said or done something wrong. Not I'm so sorry. Not OMG, WTF did I do??

As the NYTimes said, Clinton’s Reference to Slaying of Robert Kennedy Stirs Uproar:

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton defended staying in the Democratic nominating contest on Friday by pointing out that her husband had not wrapped up the nomination until June 1992, adding, “We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California.”

Her remarks were met with quick criticism from the campaign of Senator Barack Obama, and within hours of making them Mrs. Clinton expressed regret, saying, “The Kennedys have been much on my mind the last days because of Senator Kennedy,” referring to the recent diagnosis of Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s brain tumor. She added, “And 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.”

Still, the comments touched on one of the most sensitive aspects of the current presidential campaign — concern for Mr. Obama’s safety. And they come as Democrats have been talking increasingly of an Obama/Clinton ticket, with friends of the Clintons saying that Bill Clinton is musing about the possibility that the vice presidency might be his wife’s best path to the presidency if she loses the nomination.

Of course, even though the right wing (supported by uber-conservative Richard Mellon Scaife, whose Pittsburgh Tribune Review recently endorsed her) whispered for years that she murdered Vince Foster, no one seriously believes that she was hoping for Obama's untimely demise, but her craven raising the issue makes such outlandish assertions less outrageous.

Andrew Sullivan provided an excellent precis of the situation in Paging Dr. Freud:

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.

And Keith Olbermann provided a powerful Special Comment blasting her:

Earlier today, I had started writing an essay about the drumbeat in favor of an Obama/Clinton ticket. I guess this was Clinton's way of saying she's not interested.

Of course, she could have done it with a little bit more class. But the Clinton haters always said that's what the Clintons lacked. Guess who got that one right?

(Video & transcript via Amerciablog)


quakerdave said...

This should kill her campaign, but it won't.

Visit any number of pro-Hillary blogs and watch as they scuttle to excuse her, without mentioning that this is the SECOND TIME SHE'S SAID THIS.


JudiPhilly said...


I am continually surprised that many otherwise reasonable progressive bloggers cannot find a thing wrong with Hillary -- or right with Obama.

This mindset troubles me to no end, because it plays right into the divisive republican mentality. Divide the dumb democrats and we win.

How could otherwise intelligent people not see this?