Hillary’s RFK reference needs no comment from campaigns (updated)

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Sunday update: Hillary tries to explain herself here (again) and her fans have been quick to spread the word.  She still does not understand, perhaps because this is not the first time she has spoken about this (and in this way), why people might be offended!  At the very least, Clinton wants Obama’s hopes of the nomination to go down in flames.  It’s just not, as Maureen Dowd puts it, very elegant.

The start of a holiday weekend is usually a time for newsmakers to drop bomb-shells they hope no one will notice and Senator Clinton didn’t disappoint. However, this one will not die just because it’s Memorial Day – maybe precisely because it is Memorial Day! It’s got legs well into next week – and into June, since that’s the month she seems fixated on.

If only it was just more sleep deprivation which led to the latest blunder by Hillary Clinton (repeated, actually, and seemingly thought out if you listen carefully):

Hillary’s Foot? Meet Hillary’s Mouth.

To their credit, strategy-wise, members of the Obama campaign are letting the media express outrage, with campaign spokespersons giving Clinton ‘the benefit of the doubt’ that no offence was intended – as, indeed, she lamely tried to express during a follow-up event, going for the “sorry if I offended…” cop-out:

But, oh…Barack Obama’s handlers have no reason to touch this one at all as so many of us don’t need to be reminded of June, 1968. You can be sure the 40th anniversary commemorative specials are ready to roll out and, yes, RFK was shot while still campaigning in the primaries in June. That was Hillary’s only point – that June primary campaigns have happened before (her husband’s, too.)

If only she had stopped at Bill…

Keith Olbermann expressed the outrage of many tonight:

Here, then, are some of the things this comment was not:

-a signal to a deranged gun-owner looking for infamy

any inference that Barack Obama might not make it to November – but can you imagine how often that horrible thought has crossed the Obamas’ minds (and perhaps the Clintons’, too)?

-a direct comparison between her campaign and that of any Kennedy

-any comparison between the social unrest of 1968 and that of 2008 (especially at political conventions)

-deliberate rubbing of salt in the wound of our collective psyche in a week when Senator Ted Kennedy received such terrible health news

a compelling plea to be Vice-President or Supreme Court Justice

I would still take Clinton over McCain and so I have a tough time with all the vitriol – from Clinton Democrats – against Obama. I know there are Obama fans who might stay home, too, should his nomination somehow be taken from him but please give your heads a shake people. McCain???

And Hillary, you’ve won the white male vote in primaries. Please give up the idea that your second-place finish was about sexism.



3 thoughts on “Hillary’s RFK reference needs no comment from campaigns (updated)

  1. Hillary: Why I Continue To Run
    This past Friday, during a meeting with a newspaper editorial board, I was asked about whether I was going to continue in the presidential race.

    I made clear that I was – and that I thought the urgency to end the 2008 primary process was unprecedented. I pointed out, as I have before, that both my husband’s primary campaign, and Sen. Robert Kennedy’s, had continued into June.

    Almost immediately, some took my comments entirely out of context and interpreted them to mean something completely different – and completely unthinkable.

    I want to set the record straight: I was making the simple point that given our history, the length of this year’s primary contest is nothing unusual. Both the executive editor of the newspaper where I made the remarks, and Sen. Kennedy’s son, Bobby Kennedy Jr., put out statements confirming that this was the clear meaning of my remarks. Bobby stated, “I understand how highly charged the atmosphere is, but I think it is a mistake for people to take offense.”

    I realize that any reference to that traumatic moment for our nation can be deeply painful – particularly for members of the Kennedy family, who have been in my heart and prayers over this past week. And I expressed regret right away for any pain I caused.

    But I was deeply dismayed and disturbed that my comment would be construed in a way that flies in the face of everything I stand for – and everything I am fighting for in this election.


  2. The “urgency to end the 2008 primary process” is not media driven. They love this drag-it-out-to-the-bitter-end process! A divied Democratic Party only whets the media’s appetite for conflict. It is the HRC ‘urgency’ to continue (hopelessly) which only raises a sort of sympathy as in, “Doesn’t she get it?”

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