25 May 2008

Hillary Clinton and RFK...

It seems that the mere mention of a former assassinated presidential contender is news worthy for its offensiveness when it is uttered by Hillary Clinton albeit the people who should most likely be offended by it have gone on the record to say that they are not. Yet, the campaign of the other side looks to try and draw some political advantage from the comment that was clearly not intended to offend.

What is interesting here is the undercurrent that is not being spoken. Perhaps, Barack Obama's camp took umbrage to the remark because Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June 1968 after claiming the California Primary and it seemed perhaps he had turned the corner and was on the way to the nomination himself. Maybe Obama's camp thinks that this comment will bring out all the nut jobs looking to assassinate another presidential contender and this would some how justify Clinton's decision to fight for this thing tooth and nail to the end.

This is bizarre logic and stupid! The context and the intent is clearly not that but any suggestion that it is, is in fact something that is offensive.

Obama, as do Clinton and McCain, has secret service protection. Not that this is a guarantee or anything, but it does make it conceivably much more difficult for those wanting their 15 minutes of fame by trying to assassinate a contender. To be fair Ronald Reagan had secret service protection and that did not stop a near successful attempt on his life while he was President.

But back to the comment and the context. Here is what Clinton said:

"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"

I just do not see how this is offensive and I do not see it to say anything other than; I am still in this race because I think it is important, I still think I can win, and the race is not over.

However, this is what Obama had to say:

"I have learned that when you are campaigning for as many months as Sen. Clinton and I have been campaigning, sometimes you get careless in terms of the statements that you make, and I think that is what happened here. Sen. Clinton says that she did not intend any offense by it, and I will take her at her word on that."

This though is an attempt at political point scoring because it was not such a careless statement but rather an opportunity to twist the context with a view to gaining some kind of political advantage.

The reality here is that people want Clinton to quit sooner rather than later and this is an opportunity to up the ante on that call. Let's face it these remarks have been uttered before in a slightly different form back in March.

The difference between March and now is that it seems like Obama has wrapped this primary election process up. Although there might be a mathematical possibility for Clinton to win with the support of super delegates, no one really considers this to be likely.

However, the family of RFK released a statement via RFK Jr. that went like this:

"I have heard her make this reference before, also citing her husband's 1992 race, both of which were hard-fought through June" and "I understand how highly charged the atmosphere is, but I think it is a mistake for people to take offense."

Surely politicians have more important issues to debate and rake over the coals than this. What about some serious discussion of the issues that define the candidates, their policies,and their respective visions of the future. Now, that would be an issue worthy of some quality press coverage.


Anonymous said...

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.


Rob Baiton said...

Yep! I wrote my blog entry a little before I think she might have made this statement...

Nevertheless, the gist is the same as the point I was making; this is not nearly as news worthy as it has been played out to be.

The people that should be most offended by this statement if any offense can be construed, simply put, are not!