Friday, May 23, 2008

The Final Straw

Clinton Invokes RFK Assassination:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton invoked the memory of slain Democratic candidate Robert F. Kennedy as she explained her persistence in the Democratic race on Friday, saying that although the media and the Barack Obama campaign have been trying to usher her from the race, "historically, that makes no sense."

"We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California," Clinton said in a meeting with the editorial board of the Argus Leader, a newspaper in South Dakota.

You know, however much she may try to wriggle out of it, there's no mistaking the meaning:

"Hey, I'm staying in 'cause someone could pull a James Earl Ray on the black guy."

Anyone who's read this blog knows I'm no Clinton hater. I've taken her side against some of the more ridiculous attacks. But her campaign has sunk farther and farther into the gutter and her more virulent supporters have revealed an ugly racist side that's turned me off even further. She's turned into Karl Rove in a dress, and I have to say, at this point, I think I would do the unthinkable.

I'd stay home on Election Day if she was the nominee.

That's not an easy thing for me to say. But when McCain starts looking like the one who's less likely to stoop to the kind of nasty bullshit the Rethuglican Brownshirts have practiced for so long... I'd rather NOT vote than vote for her.


pattinase (abbott) said...

I am sick at heart that she would use the events of 1968, perhaps sparking a desire or an idea in someone mentally impaired to commit such an act, to stay in the race. This is a new low. I think she has lost it.

Kristy Kiernan said...

Dusty, it pains me, terribly, to disagree with you. Okay, not really pain, more like vague discomfort because I know you'd love me anyway and I you. :D

Anyway, I've not been happy with a lot of her comments in the past few months either. My preference is your preference. However, I don't believe for a second that she was slyly indicating someone should assassinate Obama.

What I think happened is she's had several conversations with supporters and they've explored the possibility of pulling out of the race. Her supporters have hauled out historical examples of candidates still running in June, and Kennedy was mentioned. The only reason his campaign was cut short was that he was assassinated. Had he not been killed he would have continued to campaign, as she is doing.

I'm rooting for Obama, now, but I don't believe that this is what it's being portrayed as. It was stupid, yes, in that she didn't adequately explain the reasoning behind it, and, in fact, she should never have used it as an example to begin with. It was badly worded, it was badly done.

But I truly believe it was simply a stupid repetition of something a confidante pointed out to her without the ever-important qualifier.

Her "under fire" bs was the clincher for me, and I'm afraid this is going to be the death knell for most everyone else.

John McFetridge said...

Hey Dusty, in parts of Canada we have something called refusing the ballot - a sort of "none of the above" option we can chose at the polls to distinguish between that and just not bothering to show up and vote.

Have you got something like that?

David said...

Even if she hadn't made that comment, the comparison would be ... less than valid. In 1968, the first primary was in mid-March, so an early June primary would've been around 2 1/2 months later instead of roughly five. In 1992, the primaries and caucuses started in mid-February. So, still running in June then is rather like still running in March or April now.

Randy Johnson said...

I cringed when I heard about this also. It wasn't an accident, however much her people want to spin it. She did the same thing back in March in a print interview. Someone must have spoke to her because in the next few references, she'd mention Kennedy's June victory in California without the assassination. But I guess she's getting desperate now to convince the super delegates to go with her.
I'm frankly repulsed by all the apologists that keep alibiing for her. Unfortunately, one of them is my sister.

JD Rhoades said...

Kristy: you may be right.

But I don't think Clinton's that stupid. I think everything she says is calculated. I say this not out of my personal feeling about Clinton. I just don't believe you get as far as she has in politics without that degree of calculation.

Do I think she was calling on somebody to kill Obama? No. But I do think she was saying "hey this guy might not live to take the podium," which is an incredibly crass and brutal thing to say.

And yes, darling, I still adore you.

John: I wish we did have that option. A very civilized people, the Canadians. But what happens if "none of the above" wins?

eviljwinter said...

JD, don't you mean she's Karl Rove in a pantsuit?

David said...

Dress or pantsuit, the image of Karl Rove in one is an image I can do without.

Josephine Damian said...


I have a different take on this situation based on some recent and very troubling observations I made – things that made me realize the assassination threat against Obama is, as they say, “a clear and present danger.”

It was the night of a recent primary and Obama had just finished a victory speech at a large venue. After the speech was over he was his usual confident, affable self, and he glad-handed the crowd per usual. But I noticed something unusual. As Obama raised his hands upward to shake hands with people who were in the stands right above him, I noticed that an unusually large phalanx of Secret Service guys also had their hands raised, as if to glad hand the crowd.

My first reaction was: Huh? Why are they shaking hands with the crowd? But of course they weren’t, they – several of them - merely had their hands raised in tandem with Obama’s. I still didn’t get it. Then I got it.

It would take no more than a second or two for a Secret Service man’s eye to register, to process the fact of a gun in someone else’s hand, a hand in a crowd, and then raise their own hand to grab a gun or deflect a bullet. But by keeping their own hands already raised, hovering and brushing against the many hands that were extended toward Obama, they bought themselves an extra second of time should a threat be presented – an extra second that could mean the difference between life and death.

As I watched, I realized I’d never seen that sort of extreme Secret Service behavior around Obama before although I have noticed previous events where sometimes the SS presence is more thick, more close to Obama than others. But that night the presence was much heavier than anytime I’d ever seen before. Eventually Obama exited the venue with the SS crew surrounding him 5 deep. What’s more the SS guy bring up the rear turned his back on Obama and the rest of the men to make sure no one was coming at them once they turned their back. This guy scanned the people closest to the exiting group just one more time to make sure no one was making a run at Obama left. Everything I observed told me they were expecting trouble, at least that night.

I could be way off the mark on this, over dramatizing something (as writers have been known to do) that may have a more innocent explanation. But what if I’m not wrong about this? When Hillary made her latest bone-headed statement, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up because it would make sense that she’d be told about the assassination threat against Obama, or that she’d make it her business to find out about it.

Yes, I think there’s a lot more behind her (and Bill’s) decision to stay in the race and keep fighting (ego, delusions of grandeur, being a sore loser), and her making a public statement about something that’s being kept private – what seems to me to be a very credible and immanent assassination threat against Obama- was inappropriate. And yes, it could also reflect a bit of wishful thinking on her part, which is how some may have interpreted the remark, but I also think her campaign is operating from the very real possibility that Obama will meet the same fate as RKF.

I do hope I’m wrong, but based on what I’ve observed, I’m more than a little afraid that I might be right.

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