There’s something deliciously ironic about seeing the bloated finger of manufactured scandal pointed at Hillary Clinton for a change when she and her compatriots have been behind the creation of so many bogus scandals directed at Republican leaders over the last few years. Yet, I find myself reluctantly compelled to be fair to the harried harpy of the left. Clinton’s recent comments in South Dakota have been grossly mischaracterized by her political opponents and the accusations leveled at her because of those comments are just ridiculous.
For those not familiar with the genesis of this foolishness, it all started at a meeting with the editors of the Argus Leader newspaper in South Dakota, where Clinton was asked why she hasn’t ended her campaign. She responded:
“You know, my husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June. We all remember, Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California.”
And the scandalmongers and spinmeisters were off and running, accusing her of effectively threatening Obama with assassination or at least expressing hope that Obama might suffer some tragedy which would change the outcome of the primary.
It should have been utterly clear to most people watching who have any familiarity with the history of presidential campaigns that her reference to Bobby Kennedy was obviously about the fact that he was still campaigning in June in California, which he was doing because the election had not yet been decided by that point in the middle of the summer. The 1968 election was similar to the current one because circumstances had left no clear Democratic nominee going into the summer, and it was this unresolved situation to which she was obviously referring, including an implication of the possibility of the same final outcome as 1968: a brokered convention with a candidate picked at the very last moment with no regard to the primary votes.
Bobby Kennedy, Jr. even acknowledged that Clinton’s comments were not offensive, and observed that she was “invoking a familiar political circumstance in order to support her decision to stay in the race through June.” Even he realized that the point of the RFK reference was not the assassination, but the fact that he was still campaigning in June.
Nonetheless, Obama’s surrogates and the craziest elements of the left, who are already convinced that “The Man” is going to do something to eliminate Obama rather than ever let a black man serve as president, immediately lit up the airwaves and pounded out messages of outrage on their keyboards. Perhaps the most ridiculous of these was the editorial from Michael Goodwin in the New York Daily News, where he proclaims: “Sick disgusting. And yet revealing. Hillary Clinton is staying in the race in the event some nut kills Barack Obama.” He then proceeds to compare her to Tanya Harding and says “We have seen an X-ray of a very dark soul. One consumed by raw ambition to where the possible assassination of an opponent is something to ponder in a strategic way.”
Goodwin seems to hate Obama almost as much as he hates Clinton, but his attack on her is just completely over the top, as is the reaction from many others in the press and especially in the most left-leaning segments of the press. Clearly these folks have been sitting around waiting for Clinton to commit a gaffe they could use against her the way that some used Obama’s comments about working class Pennsylvanians against him. In this remark they saw their chance and they leapt on it.
The problem is that, as with so many of these made-to-order scandals, there just isn’t any real substance there. Her comment was ambiguous, but the underlying meaning was completely clear, and those who are reading anything more ominous into it are either biased or just stupid. I think Clinton is one of the greatest threats this nation has ever faced and even I don’t buy the attempts to turn this into a scandal. There are plenty of reasons to be outraged by Hillary Clinton, but this isn’t one of them.