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Friday, May 23, 2008

Number One with a Bullet

posted by on May 23 at 12:59 PM

From the New York Post:

Hillary Clinton today brought up the assassination of Sen. Robert Kennedy while defending her decision to stay in the race against Barack Obama.

“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,” she said, dismissing calls to drop out.

Clinton made her comments at a meeting with the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader’s editorial board while campaigning in South Dakota, where she complained that, “People have been trying to push me out of this ever since Iowa.”

Is that why you’re staying in the race Clinton? Just in case Obama is gunned down? How very noble of you.

Man, your campaign just keeps getting uglier and uglier.

Update: Via Politico:

Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement that “Senator Clinton’s statement before the Argus Leader editorial board was unfortunate and has no place in this campaign.”

Another Update: In the comments, “Bison” writes:

Jesus but you (and this includes you, Steinbacher) are all a bunch of morons. That’s a completely uncharitable reading of what she said.

Regardless of your political alliances, if you aren’t already half-blinded by Hillary hate it seems pretty obvious that she’s just pointing out that it’s not abnormal for primary campaigns to still be fought well into June. In fact, you probably all remember that Bobby Kennedy was shot IN JUNE. What you may not remember is that on the night he was shot he had just declared victory in California’s primary in spite of being significantly behind Humphrey in overall pledged delegates.

Bison’s probably right about what she was trying to say, but that doesn’t make the comment any less stupid, insensitive, and campaign-combusting.

RSS icon Comments


Oh my. Hillary - and I did support her - has jumped the fucking shark.

Posted by Lola | May 23, 2008 1:15 PM

I hate her so, so much.

Posted by Paul Constant | May 23, 2008 1:17 PM

How will reclusive leftist spin this?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | May 23, 2008 1:18 PM

um....i'm pretty certain she was referring to Bobby Kennedy's attempt to clinch the presidential nomination. In June.

Posted by cochise. | May 23, 2008 1:19 PM

I figured she'd take the VP nom, then put a hit out on the big cheese. Then profit.

Posted by Ziggity | May 23, 2008 1:23 PM

Classy. Very, very classy...

Posted by Chris B | May 23, 2008 1:23 PM


Posted by tabletop_joe | May 23, 2008 1:26 PM

At least these horrible gaffes are only coming from some junior Senator instead of the Democratic nominee.

Posted by elenchos | May 23, 2008 1:28 PM

Even if something did happen to Obama after she bowed out, of course the party would choose her as the nominee at the convention. She has delegates, she's proven that she's popular among Dems. I swear with every word that's come out of her mouth in the past three months my reaction is always, "What the fuck is she thinking?"

Posted by keshmeshi | May 23, 2008 1:29 PM

Time to reject and denounce her.

Hillary Clinton--you're a poopy-head! I rebuke you!

Posted by NapoleonXIV | May 23, 2008 1:31 PM

How long before the POST headline reads "Hell Hath No Fury" (yes yes i know, that's sexist, but you know they are just low enough to stoop there)

Posted by Andy Niable | May 23, 2008 1:36 PM

Will no one rid me of this troublesome Senator?

Posted by Hillary Clinton | May 23, 2008 1:38 PM

I don't know about you, but I sure do wish that we had picked the more experienced candidate, instead of the unknown rookie. We wouldn't want a candidate who would routinely make really stupid verbal gaffes, after all.

Posted by tsm | May 23, 2008 1:39 PM

this pretty much guarantees she won't get the VP nod.

vince foster and all that.

Posted by brett | May 23, 2008 1:41 PM

I think I'm an official Obama supporter now. I used to try to justify her actions saying she couldn't possibly be trying to sabotage Democrats. She couldn't be that selfish. Maybe there is a bright side to her staying in the race. But after this...

Done with Hillary.

Posted by Just converted to Obama | May 23, 2008 1:44 PM

@ 4 - she specifically mentioned his assassination. Which is either incredibly callous and stupid, if intentional, or incredibly inept and stupid, if otherwise. Either way, what in the fuck?

But hey, it's good to know that if it comes down to a lone gunman, at least one candidate has experience dodging sniper fire.

Posted by UnoriginalAndrew | May 23, 2008 1:45 PM

hm, i wonder if she's got any relevant historical parallels for presidential candidates who had no chance of winning the nomination?

Posted by brett | May 23, 2008 1:49 PM

I now feel my earlier use of "cunt" to describe Hils was far too mild.

Posted by AMB | May 23, 2008 1:49 PM

Yup, there goes any possibility that she'll be VP. She may not even be human.

Posted by Dominic Holden | May 23, 2008 1:50 PM

C'mon, ECB defend that!

Posted by ECB Fan | May 23, 2008 1:59 PM

Jesus but you (and this includes you, Steinbacher) are all a bunch of morons. That's a completely uncharitable reading of what she said.

Regardless of your political alliances, if you aren't already half-blinded by Hillary hate it seems pretty obvious that she's just pointing out that it's not abnormal for primary campaigns to still be fought well into June. In fact, you probably all remember that Bobby Kennedy was shot IN JUNE. What you may not remember is that on the night he was shot he had just declared victory in California's primary in spite of being significantly behind Humphrey in overall pledged delegates.

Posted by Bison | May 23, 2008 2:08 PM

Wow. She's gone off the rails. You know how people like to say that campaigning for the nomination is a pressure cooker, and reveals how people stand up to it, which ability they will need in the White House? Somebody doesn't have it.

Posted by Fnarf | May 23, 2008 2:10 PM

I'd call that a douchebag comment but then I'd be accused of hating women...

Posted by michael strangeways | May 23, 2008 2:10 PM

Good grief all the whining from both Obama and Clinton camps. Obama thinks everything is directed at him like Bush's speech in Israel. Her comment is insensitive given in the current campaign context yeah but no way she implies about Obama being assassinated. Of course she is the biggest whiner of all in the campaign. Both of them play this victim cards it's so freaking tiredsome.

Posted by xzone | May 23, 2008 2:13 PM

Never. Never EVER will I support Hillary Clinton for anything. Fuck that. And fuck her.

Posted by Balt-O-Matt | May 23, 2008 2:14 PM

uh, what? You can't compare this campaign season to 1968. California decided MONTHS ago and there's nothing comparable left for June of this year, primary-wise.

For Hillary to even mention RFK, California and June of 1968 is of questionable taste even if her intent was to not imply that Obama could be assassinated.

Posted by michael strangeways | May 23, 2008 2:15 PM

I'm not sure how the charitable reading of what she said helps her much, if at all. Since the 2008 California primary is long over, it only begs the question why she's still in. And it makes us wonder why we would want a nominee or a VP who can't make a simple point without ripping open an old wound and conjuring images of a repeat of a horrible event.

Posted by elenchos | May 23, 2008 2:16 PM

Nobody out-trolls Hillary.

Posted by AMB | May 23, 2008 2:16 PM

Good analogy Hillary. It's either Obama might be killed or we re-elect a Republican (Nixon!). Good reasons for staying in the race.

Words mean things, she could have said the '68 campaign stretched well into June. But no, she said "Bobby Kennedy was assassinated." Her words indicate she envisioned the possibility of an assassination. Simple.

Posted by Medina | May 23, 2008 2:18 PM

Not to be pedantic, but...

"Since the 2008 California primary is long over, it only begs the question why she's still in."

Posted by AMB | May 23, 2008 2:19 PM

@21: Except of course Obama already has a majority of pledged delegates and Bill Clinton was the presumptive nominee in early April 1992 after Tsongas dropped out. Hillary is assuming you're too stupid to actually check these things out, and aparently she was right.

And if she wasn't referencing his assassination, THEN WHY BRING IT UP? Why not say "Bobby Kennedy didn't clinch it until June"? Oh wait, that wouldn't bring up her hope that Barack takes a bullet to the head before the convention!

Jesus, you Hillbots will justify anything.

What's next? "It's unfair for Barack Obama to have Secret Service protection because it enfranchises those who wish to vote from the rooftops."

Posted by ru shur | May 23, 2008 2:19 PM

Hilary cannot utter any words from now on:
white americans, black (unless it's describing some object), death, sexism, racism, florida, and whatever else the sensitive Obama and his supporters can spin out of.

Posted by workerbee | May 23, 2008 2:21 PM

she's going for the indian vote big time in south dakota but obama is way ahead of her.

Posted by Jiberish | May 23, 2008 2:22 PM

Oh please. She's said a lot of bizarre stuff, but she's not retarted. She's not referring a potential Obama assassination. Keep your pants on.

Posted by Catman | May 23, 2008 2:25 PM

Obama's going to have to redouble his efforts to win the votes of those who want him murdered.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | May 23, 2008 2:27 PM

This is a great example of why people get defensive about Hillary. If you watch the video of the statement, it's completely innocuous, and she's clearly referencing the fact that the primary was still going on in June.

But according to the Internets, Hillary wants to assassinate Barack.

Seriously, people, save your outrage for something worth getting up in arms about.

Posted by drew | May 23, 2008 2:29 PM

But it is kind of tacky for her to mention Bobby Kennedy in this context. Just one of those bizarre things she often says.

Posted by Catman | May 23, 2008 2:29 PM

If anything, this statement will now make me far, far less likely to accept Hillary as a substitute nominee if (deity-of-choice forbid) Obama takes a bullet.

Posted by tsm | May 23, 2008 2:39 PM

@36: How fucking retarded do you have to be? She explicitly said "We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assasinated in June in California." There's NOTHING about "the primary was still going on in June."

Maybe in some bizarre universe in your head where Hillary said something completely different but in the real world she was telling us "hey, anything can happen".

Also, she lied by ommision talking about her husband - he was the presumptive nominee in early April, just a couple monthes after the first real contest of the primary season in mid-February. It's like she doesn't even realize people can instantly factcheck her.

Posted by ru shur | May 23, 2008 2:39 PM

think of this as your opportunity to tune the whole thing out until the convention, and a merciful shortening of the general campaign to 3-4 months.

hell, tune out till the election. it'll do your blood pressure good.

Posted by max solomon | May 23, 2008 2:44 PM

From CNN:
Clinton made a similar reference to Robert Kennedy in a March interview with Time Managing Editor Richard Stengel, telling she could not envision a scenario where party elders would step in and call for the race to end. "I think people have short memories," she said then.

"Primary contests used to last a lot longer. We all remember the great tragedy of Bobby Kennedy being assassinated in June in L.A. My husband didn't wrap up the nomination in 1992 until June. Having a primary contest go through June is nothing particularly unusual."

Stop misconstrue what she said you followers of the chosen one.

Posted by nargus | May 23, 2008 2:45 PM

I'm still trying to decide whether she's being racist, sexist, or just plain sociopathic.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | May 23, 2008 2:47 PM

How many times do I have to point this out? THE PRIMARY IN 1992 DID NOT LAST UNTIL JUNE. Bill Clinton was the presumptive nominee after the New York primary in early April.

Posted by ru shur | May 23, 2008 2:54 PM

The actual full quote that everyone is so outraged over is this, in response to a question about calls that she quit the race:

“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.”

People are telling her "it's May already, you don't have it clinched, drop out". She's clearly making a point that other nominating processes have continued further into the election year.

Like 36 said, save your outrage for something worthwhile. Besides, it's 3:00 on the Friday before Memorial Day. Time to leave work early and start drinkin'!!

Posted by rb | May 23, 2008 3:00 PM

She must think she still has a chance, if she doesn't plan to kill him before June.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | May 23, 2008 3:04 PM

The thing thats so stupid about saying something like that though is that if obama was assassinated she WOULD be the nominee. The fact a person might die is poor excuse to remain in the race speculatively.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | May 23, 2008 3:04 PM

The first part of her statement was just as false: Surely, her husband "clinched" the nomination in June, but it was wrapped up several months earlier in February or March of '92; his nomination was never in doubt after that.

Posted by Allen | May 23, 2008 3:09 PM

@43 you are clearly a dense jackass. the primaries DID last until June 1992. Jerry Brown didn't drop out in April fool. This is the same situation with Clinton. Obama has been our presumptive nominee for some time. You don't see the parallels? Really?

listen tiger, I would be very disappointed if Hillary was our nominee. I would HATE if she became VP. but having this knee-jerk reaction to a statement like this doesn’t make us obama supporters look any better. you really don't think that people would remember a month/date/time of year when somebody was assassinated? She may be insensitive but I certainly don't think she was referring to obama being assassinated.

also...calling people hillbots (especially obama supporters) is sooooo May.


Posted by cochise. | May 23, 2008 3:23 PM

@48: Jerry Brown was a threat to Bill Clinton for about two seconds in February of 1992. The fact that he didn't drop out until April doesn't mean he was a viable candidate.

Posted by Paul Constant | May 23, 2008 3:26 PM

@48: Would you care to revise and extend your remarks?

April 12, 1992:
"Brown strongly indicated that, having lost the New York primary Tuesday, he will campaign as a crusader for political change rather than as a serious contender for nomination."

Posted by ru shur | May 23, 2008 3:32 PM

Primary battles used to go on longer because the primaries were held later. California THIS year is long over, and it wasn't enough. South Dakota isn't California. The "always goes until June" argument is bullshit.

Posted by Fnarf | May 23, 2008 3:35 PM

Hey cochise @48:

It is May.

Posted by Conchis | May 23, 2008 4:16 PM

Ignore the insane woman before the camera.


And send her $20 million to pay off her campaign debts that she's still racking up.

Posted by Clinton Death Watch | May 23, 2008 4:21 PM

I told you!

But did you listen?

No ...

Posted by Vince Foster's Ghost | May 23, 2008 4:22 PM

@50: Just because someone is still in the race doesn't mean that they have a chance. The only person Bill Clinton seriously had to worry about after the primary started going in his favor was Tsongas, and he dropped out in March of 1992.

Ron Paul is technically still in the Republican race--he hasn't dropped out--so would you say that the Republican nomination isn't all sewn up?

You're arguing technicalities and completely missing the point.

Posted by Paul Constant | May 23, 2008 4:33 PM

I'm not dead yet, my pretties!

Posted by Hillary Mad Crone Clinton | May 23, 2008 4:49 PM

paul @55 - isn't ru shur @50 saying the same thing you are? (thanks for the great timeline, ru shur)

completely agree with elenchos @27 - bad enough that as a candidate she can hardly speak without notes (even to thank her family), but where's the tactical savvy that "ready on day one" asserts? it's one gaffe after another - and ham-handed ones at that.

Posted by momster | May 23, 2008 5:05 PM

If I am Vice-President, I will be Ready On Day One when Barack Obama is assasinated.

Posted by Hillary Clinton | May 23, 2008 6:02 PM

I mean, IF! IF he is assasinated!

God damni

Posted by Hillary Clinton | May 23, 2008 6:04 PM

Hilary should apologize - to the Kennedys. She didn't owe O-Drama a freaking apology. It was not directed at him nor any insinuation. O-Drama and his supporters think every little thing is directed at him. If he's such a popular and almighty candidate against McCain why these overreactions. Playing victim card while vilify Hilary for talking about sexism publicly once. I really begin to think Democratic party is no different than the Republican.

Posted by O-Drama | May 23, 2008 8:59 PM

If you watch the video clip it clearly shows her remarks relate to time lines of previous presidential races.
To assume otherwise is shameful and to turn this into political fodder against Clinton is demeaning to Bobby Kennedy's memory.
The way this has been reported , once again shows the inaccuracy and bias of what has become political tabloid journalism in your country.
However , this time they landed in the gutter with their ugly and untruthful headlines regarding this matter.
Robert Kennedy JR. has issued a statement in support of Hillary Clinton , does that make news , of course not.

Posted by Rachelle , Canada | May 23, 2008 10:30 PM

hillary doesnt understand why this primary season is fundamentally different than other primary seasons? no wonder she lost the race, she has no grasp on the realities of what's in front of her (by extension what it takes to win) and she is fuzzy about history.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | May 23, 2008 11:10 PM

I am surprised that everyone jumps to the conclusion that Hillary had Obama's potential assassination in mind. That's a stretch by some pretty paranoid people. On the other hand, Obama is protected by Secrtet Service agents, so there is a legitimate concern about her getting into territory that one of her stirred-up white followers might take for a sign. She can't be responsible for every crazy out there, but she shouldn't have led her camapaign into this ambiguous space. It was very unwise and careless for her to bring up the assassination in the middle of another passionately fought political battle. What Hillary doesn't understand is as a candidate she cannot say just anything, as a private citizen can. As a former First Lady she ought to understand that. But, I am getting the feeling Hillary thinks it's an unfair imposition on her to be expected to speak prudently. That's a bad sign for a possible future president. She's clearly got some baggage from her earlier 8 years in the White House. Maybe's she's already gotten to Cheney's rude "So?" stage. Obama had to live with his "bitter" comments being misunderstood, and hopefully he's learned to be more careful about not causing offence. It was just plain stupid to evoke Kennedy's assassination, because the circumstances are very similar now. Her words were clearly a huge gaffe, even if they were just the way she referred to the history of that earlier primary season. In fact, as I've tried to remember past primary seasons, I also have that outstanding memory of Kennedy's assassination that tells me that primaries were ongoing in June. As a former Californian, I've always felt June was the normal primary season from my youth. But on the public stage Clinton should have realized in what poor taste her remarks would come to the Kennedy family and even the nation at this time of new grief. It was a very insensitive remark, and Obama's campaign was right to declare that the assassination was not to be reduced to a mere history lesson for the purpose of making her political point. The problem is that we are learning that this is typical Clinton. She goes from one careless remark to another. If nothing else, it shows she has a foot-in-mouth disease similar to Bush. Bush could get away with it, because he even cultivated the ordinary, dumb guy image. But with Hillary, we've been led to expect more. It's a surprise that she makes so many mistakes of this kind. It makes her a rather unsuitable President, because her administration would be reduced to constantly trying to put out the fires her carelessness or cluelessness start. How can you accomplish anything when so much energy has to be put into the War Room? This is no longer a case of a vast right wing conspiracy, but something all Americans have had a chance to observe for themselves. She is causing herself far to many problems,and if it's campaign fatigue then she should just quit. You can only hang in there so long without an exit strategy to please your diehard supporters. She has to be responsible for her words, and the constant resort to apology is not enough. The campaign is no longer an excuse, as most other candiates would have stopped campaigning by now. Nobody is doing this to her but herself, and if she can no longer function well under the pressure she needs to get out of the public eye until she is more rested. The longer this goes on, and the more bizarre her statements become, the more I am tempted to think of her as the dysfunctional Britney Spears of politics, which is a far cry from the aura of competence she once tried to project.

Posted by Tina | May 24, 2008 1:29 AM

Elections, like marketing, is all about optics. Regardless of how the Clinton campaign spins it, this looks bad. She spoke those words because she had thought of them. She apologizes by saying she was thinking of Ted. She should say she misspoke. What she should have said was :

" Presidential nomination campaigns often run into June. Just look at my husbands win as well as Senator Robert Kennedy's. They both won their respective California primaries in June."

What was the point of mentioning the assassination ?

Posted by Cam | May 24, 2008 3:57 AM

We live in a scary world today and what scares me the most, at the moment, is the new virus going around

(and it has to be a virus, otherwise the inability to comprehend when Sen. Clinton speaks could only be a political tactic in opposition of her, but I don't think any tactic could dominate the brains of those who oppose her so completely)

that is making opposition brains unable to process what she says. Sen. Clinton's discussion was about the many Nomination Processes have gone on 'til June -- and beyond.

It is a fact, within that discussion, that Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in June -- still campaigning in the Nomination Process. Sad, but factual.

If that conversation can be translated into a threat on Sen. Obama's life, then IF Sen. Obama wins, the first order of post-electoral business should be a psyche work-up -- before he gives any of them jobs in his Administration.

Posted by Northshorewoman | May 24, 2008 4:34 AM

There are thousands and thousands of videos. Let us all in on the best ones you find. Share and share alike I say.

Posted by NutDrerbarben | May 24, 2008 4:54 AM

Hillary has shown time and time again that she is a desperate, shameless hussy. The stuff with Bill and Monica must have sent her to the edge of the cliff..with this statement, she has jumped off that cliff. The woman is freaking crazy. And she wants to be Prez? No how, no way. And you thought Dubya was a nutcase.

Posted by Hollyinla | May 24, 2008 5:44 AM

Momster @57 is right; I was attacking ru sure for proving my point. Sorry to everyone involved. Except for cochise, who is totally wrong.

Paul Bobby

Posted by Paul Constant | May 25, 2008 1:13 AM

The only people that are fragmenting the Democratic Party,is the DNC. Get rid of the delegates and use the popular vote, only then will real democracy function.
How can you 'export' democracy to other countries when it is a sham here?

Posted by Paul | May 29, 2008 7:39 AM

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