Clinton's Going to Stay In the Race Because RFK Wasn't Assassinated Until June 1968

23 May

Like the NY Lottery – hey, you never know.

This has to be one of the dumbest things said on the campaign trail this year. The fact that it was said by the candidate who’s got the experience – the one who’s been fully vetted – the one who’s ready to lead on day one, makes it all the stupider.

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Her apology:

“I regret that if my referencing that moment of trauma for our entire nation and in particular the Kennedy family was in any way offensive. I certainly had no intention of that whatsoever,” the former first lady said.

“Sorry if it was offensive” does-not-equal “sorry I said something offensive”.

Of all the things in the whole world she could have brought up as an excuse for staying in a race she’s already lost, arguing that RFK wasn’t shot and killed until June is probably the last one on the list. It is offensive not only because dredging up RFK’s assassination is in poor taste this week, with news of Teddy Kennedy’s illness. It is offensive because bringing up the specter of assassination is beyond the pale – well beyond anything normal people would discuss as part of a primary campaign. It’s like taking being at a romantic dinner at Olivers, pulling your pants down, hopping up on the table, squatting, and taking a shit right there in the middle of the table.

Seriously, Mrs. Clinton, the race is over for you. Drop out now while you still have a political career.

UPDATE: Even the argument itself is fallacious, regardless of its offensiveness. In 1992, the New York Times noted that, by March 20th, Paul Tsongas was running out of money and pulled out of the race. He said,

the alternative was to play the role of spoiler.” ‘That Is Not Worthy’…”That is not what I’m about,” he continued. “That is not worthy. I did not survive my ordeals in order to be the agent of the re-election of George Bush.”

In the meantime, the (Bill) Clinton campaign argued that the mathematics made him the inevitable nominee:

Mr. Clinton is already close to the halfway mark in the number of delegates needed to win the nomination and has a 7-to-1 edge over Mr. Brown, who is running a maverick, anti-establishment campaign. Many Democrats said that barring an unexpected collapse by Mr. Clinton’s campaign, it is difficult to see how Mr. Brown can overtake the Governor.

“It certainly brings it much closer to a conclusion,” said Ronald H. Brown, the Democratic national chairman. “You could argue that it’s theoretically possible for Jerry Brown to mount a come-from-behind challenge, but the math and the reality of Bill Clinton’s momentum certainly work against him.”

And note that in 1992, the New Hampshire primary took place during the second half of February – not in January.

As Marc Ambinder argues,

For those who contend that Clinton was referring to competitive contests or example, why didn’t she bring up Ted Kennedy in 1980? Or Gary Hart in 1984? I think she was pointing to primary races where the eventual nominee was unknown at this point in the cycle…. But 1984 would apply more, her husband was the de-facto nominee at this point, and the compressed calender really renders such comparisons null and void.

Even if her point is legitimate, surely she is aware of the sensitivity of the subject.

Obama has done exactly the right thing over the last week or so – pretend Clinton doesn’t exist. Yes, his campaign issued a statement calling what Clinton said, “unfortunate” and said it “has no place in this campaign.” Other than that, Obama has been looking more presidential than either McCain or Clinton this past week, easily morphing from defense to offense whenever McCain attacks him, and by mounting a general election campaign.

6 Responses to “Clinton's Going to Stay In the Race Because RFK Wasn't Assassinated Until June 1968”

  1. Mike In WNY May 23, 2008 at 9:26 pm #

    It wasn’t offensive, this is just another case of the MSM pushing their favorite lefty candidate. I saw the video when the remark was made and the point being made was that Kennedy was still campaigning in June. Any other interpretation is hogwash.

    We are so lucky to have the MSM around to think for us!

  2. mike hudson May 23, 2008 at 10:47 pm #

    NEWS FLASH…..

    CHRIS SMITH WATCHES RACHEL MADDOW ON GREGORY, MATTHEWS AND OLBERMANN TALK ABOUT CLINTON GAFFE…..

    ALMOST INSTANTANEOUSLY CLINTON’S REMARK IS POSTED ON HIS VANITY WEBSITE.

    TALK ABOUT HAVING YOUR FINGER ON THE PULSE OF THE CHANNEL CHANGER!!!!!!

    WAY TO GO CHRIS (SMITH NOT MATTHEWS, THOUGH THEIR CONTENT IS INDISTINGUISHABLE)!!!!!!!

  3. steveballmer May 24, 2008 at 12:05 am #

    Given all of the things throughout history which have happened in June, Hellary mentions the assassination of Bobby Kennedy? An unusually close parallel to Obama or wishful thinking or maybe instructions to the wack job racist out there?

    “You guys aren’t doing your job!”
    That’s what I hear Hellary saying!
    Maybe that’s just me, …. we will find out at Barak’s wake.

  4. Richard Strongbridge May 24, 2008 at 8:47 am #

    For Hillary the Presidency is her density…..I mean her destiny.

  5. mike hudson May 24, 2008 at 8:57 am #

    hellery? wow steve, pretty clever.

  6. James Goller May 24, 2008 at 3:08 pm #

    Hahaha Richard.

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