New Page 1

 Monday, May 26, 2008

Hillary Clinton's Selective View of History

  Read here on Chron.commons

In the days since Hillary Clinton’s monumental gaffe in South Dakota in which she referenced the assassination of Bobby Kennedy, many have defended her statement, saying she was merely citing historical perspective as a reason to stay in the race.

Since in the same remarks she made a point of Bill’s 1992 run for the presidency as an example of a contest that was not decided until June, I thought it might be a good idea to look back at the 1992 Democratic Primary and see what actually happened.

As usual with the Clintons, you have to parse every word to get to the meaning of what they say.

Hillary said that Bill didn’t win the nomination until the June primary in California. Technically that’s true, but it all depends on what the definition of "win" is.

In 1992, there were 3 major contenders for the nomination–Bill Clinton, Paul Tsongas, former Senator from Massachusetts, and Jerry Brown, former Governor of California.

  • Tsongas won in New Hampshire with Clinton finishing second.

  • Bill Clinton won nearly all the Super Tuesday primaries, making him the front-runner for the nomination.

  • Jerry Brown then upset Clinton in Connecticut and Colorado.

  • On March 17, Tsongas dropped out after finishing a distant third behind Clinton and Brown in Michigan.

  • On April 7, Brown lost to Clinton in Wisconsin and New York and was never a serious contender after that.

  • Clinton defeated Brown in California in June to clinch the nomination, which by that time was a foregone conclusion.
To get a further perspective on the race that was really a no-contest after Super Tuesday, the final delegate count was:
  1. Clinton 3372,

  2. Jerry Brown 596,

  3. Paul Tsongas 289.

Clinton won primaries in 39 states compared to 6 for Tsongas and 3 for Brown.

Hardly the nail-biter that Hillary would have us believe.

But much like the sniper fire incident in Bosnia, Hillary’s memory gets a little fuzzy when it comes to historical facts.

If she wanted to cite a primary race that was decided late she could have used 1976, when Carter didn’t clinch the nomination until after he won Ohio on June 8, or 1984 when Mondale’s victory in New Jersey on June 5 gave him the victory in his primary battle with Gary Hart. Both of these are more recent examples than Bobby Kennedy in 1968.

What does all this mean?

It tells me that Hillary Clinton is nearly as bad a student of history as she is a presidential candidate.

  Go to Latest Posting

Comments 0