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 Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Remark that Lost a Vice Presidency


Linda Bergthold in Huffington Post


It's Memorial Day Weekend.

However, once Memorial Day weekend is over, how will we view the remark that Hillary Clinton made on Friday night linking ending the primary in June with RFK's assassination in 1968?

  • Will we view it merely as a thoughtless reference that brought up painful memories for those who lived through that time?

  • Will we view it as nothing more than a historical, factual reference (as Hillary herself described it) to the fact that primaries have occasionally lasted until June?

  • Or will we view it as the remark that lost her a chance for the Vice Presidency?
  1. First, a few facts. Hillary has been referring to her husband's race lasting until June 1992 for awhile now. But in fact, he had the nomination sewed up in March of that year and only waited until June for California to put him over the top.

    So he was not exactly "fighting" for the nomination in June. That reference remains an odd explanation for her own desire to stay in the race until June, and the fact that she keeps mentioning it even though it is not quite accurate remains a mystery.

    It might be better if she were to state that she intended to stay in the race until the end because she owes it to her supporters to finish what she started.

  2. Second, she did apologize. But she apologized to the Kennedys for bringing up memories of that time while Ted Kennedy is going through his own struggles right now.

    Should her apology not also have been directed to the Obama family and his supporters, who live daily with the anxiety of some sort of assassination attempt on Barack?

  3. Third, it is a fact that she has not indicated that she wants the Vice Presidency. But behind the scenes, Bill Clinton has been mentioning it to friends and superdelegates.

    So even if she does not want to be on the ticket, she surely wants a place at the table that acknowledges how close she came and how much support she ended up having.

    How will this remark sit with those who would vote for her for Majority Leader or justice of the Supreme Court?
After all the pundits have had their say, and the newspapers their screaming headlines, what is left is this:
By bringing up the specter of assassination of a political candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton has revealed, perhaps totally inadvertently, the disturbing specter of her, standing beside that candidate and profiting by his death.
Were she to be the Vice Presidential nominee or the eventual Vice President, how would we ever forget these comments should something happen to Obama?

How could we ever believe that she did not really mean this?

Thus, no matter how slim her chances were for being asked to be on the ticket, how could she ever be the Vice Presidential choice now?

When Memorial Day weekend is over, when May is over, when June is over, will we look back and say that this remark was the one that sealed Hillary Clinton's political fate?

The proverbial straw ? Dear readers. You tell me.

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