May 24, 2008


Hillary Raises Assassination Issue: Defends Long-Running Campaign (Geoff Earle, 5/23/08, 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.

Obama's camp immediately fired back.

"Sen. Clinton's statement before the Argus Leader editorial board was unfortunate and has no place in this campaign," Obama campaign spokesman said in a statement.

Interview with Clinton: One Day at a Time (David Burnett, 3/6/08, Time)

Can you envision a point at which — if the race stays this close [...] enough delegates to get any distance ahead where party elders would step in and say "Senators Clinton and Obama, this is now hurting the party and whoever will be the nominee in the fall. We need to figure this out."

No I really can't. I think people have short memories. Primary contests used to last a lot longer. We all remember the great tragedy of Bobby Kennedy being assassinated in June in L.A.

...considering that she has repeated the sentiment, it's amusing to recollect that her husband drew a direct connection between talk radio and the Oklahoma City bombings on less evidence than this.

Posted by Matt Murphy at May 24, 2008 7:41 AM

Hat tip to Karen Tumulty from Time magazine for mentioning this previous comment on a group blog.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at May 24, 2008 8:14 AM

Her observation, that anything can happen, seems innocuous enough. But she doesn't need to contest the remaining races in order to be the alternative pick at the convention, does she?

Posted by: oj at May 24, 2008 1:50 PM

This is what chess players call, "playing for heart failure"--only better. The idea there is that by not resigning in a hopeless game, the recalcitrant player in demeaning his opponent by announcing that he is delaying the inevitable out of hope that the opponent will commit some sort of dreadful blunder in the end game.

So Mrs. BJ is saying that she wants to stay in the race in case the Effendi get shot?

Posted by: Lou Gots at May 24, 2008 2:13 PM

The phrase, "... was unfortunate and has no place in this campaign," must have focus-grouped well because Obama uses it a lot.

Previously, I thought Hillary's ace-in-the-hole would be the untimely demise of her husband (I hadn't heard her use that terminology in public before these last months) preferably while performing an heroic act like saving a drowning puppy, but he's become such an object of derision, he can't help her anymore, not even by dying.

Am I missing something? Why on earth is she talking about this stuff because an Obama untimely death wouldn't benefit Hillary's candidacy even if she were on the ticket. Perhaps the happy pills she seems to be taking need upgrading.

Posted by: erp at May 24, 2008 4:19 PM

Her mentioning of the assassination of Bob Kennedy and the campaigning into the month of june have significance.
She uses a historical fact to state the underlined thought : it's not unusual, but the assassination shows democracy is still an issue. While she has to fight to stay in the race, she is the target of violence herself : her character assassination through out the campaign even encouraged by BO and his camp.
Of course in a democratic country, the point is to give some space for the fight to take place so people can choose who represents them the most. In this situation, she has been under attack and just a simple remark of an historical fact cannot even be stated without her being outrageously critized.
This starts to look more like a third world country contest.

Posted by: jane at May 25, 2008 6:13 AM

They're a Third World party--it's just a contest of tribes.

Posted by: oj at May 25, 2008 9:16 AM