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mygif

See, that makes perfect sense. Because…because Hillary has a lot in common ideologically with RFK. And, well, she’s received a lot of death threats over the course of her candidacy. And, um, well, the Kennedys have really shown some strong support for the Clinton campaign this year. Seriously, that’s all the truth.

Oh, and Bizarro am number one super failure.

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mygif

Yeah…

There is nothing one can say, honeslty, to defend this. Even if we just center on the word “assassinated,” that’s a charged word, especially against a progressive, black, candidate. Its like she didn’t learn anything from MLK, Malcolm X, or even Lincoln. Unfortunately, though, this is apparently not the first time this has come up from the Clinton Campaign:

TIME: Can you envision a point at which–if the race stays this close–Democratic Party elders would step in and say, “This is now hurting the party and whoever will be the nominee in the fall”?

CLINTON: 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. My husband didn’t wrap up the nomination in 1992 until June. Having a primary contest go through June is nothing particularly unusual.

From March 2008.

Seriously, WHAT THE FUCK.

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mygif

Yeah… that’s kinda indefensible. I mean, seriously! In what universe does she think that statement would be IN ANY WAY appropriate or acceptable?

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mygif

And now we descend into “Crispin Glover on David Letterman” levels of discourse and dignity.

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Are we’re through the looking glass….

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If she somehow gets the Democratic nomination, I’ll vote for McCain out of spite.

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Andrew W. said on May 23rd, 2008 at 9:48 pm

Apart from not making a lot of sense where it appears, what’s wrong with it? I’m genuinely ignorant and want to understand.

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mygif

Apart from not making a lot of sense where it appears, what’s wrong with it? I’m genuinely ignorant and want to understand.

What’s wrong with it is that it sounds for all the world like she’s saying she should stay in the race because Obama might not get the nomination for the same reason Robert Kennedy ultimately didn’t get the nomination. That is, Obama could still get shot between now and the convention.

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jevawtmok said on May 23rd, 2008 at 10:40 pm

I’m not a big Hillary fan, and have been behind Obama for quite a while, but I really don’t think that she was being malicious with this. Of course someone that wants to be the leader of the country and interact with other heads of state really needs to understand just how important phrasing is (i.e. I think this points to her stupidity more than malice, which is still a horribly bad thing). “Besides my husbands campaign, I’m sure many remember Bobby Kennedy still campaigning in the California primary in June” would have been a MUCH better way to make the intended point.

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@Andrew W.

To expand on the points Jim made, it is likewise an issue of the fact that she brought up assassination at all. The American presidency is marred with assassinations and attempted assassinations, likewise progressive politics are. Lincoln, Kennedy, Garfield and McKinley were assassinated, but in the ranks of attempts, they are joined by Jackson, both Roosevelts, Truman, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, both Bushes, and Bill Clinton. There is also the issue of assassinations in the type of persona that Obama shares, RFK, MLK, and Malcolm X.

What Senator Clinton brought up is something which is horriffic in the context of America’s horriffic history of violent politics. It is beyond ignorant, and is, quite frankly, despotic. It is the gaff her campaign has expected from the Obama campaign times ten.

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mygif

Actually, this Clinton statement is so very indefensible that I’m more willing to chalk it up to exhaustion. It’s so insanely useless even as a dog-whistle that I can’t believe she’d say it deliberately. After all, it buys her nothing, infuriates her opponents, and embarrasses her supporters.

It does make sense if you picture her as exhausted to the point of delirious free-associative babbling: “Sure, some campaigns have gone into June before… Bill’s did… so did Bobby Kennedy’s… of course, that was before he was shot…”

I think the problem here is that human beings simply were not meant to be on the campaign trail for this long. Clinton and Obama frankly both look like their own ghosts at this point.

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mygif

Llelldorin,

TIME: Can you envision a point at which–if the race stays this close–Democratic Party elders would step in and say, “This is now hurting the party and whoever will be the nominee in the fall”?

CLINTON: 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. My husband didn’t wrap up the nomination in 1992 until June. Having a primary contest go through June is nothing particularly unusual.

From March 2008.

Not the first time she’s said this. Source: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/5/23/192111/929/154/521577
It has also been on other sites, I just happened to go to the Kos

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mygif

True, but there it was stated less stupidly: it’s much clearer that she’s trying to reference the fact that Kennedy didn’t wrap up the nomination until the California primary in June. (That was a good example of a long, close series of primaries, the assassination notwithstanding.)

What made her more recent comment egregious is that she dropped her last sentence from the earlier sentence, instead trailing off disconnectedly. Without that crucial last sentence, her statement changes from “primaries have run into June before, so what?” to “Nice candidate you’ve got there. It’d be a pity if something were to… happen… to him.” Since I can’t fathom any benefit to her in making such a statement, I’m willing to bet she was trying to reiterate her earlier comment, but was simply too tired to do so coherently, and so wandered off into OMGWTFland.

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mygif

And, I can’t close tags. It’s probably clear now why exhaustion strikes me as a plausible explanation for… well, everything, really.

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Llelldorin:

True, but there it was stated less stupidly: it’s much clearer that she’s trying to reference the fact that Kennedy didn’t wrap up the nomination until the California primary in June. (That was a good example of a long, close series of primaries, the assassination notwithstanding.)

It’s a lousy comparison, though, because although the 1968 Democratic nomination did go to the convention, in June it had only been going for two and a half months – the California primary was only the 13th primary, not the 48th. The 2008 campaign effectively began in December.

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Llelldorin:

If we are to accept it as her being exhausted, then she must apologize for such vile comments, completely reject them, and seek penance. Her “apology” was that she was sorry if the comment offended anyone, and that she’s sorry for the Kennedy family. That is not enough for the levity of this comment. She’s not apologizing to Senator Obama, to the American people, or to those with fear of the first major black or female candidates being killed.

This is like when John McCain said “Well, I reject any comments John Hagee said that offended anyone!” Prior to yesterday, he would not reject John Hagee’s bigotry, anti-Catholic attitudes and his homophobia. Even so, that can’t compare to Clinton’s comment and non-apology. With all that she’s done, all that she’s been forgiven for, this is wrong. As Keith Olbermann pointed out in his Special Comment, this is not the first divisive and disturbing thing Senator Clinton has said. It is only the latest, and the worst. She’s planning on staying in the campaign incase Senator Obama is murdered. That deserves to be reviled.

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Andrew W. said on May 24th, 2008 at 1:33 am

Thanks, Jim Smith and Andrew. Much obliged for the explanation.

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mygif

No, I’d agree, Andrew—her apology missed the reason the statement was offensive. (I’m supporting Senator Obama, so it’s probably not surprising that I find it inadequate.) All I can think is that she’s decided that it would be disastrous for a 60 year old to plead exhaustion when running against a 46 year old. She’d be right if the alternatives weren’t much worse.

This particular comment went so far over the line that separates politics from demented babbling that I couldn’t help but wonder if six months of hard campaigning hadn’t driven her to the latter. Again, I’d believe it was meant in a nastier way if I could figure out any way in which that could possibly be to her advantage, but I can’t. Unless a large portion of the electorate are secretly Bond villains, making ominous statements about assassinations seems to hurt her candidacy terribly, without helping her in the slightest.

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mygif

Actually, if I’m right about the exhaustion, what this whole sorry episode really kills is her ridiculous “3AM phone call” argument. The presidency is absurdly draining—with the sole exception of Bush, every president in the last thirty years has left the presidency looking 30 years older than they did when they started. If she’s muttering ominously about assassinations after six months of campaigning, is she really ready for those 3AM phone calls?

(Of course, if that same thing hits John McCain, should he be elected, we’ll be dealing with President Xykon by 2012.)

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Fraction Jackson said on May 24th, 2008 at 3:52 am

It’s bad on multiple levels, too. Ignoring the assassination part of the comment…by mentioning 1968, you’re still bringing up arguably the biggest farce of a primary convention in the history of the party. And the candidate bringing this up has all but outright declared herself willing to fight it out at the convention. It’s a terrible message for Clinton to send – and there are a lot of members of the Democratic party that remember both RFK being shot, and the protests at the convention…reopening those old wounds is one of the worst things she could have done. Hell, I’d imagine that a non-negligible portion of her own supporters might jump ship over this.

Coupled with the assassination part of the statement…I almost have to wonder how anyone could say something so absurd and offensive by accident.

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Claudia, "The Lieberman 2.0 hater" said on May 24th, 2008 at 6:07 am

Wink, wink, crazy person.

Wink Wink. Chuhk chuhk. Bang bang. Hint hint.

If you know what I mean.

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Claudia, "The Lieberman 2.0 hater" said on May 24th, 2008 at 6:13 am

Now I REALLY don’t want her as a vice-president.

It’s the like the plot of bad movies.

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mygif

You know some black people have said they wouldn’t vote for Obama because they like him to much. Meaning they are worried he’d be assassinated.

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mygif

I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt on the intent of her statement, but Jesus, think about your words, senator.

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mygif

Llelldorin: the line that separates politics from demented babbling

I had no idea there was such a thing. (And I’d been thinking of how she’s torpedoed her own “3 am” and “ready on day one” mantras as well — granted, it was much later in the day and we’re only on day, what, t-minus 170?)

Claudia: I remember thinking that the only way an Obama/Clinton (or Clinton/Obama) ticket was appealing was if you were a big fan of Spy vs. Spy and wanted to see it play out in the Oval Office on a daily basis. Even if Barack Obama personally thought she would be the best VP — and simply to reconcile this nascent polarization inside the party, she’s worth considering, for all the negatives she brings to the table — I don’t think his inner circle would let him choose her. I think the entire party moves away from rewarding this behavior as of late (until after the election, when she makes her move for Senate majority leader). And hey, maybe she just doesn’t want to disenfranchise assassins.

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mygif

I am no Clinton fan, but the real mistake she made was being sloppy, which can happen when a candidate spends so much time talking and talking and talking. Obama has made his own gaffes, too, and has received plenty of over the top criticism for it (“bitter,” anyone?). So I think it’s important to maintain a fair-minded distance from comments like these. I wouldn’t read it as “Obama could still get shot between now and the convention.” More like, RFK was still campaigning in June at the time he was assassinated.

Which is still in poor taste, and she has apologized for it, last I scanned the headlines. It’s where she doesn’t apologize that one can find deliberately coded appeals to hard-working White Americans.

As for her main point: even Bill Clinton’s late June delegate wrap-up is not relevant, because she has no discernable way to overcome the delegate gap between her and Obama. It’s just magical thinking at this point.

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Zenrage said on May 24th, 2008 at 3:53 pm

Now for the unpleasant question everyone has been avoiding…

Can a black man be president in the USA for a full term without being assassinated?

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mygif

Yes. Secret Service protection is insane. I have a friend in the Secret Service, and I have yet to come up with an assassination plan she can’t defeat easily.

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mygif

Because it’s like that.

And that’s the way it is.

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at this point I almost hope she stays in the race, because she’s going to lose her senate seat if she keeps this up.

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HRC: [re calls for Clinton to drop out of the race] You know, between my opponent, and his camp, and some in the media, there has been this urgency to end this. And, you know, historically, that makes no sense. So I find it a bit of a mystery.

INTERVIEWER: So you don’t buy the party unity argument?

HRC: I don’t, because, again, I’ve been around long enough. 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.

******

Her invoking RFK in the context of the question asked–about whether a late nomination is damaging to party unity and by extension the party’s chance of winning the general— makes no sense. Nixon won in ’68. That RFK’s murder is being used by Clinton as an example of how the party isn’t hurt by a long nomination process is factually wrong and undercuts her answer to the question. That is, if you assume that she brought it up for no other reason.

It’s like when, for no reason, Bill Clinton brought up Jesse Jackson before the SC primary after being asked about Obama’s gripe about having to run against both Clintons. His answer made no sense on the context of the question that was asked him. It was code meant to manipulate press coverage, and to create a viral thought-meme among voters that Obama = “fringe black candidate”.

Similarly, evoking the assassination of “hope” candidates/figures like RFK, JFK and MLK is meant to create an expectation in the minds of the media, superdelegates, and voters that an Obama candidacy is fated to catastrophe. It’s an attempt to brand Obama as doomed, therefore unelectable. It’s a narrative that they’ve been building on for awhile–at least as early as January, a day before the NH primary. Then you have the first RFK reference in the March Time interview, on the eve of Super Tuesday. On April 2, George Stephanopoulos leaks Clinton telling Bill Richardson that Obama “can’t win”, in an apparent attempt to call back both the “fringe black candidate” and the “doomed therefore unelectable” memes (not to mention anticipating the William Ayres bomb that Stephanopoulos would soon drop in the ABC Penn. debate) a couple weeks before the Penn. primary. After squeaking out a victory in Indiana, she brought up RFK again in West Virginia, according to Keith Olbermann. And now that the media have all but written off her campaign, she brings it up again.

This was no gaffe. It’s a Clinton talking point.

And, you know, it was working. The Clintons have shaped the media discussion of the race so that many pindits still consider Clinton’s chances for taking the nomination possible if something catastrophic were to happen to the Obama campaign, and almost expect it.

Of course, now that the only possible way she can overturn the delegate vote is for Obama to leave the race/be taken out of it, people are looking at this assassination talk differently.

At least this means this scuttles the Clintons’ attempt to strongarm the Obama campaign into giving her the veep position.

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mygif

Sorry for the typos. I get long-winded.

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mygif

“at this point I almost hope she stays in the race, because she’s going to lose her senate seat if she keeps this up.”

I’m waiting to see if Bill Clinton keeps his office in Harlem.

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mygif

If Bobby Kennedy’s example is something to be heeded, it’s Hillary that should look out. Kennedy wasn’t the front-runner when he was shot, as I understand it.

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mygif

Kennedy wasn’t the front-runner when he was shot, as I understand it.

That was her point–she’s not the front-runner right now either, but in June 1968 RFK had time left on the clock to win (or would have, if he hadn’t been killed) and (at least by her reckoning) so does she in June 2008.

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mygif

*blinks*

What the absolute fuck?

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Claudia, "The Lieberman 2.0 hater" said on May 25th, 2008 at 12:36 am

>>>>>>Yes. Secret Service protection is insane

Well keep in mind that months ago there was that story of Secret Service telling policemen during a Obama rally to stop checking people for guns because they appeared to be goodfolks or something (IN FUCKING DALLAS!!!).

That was a major concern in the discourse amongst many black voters (I remember Tavis Smiley in his show asking Obama about his security).

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malakim2099 said on May 25th, 2008 at 12:54 am

Now for the unpleasant question everyone has been avoiding…

Can a black man be president in the USA for a full term without being assassinated?

Yes, although having the Earth smashed by a giant comet is still a distinct possibility. :)

(Sorry, had to inject a little levity into this… personally, I agree with Olberman on this one. How insane can you be???)

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Zenrage said on May 25th, 2008 at 9:45 am

Actually, Malakim, the asteroid that is the most likely to bitchslap earth in the next 40 years or so, Apophis, is predicted to only generate approximately around 800-900 megatons of power upon impact. It’ll be bad, but shouldn’t be earth ending. Of course, where it lands will determine who will die first. Most likely it will land in the Pacific Ocean somewhere.

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ladypeyton said on May 27th, 2008 at 10:30 am

I’m blaming exhaustion for her gaffe and she’s never been good at apologizing. I don’t support her. I don’t excuse the comment, but I understand where it came from and I think the reaction to it, overall, has been a little out of proportion to the offense.

FWIW, I reacted much the same way to Obama’s stupid “small town” comment. In both cases I think the speaker didn’t mean what listener’s interpreted from their statements. In both cases I think the apologies were overthought and underperformed in order to minimize the appearance that the speaker couldn’t handle the grueling campaign trail.

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mygif

Jim Smith wrote: “That was her point–she’s not the front-runner right now either, but in June 1968 RFK had time left on the clock to win (or would have, if he hadn’t been killed) and (at least by her reckoning) so does she in June 2008.”

Actually, in June of 68 there were still big, delegate-rich states left, like California (which RFK won) and New York.

That isn’t the case now. The remaining votes have few delegates, and proportional allocation means that the net delegate margins will likely be slim, not nearly enough for Clinton to come from behind.

So 68 really isn’t useful for her.

(Never mind that, if she was thinking she is the RFK analogue, that means her argument sounded like “I’m staying in because, who knows, I could get shot!”)

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