Friday, May 23, 2008

From the LBJ political playbook: 

Update: I watched the video of the interview , and I would just say Hillary Clinton's RFK assassination reference was ill-advised. (So the title of this post should be taken with a few more grains of salt.) She flatly and thoroughly denied the story (linked below) that she was in talks with the Obama campaign about the Veep spot.
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The NY Post reports (via Balloon Juice):

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.


My head is still spinning. Why would you ever say this?

Title ref here and here. LBJ was a "gambling man".

I'll have an analysis of Hillary Clinton's campaign in coming days, but this sort of comment makes me think twice about this kos diarist's analysis. (I don't totally agree with it, or trust the article, but now I think there may be something to it.)

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7 Comments:

Why would you say it when the Vince Foster / WSJ editorial page crowd will be all over this as some sort of threat?

She's a mess.

By Blogger Mr. Clio, at 5:36 PM  

Why would she say it? Because Democrats need better wordsmiths.

See, when I think of "why is Hillary still in" the thought that comes to my mind is "what if Obama does something stupid that makes him unelectable, the superdelegates would then have a place to hang their hats". I don't think "what if Obama dies". And it is not like she didn't know such questions could come, so she should be prepared with answers that are better than this one (and most answers she could have given would have been).

By Anonymous Daniel Z., at 6:13 PM  

She's done, finished. I pray she recovers her judgment and equilibrium and moves on to support the Democrats and Obama. This truly makes me sad. That she's come to this, when she could have bowed out with class.

By Blogger Grandmère Mimi, at 8:29 PM  

It's time for some senior Democrats to 'have the talk' with her. Perhaps Al Gore & Jimmy Carter would be possbilities.
It is reaching the point that it will really harm the party if she doesn't stop now.
If she continues with the 'scorched earth' approach, the Clinton's legacy is in the dumpster.

By Blogger Jim, at 10:20 PM  

Reading Clinton's mind (or theClintons' mind), it's not just for Charles Krauthammer and Andrew Sullivan anymore -- any Kossack can do it. Objecting to liberals imitating people like that doesn't make me a Clinton supporter, BTW.

To the subject at hand, I've never understood judging an answer to a question the same way you judge a prepared speech. However, it wasn't an unexpected question, so it was, as you said, ill-advised. In this case, she wasn't in front of television cameras, but she had to have known that the interview was being recorded. So it was careless phrasing, but you can understand why she got careless. To claim that she was "invoking" the memory of RFK's assassination, or whatever it was the great sermonizer (clowning Keith) said, is absurd.

I've always heard that the 1968 California primary seemed like a great turning point until Kennedy got shot. That was clearly what clinton was referring to, however clumsily. One needn't be a Clintonista to see how the format of the "interview" could cause her to let her guard down.

If the nomination were still in doubt, the carelessness of the statement could be used as an argument that she'd be more mistake-prone in the GE. Anyone who's going to make more of it than that, needs to explain what exactly Jadis was trying to accomplish. Otherwise, it's just an excuse for clowns to flaunt their moral superiority and haters to demonize theClintons.

I assume you heard what RFK Jr. had to say:

“It sounds like she was invoking a familiar historical circumstance in support of her argument for continuing her campaign.

“I understand how highly charged the atmosphere is, but I think it is a mistake for people to take offense.”


But Keith was having so much fun on MSNBC tonight.

By Blogger bayoustjohndavid, at 11:45 PM  

No matter how inappropriate or flawed her comments were, I honestly don't think she was suggesting Obama might get shot. I think that's a bit of a stretch. I think a lot of people who want her gone are using this as ammunition and it's not undeserved.

Regardless, whether an unintentional slip of the tongue or not she must be aware of this scrutiny as she's applying for the highest office in the land. At this stage of the game and with little to no room for error, this is a campaign ending gaffe (It's over already but she's still campainging). ANYTHING said during a presidential election will be overanalyzed and said person will be held accountable, no matter the circumstance in which the quote was delivered.

Clinton knows this, she understands this, and she accepts this. She was prepared for the question. She blew it.

By Anonymous Imajayhawk, at 7:23 AM  

Forget the assassination remark.

Her argument is that she is justified in remaining in the race because other Democratic contests lasted that long.

She pointed to her husband in 1992, though his nomination was virtually assured in March of 1992 when Lloyd Bentsen dropped out, not in June of that year as she claims.

And 1968 was a TOTAL DISASTER for the Party and poisoned the New Deal coalition for the next 40 years, assassination or no.

So to point to those two primaries is ridiculous.

Look, she has every right to remain in the race. Huckabee didn't officially drop out for a while after McCain had effectively sewed things up. I buy the argument that it's good for the Dems to go through the process in all 50 states. But Huck didn't get in the mud, he spoke positively about himself and held out hope that he'd steal some momentum.

To run like she's running: To continue to galvanize your supporters against Mr. Obama, to allow your surrogates to cuddle with fox news, to use right wing talking points in arguing against our party's nominee - it's shameful and selfish.

By Blogger E, at 12:07 PM