Today I want to discuss the latest controversy in the 2008 Democratic Primary race. Well, maybe twenty or thirty years ago it would have been the latest controversy, but in today's 24-second internet news cycle, it's probably been completely forgotten by now. However, thanks to the holiday, I haven't had access to the library computer until today, so it's still the latest controversy to ME.
I turned on a cable news channel Friday only to have my senses immediately assaulted by this: "BLADDERBREAKING NEWS! HILLARY CLINTON CITES RFK ASSASSINATION AS REASON FOR STAYING IN RACE!! WATCH AND HEAR THE TAPE AND BE SHOCKED FOR YOURSELF!!!" Well, whenever I prepare myself to be shocked by something a public figure says, it usually turns out that he or she were talking at the top of their heads, groping for words, and merely stuck their feet in their mouths (see Joe Biden on Cleanliness). The subsequent tape of Hillary's remarks seemed to bear this out:
"There's been a lot of, you know, calls for me to drop out. I, um, don't know why I should. My, uh, husband didn't, uh, sew up the nomination until, uh, June, right? Yeah, right. Then, um, uh, er, in June of, you know, uh, '69, uh, Bobby, uh, Kennedy was, er, assassinated, so why should I, you know, drop out, uh, now?"
Harmless. She needed two examples of primaries decided late, and those two just popped in her head. There are other examples, such as the 1984 duel between Walter Mondale and Gary Hart, but compared to an assassination and her husband's upward mobility, that one was BORING. The pundits seem to agree. That she might have anything else in mind was too distubing to contemplate. Better it be a simple Freudian slip. That way she's merely morbid.
She had slipped earlier, way back in March in Time magazine, but since then she's mentioned the two contests a half dozen times and not once did she use the word "assassination". A disciplined candidate, she.
Oddly enough, in some other interview she referenced the JFK assassination. There she was merely pointing out that Lyndon Johnson had signed Kennedy's proposals into law. Hillary seems almost infatuated with LBJ. First she suggested that without the Great Man and his mighty pen, Martin Luther King wouldn't have a minute named after him, much less a day, and now this. To think she started out as a Goldwater Girl!
So this too shall blow over. Rumor has it Hillary is persuing a vice-presidential slot, just as Johnson did in 1960. A practical candidate, she.
I do know one thing. If Barack Obama suddenly (and literally) drops out of the race, Hillary wins the conspiracy theorists vote.