Saturday, June 7, 2008

Senator Clinton's gaffes during the primary season

Bruce Reed, the Has-Been over at and a Clinton supporter, writes a paean to Senator Clinton, says she stands for the ordinary people who are only trying to just get ahead, says she did not deserve the media's "transparent hostility," and "the most deliberately misunderstood person" in America, as "her every miscue was [portrayed as] part of some diabolical master plan."

Reed generally writes well, but obviously this post is written by a Clinton partisan, not with an objective eye. Of course, I am not free of bias either - I am an Obama partisan. But Reed forgets that Senator Clinton started as the inevitable, experienced, establishment candidate (witness her early lead in superdelegate support), and morphed into the populist, NAFTA-hating, whisky shot-downing, gun-toting duck hunter later - in time for the Ohio and Pennsylvania primaries, when her "experience/Ready-on-Day-One" message was not working.

As for her being the most intentionally misread famous person in America, I say this: Senator Clinton was supposed to be the most prepared, on-message candidate. Ready on Day One, mistake-free as the Presidency is not for on-the-job training. And yet, here's a list of gaffes that plagued her campaign:

1. Senator Clinton: Obama a Muslim rumor not true "as far as I know." [This, after two Clinton Iowa staffers were caught spreading such rumor-filled e-mails - apparently only to show others how dirty politics was getting; see #7.] Such a sterling rebuttal of the false and malicious rumor!
2. Senator Clinton: "Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me." [emphasis mine]
3. President Clinton: "Jesse Jackson won South Carolina in '84 and '88." [In 1988, the Rev. won primaries only in states with large African-American populations (with the exception of PR). The 4 other states he won, including SC, were caucuses.]
4. Geraldine Ferraro: Senator Obama is very lucky (and winning) because he is a Black man. [Senator Clinton's wins in OH, PA, KY, WV and likely others were partly fueled by Whites - up to 1 out of 5 voters - who openly said race was an important factor in their decision to vote for her.]
5. Senator Clinton: Senator Obama has not crossed the commander-in-chief threshold and does not have a lifetime of experience - unlike herself and Senator McCain. [used in a GOP ad; violates President Reagan's Eleventh Commandment!]
6. Senator Clinton/surrogates: Caucuses disenfranchise voters, are undemocratic, and caucus delegates should be counted separately from "elected delegates," i.e. delegates from primaries. This after a major caucus loss just makes them look a sore loser, and ignoring subsequent caucus states only makes (and did make) the situation worse. This also made superdelegates from caucus states like Iowa unhappy.
7. Her surrogates: Bill Sheehan (NH campaign co-chairman) and Robert Johnson, BET founder/Clintonite, bring up Senator Obama's candid admissions of youthful drug experimentation; Sheehan suggests Obama might be painted as a drug dealer by the GOP. [This video of Johnson's comments, and CNN analysis of the lame cover-up, show it better.]
8. Senator Clinton: I was under sniper fire... "that is what happened." [aka Bosnia-gate (video).]

And I haven't brought up her flip-flop on NAFTA, assasination-gate, or her virtually offering Senator Obama a pillow during a debate and later saying (after a debate pitting the moderators and Senator Clinton against Senator Obama) that if Senator Obama can't take the heat, he should get out of the kitchen.

Sorry, Reed (and other Clintonites/istas). You should also watch this great video by The Jed Report, which covers some of these incidents:


As Melinda Henneberger at The XX Factor on pointed out, Senator Clinton is either gaffe-prone, or well-prepared, "Ready on Day One" - and each "gaffe" above was calculated. She can't be both.

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