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RFK and the 1968 primary

1968 was a turbulent year. There were riots and protests and then ,one right after the other, Martin Luther King was gunned down and Robert F. Kennedy was shot by Sirhan Sirhan in California. I was just a little girl and I remember his funeral train. But it wasn’t until a few years ago that I found out that he was shot right after he won the California primary in June. I thought it was just that he was giving a campaign speech. The primary part never registered with me. Here is Clinton’s history lesson from today’s interview with a South Dakota newspaper:

Personally, I don’t think this history lesson is the end of the world. She was thinking of examples for why we shouldn’t panic just because the nominee isn’t chosen by now and she reached back to the two examples that stood out in her mind: her husband’s primary and RFK’s. It is unfortunate that the one that most readily comes to the minds of people Clinton’s age was marred by the tragedy of RFK’s assassination.

It will be played up to monumental proportions and people will be screaming for her to leave. But let us recognize their reaction for what it is. It’s not genuine offense over the death of an admirable man. It is their excuse to finally get rid of her.

If that is the case, I can’t decide who is demonstrating the most lack of taste.

Update: The reaction of the Obamasphere and the media is totally indefensible. The HuffingtonPost is taking a very matter-of-fact discussion of primary history and twisting it into a vile insinuation that Hillary can’t wait until someone takes Obama out. It is time they stopped behaving like the Orwellians during a two minutes hate.

The Confluence would like to encourage Clinton to hang in there. Make it clear that you aren’t going before the primaries end, Florida and Michigan are seated with restored influence for the convention and every voter has spoken. We are losing patience with the media’s and oppositions efforts to force Clinton out of the race by creating scandalous and false accusations. The shame barrier has been crossed in a major way today and it is hardening our resolve.

131 Responses

  1. For goodness sakes, she was clearly noting that other primaries in the past have gone into June. Kennedy was assassinated in June therefore the primary was still going on in June and there wasn’t a nominee. She was giving a historical reference.

  2. Trolls out in full force, eh?

  3. Well, as you can imagine, HuffPo and TPM are sharpening their knives and Big Tent Democrat is going into full worry wart mode. This is ridiculous. It was a historical reference.

  4. I watched that interview live.

    It was clear to anyone that she was talking about the process. Right before, she mentioned that her husband did not win the nomination until June, and she followed with RFK.

    The point was that he was killed in June, in the middle of campaigning for the nomination.

    For Christ’s sake, is this woman allowed to sneeze without it turning into an act of murder?

  5. I will expect a special comment from Keith tonight. I’m so turned off by this process. It’s really, really sad at this point. She said absolutely nothing wrong.

  6. There was less outrage when Michael Savage played a Dead Kennedys song for Teddy last week.


    This isn’t outrage, it’s fauxrage.

    The same thing the rightwing has done for years. Just like John Kerry’s botched joke in 2006.

  7. You know what Clinton was saying and you know she was saying it out of frustration over the WWTSBQ meme that has haunted her at least since Iowa.

    Well I hope that this is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. I hope she quits, tells MI and FL to suck it, refuses to campaign for Obama and moves out of the country.

    But I know one thing for certain to the depth of my soul…I will NOT be voting for any Democrats this time. NONE. I’ve had it with the party. They can die under the weight of their own stupidity for all I care.

  8. Give me a frickin break. Just read this on CNN. Honestly from the title “assassination comment” I thought she made some reference to Obama being assassinated.

    But no, just that RFK and BC’s campaign went into June. Then Obama made some release that the comment was totally unacceptable and had no place in the campaign. He made no reference to the actual comment, it just seemed like a release he had sitting around.

    I guess if we really want to stretch the truth, one could argue that the RFK reference was subtle veiled threat on The Ones livelihood.

  9. I can see all the inhabitants of the “progressive” movement sharpening their knives, thinking this is the best opportunity to finally “kill of the vile witch”.

  10. Sweetee,

    I’m as angry and hurt as you are, and I feel the same way about the Democrats. But I don’t want Hillary to quit and she won’t. I hope and pray she keeps going because this country needs her right now.

  11. I have a suggestion:

    When a troll annoys enough people here, can we vote them off the island?

    If say, five regulars ask for someone to be 86′d, would that be fair?

    (I also posted this on the last thread)

  12. But I know one thing for certain to the depth of my soul…I will NOT be voting for any Democrats this time. NONE. I’ve had it with the party. They can die under the weight of their own stupidity for all I care.

    Sweetee, not sure where I’ll roam but this primary has certainly been enlightening. Can’t say I’m appreciating the view, though. Not sure what to think of the party right now.

    However, I WILL be voting in November, that’s for darn sure.

  13. Could this be true?

    I got it from a comment over at Taylor Marsh:

    BO spokesperson said “Senator Clinton statement was unfortunate and has no place in this campaign”

    If this fake outrage is true, that would be it for me. Then I would definitely NOT vote for Obama.

  14. Wow, I learned something this afternoon – the people who think she’s calculating and evil and are after constant outrage, still are. Who’d have thought?

  15. MABlue, yes, per TalkLeft one of BO’s spokespeople made that statement in Boston this afternoon, while Axelrod was recently on MSNBC saying there was nothing bad about her comments (don’t have exact quote on that).

  16. The Obama thought police are really getting frightening. I was an Edwards supporter who switched to Hillary because I preferred her position on health care. However, I didn’t have a problem with voting for Obama in the GE. After 4 months of non-stop invective from the OFB, I will–under no circumstance–vote for Obama.

    I support Hillary; I think she is by far the best person to be POTUS; but I never thought for a second that she was perfect and worthy of worship. On the other hand, the OFB allows no dissention, no questioning, no breaking of ranks.

    What’s most depressing is that it seems the DNC is entirely satisfied with this cult-like behavior. I’ve been a Democrat for 36 years, and this change has been so abrupt and so disturbing that I don’t consider myself a member of the party any longer. At first, I thought I might get over it, but the over-the-top behavior of the OFB is so distressing that it has strengthened my commitment to walk away from the Democrats.

    I never thought I’d leave the Democratic Party, but I’m very close to that point.

  17. I guess she should have explained that when you get assassinated, your campaign is over?

    What the he** happened to critical thinking?

  18. stxabuela,

    You are not alone. You said it well.

  19. Oh please ,all this fake outrage. It’s a slow news day so they are trying to create a firestorm. I saw the video and it was clear she was referring to primaries having a history of ending late and didn’t understand why the rush to push her out since Iowa.
    In the same interview she emphatically denied and put to rest any talk of a VP position stating it was the Obama’s camp trying to depress the vote. They have latched on to this one comment to harm her and try to push her out. Unbelievable, I can’t stand them. Forward on Hillary!

  20. stxabuela – I am gradually sensing the “thought police” was how many on the other side of the aisle see us, and perhaps this is the first time we’re seeing it fully turned on one of our own? Not that they don’t do it too.. just about different things.

  21. MABlue, You linked to the live interview in a previous thread. I had the interview on while I put outdoor furniture together. I listened to it three times and never thought that reference sounded inappropriate. I did think about Bobby and his “on to Chicago” line. And basically thought about California voting that late in the process back then. That’s what that reference brought to my mind. She sounded so smart and thoughtful during the entire interview. Her tone was perfect. I kept thinking that If that interview was played to a large audience – they couldn’t help but be won over. So what happens? Trumped-up outrage. I couldn’t believe it when I checked back in to some of the other sites. What is wrong with these people?

  22. Sweetee

    I am with you on this. When I put my ballot in the drop box last Monday, I felt kind of sad because I knew that I would not ever again, after all these decades, be voting a Dem ballot in a primary.
    I dont know what to do next…independent..repug.. but somewhere continue to work for equality for women.
    I do know that I will vote against Obama (which means for McCain) and also vote for Smith ( Senate) and the repug in the the fifth CD. So sad 😦

  23. I actually posted during that interview.

    The big news was that she categorically denied any talk of VP and made the case numerous times about the ease with which she would beat McCrazy, something Obama would have a tough time doing.

    She said those rumors were coming form the Obama campaign and people in the media who want to cut off the primary process, although there was no sense of urgency.
    She reminded the editorial board that Bill Clinton clinched the nomination in June and that RFK was assassinated in the middle of his campaign for the CA primary.

    You have to be a psychopath to go see in that Hillary wishing for Obama’s death or anything macabre.

    We may say it’s in bad taste to evoke the dead but that’s the extent of it.

  24. OK, I watched the video. I do not see the cause for outrage, good lord. She was talking about Bill clinching the nomination in June, in California and then picked a historical example to point out that at this moment everyone remembers, the primaries were still going in June, in California. This is such ridiculous fake outrage crap.

  25. Oh Joy. Obamamann is doing a “special comment” on this.

  26. MABlue,

    If talking about Jack and Bobby Kennedy is now considered out of bounds for polite society, I might as well get on the ice flow right now. Are we living in the Soviet Union now? Have I gone through the looking glass?

  27. BB:

    I joked about it just a min ago. Is it true?

    Talk about the age of “Irony DOA”.

  28. Even if she had only mentioned the California primary date when RFK was a candidate, the Kool-aid drinkers would have picked this fight especially so since Ted is so terminally ill. They are using the drama for their twisted ends.

  29. Well it was a tactless remark, but this faux outrage is ridiculous.

    Are people really that stupid that they think Obama would uniquely be a target? Every person who runs for US president, republican or democrat, is taking that risk, it’s why they get Secret Service protection.

    And it’s not like Hillary Clinton didn’t see Benazir Bhutto getting assassinated this year. Do people really believe that that hasn’t had an effect on her? The drum-beat of hatred against Clinton has been banged incessantly this campaign – the media has been full of death metaphors against her, but apparently if Hillary mentions a political assassination the only person she could be thinking of is Obama because of course everything is all about him.

    Absolutely sickening.

  30. I hate Obama supporters. All of them. I don’t want to talk to anyone I know who is supporting that guy. I just got an account at MyDD and boy, am I regretting it.

    i’m this close to voting for McCain if Obama is the nominee.

  31. MABlue – thank you for acknowledging it was at least a poor choice of words. When you read the first accounts of it, it was rather shocking. After hearing her statement, I understand a bit more. But still a bad choice of words. Using the Bubba example is sufficient.

  32. The Left: You must be a biologist. They only need one data point. Chemists need at least three. Physicists and engineers never have enough. 😉

  33. Anne:

    What was tactless about what she said?

    Bobby’s been dead for forty years.

  34. This is just unbelievable that all of these “nuts” would jump on this as a freudian moment of wishing that someone would assissinate her opponent in June as was RFK,; I think they are trying their best to turn this again into something against her, knowing full well that is not what she intended at all. You know I was democrat, then turned republican, and then decided to be independent because I did not trust either party. I am so glad that I did not decide to be a democrat again, because I would be in the tub, trying to scrub it off of me!
    They mentioned that KO would have a special comment on it tonight. Of course! What a genius he has become since this primary began and, though I was already tiring of his “full of himself” attitude, I now have to hurry to change the channel before the bile rises in my throat. Harwood was the only one who retained any credibility at all and said he did not agree with their interpretation of her words at all and that she was just talking about candidates still in the race in June.
    I will never, ever vote for Barak Obama, and I am seeing a lot of white men I would never want to vote for either. I will really study any male candidate in the future to see if they have any misogynistic leanings, because I had been totally unaware there were so many men out there that are so insecure about themselves. How in the world would they be able to deal with women in power positions in other countries — like “W” famously did with the German chancellor (?) who happened to be a woman — give her a familiar neck rub?

  35. Is referring to the only two term Democratic president since FDR as “Bubba” considered acceptable? I vote no.

  36. Left:

    Please explain how it was a poor choice of words. I don’t see the problem.

  37. I think we’ve all been too conditioned to interpret whatever she says as wrong or, worse, malicious. Even I, initially, was, like, “Oh, why did she say that?” as if blaming her for this “mistake,” but when I thought about it longer I realized she said nothing wrong!

    Jesus. Was it a “mistake” for her under the Clinton Rules to mention a Kennedy assassination, considering the hysteria? Yes (Mind you, it’s also a “mistake” for her to continue breathing under these Rules). Was it an even worse mistake on their part–and mine–to continue to buy into this fuckery? Hell yes. Especially when you consider that they’re probably doing this to set up a narrative to further justify the (possible) disenfranchisement of MI/FL next week.

    The hilarious part is that it was the overreaction by an Obama supporter at work made me snap out of it and realize the bullshit before me. Thanks, Mike!

  38. The Left:

    I said the most you could accuse her of is bringing up someone who was assassinated at the event she was referring to.

    There was nothing pernicious about it. I haven’t seen any of the videos posted because I watched the interview. The discussion was about the unnecessary urge by some to end the primary in February as if there has never been a been a primary season beyond that point.

  39. She was stating a historical fact.

    I wasn’t aware that because Hillary is running for president, the first amendment is suspended for her and her supporters.

  40. Anne, I’d say it was “tactless” if it were done with any premeditated inferences. That’s not how I perceived her citing Bobby Kennedy in the least. If the two names she could think of in that moment were her husband, Pres. Bill Clinton, and Robert Kennedy then. Unfortunate — given the recent events concerning Ted — yes. But as it might be implied to anything to do with her opponent, absolutely ridiculous. Talk about phony outrage — with much of the media, of course, stoking the flames.

    Ah well, I expect Hillary to take it all on the chin like the tough, formidable candidate she’s proven, time and again.

  41. They keep trying to find excuses to push her out and any old excuse will do. This is about the possibility of Michigan and Florida being seated and anger that she is still keeping going, not any real outrage at what she said.

    It’s quite clear from the video that if Clinton was making any subconscious comparison to Kennedy it would be with herself, as Kennedy was not the front-runner until extremely late in the game.

  42. The Clintons are no longer permitted to reference anything which occurred in our recent histroy.

    I’ve had it with this whining crap from the Obama camp, and the misreporting and mistreatment of the Clintons by the MCM.

    What can we do?

  43. But it was okay for Al Sharpton and Donna Brazile to call for a re-enactment of the riots at the 1968 convention. They’re two-faced as the day is long.
    I think the average American is going to look at this and wonder what the big deal is.

  44. She mentions 1968 because it’s engrained in her memory as it is for all of us who remember it.

    It was an event we won’t forget, and now we’re not supposed to talk about it?

  45. myiq2xu: I agree with you. I don’t cede one inch on this. It is a terrible truth that in that year of war and strife and domestic untranquility, a crazy assassin killed a man who might have been greater than his brother and who had real compassion for the poor. I don’t think younger people get this. I was only a little girl when it happened and I can remember being pretty sad about it. It was heartbreaking watching his funeral train and everyone fallowing it as it passed through town after town, state after state. It was such an enormous loss. Any American who was old enough to read will remember it and for people like Hillary, it must have been a much stronger memory. It happened right after the primary that sealed his nomination in the ballroom of the hotel where he gave his victory speech. That year, Humphrey got the nomination and Nixon won narrowly. But even with all of that, the world didn’t fall apart.
    I know exactly why she was thinking of RFK. It must be on her mind constantly now with everyone rushing her towards the door. She must be thinking, “What’s the hurry? Bill stayed in there. Bobby won CA. Even Ted took his fight to the convention floor with nowhere near the delegates I have.”
    I also know why they are shouting her out. The longer Obama hangs around, the less people like him. Plus, it’s so much easier to win if your competition just quits.

  46. As we’ve become accustomed to during this primary season, the media will take any opportunity to drown Hillary and her message.

    There is not a single story about what she said during that interview and the fact that the polls keep bring good news for Hillary not for Obama.

    Here was my comment during what was actually a great interview:

    MABlue, on May 23rd, 2008 at 2:28 pm Said:



    She’s right now talking to the editorial board of the Argus Leader

  47. The faux outrage by her opponent just speaks to his insecurities over the MI/FL delegate seating. He has not been able to clinch the nomination over and over again.

  48. an article in the Newstatesman compares these times of unshackled sexism with McCarthyism.

  49. Remember how the media flogged Kerry’s botched joke in 2006 and the public reaction was “huh?”

    The media was trying to gin up outrage but no one fell for it.

    Same old, same old

  50. First off, I was not alive in 68 so I have no first hand memory of that time. I do not understand this reaction. I fired up the YouTube comment before reading the post and just thought “oh yeah, fair point, this is kind of weird.”

    Then I read the rest of the post and realized that this could be construed as a suggestion that something awful might happen to BO. It could also make remind the Kennedy family of the tragedy at what after the sad news of his tumor. Then I watched the original clip again. It is plain as day that she was just thinking on the fly and meant to use it as a historical example of a primary that went on into June. I she got a redo or five more seconds to think about making that reference I am sure she would not. Intellectually careless? Maybe. Malicious, outrageous, hateful? No.

    I really cannot think of any other way to explain this outrage other than dislike of HRC. As myig2xu pointed out was there even a peep about Michael Savage? No. That is what makes it so revolting, they obviously are not offended on behalf of the Kennedy family, they are just leveraging a slip up to hate on HRC. HRC may have made a mistake but they are the ones wielding the past tragedy like a club simply to bludgeon a political rival; it is disgusting.

  51. Just a reminder that Michelle Obama said she wants to scratch Bill Clinton’s eyes out and that passes for humor in their family. Laughing about blinding a living president – acceptable. Referencing a 40 year old assassination – disgraceful.

    Help me, folks. I have to quit bi-partisan sites. It freaks me out too badly and I’m moving to the point where I would actively vote against a Democratic nominee just to shut the people around him up. this isn’t productive.

    I really like Jerome over at MyDD. But I have to quit going there. And since I’m not getting tossed off like at DK, it’s harder.

  52. And it’s not like Hillary Clinton didn’t see Benazir Bhutto getting assassinated this year.

    Remember how the Obama campaign said that it was Clinton’s _fault_ something like that would happen?

  53. Let’s be clear. This is not just manufactured oturage about something that does not have a wisper of being wrong, regrettable, or even unfortunate.

    The Obamabots are not just trying to win; they are trying to create hatred, anger, and evil energy for the ** pure sake ** of creating evil energy. The evil energy has become an end to itself.

  54. I somehow doubt the TV “news” will even show the clip, just distort what she actually said.

  55. BTW, she’s made the comment before, that both B. Clinton and RFK were competing in primaries in June, as a way of saying that long-lasting primary seasons were not unusual. And no one decided to gin up the outrage when she said it before. So why this time? Hmmm…

  56. RD: I remember when Bobby died. When I went to bed he was winning our primary. Days earlier he did a whistlestop in my hometown, and the kids down the street and were all jazzed. One of them even shook his hand.

    The next morning while I was getting ready for school (we got out in mid-June back then) my mom told me he was dead.

    This was just two months (almost to the day) after MLK was murdered. I was eight years old.

    One of my earliest memories was JFK’s assassination. My mom worked for the city and got off early that day and Friday. I remember her explaining he had gone to Heaven and I couldn’t understand why he was still on television (they were playing old clips of him) and she had to explain that to me too. I was 3 1/2 then

  57. I see absolutely nothing wrong or insensitive in what Hillary said.

    And only a complete idiot would believe she was suggesting violence against Obama.

  58. Whew! Pro-Hillary bloggers really do have to stick together. It was a relief to read your post, Riverdaughter, and the comments of your other readers.

    I responded at my blog Katalusis with a post ttitled: Tabloid Journalism at its Finest. Here’s the link:


  59. (shaking my head) huh? faux-rage indeed…

    I knew exactly what she was saying. And anyone conscious on June 5, 1968 knew.

    I spent most of my summers in California and to me if it’s an election year and June then the California primary is coming. This year seems weird without it.

    The only reason this could be an issue is that apparently if your name is Clinton you can’t mention anyone else’s name without making everyone faint. First, it’s the horror of “claiming” that Jesse Jackson won some primaries in 1988. Now mentioning that Robert Kennedy died after winning the California primary in June.

    Just thinking about it makes me think about calling an ambulance.

  60. BTD dug up an interview from Mach Hillary did with Time Mag:

    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.

    Why wasn’t there an outcry then? Could it be because it would not have been as beneficiary to Obama as it could be now that Hillary is looking stronger and stronger?

  61. Wow.

    And to think I was leaning towards just voting Democratic this fall regardless of the nominee – not for Obama, just for the Democrat.

    This really really gives me pause. I think I would’ve had to pay attention if Obama immediately smacked down misinterpretations.
    But, he didn’t, did he?
    I hear that the official Obama tone has now backed down from hysteria, but not until it after the faux outrage got off to a good start. Now, he can just be all morally superior in his forbearance, etc.

    You know what? I really do not think I can vote Democratic this Fall he does turn out to be the nominee.

    Hey, Obama – remember that about half of the Democratic primary voters actually voted for Clinton. Continuing to insist on assigning her the most malevolent motives does not win you much here.

    Nah. This does it for me.

  62. ClareA :

    Obama is like Eddie Haskell – He’s all smarmy nice when the grown-ups are around, then turns into a shit when they leave.

    Obama makes nice while his surrogates do the dirty deeds.

  63. As an Obamabot it’s pretty clear that the outrage regarding this statement is really just faurage. That being said, for the political heavyweight Clinton surely is, this statement was still a gaffe. Let’s face it, this wasn’t the first time assaination references have been used by her campaign to justify her continued particiaption in this race (she also referenced Bobby Kennedy on March 6th in a Time interview).. Just because it’s a gaffe doesn’t mean it isn’t true, in fact generally it’s only considered a gaffe because it is. Her statement was tactless (and quite a few intelligent folks believe this) but the outrage is clearly political theatre for Obamabots and Clintonnites alike.

  64. I thought right wing nuts were scary, ha! They have nothing on the Marxist radical left. Just when I thought I couldn’t be repulsed anymore, the Obamanuts go one step further. They are doing their best to shut her down, like river daughter says “it’s much easier to win if your competition quits” Keep going Hillary! We got your back! I’m logging on to Hillary.com right now and contributing!

  65. It’s absurd. Nathan — absurd. What you are saying is that Hillary isn’t allowed to talk about other people by name. She didn’t say a single thing that was disrespectful.

  66. Kb:

    Let’s face it, there’s a reason HRC apologized for her comments. It’s quite easy to interpret her comments as “i’m staying in this race because there’s a good chance Obama gets shot like Bobby Kennedy.” Like i said, i have no problem taking Clinton at her word, but this is electoral politics were talking about and for the folks who think Obama got hit with the kid gloves, you’ve got to be dillusional if you think someone can make a gaffe like this and not get punished with fauxrage. This is exactly what happens to dems all the time in the general. Let’s face facts.

  67. Do you actually understand why it was tactless Nathan?

    She wasn’t using “assassination references” to justify staying in, she was pointing out that many Democratic nominee races have run into June without the person who is behind being screamed at to drop out.

  68. It’s only easy to interpret it that way if you’re a twisted numbskull Nathan. Do you really want to put yourself in that category.

  69. I agree with you anne. That’s why i’m saying it was faurage. My point however was that given the countless slips folks have made regarding references to obama being assainated (Huckabee made a joke about it earlier this week) perhaps only using her husband as an example would have been more prudent. I ask again, why else would clinton have felt the need to apologize?

  70. Let’s face it, there’s a reason HRC apologized for her comments. It’s quite easy to interpret her comments as “i’m staying in this race because there’s a good chance Obama gets shot like Bobby Kennedy.”

    In Hillary’s apology it should be noted that there was absolutely zero mention of her statement implying BO may be assinated. That is because it is possible but it is seriously a pretty large stretch of the imagination to see it that way.

    The Kennedys have been much on my mind the last days because of Senator Kennedy. And I regret that if my referencing that moment of trauma for our entire nation and particularly for the Kennedy family was in any way offensive. I certainly had no intention of that whatsoever.

    Then again, we could always let, you know, a Kennedy speak for the Kennedy family. Crazy right?

    Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has endorsed Mrs. Clinton, defended her remarks in a telephone interview Friday evening. “I’ve heard her make that argument before,” Mr. Kennedy said, speaking on his cell phone as he drove to the family compound in Hyannis for the holiday weekend. “It sounds like she was invoking a familiar historical circumstance in support of her argument for continuing her campaign.”

    Mr. Kennedy said he has been traveling and had not seen the video or read Mrs. Clinton’s comments, but said his support of Mrs. Clinton has not wavered.

    Full NYTimes article

  71. Great, just great!!!

    Out of the international press:

    From Der Spiegel (Germany):

    Clinton sorgt für Wirbel mit Verweis auf Kennedy-Mord

    From Le Monde (France):

    Quand Hillary Clinton évoque l’assassinat de Robert Kennedy

    From BBC News:

    Clinton ‘sorry’ for RFK reference

    This is what the US media put out from a wide ranging interview with an editorial board.

  72. I don’t think you do Nathan. I don’t think you have any idea what I’m arguing.

    The reason that Clinton needed to apologise was because she referenced Kennedy’s assassination in a very matter of fact way in the process of making a more minor point. If you’re talking about violent death, particularly one that many people felt affected by you have to give a nod to its tragic nature. She did that in the earlier Time magazine interview quoted over at TalkLeft but not today.

  73. I think she’s apologizing for using the line (again, after at least one unexceptionable occurrence) after the news of Ted Kennedy’s health. That’s the new context, and that’s why she apologized to the Kennedys rather than to Obama.

  74. @Anne: The hell she used assassination as a reason to stay in. She was focused on the month of June and mentioned RFK. What was she supposed to do, not mention that he was killed? If she hadn’t, you’d be accusing her of disrespect RFK’s legacy.

  75. It’s quite easy to interpret her comments as “i’m staying in this race because there’s a good chance Obama gets shot like Bobby Kennedy.” Like i said, i have no problem taking Clinton at her word, but this is electoral politics were talking about

    Easy to interpret? It didn’t even occur to me that the comment had anything to do with Barack Obama until you said this.

    No wonder you people feel comfortable accusing her of being a monster. You actually think she is a monster.

    Now it makes sense. You, Nathan are the insensitive one.

  76. Face it, the Obamabots want Clinton to apologise for daring to run against him. That’s the source of anger and outrage, that she wouldn’t get out of the way for the Chosen One.

  77. Ryan? I love you. I’ll love you forever. THANK you for sharing the RFK jr. quote.

  78. @Anne: Fuck! I think I meant my comment for Nathan.

    Shit. Sorry.

  79. Nathan is making that argument Davidson, not me, I was disagreeing with him.

  80. x-post, no worries Davidson.

  81. Davidson (nodding), I’m 54, I was 14 in 1968 and I ALWAYS think of RFK when I think of June in a presidential election year. And that’s what I thought when I heard the quote.

    What a crazy non-issue

  82. Yes, Anne — what you said.

  83. Ok Anne,

    i reviewed your posts to get a better assesment of your arguments and I actually do think we have more common ground then we’ll admit. Particularly when you said “Well it was a tactless remark,” I think that was the only point i was making and that she could have made an identical argument with only the reference to her husband without invoking any of the unncessary baggage necessarily involved when you speak about an assaination.

    I also don’t really think you have a grasp of my argument which is that too often folks reference assassination and Obama in the same paragraph. It’s unnecessary, but yes, I think we agree the faux-rage was also absurd.

  84. Nathan, jesus christ, listen to what she said and re-read what your wrote.

    Sen. Clinton apologized because she has to cut her losses with a media that has stopped acting it’s necessary and required role as skeptic. This is a terrible thing. Terrible. A free press is necessary for a functioning democracy. We don’t have one and we may very well be heading into not having the other.
    Do you really believe that this response is a-okay and not wildly out of proportion?

    If she sneezed, crazy people would screech that she was using germ warfare.

    Compare this with how the MSM behaved when Jesse Jackson, Jr., said:

    But on the night of Obama’s victory, Jesse Jr. had this to say to the Washington Post about the inadvisability of Obama going negative against Hillary Clinton: “The natural reminder here is O.J. [Simpson]—how does an African-American candidate attack a white woman?”


    What’s that I hear? Oh yes.


  85. How can we communicate in a world where a statement that nominations are often not wrapped up until June becomes “I’m staying in the race because there is A GOOD CHANCE Obama gets shot.”

    I’m wondering what does “I have chesnut hair ” mean under these new rulz of speech?

  86. I am almost exactly Hillary’s age, and 1968 is burned in my memory as one of the most shattering years of my life. Only my memory of November 22, 1963 is more vivid than the losses of MLK and Bobby.

    The worst, most horrible insult to me as someone who remembers both JFK and RFK and what they stood for is that anyone would dare to compare Barack Obama to either of them. I don’t care that Ted Kennedy hinted at that. He was simply wrong, perhaps hoping, but wrong.

  87. Are you one of the Obamabots who are being paid to be nice and pretend to be conciliatory, Nathan? We don’t have any common ground.

    I’ve seen a lot more references to violence and death against Hillary than I have against Obama. Perhaps you could provide a few links to these many assassination references to Obama. I’ve only heard the one where that idiot Republican said something about him being shot. Are you claiming that there are others?

  88. “I think she’s apologizing for using the line (again, after at least one unexceptionable occurrence) after the news of Ted Kennedy’s health. That’s the new context, and that’s why she apologized to the Kennedys rather than to Obama.”

    Exactly! But, you know, isn’t EVERYTHING about Barack Obama?

  89. Monster? i never used that word. Not anything even close, my point was that I think the outrage is absurd. HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO SAY THAT I THINK THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF FAUXRAGE?

    No, i don’t think Obama was entiteld to the presidency either. In fact, i think this represents a gross mischachrecterization of herstory. Namely, that it was Clinton who approached the race as if she was entitled to the presidency.

    Most of you are now arguing with a straw man. Hopefully you derive some sort of satisfaction from that fact, but it clearly doesn’t represent the argument as they are being presented here.

  90. Nathan: Would you mind posting somewhere else tonight? Some of us have only one raw nerve left and you are getting on it.

  91. Did I misquote you? From your quote you said that it would be easy to make that interpretation.

    I say — easy if she’s a monster. Otherwise absurd.

    However, I’m sorry that I misjudged you.

    I’m taking the rest of the night off. Obviously I take this issue way too personally.

    I guess because that week is burned in my brain.

  92. longtime lurker first time commenter. And I’m pissed right now.

    This is it…the tipping point for me. I am sick and tired of this type of crap and republican style overreaction of the mcm kewl kids (which I’d expect) and the kool aid kid wannabe a-lister left wing blogger boyz (which shouldn’t be happening but is) and all the Obama supporters that have totally jumped the shark over this and gone way over the line here…way over the line. I’ve said all along I’d support whomever won the nomination….after today’s latest bs faux outrage story I’m not so certain. I may just sit it out in November if the nominee is Obama. I could never ever ever vote for McSame. Yes if all the bots are happy to let the media, the dnc insiders and kool aid drinking a-lister blogger boyz tell us what to think and why this is so horrible and let them pick the candidate for the masses then I’m out. They’ve become just like the people they supposedly came into force to counteract (the pundits) and just like the fainting couch republicans. Yes let’s emulate these people….these people have done such a stellar job picking our candidates and ramming issues, faux outrage stories over haircuts, and screams, cackles, cleavage among other things like wars down our throats for so many years, what’s one more bogus issue.I’m sick of it, the left blogosphere( minus a few sites of refuge such as this one) has become the shrillosphere of the mcm pundit world and rightwingnutosphere. I’m checking out. I’m not of the if you can’t beat em, join em mentality that has taken over the left blog world of the political aisle. This is it for me. No one takes my vote for granted ever under the false unity pony and the he’s not as bad as the repuke candidate anymore. Nope….been there done that already…. not gonna validate this type of crap anymore with my allegiance to the party and a hold my nose vote for The Precious. The dnc and Obama can put a stop to this nonsense of a non story right now….but crickets…the people have spoken and the voters are very evenly split but not in the minds of the elitists that rule the party, the left blogosphere, and the media pundit cocktail crowd.. … Damn them…damn them you’ve become what I’ve despised for many years….. superficial highschool style mentality faux outrage control freaks. Damn you. I’m done with your candidate…if you want my vote…you will really really have to earn it…but righty now that no longer looks likely. Can you say backfire…I thought so! Eric Boehlert was sooooo right!

  93. I’m sorry, but I find it hilarious to have an Obama supporter attempt to school HRC supporters about the business of politics. Especially given the gaffes coming out of Senator Obama’s mouth. Not that it’s ever been scrutined to the extent of any word, phrase or breath uttered by Sen. Clinton.

  94. RD, KB, and the other fine folks of the Confluence:

    My apologies for crashing your party. As someone who also tends to keep to my own obamasphere political ciricles, I can sympathize with your intrest in maintaining a more insulated space for your likeminded commentary. That being said, I’ll try my best to refrain from posting any more comments here(of course sometimes i just can’t help myself so i’ll understand if they get deleted and i won’t complain) as i too undertstand the desire to facilitate a “safe space” for discussion. Again, my apolgies for crashing the party, and i hope that everyone continues the vibrant discussions. I look forward to reading more of the insightful posts, and i hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

  95. Nathan, my point is that the media has a different set of rules for Sen. Clinton than for Sen. Obama. There’s nothing strawman about it.

    You say you think the outrage is false. Please give the URL where you’ve posted that stand on HuffPo or Kosor any pro-Obama blog. I will go and read your post and if I agree with it, I will support you there.

    Re: your comment about about Sen. Clinton’s entitlement. Do you see how this is could be part of an overall narrative by the MSM?

  96. If anyone is in danger of being assassinated it is Hillary. The amount of hate that has been spewed at her is breathtaking. The nutcrackers, the “cackling” pens, the witch, b**tch references and worse, I’m surprised there hasn’t been an attempt yet. Thank God she has secret service protection.

  97. OBT: what made it distasteful? Someone told you it was distasteful? Everyone at the lunchtable agree or are too afraid to speak up in case you will end up eating by yourself? Afraid you won’t belong? Look cool?
    Clinton is extraordinarily skillful in what she says. This is manufactured. She did nothing wrong.
    There is no reason to punish. But if Obama is half the leader you guys think he is, he will tell you guys to shut the fuck up and stop trampling on the memory of a tragic event in order to score political points against his opponent.
    Yeah, like that will ever happen. You guys sure picked a coward for a candidate.

  98. Thank you, Nathan. Have a good weekend.

  99. The day started with rumors of Hillary pretty “begging” for the VP and being rejected.

    Some pro-Hillary started to actually fall for it and this was the interview where she called the whole VP story hogwash, just like her confidant Howard Wolfson did with Andrea Mitchell yesterday.

    Now the new story she has to fight is that she is wishing for Obama to be assassinated?

    I think I’m getting physically ill.

  100. Bobby Kennedy was my hero. In 1968 I was 17 years old and I believed absolutely that he would end the war in Vietnam and begin to end the racial injustice that was an open, festering sore on this country. I thought he’d be the greatest president the USA ever had.

    At the same time, Eugene McCarthy’s supporters could only say that Gene was purer – better – braver on the war than Bobby. I remember a McCarthy supporter challenging Kennedy because McCarthy risked …whatever – nothing really – by challenging LBJ in New Hampshire and RFK didn’t. “Where were you when we were in New Hampshire?” the McCarthy supporter heckled. Ceasar Chavez, who was on the platform with RFK, answered, “He was with me in Delano!”

    That answer meant nothing to the college kid, but it explained the whole world to me.

    In a phrase that has some resonance today, I remember a magazine article which discussed student involvement in the campaigns explaining that Gene had the “A” students and Bobby only had the “C” students.

    All that seemed to matter to some was that Gene McCarthy was laconic, ironic, and way too high brow for the average voter. Bobby had the masses. And we had Bobby.

    I went to sleep on June 4, 1968 believing RFK had won the California primary and would win the presidency. I woke on June 5 to learn he’d been shot. I woke on June 6 to learn he’d died. I stood all day on June 8 waiting for his funeral cortege to pass.

    1968 was a terrible time, but it was also a time of great hope. Those of us who came of age politically in that time will never forget that the primary season began in February and ran thrrough June.

    Anyone who believes Hillary doesn’t have that time emblazoned on her memory just doesn’t know American history. They can twist her comments as much as they want – but for anyone over 50, a primary that extends into June isn’t an anomaly. A primary in June will always evoke RFK for me. Not because of the horror of its end – but because that was the last time I had real hope fo this country.

    The current outrage disgusts me more than I can express. It’s not Hillary who sullies the process. Lying spinmeisters who’d use the assassination of one of this century’s greatest men to score cheap points are the ones who should be ashamed.

    I haven’t really ever forgotten what an elitist bastard McCarthy was – and it will be a cold day in hell before I forgive Obama.

  101. MABlue: They are in a frenzy but we must keep our cool heads. I think this will backfire. People Obama’s age and older will see it for what it is: undisciplined children throwing a tantrum. The adults will start to consider a timeout more than fair.

  102. rd;

    I hope you’re right. Hillary herself remains undeterred.

    Taylor Marsh posted this:

    Hillary Clinton travels to Puerto Rico on Saturday, May 24, where she hosts a “Solutions for Puerto Rico’s Families” town hall in Aguadilla.

    Saturday, May 24

    Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

    I think the goal is to beat BO on the popular vote by ANY standard.

  103. Although I feel bad for Nathan, I’m glad i didn’t get my ass voted off the Island (yet).

    As far you Riverdaughter- as far as data points – no I’m not a biologist, an engineer nor a physicist. I’m a management consultant – and we get paid to make shit up:)

  104. “But if Obama is half the leader you guys think he is, he will tell you guys to shut the fuck up and stop trampling on the memory of a tragic event in order to score political points against his opponent.”

    I have heard this a lot of times here and most of the time do not really agree; I just think, “Yeah that would be nice.” Part of the irony of this situation is relatively common argument I hear is, “well you are going to vote for the democrat in the GE right, support the party!” Guess what, HRC is a democrat. Support her now? Her comment may have been thoughtless but the response is entirely disproportionate to the crime.

    Obama is not likely to lose a single one of his current supporters by simply saying something to the effect of, “come people, calm down.” Conversely, it actually does appear like this may somewhat harden opposition to him. There is of course, the fact that all this hooplah is just wrong. He should say something.

  105. I was too young to really understand RFK while he was alive but I learned more about him when I got older.

    On the night of MLK’s assassination he gave a great off-the-cuff speech that quelled trouble where he was.

    He spoke in front of college students and told them he was opposed to college deferments for the draft. They reacted negatively but when he was done they were ashamed of themselves because he explained how it wasn’t fair to the poor kids who were fighting and dying so the rich kids could go to college.

    I don’t know about older brother Joe who was killed in WWII but I think RFK was the best of the three remaining brothers, and I don’t mean that as a put-down of the other two.

  106. OBT: You are an adult, presumably. You can think for yourself. The attempt to manipulate your perception need not be successful. There was no allusion to an assassination attempt on Obama in anything she said. And I would remind you that the level of hatred towards her from Obamaphiles would lead one to believe that she would be a more likely target, not Obama.
    Anyway, I think we have heard enough of the propagation of the Obama assassination theme. Do not refer to it again. There will not be another warning. It is inflammatory and false. Your previous comments that attempt to spread it will be deleted.

  107. OBT: We’re supposed to be the reality based community, and worrying about fauxrage ginned up by the media is self-defeating.

    But thanks for the concern

  108. I said somewhere else. this is the Obama campaign exploiting the death of RFK jr. it is exactly what they did in SC with the LBJ /MLK quote. what makes it even more disgusting is that they did it the same week his brother was diagnosed with a terminal illness.

  109. Gary: well said.

  110. Charles,

    you get even more lost if you watched the entire interview. So far, I have not even bothered to see whatever WKJM put out there.

  111. Ghostlegpress, your comment brought tears to my eyes. Waiting all day for the cortege to pass…

    I was only 6 when RFK was assassinated. I don’t remember it much, but I do remember my parents’ reaction, and I know, with the help of your comment, a bit more why my mother is so cynical about politics, so hopeless at times.

    She told me back in January, ‘They won’t let her win’, about Hillary. ‘She could go to the ends of the earth, get every vote in the country and they wouldn’t let her win. Something would happen, some rule would come up, something…’

    I keep trying to prove she’s wrong.

    Anyway, onto the subject. Hillary’s comments seem complete innocuous to me. It’s only someone who’s world revolves around BO who would even try to see anything about BO in them. What a sad thing, to have your world revolve around BO. Bleh.

  112. OBT: There is a time when games are inappropriate. This is one of those times. It was a great American tragedy abd unsuitable for political exploitation. But I think it is too late for Obama on this one. He overplayed his hand. Voters are more aware of the manipulation this year. That is why Clinton is still winning even though everyone says she should quit. They are not listening to media gasbags.
    Your guys have gone too far. Prepare for a backlash.

  113. “How the political game is played”? Not by Democrats in a primary, OBT. Not be Democrats in a general, either. By Karl Rove and George Bush…and Barack Obama and David Axlerod, and that speaks volumes.


    Markos Moulitsas has published a direct death threat against Hillary Clinton. The comments from reader “Jcarter” are still there:

    “…a Drive-By Won’t Be Out of the Question. What goes around, comes around. The stupid fucking bitch !!”

    From the same author:

    “Talk About WHITE TRASH that bitch better keep looking over her shoulder.”


    I’ve contacted my local Secret Service field office. They take remarks like this seriously. I’ll update my readers when I get feedback. I encourage others to contact the Secret Service. It’s easy. Go to this page and pick the field office near you:


    Moulitsas has crossed a very serious line in publishing this crap.

  115. Axelrod has someone dog her every waking minute (and Bush and McCain) for anything they can attack day in day out.

    It is Orwellian. What tedium. Anything but debate his crappy YOYO policy

  116. I think the Obama campaign will use any opportunity to exploit the Kennedy name and history for cynical self-aggrandizing purposes. This constant linking is obnoxius. First he’s the new Jack Kennedy, then Michelle is Jackie, Teddy is uncle Ted, now he’s RFK and he is personally offended by any reference made. Enough.

  117. emal,

    Thanks for the long post. I understand exactly what you mean. I reached the tipping point a couple of months ago myself!

  118. To those who want to want the entire interview Hillary Clinton gave, it’s here.

  119. emal, I’m a tipping pointer myself. there are a lot of us out there and gathering steam. I suspect the Obama campaign has no idea wat will hit them if not now, then in November. still pretty much below the MSM radar. A lot of us may be coming forward late but we are highly motivated. Even if we are not speaking out we will vote and it will NOT be for Obama.

  120. Quite seriously, the more they push with the fake outrage — and that the BO campaign has actually responded to this is pathetic and repulsive — the more they harden my disgust. Keep it up. It backfires every… darn… time.

    The more the corporate media and trendy hipsters try to choose the nominee, the more it backfires. Keep it up. That’s how we got to this place. That’s how people like me who were against Hillary Clinton at the outset became supporters — at first taking Anyone But Obama, but in the end, being won over by Clinton standing strong through everything.

    Keep it up, oh dear creative class. See what the “commoners” think of it.

  121. riverdaughter – great reference to “Two Minutes Hate”! I also get the feeling that they are trying to create a conditioned negative response to Hillary, so that every time viewers see her they start booing automatically, without even hearing what she is saying.

  122. Obama is setting himself up as the . . .uh, man who cried wolf.

    When he gets hit with some really egregious slime from the GOP, the media and the gen. pop. will go “ho-hum, same old, same old”

  123. Hillary Clinton had nothing to apologize FOR. Anybody who has seen the entire interview KNOWS she was talking about the primary process, that this year’s extended primary season isn’t an aberration. She made an excellent case against the frontloaded primary system.

    We should go back to having primaries and caucuses stretched out over several months. That way more of our candidates can stay in the race, and they can be tested.

  124. My black friend heard Clinton’s speech and he didn’t think it was directed at Odrama (I encourage all of you fr. now on to cal him that). I didn’t have problem voting for him if he wins but after today I sure as hell won’t vote for him (no can’t vote for McCain neither). I am so sick of Obama camp thinking everything is directed at him (playing the victim card) and yet when Clinton talked about sexism (only once publicly) they dismissed her as playing the victim.

  125. Myiq2xu: If Plastic Jesus is nominated, I look forward to watching the Elephascists’ Mighty Wurlitzer go to work on him.

    The difference between Hillary’s “claws” and the GOP’s “claws” will resemble the difference between a house cat’s claws and Wolverine’s adamantium claws. 😉

  126. Eric: You’re full of shit. Go peddle it somewhere else.

  127. Some people feel that way, it’s not a matter of being “full of shit”. They may be protesting disproportionately, but the fear is real.

  128. I must say that I did not even see KO rant on about this issue.

    However small prgress: my son called me and explained that KO went on an over the top, misogynist-laden, she-devil monster rant about HIllary.

    Though I’ve worked to educate him a bit, my son is hardly as enlightened as a Conflucian on the whole feminism angle of the media. Having him go out his Friday night way to call me on it suggests that there will be backlash.

    On the sensitivities I’ll concede it is a poorly chosen or best omitted example as they are many “all the way to the convention” examples that don’t evoke assasination. Perhaps KO should chastise his whole only “he will emerge” imagery from the SD Hillary meeting as well.

    I thought the media would at least stop short of the desperate “she devil in a pantsuit” outrage. But obviously this is part of the healing process with women being undertaken in general

  129. Life in the big city when you are exhausted…

  130. riverdaughter,
    I actually think Johnathan Schwarz’s explanation makes sense. That said, Hillary Clinton no longer belongs in the race.

  131. For those who wish to stay together in a long term commitment to the ideals and rinciples that Hillary Clinton has spent a lifetime promoting, http://Together4Us.com offers access for activists, funders, students, policy-makers and ordinary people to come together in support of each other and their goals for America. Please come to our website and join, use the code below to put our linked logo on your website and distribute our message and this code to all your network. Spread the word. We will be happy to put up a reciprocal link, your own co-branded web page on our site, or your own blog.

    Thanks so much,
    Gretchen Glasscock,

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