Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hillary's St. Patrick's Day massacre

by Frank Rich

"Most politicians lie. Most people over 50, as I know all too well, misremember things. So here is the one compelling mystery still unresolved about Hillary Clinton's Bosnia fairy tale: Why did she keep repeating this whopper for nearly three months, well after it had been publicly debunked by journalists and eyewitnesses?

In January, after Clinton first inserted the threat of "sniper fire" into her stump speech, Elizabeth Sullivan of The Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote that the story couldn't be true because by the time of the first lady's visit in March 1996, "the war was over." Meredith Vieira asked Clinton on the "Today" show why, if she was on the front lines, she took along a USO performer like Sinbad. Earlier this month, a week before Clinton fatefully rearmed those snipers one time too many, Sinbad himself spoke up to The Washington Post: "I think the only 'red phone' moment was: Do we eat here or at the next place?"

Yet Clinton was undeterred. She dismissed Sinbad as a "comedian" and recycled her fiction once more on St. Patrick's Day. When Michael Dobbs fact-checked it for The Post and proclaimed it worthy of "four Pinocchios," her campaign pushed back. The Clinton camp enforcer Howard Wolfson phoned in to "Morning Joe" on MSNBC on Monday and truculently quoted a sheaf of news stories that he said supported her account. Only later that day, a full week after her speech, did he start to retreat, suggesting it was "possible" she "misspoke" in the "most recent instance" of her retelling of her excellent Bosnia adventure.

Since Clinton had told a similar story in previous instances, this was misleading at best. It was also dishonest to characterize what she had done as misspeaking - or as a result of sleep deprivation, as the candidate herself would soon assert. The Bosnia anecdote was part of her prepared remarks, scripted and vetted with her staff. Not that it mattered anymore. The self-inflicted damage had been done. The debate about Barack Obama's relationship with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright was almost smothered in the rubble of Clinton's Bosnian bridge too far.

Which brings us back to our question: Why would so smart a candidate play political Russian roulette with virtually all the bullet chambers loaded?"

There was a time when Mr. Rich was a loyal Clinton water bearer, so at least he gets something of a pass for not getting to the heart of the matter.

The Clinton's are, as most sane people know, inveterate liars who used to be assured of one thing and that was the allegiance of the Mainstream Media that would spin, twist or outright prevaricate at the drop of a hat to aid and abet a Clintonian decree.

But there is a new Herculean liberal out and about these days, and since the MSM doesn't know the meaning of the word scrupulous let alone how to practice such dizzying and complex a proposal, it has given the nod to Senator Obama and Senator Clinton finds herself in uncharted waters.

A smart person would retreat and regroup, but since Mrs. Clinton was bestowed her royalness by decree rather than earning it in one street brawl after another, she simply doesn't know HOW to continue the good fight without resorting to a cheap lie because a cheap lie was all that was once necessary to turn the tables on a foe.

This places her in the most vulnerable of predicaments. She has no core values, no center of being, no faith or accomplishment of learnings to fall back upon. So when in doubt she lies, her staff tells her not to worry as no one would DARE call her out on it because they did not reach so near a proximity to her greatness without praising her wisdom many times each and every day, so even THEY simply don't know how to fight a fair fight, and even worse, how to beard the lioness in her den when it is important to do so.

The entire Hillary Clinton candidacy is based upon falsehoods and the stuff that whispery clouds are made of.

When the crowd demands to see the elephant they've paid the ringmaster to see, and all thats behind the curtain is a maze full of capering clowns, they look to their august leaders to sort this all out for them. That used to be the MSM.

Not any more.

Frank Rich himself is proof positive of that.

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