Hillary Clinton, dodger of bullets, avoider of land mines. War zone veteran, understander of threat, soldier-like. McCain-like. Think fatigues, think tanks, think grenades, think peace-keeping, think Hillary.
Well, that’s what Clinton was suggesting when she told reporters last week about a 1996 visit to Bosnia as First Lady:
I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.
But it didn’t take long for those comments to be proven untrue. Here is that same situation in pictures:
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
Note the lack of ducking from sniper fire. Clinton now admits that she “misspoke”, but that hasn’t taken any heat out of the issue, which, predictably, is keeping the US media well occupied.
Clinton under fire: By Monday evening, Clinton was saying that she “misspoke” on Bosnia, which, of course, she hadn’t. The only credible explanation for her incredible remarks is that she lied and got caught. Frankly, if she really believes she and her then-teenage daughter had come under sniper fire that day in Tuzla – well, on second thought, keep the red phone away from that woman, please. — Dan Kennedy, Guardian
Hillary’s whopper: If you’re Hillary Clinton and you’ve just been caught in a “whopper,” the only thing to be grateful for is that it’s Good Friday and people are distracted. How bad could this story be for her? When you tell the American public you faced gunfire, and it turns out all you really faced was a little girl with flowers — well, that’s as bad as it gets. When you dramatically say you made a journey that was too dangerous for the president, only to have it revealed that he made the same trip two months earlier — and that your teenaged daughter was by your side — that only makes it worse. — RJ Eskow, Huffington Post
Sinbad unloads on Hillary: Harrowing? Not that Sinbad recalls. He just remembers it being a USO tour to buck up the troops amid a much worse situation than he had imagined between the Bosnians and Serbs. In an interview with the Sleuth Monday, he said the “scariest” part of the trip was wondering where he’d eat next. “I think the only ‘red-phone’ moment was: ‘Do we eat here or at the next place.'” — Mary Ann Akers, Washington Post
Sleep deprived: So apparently Hillary Clinton was “sleep-deprived” when she forgot that she’d never dodged sniper fire while running from a plane in Tuzla. All “misspoke” theories of the case seem to me to founder on the fact that the version of the story that got her caught was only the most extreme version of a narrative of danger she’s mentioned repeatedly throughout the campaign. But maybe we have an explanation of her war vote — maybe she was sleep-deprived when she authorized the war? Maybe she’s been staying up all night studying the classified National Intelligence Estimate trying to get to the bottom of things? Well, okay, she wasn’t doing that, but maybe it was something. Presumably her plan is to be well-rested during her freaky 3AM phone calls. — Matthew Ygelsias, The Atlantic Monthly
Clinton drops sniper claim: The backpedaling was a rare instance of Clinton acknowledging an error, and she did so on a sensitive issue: She has cited her “strength and experience” since the start of the presidential race, framing her 80 trips abroad as first lady as preparation for dealing with foreign affairs as president. That argument was behind her campaign’s “red phone” commercial, which cast her as best able to handle a crisis. The New York Democrat corrected herself at a meeting with the Philadelphia Daily News editorial board; she did not explain why she had misspoken, but admitted it and then offered a less dramatic description. — Patrick Healy and Katharine Q. Seelye, New York Times
Hillary, lies, videotape: John Aravosis at liberal AMERICAblog cites Clinton’s mea culpa—”last week, you know, for the first time in 12 or so years I misspoke” — and thwacks her for it: “Last week? That’s simply a lie, and at this point Hillary knows it. She said it four times over four months. She sent out scores of aides to defend the comments—comments she said FOUR TIMES. And now expects us to believe that she only said it once a week ago, so it was a slip of the tongue (mind you, it was a minute long slip of the tongue)?” — Michael Weiss, Slate