Hillary: Obama Assassination Insurance

Everyone’s abuzz over Hillary Clinton saying she is staying in the race just in case Barack Obama gets assassinated. Or, something like that:

“My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don’t understand it,” she said, dismissing calls to drop out.

Here’s the video:

A very angry John Aravosis has the blow-by-blow of the story breaking and the various reactions and counter-reactions as they played out on television.

Marc Ambinder notes that the part about Bill Clinton isn’t even true — that he essentially had it wrapped up in March — and that Gary Hart and numerous other frontrunners who fell apart late without getting murdered would have been better examples.

TIME’s objective journalist Karen Tumulty calls the comments “very strange and tasteless” and points out Clinton said something very similar in March. Big Tent Democrat/Armando, the Hugh Hewitt of pro-Clinton bloggers, uses the fact that nobody made a big deal about it then as evidence that it’s not a big deal now.

AllahPundit, who thinks this kills (no pun intended) the idea of Hillary as VP, notes that Robert Kennedy, Jr. is a Clinton supporter and has issued a statement that it would be “a mistake for people to take offense.”

I’m with RFK, Jr. and Armando on this one. Yes, it was an impolitic thing to say. And, goodness, you think she’d have learned from Mike Huckabee’s example. But, rather clearly, the context was “Hey, sometimes things happen” rather than “Hey, I’ve got a chance — he could get hisself shot!”

There are plenty of reasons to want Hillary Clinton to go away. This, though, isn’t one of them.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Stephen says:

    “The Hugh Hewitt of pro-Clinton bloggers.”


    But I disagree with you on this. If unintentional, it was, at least, horribly insensitive, thoughtless, etc. If intentional, then it was despicable.

  2. D. H. Strong says:

    Just another example of Hillary being Hillary. The only thing that matters to her is power. At least she’s smarter and more honest than Bar-bar Bush, but otherwise, the two are very much alike.

    Obama’s best insurance against assassination — and I wouldn’t put it past some KKK freepers to be plotting it already — is to pick John Edwards, the rightwingnuts’ worst nightmare, as VP. Then, once Spineless Pelosi is out and a true progressive takes the Speaker position, the freepers can go back to being the nobodies that they are, and we can look forward to at least sixteen years of peace and prosperity until the next great progressive rises up.

  3. Jeanne says:

    Hillary’s ‘slips’ are happening all too often, followed by apologies. Then there is the lie about the dangerous situation when she and her daughter were ‘under fire’, mentioned not just once, but in her book and on the trail. If she is not truthful now, and repeatedly, accidentally says something without tact, how can I believe she would be truthful as president? Where is INTEGRITY here?

  4. Michael says:

    The logic doesn’t even work. Even if Hillary were to drop out now, and Obama gets killed in June, she’d still be first in line to replace him as the nominee, she doesn’t need to stay in the race for that to happen.

    It seems that the longer Hillary sticks around hoping for an Obama implosion, the more likely her own implosion becomes. She could have been a uniting VP in March, but I’m not so sure anymore. If this keeps up into June, she probably couldn’t even grab a senate leadership seat out of it.

  5. Floyd says:

    I guess it is important to always speak at a level of comprehension on par with your least intelligent audience members.

    Hillary, is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but the media are SPOONS! [in more ways than one][lol]

  6. Bithead says:

    I think it unintentional on her part.
    But I find of interest the Democrat reaction to it. Seems to me that a lot of the suspicion being cast on her statements is based on her reputation, which involves the long line of bodies behind her and Bubba.

    Apparently the Democrats who until as little as three months ago were defending her from such charges in that area that the rest of us leveled… Vince Foster, for example… knew all along the woman was dirty, but chose to defend her because to not defend her was at the time a bigger threat to Democrat party power.

    That situation has reversed, now, and her being around is the bigger threat to that party’s power, and so they choose to go with her already established reputation.

    Ponder that for a moment; For all their defense of the Clintons, they KNEW she’s dirty, and defended her anyway, for all those years. I know I feel better about Democrats being in power, don’t you?

  7. anjin-san says:

    But I find of interest the Democrat reaction to it.

    The use of “Democrat” is interesting. A semi-literate simpleton like Bush starts to use a taunt that would embarrass a member of an eight grade debate team, and there are actually people who parrot him…

  8. Bithead says:

    Spare us the ‘wounded centrist’ act, Anjin. You don’t do it very well.

  9. FireWolf says:

    There are plenty of reasons to want Hillary Clinton to go away. This, though, isn’t one of them.

    I’m stunned that you actually said that James. I mean it’s very audacious for Hillary to state that the reason she’s sticking to her “guns” (pardon the pun) is on the off-chance that Barrack eats a bullet?


    So coming to what you’ve said that Hillary’s remarks in this manner isn’t a reason she should bow out?

    Look, I’d never vote for Hillary and my panties in only in a bunch because I think to state this during an election period is 1) totally out of line and 2) just begging some whack-a-doo to load up and take pot shots off at a Presidential Candidate.

    We’ve heard plenty of legit stories out there about the Secret Service going ” ‘lax ” on covering Obama at some rallies.

    The fringe kooks don’t need any more motivation.

    Unless of course James, you want to see this happen in your lifetime?

  10. Brian K says:

    Unless of course James, you want to see this happen in your lifetime?

    It was clear that James understood Hillary’s statement to be one to justify her continued presence in a seemingly futile race. It was a poorly phrased statement, but seemed void of ill intent. I would agree with that. I think James clears up his position effectively:

    But, rather clearly, the context was “Hey, sometimes things happen” rather than “Hey, I’ve got a chance — he could get hisself shot!”

  11. Elmo says:

    Yeah, it is within the realm of possibility that Hill said it/meant it in the fashion that some may feel/believe/suggest. I view those odds as quite long however (quite).

    But without Hill stepping in it? We would not be witness to one of Olbie’s master class head explosions [nobody does it better (this one is a humdinger. Viewers though are cautioned about the blast radius of Olbie’s cranial particulate)].

    Fifteen second pre-commercial. But again caution about proximity to screen/monitor (hey Olbie … take a Valium dude).

  12. Floyd says:

    Kieth wants badly to be “the worst person in the world”… But he is just too pathetic to qualify!

  13. Roger Veritas says:

    Barack Obama knows hard hard things are and he made very apparent to the female press corp here at this link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJsdHoAy4aM&feature=related