Hillary Clinton has a habit of planting suggestions into the political landscape. Today she suggested that Barack Obama might be assassinated, with her waiting in the wings to take up the Democratic nomination. She invoked Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination in June 1968 during the Democratic primaries as a reason for her to stay in the race – you know, just in case.
I think there is little doubt that we have reached a new low in American political discourse. Here is a transcript of her discussion with the Argus Leader editorial board:
This is the most important job in the world. It’s the toughest job in the world. You should be willing to campaign for every vote. You should be willing to debate anytime, anywhere. I think it’s an interesting juxtaposition where we find ourselves and you know, I have been willing to do all of that during the entire process and people have been trying to push me out of this ever since Iowa and I find it¬¬-
EB: Why? Why?
I don’t know I don’t know I find it curious because it is unprecedented in history. I don’t understand it and between my opponent and his camp and some in the media, there has been this urgency to end this and you know historically that makes no sense, so I find it a bit of a mystery.
EB: You don’t buy the party unity argument?
I don’t, because again, I’ve been around long enough. You know my husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere around the middle of June
We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. Um you know I just I don’t understand it. There’s lots of speculation about why it is.
Later she apologized in a non-apology if her comments offended anyone.
This is the evolution of Hillary Clinton’s original argument that Republicans will attack Obama therefore it was ok for her to do so. At some point that argument matured into "hardworking white people" would not vote for Obama so she was more "electable". Her actions were always crouched as a response to what others supposedly would do, could do, or might do. Now, with no chance to win the Democratic nomination she is going for the Hail Mary. It’s not that she wishes that Obama were assassinated, its just that in case he is killed she would be doing a public service by being available to take up the vacancy. This is called a permission slip.
Hillary Clinton is putting the idea of an Obama assassination into the mainstream. This will generate a lot of press and a lot of discussion about the possibility of the first African American presidential nominee being assassinated. This will give that little push and the explicit rationale a nutjob needs to move thoughts into action. After all, a presidential candidate has mused out loud the possibility of an assassination altering the race. This is a permission slip of the most macabre kind. In my opinion, one doesn’t hand out permission slips like this without knowing exactly what one is doing.
Given the seriousness of her comments, and apparently this wasn’t the first time she has rolled in this muck, she needs to do more than provide the kind of non-apology she has provided. She needs to go further – she needs to apologize more fully and take affirmative steps to revoke the permission slip. And she better pray that Barack Obama remains safe.