A Tough Time to be a Clinton

If you had asked Hillary Clinton a year ago where she thought she would be now, she would probably have said that she’d be the Democratic nominee and that she would be busy working over her Republican counterpart, and a lot of the experts would have agreed with her. Instead, the Republican in question, John McCain is busy raising money and staying out of the media’s way as it reports on the missteps and mudslinging that the Democratic race has become.
Clinton’s tough road to the Democratic nomination has gotten tougher still with the issues of the last several days. She hasn’t released her tax records, which understandably creates the impression that she has something to hide, that she’s up to something. This might not really be the case, but the perception is there. Opting to project a Richard Nixonesque image is not a winning strategy. Of course, “misspeaking” about coming under enemy fire in Bosnia while she was First Lady does not display an image of honesty either. What makes this second story so bizarre is that it was so easy to disprove. One is left to wonder why she told such a whopper, was it hubris, disrespect for the American public, disrespect for the media’s fact-checking abilities, or just plain desperation? Surely there are easier ways to demonstrate that she has more firsthand knowledge of foreign crises than Senator Obama.
Yet even with all of that, I’m not convinced that the Senator from New York was the Clinton who had the worst week. That distinction probably should go Chelsea Clinton, who was asked how the Monica Lewinsky scandal affected her mother’s credibility. The questioner later claimed that he is a Clinton supporter, and he was trying to give Chelsea a softball, so she could wax eloquent about the greatness that is Hillary Rodham Clinton. Maybe he’s not lying, but I’m suspicious. I can’t imagine any genuine Clinton supporter thinking that a reference to the President’s ex-girlfriend is good for the campaign. Maybe the guy will next tell America that he was in Bosnia in 1996, running alongside Hillary as she came under enemy fire.
Still, for as unseemly as the question was, and as much as you can sympathize with a young woman not wanting to talk about any aspect of the sex life of either of her parents, maybe the question was not totally out of bounds. Having a Clinton in the White House is always a two for one sale—that has been pretty well established. Therefore, if Chelsea wants to tour the country and tell everyone why they should vote for her mother then the younger Clinton needs to answer critics who show up at these events.
Who knows? Maybe somewhere some tempted father will consider Chelsea’s plight, think about how certain behavior might affect his own children, and do the right thing.
Don’t you love a happy ending?