Even from our vantage point here, outside the US, it’s still hard to ignore how ugly and sordid the campaign for the Democratic Nomination has become. However, I don’t think we ever heard anything as ghoulish as what was reported this morning. Apparently, Hillary Clinton said this during a recent interview:
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…
I was only eight years old when Bobby Kennedy, the younger brother of JFK, was assassinated. I later learned in school that his campaign was notable partly because of the number of young people who were working for him, and that he was trying very hard to heal and unify a stricken US, disillusioned and fearful (by the trauma of his brother’s recent murder) and involved in a war they did not support. Sound familiar?
The idea that a young leader — a leader who has even been compared to Bobby Kennedy—will soon find a bullet heading for him in late summer, isn’t something we should be forced to contemplate, or discuss, or even hear mumblings about. It’s certainly not what I expected the ‘Talking Heads’ to be chattering about this week. Leaving the thought hanging out there, that ‘Assassinations tend to happen in June, so I better stick around’ (as if the month were like some kind of hurricane season), is bad enough. But to invoke that particular kind of horrible event during an interview while running for President is just sick.
Whenever I talk to Canadians about the US, the subject of violence, in particular gun violence comes up. The US is seen as a violent place, where violent people have easy access to guns, and Americans are perfectly OK with that. Often, this observation is delivered with nervous laughter, as if the country to our South were just some crazy Aunt we hope stays in the cellar, and that some day she won’t come barreling up the stairs with a rifle, doing that slaughtering thing she does from time to time.
What I’ve often felt was the worst thing about America, was the fact that so many Presidents (and presidential candidates) have been either targeted for death or killed. Hillary’s offhanded reference reminds me that I’ve frequently had to mull over the thought that Obama’s running mate had better be someone I trust in the White House, because by golly, he’s going to get shot, sooner or later. I agree with Keith Olbermann of MSNBC. We all must acknowledge that assassination is (for lack of a better word) a loaded word.
Here’s his response (in 2 parts). For those who don’t want to watch the video, I’ll try and find a transcript. Nevertheless, I don’t think it will communicate just how outraged he is, and I am.
Update: It looks like Dick Morris. a former adviser to the Clintons has a similar, if not identical opinion:
Everybody who has thought seriously about the Obama candidacy, including me and probably including the Senator himself, have reflected on the horrible possibility that he would be assassinated. One cannot think about Obama, the Kennedy-esque candidate without worrying about his safety. But we all observe the discipline of not raising the issue in public. We all worry that to do so would be to encourage some maniac to take a shot. Now Hillary has violated this unstated but heretofore universal taboo and brought up the possibility. That is not to say that she is hoping for a murder. But it is to say that the possibility is uppermost in her mind and a significant part of her rationale for staying in the race. And, by raising it, she has made it more possible.
(From dickmorris.com )