Say what you'd like about the Presidency of William J. Clinton but few could honestly deny his exceptional command of politics and oratory. The fact that he earned a no small sum of $31 million dollars in speaking fees in five years (2001-2005) is testament to his eloquence and his ability to capture an audience.
So when I watched footage of his address on Senator Clinton's behalf in Indiana I cocked an eyebrow, scratched my head.
There was a lot of fulminating because Hillary, one time late at night when she was exhausted, misstated and immediately apologized for it, what happened to her in Bosnia in 1995," Bill Clinton said in Boonville, Ind., Thursday night. "And you would of thought, you know, that she'd robbed a bank the way they all carried on about this. And some of them when they're 60 they'll forget something when they're tired at 11 o'clock at night, too.
Except this "misstatement" was told on several occasions and never at night.
Now, I'm certainly not Karl Rove or James Carville but I'd surmise there's a rough, three step process to getting over a gaffe during a campaign that equates to a direct and ridiculous lie:
1. Obfuscate: In Hillary's case it was a message of "I misstated."
2. Allow the obfuscation to run it's course and the usual suspects to devour and regurgitate. Conservative and liberal pundits complied. So did I.
3. Wait it out. Another sensational story will break and drag the eyes of the American public in another direction. A 16 year old cheerleader beaten by some of her peers, all captured on video and shown on myspace, perhaps.
Bill's number 4 seems a bit counter intuitive: Bring the attention of every facet of media, traditional and beyond, screaming right back to his wife's less than truthful recollection of events in Bosnia. Is this some bizarre, Freudian form of sabotage? Has he become so used to speaking to crowds of adoration that he simply assumed the audience would buy his nonsense? Whatever the case may be I expect he'll be taking a few steps back out of the limelight.
"Hillary called me and said 'You don't remember this. You weren't there, let me handle it.' I said, 'Yes ma'am,' " he told reporters yesterday.
4 years ago