Ok Fine - Let's Talk About Misstatements
by alegre, Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 06:45:31 PM EDT
Right, it's time we cleared up a few things here guys. Yeah sure - after 12 years and probably tens of thousands of speaking engagements and press conferences, and as sleep-deprived as I'm sure she must be these days - Hillary misspoke at an event on the 17th and for that people have been jumping down her throat.
She said they went into a camp under sniper fire but as she's said on lots of occasions before - the sniper fire was in the nearby hills and the Army had snipers around the air field as she landed for protection. But let's get one thing clear here boys & girls - she was flying into a combat zone. Something that I'm pretty sure her rival for this nomination has ever done and (I'm pretty sure) never will do any time soon.
Take a look at what CBS reported at the time...
Now some of Hillary's critics are claiming this wasn't a case of her getting it wrong - that she'd been reading from a prepared text so that proves this was done on purpose. They point to this page as proof but if you'll follow that link you'll see that these were her remarks as delivered. The part about Bosnia was NOT in her prepared remarks that day.
Now I've done a little digging and found a few things on the Net. Check it out...
Lissa Muscatine, who served as Hilary Clinton's chief speechwriter in 1996 and accompanied her on the Bosnia trip, feels that I have failed to provide a full picture of what took place. She gave me her "vivid recollections" of the arrival in Tuzla, which I quote below:I was on the plane with then First Lady Hillary Clinton for the trip from Germany into Bosnia in 1996. We were put on a C17-- a plane capable of steep ascents and descents -- precisely because we were flying into what was considered a combat zone. We were issued flak jackets for the final leg because of possible sniper fire near Tuzla. As an additional precaution, the First Lady and Chelsea were moved to the armored cockpit for the descent into Tuzla. We were told that a welcoming ceremony on the tarmac might be canceled because of sniper fire in the hills surrounding the air strip. From Tuzla, Hillary flew to two outposts in Bosnia with gunships escorting her helicopter.
And this from the FactHub...
Hillary recently misspoke about her trip to Bosnia. She accurately describes the trip in her book, Living History:'Due to reports of snipers in the hills around the airstrip, we were forced to cut short an event on the tarmac...' "Security conditions were constantly changing in the former Yugoslavia, and they had recently deteriorated again. Due to reports of snipers in the hills around the airstrip, we were forced to cut short an event on the tarmac with local children, though we did have time to meet them and their teachers and to learn how hard they had worked during the war to continue classes in any safe spot they could find. ... We were then off to the fortified American base at Tuzla, where over two thousand American, Russian, Canadian, British, and Polish soldiers were encamped in a large tent city." [Living History, p. 343]
Contemporaneous news accounts confirm that Hillary's trip to Bosnia was a dangerous situation:Hillary's trip to Bosnia marked the first time since Eleanor Roosevelt that a first lady traveled to a potential combat zone. Accompanied by singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow and comedian Sinbad, Mrs. Clinton traveled to this northwestern Bosnian town on a morale-boosting tour for the 18,500 U.S. troops participating in the NATO-led peacemaking operation. She heard a poem of peace from a Bosnian girl and praised U.S. troops for 'showing what American leadership is.'...This trip to Bosnia marks the first time since Roosevelt that a first lady has voyaged to a potential combat zone. During World War II, Roosevelt toured the devastated streets of London and the southwestern Pacific, bringing cheer to U.S. troops. [Washington Post, 3/26/96]Hillary was 'protected by sharpshooters' in a 'military zone' when she visited troops in Bosnia. "Protected by sharpshooters, Hillary Rodham Clinton swooped into a military zone by Black Hawk helicopter Monday to deliver a personal 'thank you, thank you, thank you' to U.S. troops. 'They're making a difference,' the first lady said of the 18,500 Americans working as peacekeepers in Bosnia. Mrs. Clinton became the first presidential spouse since Eleanor Roosevelt to make such an extensive trip into what can be considered a hostile area, though others have visited hot spots..." [Charleston Gazette, 3/26/96]
And a comment left in an open thread at TalkLeft on Sunday - apparently, Sinbad (the guy who set all this off) wasn't on the entire trip with Senator Clinton - just part of it...
I did some research on Lexis Nexis last night (5.00 / 6) (#131)
by standingup on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 04:45:19 PM EST
The trip she made to Bosnia was on March 25, 1996. I can't find anything in the press reports that supports the exact account that Hillary has recollected but Sinbad's account might be underscoring the risk too. She did visit two outposts outside of the base camp in Tuzla without the celebrities there for the USO tour.Protected by sharpshooters, Hillary Rodham Clinton swooped into a military zone by Black Hawk helicopter Monday to deliver a personal "thank you, thank you, thank you" to U.S. troops.
But this was a day of celebration and celebrities - a day for the U.S. troops helping to uphold the Bosnian peace accord. Mrs. Clinton hosted a USO show with comedian Sinbad and singer Sheryl Crow and briefly addressed the gathering.
But the highlight of her trip were visits to two fortified posts outside the U.S. base in Tuzla. Even President Clinton, restricted to the base by bad weather in January, did not see as much of this war-wracked region as Mrs. Clinton did Monday.
Riflemen rushed to the brush line as the helicopter landed and surrounded her as she walked into the post. Located in a "separation zone," the U.S. outpost nestles between two tree lines. Just months ago, one was Serbian territory, the other Bosnian.
Security was tight - fighter jets accompanied her C-17 cargo plane to Tuzla - but officials said the first lady took no extraordinary risks on the trip.
Lexis - By RON FOURNIER, Associated Press, March 25, 1996
Another report:THE First Lady of the United States, Hillary Clinton, visited her country's troops at their fortified outposts in north-eastern Bosnia today and said their peacekeeping work was "extraordinary to behold".
Mrs Clinton's helicopter flight to Camp Alicia, home of a mechanised infantry outfit and a combat engineer batallion 15 miles east of Tuzla, took her over burned out villages and farm houses whose roofs had been blown off in the fierce fighting before last December's Paris peace agreement ended the 43 -month-old war in Bosnia.
A machine gun emplacement guarded the entrance of the outposts and marked Bosnian minefields were visible outside its perimeter.
After lunch with the troops in a makeshift dining hall surrounded by sandbags, she flew on to Camp Bedrock south of Tuzla to visit an army field hospital.
Mrs Clinton, who later returned to Tuzla for a show starring singer Sheryl Crow and comedian Sinbad, said she was "amazed at how much has been accomplished in such a short period of time" by US troops in Bosnia.
Source - Lexis - The Herald (Glasgow), March 26, 1996
And she did spend some time in the cockpit ;-)So it was probably no accident that the C-17 pilot was a woman, Capt. Cheryl Beineke of Ohio. She is among just four female C-17 pilots out of about 100 in the Air Force.
"I'm loving every minute of this," the pilot said after Mrs. Clinton spent several minutes in the cockpit.
Source - Lexis - By RON FOURNIER, AP International, March 25, 1996
Ok now why don't we take a look at some of the instances where St. Obama's misspoken, eh?
Just Embellished Words: Senator Obama's Record of Exaggerations & Misstatements
Once again, the Obama campaign is getting caught saying one thing while doing another. They are personally attacking Hillary even though Sen. Obama has been found mispeaking and embellishing facts about himself more than ten times in recent months. Senator Obama's campaign is based on words -not a record of deeds - and if those words aren't backed up by facts, there's not much else left.
"Senator Obama has called himself a constitutional professor, claimed credit for passing legislation that never left committee, and apparently inflated his role as a community organizer among other issues. When it comes to his record, just words won't do. Senator Obama will have to use facts as well," Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said.
Sen. Obama consistently and falsely claims that he was a law professor. The Sun-Times reported that, "Several direct-mail pieces issued for Obama's primary [Senate] campaign said he was a law professor at the University of Chicago. He is not. He is a senior lecturer (now on leave) at the school. In academia, there is a vast difference between the two titles. Details matter." In academia, there's a significant difference: professors have tenure while lecturers do not. [Hotline Blog, 4/9/07; Chicago Sun-Times, 8/8/04]
Obama claimed credit for nuclear leak legislation that never passed."Obama scolded Exelon and federal regulators for inaction and introduced a bill to require all plant owners to notify state and local authorities immediately of even small leaks. He has boasted of it on the campaign trail, telling a crowd in Iowa in December that it was 'the only nuclear legislation that I've passed.' 'I just did that last year,' he said, to murmurs of approval. A close look at the path his legislation took tells a very different story. While he initially fought to advance his bill, even holding up a presidential nomination to try to force a hearing on it, Mr. Obama eventually rewrote it to reflect changes sought by Senate Republicans, Exelon and nuclear regulators. The new bill removed language mandating prompt reporting and simply offered guidance to regulators, whom it charged with addressing the issue of unreported leaks. Those revisions propelled the bill through a crucial committee. But, contrary to Mr. Obama's comments in Iowa, it ultimately died amid parliamentary wrangling in the full Senate." [New York Times, 2/2/08]
Obama misspoke about his being conceived because of Selma."Mr. Obama relayed a story of how his Kenyan father and his Kansan mother fell in love because of the tumult of Selma, but he was born in 1961, four years before the confrontation at Selma took place. When asked later, Mr. Obama clarified himself, saying: 'I meant the whole civil rights movement.'" [New York Times, 3/5/07]
LA Times: Fellow organizers say Sen. Obama took too much credit for his community organizing efforts."As the 24-year-old mentor to public housing residents, Obama says he initiated and led efforts that thrust Altgeld's asbestos problem into the headlines, pushing city officials to call hearings and a reluctant housing authority to start a cleanup. But others tell the story much differently. They say Obama did not play the singular role in the asbestos episode that he portrays in the best-selling memoir 'Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance.' Credit for pushing officials to deal with the cancer-causing substance, according to interviews and news accounts from that period, also goes to a well-known preexisting group at Altgeld Gardens and to a local newspaper called the Chicago Reporter. Obama does not mention either one in his book." [Los Angeles Times, 2/19/07]
Chicago Tribune: Obama's assertion that nobody had indications Rezko was engaging in wrongdoing 'strains credulity.'"...Obama has been too self-exculpatory. His assertion in network TV interviews last week that nobody had indications Rezko was engaging in wrongdoing strains credulity: Tribune stories linked Rezko to questionable fundraising for Gov. Rod Blagojevich in 2004 -- more than a year before the adjacent home and property purchases by the Obamas and the Rezkos." [Chicago Tribune editorial, 1/27/08]
Obama was forced to revise his assertion that lobbyists 'won't work in my White House.'"White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) was forced to revise a critical stump line of his on Saturday -- a flat declaration that lobbyists 'won't work in my White House' after it turned out his own written plan says they could, with some restrictions... After being challenged on the accuracy of what he has been saying -- in contrast to his written pledge -- at a news conference Saturday in Waterloo, Obama immediately softened what had been his hard line in his next stump speech." [Chicago Sun-Times, 12/16/07]
FactCheck.org: 'Selective, embellished and out-of-context quotes from newspapers pump up Obama's health plan.'"Obama's ad touting his health care plan quotes phrases from newspaper articles and an editorial, but makes them sound more laudatory and authoritative than they actually are. It attributes to The Washington Post a line saying Obama's plan would save families about $2,500. But the Post was citing the estimate of the Obama campaign and didn't analyze the purported savings independently. It claims that "experts" say Obama's plan is "the best.""Experts" turn out to be editorial writers at the Iowa City Press-Citizen - who, for all their talents, aren't actual experts in the field. It quotes yet another newspaper saying Obama's plan "guarantees coverage for all Americans," neglecting to mention that, as the article makes clear, it's only Clinton's and Edwards' plans that would require coverage for everyone, while Obama's would allow individuals to buy in if they wanted to." [FactCheck.org, 1/3/08]
Sen. Obama said 'I passed a law that put Illinois on a path to universal coverage,' but Obama health care legislation merely set up a task force."As a state senator, I brought Republicans and Democrats together to pass legislation insuring 20,000 more children. And 65,000 more adults received health care...And I passed a law that put Illinois on a path to universal coverage." The State Journal-Register reported in 2004 that "The [Illinois State] Senate squeaked out a controversial bill along party lines Wednesday to create a task force to study health-care reform in Illinois. [...] In its original form, the bill required the state to offer universal health care by 2007. That put a 'cloud' over the legislation, said Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon. Under the latest version, the 29-member task force would hold at least five public hearings next year." [Obama Health Care speech, 5/29/07; State Journal-Register, 5/20/04]
ABC News: 'Obama...seemed to exaggerate the legislative progress he made' on ethics reform."ABC News' Teddy Davis Reports: During Monday's Democratic presidential debate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., seemed to exaggerate the legislative progress he has made on disclosure of "bundlers," those individuals who aggregate their influence with the candidate they support by collecting $2,300 checks from a wide network of wealthy friends and associates. When former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel alleged that Obama had 134 bundlers, Obama responded by telling Gravel that the reason he knows how many bundlers he has raising money for him is "because I helped push through a law this past session to disclose that." Earlier this year, Obama sponsored an amendment [sic] in the Senate requiring lobbyists to disclose the candidates for whom they bundle. Obama's amendment would not, however, require candidates to release the names of their bundlers. What's more, although Obama's amendment was agreed to in the Senate by unanimous consent, the measure never became law as Obama seemed to suggest. Gravel and the rest of the public know how many bundlers Obama has not because of a 'law' that the Illinois Democrat has 'pushed through' but because Obama voluntarily discloses that information." [ABC News, 7/23/07]
Obama drastically overstated Kansas tornado deaths during campaign appearance."When Sen. Barack Obama exaggerated the death toll of the tornado in Greensburg, Kan, during his visit to Richmond yesterday, The Associated Press headline rapidly evolved from 'Obama visits former Confederate capital for fundraiser' to `Obama rips Bush on Iraq war at Richmond fundraiser' to 'Weary Obama criticizes Bush on Iraq, drastically overstates Kansas tornado death toll' to 'Obama drastically overstates Kansas tornado deaths during campaign appearance.' Drudge made it a banner, ensuring no reporter would miss it." [politico.com, 5/9/07]
Twelve instances... when oh WHEN will they start doling out Pinocchios for these, eh?
U P D A T E
Wow - all these comments - all this outrage over what Hillary said and yet not one WORD about the 12 times (see above) where Obama got it wrong!
I've gotta say gang - the silence is deafening!
Seriously - you've got outrage to spare here. Can't you find even a little outrage for all those times when Obama got it wrong? Misspoke? Embellished? Exaggerated?
Notice I didn't jump the gun here and accuse him of lying without proof here?
If you're as sick of the double standards as I am, and it's been a while since you last donated, check your wallet and see if you can spare a fiver for the cause eh?