Saturday, May 24, 2008

Let's leave Kennedy out of it…

…because I'm willing to accept Hillary at her word. I assumed her intention was to emphasize the chronology of 1968, although those of us with long enough memories recognize that as an apple and oranges irrelevancy. The differences between the nominating process and the candidacies are glaring.

No, it's not the invocation of assasination that first caught my eye. It was the lies.
I find it curious. Because it is unprecedented in history. I don’t understand it. Between my opponent and his camp and some in the media there has been this urgency to end this. And historically, that makes no sense. So I find it a bit of a mystery.

(...)

My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right?
Wrong. And "unprecedented"? Well, let's look at that 1992 nomination. By the time of the California primary - during the first week of June, not "somewhere in the middle" - Bill Clinton had held a commanding plurality of delegates in an active three way race for months. In May, the second place candidate in the triumvirate, Paul Tsongas, had suspended his campaign. While it wasn't an expressed reason, DNC Chairman Ron Brown, a Clinton partisan, was making it clear that there would be no insurrection in New York City. No one who had not, at the time of the convention, endorsed the presumptive nominee, Bill Clinton, would be allowed to address the convention from the podium. That ruling, not his anti-choice views prevented Governor Casey from addressing the convention, and that ruling, Chairman Brown assured us, would apply to any candidate who had the temerity to be offered in nomination from the floor. It became the raison d'etre of the Jerry Brown campaign.

With no hope of the nomination in sight, we organized a battle for the soul of the Party, asserting our rights as delegates to place our candidate in nomination, and his right as a candidate and Party leader to address the convention. Readers of a certain vintage may remember the televised demonstrations on the floor featuring gagged delegates carrying "Let Jerry Speak!" signs (I remember Senator Moynihan taking great umbrage over our blocking the front row view of the NY VIPs.) We were, ultimately, successful on both scores, but imagine the furor today if Chairman Dean were to announce that unless she withdrew, Senator Clinton would be denied the podium.

At any rate, that's plenty of historical precedent for me on the subject of encouraging opponents to curb their campaigns. (the visit from Clinton 92's campaign manager, David Wilhelm, to the upper left to quell dissidents, well, that's another story, and yet another precedent…) I was there when those precedents were established, and so was Hillary. I don't believe for a moment that I remember the story or schedule of that campaign better that Hillary Clinton.

So her assassination gaffe? Explanation and apology tendered, explanation and apology accepted.

Now about those lies…

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