Hillary Clinton has a solution to her Tuzla problem - let's talk about Rev. Jeremiah Wright some more.
On the day after the CBS News aired video making a hash of Sen.
Clinton's claim to have landed "under sniper fire" in Tuzla, Bosnia in
1996, she raised for the first time the issue of Barack Obama's relationship to Rev. Wright.
In this, she followed a Clinton family pattern so well-established it's
almost boring: Misrepresent the truth as convenient - then, when
caught, go on the offensive.
This method served the Clintons
well during eight years in the White House, when Democrats exalted them
for winning by any means fair or foul. But now that the Clintons' dark
arts of spin and remorseless ambition are being turned on their fellow
partisans, Democrats seem stunned - like the tiger handler who can't
believe his big cat turned on him.
Dante couldn't have devised
a more appropriate ring of hell as punishment for the party than
spending a few more months with the Clintons in a dispiriting slog of a
Even though Tuzla has been plastered on TV
news the last few days, it's unclear how much the fracas will damage
Hillary. Those voters who don't already think she's untrustworthy are
either blinkered partisans or haven't been paying attention (since
roughly 1992). In a Gallup poll this month, 53 percent thought Hillary
wasn't honest and trustworthy, while Obama and John McCain were rated
trustworthy by more than 2-1 margins.
Since Hillary isn't running a character campaign, yet another nick on her credibility isn't very telling.
But Tuzla does
hurt - by exposing her Walter Mitty life as a first lady who, in
largely ceremonial trips abroad, apparently imagined herself engaged in
On her trips, everyone else saw a
feminist icon and international celebrity cheering the troops, greeting
children, and meeting with local women - while she thought she was the Clinton administration's secret Kissinger.
Or that's how she's portrays herself now - out of sheer necessity:
Clinton needs something to back up her famous "3 a.m." ad hitting Obama
for his lack of national security credentials.
What she could
legitimately argue is that she was at the center of power for two terms
and knows what the pressure is like in a way Obama can't. Anyone
reading between the lines would know her proverbial 3 a.m. calls had to
do with the fallout from her husband's perjurous denials of his
dalliance with a White House intern.
She needed something more
- hence her laughable exaggerations about helping bring peace to North
Ireland, negotiating a way way out of Kosovo for refugees and running
under sniper fire in Tuzla.
Those claims could all be rebutted
in print, and had been. But it took video of her - with no helmet or
flak jacket - smiling and greeting a 8-year-old girl on the tarmac to
destroy her story in an instant.
The CBS footage is the blue dress of the Hillary campaign, the lock-down evidence that can't be spun away.
Hillary's camp claims she misspoke. This abuses the term. Misspeaking is mixing something up - not manufacturing a new memory.
Of course, memory plays tricks on everyone. (Not for nothing do the
Russians say, "No one lies like an eyewitness.") But being anywhere
near hostile fire as a civilian is a terrifying (and sometimes
perversely exhilarating) experience that gets etched into memory.
There's no forgetting it or making it up. Oh, well. Hillary marches on, pivoting to hit at Barack Obama's pastor. Is anyone who isn't a Democrat the least bit surprised?