Earlier tonight, Erick Erickson of RedState.com- the guy who apparently organized a “blogger’s” meeting with our Governor a couple of months ago- was invited to appear on national television and discuss Hillary Clinton’s reference to Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination in June of 1968. If, for some reason, you haven’t heard of this yet, this is what she said to a South Dakota newspaper’s editorial board:
“My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June,” Clinton told the newspaper Friday. “We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June.”
Even if one assumes that Mrs. Clinton was referring to the fact that Democratic primaries have, historically, tended to last until the month of June, there are some problems with the examples she references:
- In 1992, Bill Clinton had the nomination virtually wrapped up in March. Sure, he secured the nomination after the California primary, but the contest, for all intents and purposes, had actually concluded three months prior. From PolitiFact.com:
After losing early contests, Bill Clinton emerged in 1992 to battle former Massachusetts Sen. Paul Tsongas and former California Gov. Jerry Brown. Clinton swept the Southern states on Super Tuesday — March 10 compared to Feb. 5 this year — then took Michigan and Illinois on March 17 for a decisive victory.
The late March primaries left him with 942 delegates, a commanding lead with more than twice the number of his closest opponent, Tsongas, who suspended his campaign that week.
The 1992 primary is not analogous to the current situation, in which Mrs. Clinton continues to press on, despite the fact that her chances of winning the nomination are mathematically improbable (and, as a side note, this has been the case for well over a month now). That said, I understand her desire to finish the contest; I just think we need to be honest about the numbers and the context.
–Second, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. didn’t even enter the Presidential race until March of 1968, only two weeks before Lyndon Johnson declared that he would not be seeking the nomination. RFK was working in an entirely different timeframe. From Wikipedia:
In 1968, President Johnson began to run for reelection. In January 1968, faced with what was widely considered an unrealistic race against an incumbent President, Senator Kennedy stated he would not seek the presidency. After the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, in early February 1968, Kennedy received a letter from writer Pete Hamill (later acclaimed author of the novel Snow in August). Hamill wrote an anguished letter to Kennedy noting that poor people kept pictures of JFK on their walls and that Robert Kennedy had an “obligation of staying true to whatever it was that put those pictures on those walls.” Kennedy traveled to California, to meet with civil rights activist César Chávez who was on a hunger strike. The weekend before the New Hampshire primary, Kennedy announced to several aides that he would attempt to persuade little-known Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota to withdraw from the presidential race. Johnson won an astonishingly narrow victory in the New Hampshire primary on March 12, 1968, against McCarthy. Kennedy declared his candidacy on March 16, 1968, stating, “I do not run for the Presidency merely to oppose any man, but to propose new policies. I run because I am convinced that this country is on a perilous course and because I have such strong feelings about what must be done, and I feel that I’m obliged to do all I can.”
It’s a fact that Kennedy was assassinated in June, but it remains to be seen why this is relevant to the current election.
Which brings me back to Erick Erickson and his appearance on my all-time least favorite show (that I still occasionally watch), Hannity and Colmes:
Oddly, the Republican stand-in for Sean Hannity was sympathetic toward Mrs. Clinton, repeating her line that the comparison was simply about timing and that, of course, she didn’t intend to raise the specter of an assassination; she was only making historical parallels.
In response, Mr. Erickson first says that he would “trade McCain’s and Hillary’s gaffes for Obama’s gaffes,” and then mentions two blatantly obvious Obama misspeaks– one in which he said that 10,000 people died in a Kansas tornado, when he obviously meant to say “10,” and another in which he said he had been to “fifty…. seven states,” when he obviously meant to say 47 states. Yes, Erick Erickson would have rather made those mistakes than the ones made by Clinton or McCain:
Or, if you have ten minutes:
Fox News also “reported” tonight that “everyone in the Democratic establishment” is asking Clinton to bow out of the race immediately; again, this is patently untrue. Indeed, most of the party, including Senator Obama’s campaign, have repeatedly and publicly said that they understand and agree with Mrs. Clinton’s decision to stay in.
Erick Erickson tells us that he has “said for over a year that Obama is the weaker of the two candidates.” That’s remarkably prescient considering that a year ago, the race had twelve different candidates, not two.
Then, Mr. Erickson mocks Senator Obama for receiving Secret Service protection earlier than most (of course, Mrs. Clinton has been under protection for well over a decade now), suggesting that Obama requested the protection for vanity and not for his own security. Seriously.
He claims “there were stories early on that Obama requested protection and limos so he would look more Presidential.” A complete and total lie.
Illinois’ senior senator, Democrat Dick Durbin, told reporters Thursday night that he relayed concerns about the size of the crowds Obama was drawing and other issues to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Reid decided to take the matter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff as an issue for a congressional advisory board, Durbin said.
“I knew the crowds were large … but some of the other information given to us, unfortunately I think, raised a concern among many of [Obama's] friends,” Durbin said.
“Unfortunately, some of the information we found was racially motivated. It is a sad reality in this day and age that Mr. Obama’s African-American heritage is a cause for very violent and hatred, hated reactions among some people.”
Durbin would not elaborate. “I’ve been advised not to talk about any specific security problems or any threats,” he said. He also would not say how he received the information, only that it was from “credible sources.”
The crowds, he said, have been record-breaking. “Naturally, it’s encouraging politically, but it’s also raised a lot of security concerns.”
The Secret Service protection for Obama began at 1 p.m. Thursday, Durbin said.
Chertoff works with a congressional panel made up of half a dozen members of Congress, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Reid.
The decision to present the information to the advisory board was a bipartisan one, Durbin said, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, also participating, he said.
Previously, two Democratic Senate sources told CNN that after Reid decided to take the matter to Chertoff as an advisory board issue, further discussions with the Obama campaign ensued and the official request for Secret Service protection was made.
The Secret Service said in a written statement that Chertoff, “after consultation with the congressional advisory committee, authorized the United States Secret Service to protect presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama.”
Ultimately, Michael Chertoff decided, and although there wasn’t a credible threat at the time, the sheer number of Obama’s supporters caused concern for additional security. Mr. Erickson’s suggestion that Senator Obama somehow lied about his own danger in order to surround himself with security detail is a reckless fabrication and completely out of touch with the both the realities of this campaign and our country’s shameful history of political assassination and racist violence, which is precisely why Mrs. Clinton’s disingenuous reference to RFK’s assassination has been met with such outrage.
Mr. Erickson, on the other hand, has already proven himself to be a vituperative and manipulative partisan sycophant, and it is ashame that his opinions (staged as light-hearted commentary) are given a platform in the mainstream media. Take, for example, his treatment of the so-called Hamas endorsement of Senator Obama (whose policies toward Hamas mirror that of John McCain). Mr. Erickson claimed that Obama’s campaign was “flattered” over Hamas’s endorsement; he even places quotes around the word flattered, as if to suggest that this was the exact word used by Mr. Obama’s campaign. Of course, this is a reckless lie and stunningly obvious manipulation; if Mr. Erickson were to make this implication about a private citizen, it would likely be treated as criminally defamatory.
Mr. Obama’s campaign has repeatedly said it is “flattered” over the comparisons to President John F. Kennedy.
Hamas mentioned John F. Kennedy in its statement.
Therefore, Erickson believes Obama is flattered by Hamas. Again, SERIOUSLY.
Follow the links. They lead NOWHERE.
And most importantly, here, which was apparently their source and now has absolutely no information on this so-called “flattering” statement.