As Hillary Clinton’s book tour continues, what many believe to be her unofficial presidential campaign roll out has been marred by gaffes and misstatements.
In an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer on Monday, Clinton committed two classic Kinsley gaffes. First, she asserted that she and her husband left the White House “dead broke.” This statement earned Clinton a “mostly false” rating from Politifact and prompted her to clarify that she knows that her family is “obviously blessed.”
The second gaffe related to her response to the Benghazi attack. Clinton’s clumsy defense of her actions leading up to and following that attack allowed her opponents to cast her as callous and indifferent to an assault which resulted in the deaths of four Americans.
The former secretary of state committed yet another fumble on Wednesday in an appearance with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. At that speaking event, Clinton made a noble but failed attempt to link her place in history to those who served in a more influential administration.
“I actually write about Rahm in the book,” Clinton said. “I asked him not to read it before we sat and did our interview! But it was in the very first chapter, the chapter I rightly call ‘Team of Rivals’ because that’s what it was in the beginning. A senator from Illinois ran against a senator from New York just as had happened way back with a senator from Illinois named Lincoln and a senator from New York named Seward. And it turned out the same way.”
Lincoln was never a senator, as WLS’s Bill Cameron explained. “He lost that election to Stephen A. Douglas after the Lincoln-Douglas debates.”
Let the excuse making begin! Of course, Clinton was probably simply overtired, misspoke, suffered from indigestion, has never read Doris Kearns Goodwin, etc., etc.
No doubt, Clinton will be extended the benefit of the doubt rarely reserved for her Republican counterparts. This is precisely the kind of material that would be perfect for a list similar to what the Associated Press complied at the close of “verbal gaffe master” George W. Bush’s presidency – presuming that crafting such a list would even occur to AP’s editors.
All we can do, I suppose, is push the press in the right direction. Feel free to add today’s misstatement from Clinton to others she has made in the past. Like that time when Clinton mispronounced former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s name in a 2008 presidential debate and recovered with the supremely artful “Medavedeva … whatever.”
Surely there are a few other misstatements to add to that list…