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Posted at 5:38 PM ET, 04/11/2008

Bill Shoots from the Hip

By Michael Dobbs

Elton John fundraiser, April 9, 2008.

"There was a lot of fulminating because Hillary, one time late at night when she was exhausted, misstated and immediately apologized for it, what happened to her in Bosnia in 1995....And I think she was the first first lady since Eleanor Roosevelt to go into a combat zone."
--Bill Clinton, campaigning in Indiana, April 10, 2008.

Just as the Bosnia sniper flap seemed to be dying down, count on a finger-pointing Bill Clinton to fan the embers. The former president managed to make half a dozen factual errors in coming to the defense of his wife for her now acknowledged "misstatements" about her March 1996 Bosnia trip. By Friday afternoon, the would-be first laddie was revising his revisionist version of history. He told reporters that he had received a call from Hillary telling him to "let me handle it."

The Facts

As documented in previous posts, Hillary Clinton gave exagerrated, partly erroneous accounts of her Bosnian trip on at least three different occasions. She gave the most colorful version in a St. Patrick's Day speech on Monday, March 17, when she described running across the tarmac with her head down at Tuzla airport to avoid sniper fire. It was not until the following Monday, March 24, that Clinton acknowoledged that she "misspoke," saying that she had made "a minor blip."

To set the record straight, I called the Clinton campaign the day after the St. Patrick's Day speech to raise questions about her account of coming under sniper fire. Having reported from Bosnia in the aftermath of the 1995 Dayton Peace agreement, I knew that the country, and particularly the Tuzla area, was firmly under the control of NATO troops by March 1996. The campaign put me in touch with former Army Secretary Togo West, who emphasized the risks run by the former first lady but did not remember any "sniper fire."

I dug up an old photo of Hillary Clinton being greeted on the tarmac of Tuzla airport by an 8-year-old Bosnian girl, which I published on Friday, March 21. I gave the maximum four Pinocchios to Hillary for her version of events, which I described as "simply not credible." But it was not until the following Monday, after CBS News ran old news footage of the arrival ceremony, that the Clinton campaign conceded that the candidate may have made an error.

You can read two different versions of the Bill Clinton defense of his wife over on Jake Tapper's Political Punch here. To summarize the principal factual errors made by Bill Clinton:

  1. Hillary gave misleading versions of her Bosnia trip more than once, talking about a harrowing "corkscrew" landing under sniper fire.
  2. She gave her St. Patrick's Day speech not "late at night," as her husband claimed, but in the middle of the morning.
  3. There was no "immediate" apology from the Clinton camp for the misstatement. On the contrary, the campaign stood by her version of events for a full week.
  4. The first lady visited Bosnia not in 1995, when the country was still at war, but in 1996, when the situation was quite peaceful.
  5. Hillary was not the first first lady since Eleanor Roosevelt to "go into a combat zone." Pat Nixon visited the troops in South Vietnam in 1969, while that country was still at war.
  6. As evidence of the dangers associated with Hillary's trip, the former president mentioned the deaths of three American "peacekeepers" as they drove into Sarajevo along a mountain road "because they could not go the regular way." He was citing a story told by Gen. Wesley Clark, a prominent Clinton supporter, about three U.S. diplomats (not peacekeepers) killed in August 1995 when their car hurtled down a ravine. But Clark's story misses the point. Traveling around Bosnia was indeed very dangerous in the middle of 1995. The war was still going on at that time. The risks were minimal in March 1996, four months after Dayton.

I could go on, but you get the point.

By now, even the irrepressible Bill Clinton has decided he has had enough of the Tuzla tale. Questioned by reporters in Terre Haute, Ind., on Friday, he said he would not talk about the trip anymore. "Hillary called me and said, 'You don't remember this, you weren't there. Let me handle it.' And I said 'Yes ma'am,'"

The Pinocchio Test

Bill Clinton accused the media of treating Hillary as if "she'd robbed a bank" in shooting down the Tuzla sniper story. But the wounds were largely self-inflicted. Instead of backing down gracefully, the campaign stood by a discredited story for several days. Through his over-zealous attempt to defend his wife, the former president succeeded only in reigniting the controversy. It is difficult to know whether he actually believes his aggrieved version of history or was simply shooting from the hip. I will be charitable and award him three Pinocchios.

(About our rating scale.)

By Michael Dobbs  | April 11, 2008; 5:38 PM ET
Categories:  3 Pinocchios, Candidate Record, Candidate Watch, History  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Pot and the Kettle
Next: Cindy's Recipegate


Sean Hannity is going to have a LOT of fun with this one!

Posted by: Curliquedan | April 11, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

It points to the fundamental problem with the Clintons -- arrogance.

Every time this thing dies down to embers, they toss another can of gasoline on it.

Because they can't simply admit they were wrong about something.

A wiser candidate would simply admit the the error and then SHUT UP about it.

Posted by: jblog | April 11, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

You are fully useless. I told you to stop doing Bosnia like a Lazy A-hole.

Bill is not running for pres - do you understand Bill is not running for pres. You have not apologized and retracted your insulting BS Women voting story.

Again stop being Lazy. Do some real fact checking. Look at the new adds running in Penn or something. Don't just turn on MSNBC this is a flagship news paper.

Posted by: mul | April 11, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

A wiser candidate would simply admit the the error and then SHUT UP about it.

Posted by: jblog | April 11, 2008 6:44 PM

Bill is not running for Pres.

What about not taking money from oil companies.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Bill may not be running for prez, but when michelle obama says something you don't like you are all over her. she's not running for prez either, so why the double standard?

Is the Clinton arrogance here hard to see? We OWE this presidency to her, right? It doesn't matter about us - it's all abt her - and Bill.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton realizes he will be considered by most historians as a mediocre president, wants to redeem himself in the White House again, believes the Clintons are entitled to be in the White House as long as possible, and feels he owes his wife big time for his numerous affairs over the years. This largely or entirely explains his desperation in trying to get back in the White House, which has often resulted in his inept campaign rhetoric.

Posted by: Koreen | April 11, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Ya know Koreen do you have a clue as to what you saying...maybe an incling of it at all!

If you listen to the last piece of information that came out of Bill Clinton and the Whitehouse. You would understand that what you are saying is assinine!

Why would someone want to be back there, or his wife run for president. When they make more money outside of politics than inside politics.

What would be the reason, because it isn't about money!

If someone says it is than maybe they oughta do some research.

Obama is not for the people, he says he is not part of the establishment yet he hides behind the establishment. If he is not then why isn't he standing up for people in the 2 states. Unless he is afraid he will lose again!

He has literally lied to the american people about his Rev.

I call that literally lieing on a stack of Bibles!

Says he only did five hours work for Rezko, if you believe that than I have a bridge I can sell you.

An now insulting the working people of this country and Pennsylvania. This is how inexperience he is, he should know better anyone can have a tape recorder on them. But I guess he was really saying what he feels.

Posted by: Me | April 11, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Bill's comments merit four Pinocchois. He should know what he said was not truthful. Bill's latest comments remind most Americans of how untrustworthy the Clintons are widely perceived to be. Polls show this is one of the main reasons why Senator Clinton has such a very high negative rating among about 50% of Americans.

As John Kerry said, all the Clintons care about is themselves. This may be a slight exaggeration, but they seem to care more about power and themselves than anything or anyone else.

Posted by: Koreen | April 11, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

the whole Clinton campaign is a big bore and lowbrow, inane...presuming the public to be gullible and accept any statement as gospel truth

Posted by: james beard | April 11, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton continues to sink Hillary's ship (as if she needs any help; she hired Patti Solis Doyle and Mark Penn and you see where they got her). Hillary married his millstone around her neck and stayed with him after Monica-gate; I wonder if they're having fun yet. Hey Hillary, is this the "fun part" you so eloquently speak of? LOL!

Posted by: Me too! | April 11, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Too generous indeed, FactChecker! Bill deserves four, and should have been awarded five for this nonsense!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Please run a spell-checker over your posts before hitting 'post', okay? Yes, the blogosphere is less formal than the newspaper, but you do still represent a major daily paper.

Posted by: Chakolate | April 11, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Give it up. Bosnia was, is and will be dangerous always. The fact that sniper bullets were not over Hillary's head does not make it less dangerous. Talking about dangerous is remaining for years and years in the church of Reverend Wright; or associating with Rezko; or claiming he did not take oil money because he did. I believe Barack "Tefflon" Obama gets away with Murder because of his charisma and his intelligence. That alone will not make a great leader. "Con" people have the same attributes.

Posted by: | April 11, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse


Talking about murder and getting away????
You mean like Bill and Hillary Clinton i presume.
Barack Obama does not get away from anything, that the difference. The man take the heat from both campaings and from the media but still is able to deflect the most disingenuous attack. I have to confess that the guy impress me.
You are right intelligence alone does not make great leader. But the difference between the con and Obama is that he use his ability not to deceive people but to try lift them up. That guy will be the greatest leader of the free world..

Posted by: cerbere | April 11, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

What a laugh! Here you have the "master" liar trying to defend the apprentice in training. But then again, the apprentice is doing a fine job a telling her own "doozy" of lies. What a family.

Do we need anymore evidence why we do not need another four years of the Clintons. This scene is too pathetic to watch. How long will we have to be subjected to these two bozos? Two losers that more than deserve each other.

Posted by: JD | April 11, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

"You are fully useless. I told you to stop doing Bosnia like a Lazy A-hole."

You talking to Bill Clinton, mut?

Posted by: tom | April 12, 2008 1:12 AM | Report abuse

"The fact that sniper bullets were not over Hillary's head does not make it less dangerous."

Maybe not. But the fact that she LIED about having sniper bullets over her head makesit pretty perilous for her!

Posted by: tom | April 12, 2008 1:15 AM | Report abuse


Bosnia is NOT dangerous. Have you been there? I realize you are trying to buck up Hillary's story, but you are simply not telling the truth. Hillary, and comments like yours, are exactly what most sane people in this country are trying to change, which is why Obama will be the next President.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2008 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Bill is running for court jester.. and doing a darn good job of it.

Like Bill said Lite UP, or was it lighten UP, anyway he is a riot

Posted by: Scott Wells | April 12, 2008 7:55 AM | Report abuse

This is not worth mine or yours or anyone else's brain time. This is a tempest in a thimble. You media people must really hate Hillary Clinton. COME ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Your Welcome

Posted by: Waylan Jones | April 12, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps he is bringing this up to avoid questions about Colombia, and where the money for the Clinton library came from?

I feel like BC needs a handbook on potential "First Husband-hood". Perhaps he should stick to kissing babies and planting flowers.

Posted by: Denise Oliver-Velez | April 12, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

And Obama's the one who's out of touch with Americans?? Are the Clintons really that stupid to believe that we'll fall for Karl Rovian politics again??

Posted by: wetnoodle | April 12, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

"By now, even the irrepressible Bill Clinton has decided he has had enough of the Tuzla tale. "

Not quite:
And for his part, Mr. Clinton, asked if he regretted his earlier comments, said, "I regret that there appears to be a double-standard about misstatements."

Posted by: Edward Murray | April 12, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton said about Hillary: "one time late at night when she was exhausted, misstated what happened to her in Bosnia in 1995"

Wasn't Hillary the one who said she was ready for that 3am call?? Was she like then too??? Given the workload of a president, she will be "exhausted" when that call comes. Would we expect her to screw up that call also? Sheesh.. What a bunch of lying crooks the Clintons are. They keep twisting and turning in their lies. And McCain is even worse.

Posted by: Larry Vandemeer | April 12, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

It's all about maintaining the Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton endless nightmare.

Posted by: Peter | April 12, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I think bill Clinton will be remembered as a lucky bastard who because he governed in unusually prosperous times got away just about everything he did.
Unless of course, he doesn't learn to shut up.

Posted by: james granata | April 12, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse


THE WAR IN IRAQ IS HAVING SERIOUS NEGATIVE EFFECTS ON OUR ECONOMY and those who voted for the war (i.e. hillary) should be to blame, in part, for the state of the US economy.

Look how the WAR IN IRAQ is affecting the US economy...

$3,000,000,000... 3 billion dollars PER WEEK!

That is the amount America is paying for the Iraq War PER WEEK, money that should have been used here, at home.

Add to this:

Interest. We are financing the war with borrowed money (e.g. treasuries) that carries interest; so in actuality, the war is costing the United States MORE THAN 3 billion dollars PER WEEK.

Higher oil and energy prices. Instability in Iraq is adding roughly 30 dollars per barrel as a premium.

High utility bills. High oil prices mean high utility bills. Higher oil prices shifts demand to other sources of energy - gas, coal, etc. - and greater demand will raise the equilibrium price of all sources of energy -- Can you say high energy bills?

Higher oil prices (a raw material used in the production of many goods, fertilizers, gasoline, diesel, plastics, etc.) mean higher prices of goods and services -- Can you say INFLATION?

Higher oil prices mean a higher trade deficit because most of our oil comes from foreign sources. A higher trade deficit means more money is leaving the country than is coming into the country -- Can you say Goodbye to your hard-earned money!

Our dollar is weak and getting weaker. Since we have a trade deficit and is growing in large part to the rising cost of imported oil, the value of goods and services we import exceeds the value of goods we export. You know that foreign car you're thinking of buying or the computer you're using, or that trip abroad you've been thinking of taking....well, guess what? It is going to cost more, Ceteris Peribus, because the dollar is weak and getting weaker.

Lastly, how do you think the world views our country since the argument was made for war? The evidence was weak and circumstantial, yet we rushed into war with Iraq thanks to hillary's authorization.

Hillary Voted FOR THE WAR


Posted by: Sara Bergstein | April 12, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton in a White House again? Then he would be having his way with all those INTERNS...

Posted by: Bogdan of Australia | April 12, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Former president Clinton comprised a sentence of escalating lies that reaches the level of self-parody. One can imagine the troupe at SNL coming up with this, not a former prez who is widely regarded as "the best politician of his generation." The entire dysfunctional Clinton clan are lampooning themselves almost daily.

Posted by: Rob A. | April 12, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

JFK, a few of you might remember, said that the presidency was not a prize to the winning candidate. It was a difficult, tiring job full of immense responsibilities. The reason the Clintons ave done so well financially since they left the White House, is that Bill Clinton's presidency was so successful that organizations all over the world are willing to pay millions just to hear him speak - they value his wisdom and political judgement so highly.

The Clintons succeeded by using their brains and working for the public good - not by peddling hot air to a bunch of prejudiced ignoramuses.

I think Hillary is in fact the more experienced democratic candidate. She knows that it will take more than ideas to get beneficial changes through the Congress . She was also raised in America, not in Africa and Asia.

Incidentally, any politician who would vote against taking action against the spread of WMD after the CIA and a respected Secretsry of State and former chief of staff presented frightening (if false) "evidence" may not have the judgement to react to a very real terrorist threat.

John McCain would also make a good president if he didn't carry the baggage of a bunch of conservatives trying to turn back to clock to simpler times.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Ah, right - it was 11.00pm and Hillary was exhausted.

Good thing it wasn't 3.00am then.

Posted by: View From Wales | April 12, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Reading Michael "Miss Prissy Pants" Dobbs little rants maquerading as fact check columns on the formerly august pages of the Washington Post is enough to truly make one despair for the fate of this nation.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 12, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton NEVER shoots from the hip as defined:

an expression which suggests the described person
a. speaks or behaves in a brusque, honest fashion
b. does not CENSOR their actions or words
c. speaks tersely; communicates with the FEWEST NUMBER OF WORDS

to be brutallyHONEST to tell it like it is; to pull no punches

as one can see the conditions required to 'shoot from the hip' have not been met.

Posted by: james granata | April 13, 2008 5:35 AM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton NEVER shoots from the hip as defined:

an expression which suggests the described person
a. speaks or behaves in a brusque, honest fashion
b. does not CENSOR their actions or words
c. speaks tersely; communicates with the FEWEST NUMBER OF WORDS

to be brutallyHONEST to tell it like it is; to pull no punches

as one can see the conditions required to 'shoot from the hip' have not been met.

Posted by: james granata | April 13, 2008 5:37 AM | Report abuse

Even the most adamant Clinton lovers know that their tragic flaw is a loose association with the truth. The Clintons do anything to get elected, because they know that they are great executives.

They're basically crooked politicians with a heart of gold... but the problem is that America's a democracy, not an enlightened monarchy. They're out of their time.

Posted by: Steve Charb | April 13, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh, the Clintons...

I like so many of the things that they stand for, but it's just so hard to get past the fact that they don't stand for honesty. You simply can't believe anything they say.

By the way, you could add the bit about sitting on flak jackets to the list of inaccuracies in his speech. The pilot of the plane has stated that he'd never given orders, nor heard of anyone being given orders, to sit on flak jackets during the approach.

Posted by: davestickler | April 13, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Hillary is the type that will stage someone to shoot her in the but like that Saprano's episode. Just to get sympathy from the public and ya'll would fall for it.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I am continually amazed that people are STILL letting billery call this a "misstatement". it was no misstatement, it was a bald faced lie said in an attempt to poof up her so-called credentials which are weak at best, many of them are simply made up out of whole cloth.

I have been a contractor out here in Iraq since Dec. 03. I can recall with specificity EVERY time I have had a rocket or mortar come close enough to me to have me concerned. It would be next to impossible for me to make a misstatement about it. being shot at is not something you don't remember the details of.

The Clintons have always played fast and loose with the truth. We DON'T need another 4 years of a liar in the white house.

Posted by: Dave | April 13, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Hey, the Clinton team is confronted with being caught in a lie, either laugh and say"how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" or tell another succession of lies , each one supplanting the lie before it, until the last lie is small. By the time you get to the last lie , everybody will have forgotten the first lie.Oh, and the last thing get nasty with the press and tell them this is all their fault. Then tell them they are biased against you.By the time you get done misusing them, they no doubt will be justifiably biased against you.

Posted by: oldman&theC | April 13, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

I can only laugh at this one. Bill is not doing his wife any favors here.

Lucky for them most Americans have very short memories.

Posted by: Vance McDaniel | April 14, 2008 3:02 AM | Report abuse

Y'know, old Bill is the big Pinocchio himself. The scale doesn't apply to him because he transcends it. As a first estimate, 1 Bill = 10 Pinocchios, I'd reckon.

Oh, and do run a spelling check before you post the next time. Please?

Posted by: Minniethemoocher | April 14, 2008 5:19 AM | Report abuse

With a husband like Bill, who needs enemies? It is unfanthomable that as smart as he is, he keeps putting his foot in his mouth, damaging even more Hillary's chances of a Billary White House.

Posted by: latina_in_texas | April 14, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I'd rather have an "elitist" in the White House than a proven liar.

Posted by: Tired of it all | April 14, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Not the first time Bill has shot from the hip... He would be the best post-presidential candidate to inspire four more years of fodder for comedy shows and political satire.

Can we change the channel already? A Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton scenario would be just too much moving of the BS pile back and forth (and repeat). America must look like a bad soap opera to countries around the world.

At the very least, Obama encourages idea sharing, input and exchange - especially from people who have different views. He brings everyone into the fold and can mediate - or navigate opposing viewpoints. He learns and adjusts his approach, unlike ALL of the other stubborn clients who are just different takes on Bush's "My way or the highway" philosophy and agendas. Which candidate do you really think provides the greatest promise of hope and opportunity for change?

Posted by: DonJulio | April 14, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

This is THE most ridiculous story line I have ever heard or read. Bill Clinton's point, if you look at his comments in context was that Hillary, in relating a story from 12 years ago, got some of the details wrong and the media treated the story as if she had "robbed a bank", while Mr. Obama has made huge misstatements which the media immediately excuse or explain away.

The point was the double standard that the media is applying to its reporting of this primary and to the candidates.

And look at what the media does to this story. The nit pick the details again and miss the reporting of the larger story. I guess its because Bill is being critical of the press itself that it gets all defensive and goes on the attack with Bill Clinton.

When Obama made his statement about small town citizens in Pennsylvania being churchgoing, gun toting, racist nativists and worse in reaction to job losses, during the Clinton Bush years, the media did not parse and pounce and nit pick the details of that statement.

What did the media do? It cautioned viewers and readers to look at the comments "in the broader context" of Obama's statement. Does its coverage of Clinton caution viewers and readers to put the comment in context? No.

Then the media did its apologia for Obama and reported what "we all know that he meant if he had chosen his words better". In other words, the media puts more friendly words into Obama's mouth. Do they do this with Clinton? No, they put the other kind of words into her mouth and into Bill's. Either could say something perfectly innocuous and the media will read some vile meaning into it and conclude that this is what Bill or Hillary was thinking as the words came out of their mouths that said something else.

It is as Bill Clinton said some time ago in this campaign, the Media is taking the campaign away from the people and trying to decide it themselves.

As a Democrat this is the most unfortunate thing that could happen. By playing favorites as the media has in the Democratic Primaries, the media is assuring the election of John McCain.

Giving Obama a free ride is not doing the guy a favor. When he screws up, he should not be given a pass. He should be held accountable. By constantly knocking Clinton at every turn, no matter what she does or says, do you really think that her voters will come out in November to back the side that has made a punching bag of her??

Obama's laughing and ridicule of her as she responded to his remarks made in San Francisco may play well to the Obama Cult Members, but that is a shrinking group of people. For the rest of us out here, we do not like it and his comments are making him less and less electable as a Democrat in the Fall even against the bumbling McCain.

So I hope Obama wins and that McCain voters do him in. I will want to see the look on Russert's face, and Matthews and the rest of them. I guess they will blame the loss not on Obama, his preacher, his stereotypical blatherings about 75% of the electorate otherwise known as 'typical white people' who are not advanced enough to live on his enlightened level of existence, but on Hillary and Bill.

After 8 years of the most far right wing administration the country has ever known. An administration that is more facist than Republican, the Left wing and the Press assume that the time is right and that the people are ready to swing the pendulum all the way to the left for the next 8 years.

Well, I think its a misreading of the people. Americans did not think they were getting a right wing ideologue in BushII in 2000 and they got scared stiff into voting for him again in 2004. What we want is someone near the center, not far right not far left, but in the center, probably a little left of center this time because of the Bush experience.

Going far left will result in President Obama following the same path as President Mondale, President Dukakis, and President Kerry.

Posted by: Beiruti | April 14, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

if you can read Obama's full statement from San Francisco and still think that he actually meant to be condescending or negative then you are trully and idiot and please go back to Beirut and make love to an IED. moron.

Posted by: beiruti | April 14, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Faux Beiruti
IEDs are found in Baghdad, not Beirut. Your ignorance of foreign affairs is showing.

And I have read and heard the entire interview with Mr. Obama, thank you, we do know how to read and more than that, to comprehend what has been read.

When it comes to what Mr. Obama actually "meant", and that is your word, I suppose you mean, what he intended. What a person intends to say can usually and exclusively be deduced from the words that are chosen to convey intent and meaning.

Mr. Obama, speaking frankly and openly to a group of people whom he thought would not report his words or thoughts to a broader audience attempted to explain why his message was not being well received in small town Pennsylvania by blue collar workers who have seen their jobs disappear and their paychecks shrink.

His explanation was that in hard times, working people get bitter at their government or at whomever is responsible for their hard times. And this is true, people do get resentful.

But then Obama went on to explain the reaction of working people to hard economic times and he used that reaction to explain their religiosity, their gun positions, their dislike for people who do not look like them and for foreigners.

There is a whole lot of assumption going on with these words used by Obama. A lot of generalizations and rationalizations for why his message is hard to take root even though he is outspending Clinton by a rate of 3-1.

It is in making these generalizations about working people that Obama has offended working people. It would be like working people calling poor people shiftless lazy bums. Well that is a wrong headed stereotype. The fact is that most poor people are hard working, many times work more than one job, but the costs are outrunning their paychecks.

The stereotype of blue collar workers is just as uninformed. No, Mr. Obama is not an elitist. He is just ignorant of the people that he insists he is most qualified to lead as president.

Posted by: Beiruti | April 14, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Clinton hate runs deep with ole fact checker doesn't it. What did they do to you ole boy. You find anything the Clintons do and give 3 or 4 noses and ole Obama never gets more than 2. You could find anything you wanted on him too, couldn't you. Last week you were checking Obama on his special interest money. He ran on taking no special interest. Hillary hasn't denied taking it. She points out his breaking his word You determine he did and gave him two and her two for I don't know what. SNL has you MSM pegged to the tee. You're so biased its sickening. I would think your title would imply you are fair. BS. Fox is fairer. At least they're bias toward both.
When are you going to fact check him on when he heard Wrights comments. I count about 8 or 9 from Pre-speech, speech and post speech. Won't touch that will you ole

Posted by: Chief | April 14, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

LETTER TO AMERICA: It seems miss-remembering and miss-statements are matrimonially infected; didn't Bill do a few 'miss' statements with Miss Lewinsky....."I did not have....."

© G.Floyd 2008

The modern world was on the greatest voyage of ever strengthening human hope that began at the end of WW1 when the horror of war death shook the decency of humanity to its core. It learned the depths of its vulnerability and soon the mighty economic depression plunged that hope into darkness once more. The WW2 blood spilling repeated; there have been no darker days of avoidable global horrific misery. Reflecting on the real power we have to manage such human caused catastrophe, great world leaders emerged and the USA leadership shone forward as a great beacon for the rest of the world. Its leadership was pronounced and strong and real, because its population had fully embraced democracy and the free market system to a greater degree than others; and its population was educated, efficient and productive.

The USA mobilised its vast natural resources more effectively than others and this combination fed on itself; the consequence was the greatest boom in human welfare in human existence. Many major nations were involved, but the USA leadership drove massive advances across all elements of global society. The legal institutions, market reforms, government, medicine, technology, etc etc, America's leadership was inspirational and we all benefited; all global democracies modelled themselves on America, because she delivered the most to the most . We adopted all these treasured ideals and values and we made them our own. The United Nations was born and the entire human frameworks were all in place to address any challenge possible, depression, war, sickness, fairness and goodness.

This USA led inspirational challenge is remarkable and the world is deeply indebted to America, this leadership through successive Presidents has had challenges; largely overcome through the ideals and values that America itself championed. The world had a role model, the world had a trusted superpower; the free world had a true friend.

That has all ended with the ascent of the most destructive leader America and the world has ever had the gravest misfortune to inherit; George W. Bush.

When Iraq totally agreed to allow full unrestricted testing for WMD's under U.N. Resolution 1441; George Bush was then obliged at our international law to test his claim of WMD's by testing; and not killing a soul. This man chose to kill over 100,000 in a war that was in violation of The U.N. Charter, U.N. Resolution 1441, the USA Constitution that every prior USA President put in place and honoured.

George Bush has killed. Horrifically, he has also killed his own, for nothing; the vilest sacrifice possible. His war has also gravely weakened all the international legal, moral, ethical, values, goals, achievements, gains, safety nets, morays, institutions, put in place by America's former good leaders and valued friends, and made our world a very dangerous place. He has also utterly destroyed the good name and reputations of Americans; regrettably they are loathed around the world because of this man alone. A legacy Americans do not deserve when America gave so much to the world. This man must be impeached and face war crimes charges.

There is a beacon arising once more from the darkness; this beacon is at the hand of Barack Obama.

The Obama Oratory © Glenn Floyd 2008

In the dawning of the past 1900's millennium, - the deepest faith of our new world's daughters and sons, - forged the first steps of our sacred journey of internationally linked humanity - and entrusted us, - to never allow its spirit to diminish.

Its eternal light, - was kindled by the heartfelt and profoundest belief, - that the blessings, - the bounty, - the natural tapestry of their sacred legacy, - remain fertile, forever growing, and the absolute birthright, - of all their children, of all succeeding generations of the free world.

We reflect at the new millennium's dawn, - to witness the greatest great tragedy. - The spirit, so clearly understood, - so fiercely kindled in deep trust, - so fervently bestowed, - solely at the hand of USA President George W. Bush in his Iraq war; has become a faded beacon in the night, - and now drives the deepest international community division. This man has destroyed all the United Nations traditions established and deeply honoured since 1949.

The very souls of all our people in international community, - feel sullied to the core. The deepest recesses of good hearts, - are saddened by the fire's dimming. -
And the burdensome enslavement of the international spirit, - rests heavily upon the conscience.

This leader who was entrusted by international constitutional imperative , - to ensure the brightly burning spirit of world peace, - in full sail set, - has no horizon, - in his disgrace, - now tests the deepest faith and hope, - of our international founding mothers and fathers and all our global citizens.

If the quintessence if democratic morality of humanity, has been tested ever in full nationhood, - it has been tested in the United Nations. - For it is only an unencumbered free democracy, - which will truly nurture, - the spirit of the true sacred journey.

These most profound failures of leadership, - and their impact upon our sister's and brother's deep need to see the beacon, - now brings the bloodied battlefield of democratic morality, - to each citizen's conscience.

Our conflicts are the feral lusts and excesses of the unenlightened, - driving warring agendas for political self interest. The manipulations of fear used in this tragic farce is the unjust weaponry of demonisation, the vilest lie is 'The Axis of Evil'.

Moreover, - inviolable human rights are because of this; chillingly subsumed. We cannot - and must not - exclude any section of our global community, - for without each of us; - we have no community.

At no other time in our United Nations' history, - have our democratic moral values been so greatly challenged, - our birthright been so tested to its absolute tolerance to endure.

Past world military engagements have forged our collective resistance to the obvious and known external threat. - Our enemy now exists within, - the insidious unseen, - unlocks the mesh of our human fabric, - by non-awareness of the unquestioned duty of inclusive decisiveness, - at the moral moment.

We now see rising, - in the people, the genesis of the reborn cherished spirit. Fervently re-ignited by a passion for veneration of our birthright, - so sacredly bestowed. It rises in the USA once again, at the hand of Senator Barack Obama. It is reborn of dignity, it is reborn of inspiration and it is reborn of his profound personal leadership ability.

Now, in the dawn of the new millennium, - a force of restless conscience stirs, and ascends. - Women and men of courage, - stand to take our common voyage of partnership again together, - peacefully.
An energized and growing potency, - so powerful, - its sense of righteousness for all in this fair world, - will not be challenged.

This tidal wave of honour, - standing together for all citizens, - to peacefully resist the warring agenda, is but one measure of the ethical phenomena.

The movement is alive, the movement carries the inherited passion conceived at United Nationhood, - and the movement bears the intrinsic and unbridled ferocity of goodness, - fairness; - the hallmark of humanity, in this vast, lonely universe.

But above all, - the movement is reborn of the souls of ordinary women and men of our inheriting new generations, of gentle and profoundly gifted leaders as Barack Obama. His wisdom and leadership is witnessed by such honoured American daughters such as Bonnie Locchetta, a Rushville Indiana citizen who gave her hard earnings to support a leader she deeply and truly recognises as 'of the people'.

For it is we world citizens, - who accept the bestowing of such priceless gifts, - it is we, - who accept the precious flame, - it is we who see there is so much to be done, - to keep it everlasting. is we, - who refute and reject, - the divisiveness of exclusionary leadership.

Movement is felt throughout our globe once again, - inspiration rises as an unfettered ocean swell, - and common, impassioned people of honour have rallied. - the fervour of democratic honesty under Barack Obama, - chronicles the stirring conscience, - the re-birth of the deep spirit of our forebears is witnessed. We must, - at the dawn of this new millennium, and forever, - ensure the new fervent resolve, - born of the brightest spirit of our trusting forebears, is not bestowed in vain.

When the phenomenon of exclusionary leadership under George Bush, - so virulently pervades the international will, - we, the world's people, shall demonstrate, that democratic moral leadership, - is the core of moral conscience. - And the promise of our forebears, - shall never again be tarnished.

And the choice, of the people's democratic philosophy, for the new millennium, - will once more restore the sacred journey of international nationhood for our entire world's people.

And that deeply enshrined in its moral code, will be an absolute freedom for all people, - guaranteed by explicit charter, - and by United Nations' birthright.

And its object and intent, - will be to repudiate the rise of exclusionary leadership, - and hold world government accountable, - to the hearts and the hands of all the people.

To guarantee this noble franchise in posterity, - we embody 'The Millennium Precedent' as the founding principle of our new global democratic charter.

Glenn Floyd
+61 (0)407 861 056

Posted by: Glenn Floyd | April 14, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Wow -- today is April 14, and you are recycling old news....

Again, for the record, lets use our brains and consider the following:

Bill is NOT running for President
Michelle Obama is NOT running for President
Hillary Clinton has been in Bosnia on multiple occasions - I believe I sent you a detailed accounting from Associated Press when all of the Bosnia stuff hit the press -- guess you didn't read it.

Pennsylvania comments from Obama -- guess you snoozed on this major topic -- why no coverage on this one?

Again, MSNBC scooped a flagship newspaper like the Post on the following "fact checking" issues:

"Oil money" backing Obama which he claims is not true in his ads;
Misstatement of superblogger (probably on Obama's campaign payroll) about the number of bills introduced by Clinton vs. Obama

And I've yet to see any media do factchecking on the Obama campaign costs for bloggers, London Interior Designers, and IPO offering DTWO.

Again -- this is a blatant example of the misguided efforts by this column to constantly focus on the minutia rather than more important issues facing this election.

Get a clue!!!

Posted by: IllinoisVoter | April 14, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

This comment is to Sara Bergstein and others who think that Hillary Clinton is the ONLY VOTE that took us into Iraq --

If Hillary hadn't voted, we would still be in Iraq -- that is a FACT ...

It is illogical to blame HRC for a war that the Bush Administration sponsored for us to engage in.

Lets start thinking clearly, and focus on the executive and legislative experience that should drive our voting decisions -- not blog notes and soundbytes.

Posted by: IllinoisVoter | April 14, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

SO when will this column start doing fact checking on Obama?

Case in point -- Obama claimed to be a long time friend of Rezko -- but didn't really "know him" -- huh?? 20 years is a long time to be an associate of someone and not "know them"

Case in point -- Rev. Wright was written about in Obama's book, and Obama has claimed affiliation with him for over 20 years -- but doesn't really "know him" -- huh??

Case in point -- MSNBC and Newsweek both ran detailed articles disputing Obama's claim about "not taking oil money in his campaign for the Presidency" -- when in fact, he has received a sizable amount of money from major players in the oil industry

Case in point -- MSNBC and Newsweek both ran detailed articles disputing the e-mail storm about Obama introducing more bills into law than Clinton -- when in fact, HRC has introduced more bills and has served in the Senate longer than Obama -- didn't see anything about this in your column either...

Fact Checker -- this column should be titled HRC Attacker instead -- very biased columnist who would rather write about recycled news than current facts..

Posted by: IllinoisVoter | April 14, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

The whole world knows that Clinton shoots from below the hips.

Posted by: jamesatkinson1 | April 15, 2008 5:12 AM | Report abuse

Fully vetted? Stistick a siver spike in Billary its done!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 15, 2008 5:59 AM | Report abuse

The powerful Jewish Lobby including [AIPAC] American Israel Public Affairs Committee is vexed, frustrated and displeased with Barack Obama's refusal to accept special interest money. The concern is that the Senator's policy prevents them from exerting influence or favor from his administration should he become the next President.

Hillary Clinton's campaign immediately saw an opening to exploit the Jewish community's apprehension and began stoking the anti-Obama fire behind the scene. In collaboration with the Clintons, they [Jewish Lobby] dispatched a number of "candidacy assassinators" including former Clinton special counsel, Lanny Davis, Florida congress woman, Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, California congress man, Brad Sherman & CNN news anchor, Wolfe Blitzer to torpedo Obama's nomination bid. One of the tactics employed by the "Assassinators" was to dissuade voters / super delegates from supporting the Illinois Senator by pushing the Reverend Wright issue. The strategy was to convince them that Obama would be unelectable in November due to his optics and to sell Hillary as the only winnable choice for the nomination.

Take a look at the YouTube video where Rachel Maddow from Air America recently discussed the topic on her show.

Elected Democrats increasingly are becoming frustrated with Senator Clinton's controversial tactics and noted her alliance with John McCain to annihilate a democratic colleague. They worry that her strategy is providing damaging ammunition to the republicans that could derail Obama's candidacy should he become the nominee. Some are even calling Clinton's conduct treacherous and privately accuse her of deliberately trying to sabotage the Democratic Party because of the unlikely odds of her fairly winning the nomination. But who is willing to bell the Cat? Thus far, none of the party leaders are willing to offer any public criticism. After-all, the New York Senator and former President Clinton are powerful and formidable party elites.

Posted by: Jacob | April 15, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I am not going to report any specific abuse on this site because that would mean I would need to read it to report it! Can't do it anymore, most comments are simply too abusive and wasteful for my weary eyes. Once upon a time this site used to promote some intellectual sparring and the folks writing seem to be following Hillary Clinton's lead and simply seek and destroy!

Posted by: sabrina1 | April 15, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Remember the last time Bill shot from the hip, it landed on Monica's dress!!!!!!

Posted by: Geoff | April 15, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Tuzla ant Bittergate. Not clear whether you are equating the two. In one case Hillary repeatedly lied about her experience in order bolster her credentials. In the other Obama made an assessment he maybe wrong about his assessment- many agree with him and many disagree. But is there anybody besides Hillary who believes that what she said was accurate. 4 pinochios for you.

Posted by: crazyv | April 16, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse


Bill Clinton is not running for president again, but he is treating it as though he were because he knows that his legacy is at stake, and Hillary Clinton is making herself credible as a candidate by appealing to Bill's years in office. Add to this that Bill's money (from a lot of questionable sources) is part of what is helping fund Hillary's campaign, and what Bill says and does is relevant. He is a campaign proxy, and to the extent that he is proffering and reiterating lies, Hillary's campaign deserves to be saddled with the baggage of it.

Trips like this one to Bosnia are supposed to be the stuff of the 35-years experience that Hillary claims makes her the best candidate for office, but her deliberately deceptive (or delusional) accounts belie her actual qualifications, and Bill's continued flippant attitude toward the facts underscores how haughty both Hillary and Bill are in the face of criticism. Hillary thinks genuinely that she has done nothing wrong, which makes this whole matter even more a reason why she should not be president. We don't need another president who disputes the definition of "is" in a court deposition.

Posted by: blert | April 16, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Are Jews the reincarnation of modern day KKK?

The powerful rightwing Jewish Lobby including [AIPAC] American Israel Public Affairs Committee is vexed, frustrated and displeased with Barack Obama's refusal to accept special interest money. The concern is that the Senator's policy prevents them from exerting influence or extracting favor from his administration should he become the next President. Senator Obama has offered his assurance to Jews that he is not a foe- yet this does not seem to allay their resistance to his candidacy.

Hillary Clinton's campaign saw an opening to exploit the Jewish community's apprehension and began stoking the anti-Obama fire behind the scenes. In collaboration with the Clintons, they [the Jewish Lobby] dispatched a number of "candidacy assassinators" including former Clinton special counsel, Lanny Davis, Florida congress woman, Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, California congress man, Brad Sherman, CNN news anchor, Wolfe Blitzer, Senator Joseph Lieberman and others to torpedo Obama's nomination bid. The above mentioned Jews continue to fan the flame of hateful passions against the Illinois Senator using demagoguery and pushing the Reverend Wright issue so that it remains in the foreground. The strategy is to convince the voters and the Democratic Super Delegates that Obama would be unelectable in November due to his optics and simultaneously promote Hillary as the only friend of Israel. It is also reported that Democratic Jews are being counseled to vote for John McCain- should Senator Clinton not get the nomination.

Take a look at the YouTube video where Rachel Maddow from Air America recently discussed the topic on her show.

Civil Rights and black organizations have dubbed the Jewish Lobby's anti Obama campaign, "mean spirited" but so far have opted to remain tentative. Elected Democrats have also taken note and are increasingly becoming frustrated with Senator Clinton's controversial tactics. They are appalled with her alliance to hawkish groups including John McCain to annihilate a democratic colleague and worry that it provides damaging ammunition to the republicans that could derail Obama's candidacy should he become the nominee. Some Democrats are even calling the conduct treacherous and privately accuse her of deliberately trying to sabotage the Democratic Party because of the unlikely odds of her fairly winning the nomination. The question is- who is willing to bell the Cat? Thus far, a healthy concern for political reprisal has prevented any of the party leaders from offering any public criticism. The Jewish Lobby for decades has effectively manipulated the holocaust to keep politicians beholden to their agenda. Those who oppose are usually labeled anti-Israel or Bigots in order to gain their compliance. In this instance, however, they run the risk of having the tables turned against them if blacks are able to expose hypocrisy in what many view to be a Jewish lynching of Senator Obama.

Posted by: mia | April 16, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Suppose the phone rang at 3 AM that morning?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 16, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

How have the Clintons gotten away with deceit,lies, cheating, and cover-ups since Mr.Bill was the Guv of Arkansas? Is it because they're good at it? Since I retired,I've been reading as much about them as I could find.Its amazing that both of them aren't in prison.Now Obama is in the hot-seat for some of his background coming back to haunt him.Seems as if we can't find ANY honest politicans anymore. Is this not pitiful?

Posted by: Tom | April 18, 2008 1:38 AM | Report abuse

This Video says that the Clintons were a part of the build-up too the Iraq war

Barack Obama was right with his analogy ,
They all were wrong , so why should they, " The Clintons " , have another shot at the Highest Office in the Land ??

Posted by: AJ Mesa , AZ | April 19, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Bill did not lie . Thats just the way Clintons tell the truth. Remember that when Hillary promises anything. Two candidates have passed the crucial honesty test .Hillary ain't one of them.

Posted by: Vince | April 21, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

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