The L.A. Times reports that, while campaigning for Senator Hillary Clinton in South Carolina yesterday, former President Bill Clinton was brought low by a most unlikely and unwitting nemesis: 5 year-old McKenna Chance.
(Senator Clinton)has, not accidentally, maintained a prominent presence in the media all across the state by having her daughter Chelsea and her husband visiting community after community with the ex-president launching steady attacks on Obama.
So there he was, the former head of the free world, in front of another audience of 400.... in another community center. And the ex-president chose to call on little McKenna Chance, who is five. She looked so innocent.
"What do you do when you get married?" the girl asked.
AWK-ward! Calling the ensuing silence "uncomfortable" is like calling Britney Spears "troubled". After a moment of intense whirring and clicking, the former President managed a response.
"Look at that,'' he told the crowd. "See all the press people back there? They put me through the wringer this morning, and everything I said is about to pale compared to what I'm now facing."'
It is at this point that I imagine Clinton was waging a pitched battle against flop sweat and pit stains. Does it depend on what your definition of "you" is? Who let this kid in here, anyway? I bet she's an Obama plant! Should I fake a heart attack? Heyyy, her mom's kinda cute...
"In my case," Clinton said, "I got an extra boost, which is that until I became president my wife also made more money than I did every year of my marriage. But finally I became the breadwinner in the family. I like that."
Then he looked back at McKenna: "That was great! Good for you," he said.
The Times doesn't mention any ocular daggers on that last look back.
Ordinarily, I eschew this kind of fluffy, gaffe-oriented story, but there is a certain poetry to this event that appeals to me, and which I suspect will give this little story some legs. Senator Clinton's husband has shown a remarkable lack of restraint recently while campaigning for her, and kept it up even after Obama's warning shots before and during the debate. Here he is just yesterday, stirring the pot and displaying a little bit of hubris by crying to the press, "Shame on you."
So far, there's no video of the exchange available, which could be the closest thing to a silver lining here. Little McKenna Chance may have done Hillary a favor in the long run, however, as it really seems like the public's patience with Bill Clinton was running out. As Keith Olbermann pointed out, the candidates all have supportive spouses, but only one is an ex-President, and only one is playing Terminator to the other candidates' Sarah Connor.
Update: Jo, thanks for reading. Before you accuse me of bias, please read my story more carefully, and read my other pieces on Hillary and the other candidates. Let me summarize for you. On the substance, all 3 candidates would make excellent choices, but in my view, supported by logic and my own clearly stated political priorities, I rank them Edwards, Obama, and then Hillary, although Hillary exposed some weakness on Obama's part on Healthcare during the debate. You can read those here:
I have done several articles specifically defending Hillary from insubstantial attacks and a clear media bias. In fact, in this very article, I point out the idiocy of this type of story. What is disappointing to me is that, in the past two weeks, her campaign has engaged in some of the same tactics that I have defended her from. I thought the story made that pretty clear, and I did float skepticism about the spontaneity of the question, albeit jokingly, because who cares if she was a plant? It's a nonsense story. What makes it noteworthy is the context.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you continue to read. I prize fairness, but don't confuse it with neutrality. I welcome disagreement and discussion, but an accusation of bias should be made carefully, with the same fairness that you expect from me.
Here is an article that I did last month satirizing the anti-Clinton frenzy in the media. Hop you enjoy it.
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