Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bosnia gaffe bursts Clinton's "super-stateswoman" bubble

I've blogged before about my annoyance at Hillary Clinton's insistence that she is some sort of Super-Stateswoman with a history of solving the world's conflicts from Bosnia to Ireland.

So, it was with an element of schadenfreude and vindication that I witnessed Hillary's Bosnia discomfort. She said she visited Bosnia in 1996 under a hail of bullets, running "with our heads down into the vehicles". A diligent TV researcher visited the bowels of the archives and unearthed footage showing that her arrival, in fact, was something akin to a walk in the park.

This gaffe is a very welcome emblem. Through the campaign, Clinton has constantly tried to portray Obama as inexperienced while stating that she has great experience on the world stage. (Northern Ireland ? Of course, ol' Hillary melted the heart of Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams and had them signing up to the Good Friday agreement in no time)

The 3am red phone call ad was typical.

But, until the Bosnia gaffe (which, unbelievably, was unforced - Clinton herself freely bragged about her visit) there was nothing which illustrated the lie behind the 3am phone call ad.

That lie is that Hillary has been a statesperson. She hasn't. She has been a Senator for a bit longer than Obama (who by the way has experience in many other areas). She was First Lady of the US and Arkansas.

That doesn't make her Henry Kissinger.

I don't wish to diminish the role of the partner to the US President, or indeed partner of the Governor of Arkansas. However, the Clinton campaign has built it up so much, that I am delighted that the Bosnia gaffe has burst the bubble.

Carl Bernstein on CNN describes the Bosnia gaffe as a "watershed" in a very interesting article on Hillary Clinton's relationship with the truth.

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