Trying to make sense of Hillary Clinton’s truly bizarre reference to Robert Kennedy’s assassination? Good luck. The New York Times’ Katharine Seelye put up a comprehensive blog post last night that’s full of insight — yet she can’t seem to make sense of it, either.
Seelye seems to accept Clinton’s explanation that she was referring merely to the fact that the Democratic primaries had extended into June in 1968, and that she was not trying to suggest that, well, gee, maybe Barack Obama will get shot just like Kennedy, so she ought to stick around.
Yet Seelye also opens her post by referring to Friday as possibly “one of the worst days of Senator Hillary Clinton’s political career.” And she closes by wondering whether Clinton’s remarks were so toxic that she may have even alienated those who want to help her find “a graceful way out” of the presidential race.
Perhaps most telling, Seelye embeds a lengthy commentary by Keith Olbermann that is, as she says, “tough beyond measure.” Suffice it to say that Olbermann does not give Clinton the benefit of the doubt as to whether she had deliberately evoked Kennedy’s assassination.
Personally, I’m not sure what to think. Like Seelye, I believe Clinton was trying to make a point about the timing, not the assassination. But her remarks were tasteless and grotesque nevertheless. This may be one of those situations in which what Clinton was trying to say is being deliberately distorted, and she deserves it.