You have to wonder who’s pushing this story. It reads like a political attack by some opponent trying to undermine Clinton – as the facts are stretched so much to get the necessary spin – but she has positioned herself so masterfully over these past months that it’s hard to figure out who might stand to benefit from taking her down a peg.
In this case, Clinton mentioned during a speech to the Stormont parliament that when she stayed at Belfast’s famous (and famously bombed many times) Europa Hotel, “there were sections boarded up because of damage from bombs.” According to research by David Sharrok of the Times of London, this couldn’t have been true as the last reconstruction after a bomb blast at the Europa occurred almost two years before the Clintons arrived. The Clintons first visit to Belfast came just over a year after the ceasefire by the IRA. But while the Bosnia sniper incident could be seen as boosting her own political clout and experience, this seems far more innocent. I would presume she could have easily seen other buildings around Belfast boarded up from bomb blasts, and almost 15 years after the trip confused this detail. For a similar reason, I also never made a big deal of the sniper incident, though I think the controversy over that, while legitimate was exaggerated beyond reason. For this story to get any play at all – let alone to be featured as a major story by the Drudge Report – demonstrates how stupid our media culture can be.
It’s also interesting to see this story pop up shortly after the White House seemed to have fully embraced her, as Jon Heileman reported:
[A]lthough the president himself and Emanuel never had much doubt that she could be a team player, many others in the Obamasphere were supremely skeptical. But no longer. “In terms of loyalty, discretion, and collegiality,” says a senior White House official, “she’s been everything we could have asked or hoped for.”
H/t Kevin Drum who adds his own interesting take – which I wholeheartedly agree with.
[Image by Juska Wendland licensed under Creative Commons.]