The last few days have not been good for the Clintons. Mark Penn, chief strategist for the Clinton campaign, abruptly resigned his post after it was revealed that he was lobbying the Columbian government on behalf of a free-trade agreement that Hillary adamantly opposes.
In addition the Clintons did a “Friday night dump” a strategy in which bad news is released on Friday so as to take advantage of the fact that the public is not paying as much attention on pay day and the following weekend. In this case the Clintons, who had been pressured to release their income tax statements, finally released the documents in which it was revealed that they had made over 108 million dollars between the two of them since they left the White House. Most of this money comes from book deals and royalties, and some of it from congressional salaries and pensions, but there are sure to be some questionable dealing when it comes to Bill’s income over the last few years. Better to give it as low a profile as possible, so late on Friday the Clinton’s walked out of the house, looked both ways down the street to see if no one was looking, and left the documents on a park bench hoping they would be blown away before anyone got to them. In any case it will now be harder to pass themselves as ‘regular folk’ when word gets out of their good fortune.
Right in the middle of all this chaos, it was reported that Hillary had been relating a story on the campaign trail in which a pregnant woman was refused admission into a hospital because she had no health insurance. According to Clinton’s account the woman suffered complications and died. The hospital in question issued a terse statement in which it said that the woman did indeed have health insurance and was treated. The Clintons were forced once again to retreat, as in the Bosnian episode, this time issuing a statement that the hospital’s version of the facts was accurate. In this age of 24/7 news coverage, camera phones, and instant communication, it is wise for a campaign to check the facts before it’s candidate goes out on the stump and repeats such tales. This is, in and of itself, not a bad thing. Imagine we might have been spared the consequences of errant conservatism had such technologies been available when the old Gipper was spouting similar nonsense on the rubber-chicken circuit. In any case Hillary has once again had her credibility called into question in what is fast becoming an altogether too common pattern risking the likelihood that she will become “Gored”—that is transformed into a boviating buffoon by the media pack-hounds. In the meantime Barack has closed the gap in Pennsylvania to 8 points.