In The Campaign Spin Cycle

In the “Battle for Pennsylvania“, there are many shots fired on both sides … and there will be some blasts that mis-fire … or in this case, candidates that “mis-speak”. That is the latest bit of jargon the fight for the democratic nomination.

You know the story by know. Senator Hillary Clinton told the press she had to duck sniper fire during a visit to Bosnia as first lady. She recounted the harrowing details in detail. One problem. There’s video of her arrival and it’s quite clear there was no sniper fire. To be honest, it was as peaceful and warm a reception as you could hope for.

Because Senator Clinton got caught, Pennsylvania voters have a unique opportunity. Not only do we actually have proof that a candidate has failed to tell us the truth … but know the state democratic voters will have the first opportunity to react and show the voting electorate in this country if this issue and this misstatement does make a difference.

Senator Clinton did spin it … saying she made a mistake and she’s human .. but from a media member point of view, it’s difficult to swallow that excuse because her recollections were so vivid and the contrast to what actually happened was so stark. It’s the same reason media members are holding Senator Barack Obama’s feet to the fire for sitting in the pews as his pastor spewed out his controversial comments .. comments that are also on video.

One final note: The Clinton campaign’s strategy to have daughter Chelsea engage college students was a brilliant stroke .. in the beginning. Having her take any question from college students and only college students created a real discussion that I think will help young people as they make up their minds going into their first election. However, we learned Tuesday there are indeed boundaries in this format .. and controversial ones at that.

When Chelsea was asked at one stop, by a college student, whether her mother’s credibility was hurt by the Lewinsky scandal she took offense. She actually said “It’s none of your business”. Look, she may have truly been offended. Who knows? Bottom line here: just because the press can’t ask her questions doesn’t mean her contemporaries are going to serve up softballs. If you want to have a real frank discussion, than Chelsea will have to field all comers.

photo courtesy: Associated Press

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