I'm currently watching Bill Richardson's effusive endorsement of Barack Obama, essentially saying that Obama's historic speech on race in America given this Tuesday pushed him over the edge and convinced him to enthusiastically endorse Obama, despite his ties to the Clinton family, of whom he served twice (as Energy Secretary and Ambassador to the United Nations) in the Clnton White House. It's a huge endorsement for Obama, not just because of Richardson's stature, but because it ends the week for Obama on a positive note, after a very rough news cycle.
But I am almost more interested in a Washington Post story which I first read about on Ben Smith's blog over at Politico.. Earlier in the campaign, Hillary Clinton, trying to show her extensive foreign policy experience, talked about running from gunfire during a trip to the Balkins in 1996.
"I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base."
The only problem? According to the Washington Post Clinton's story is nothing more than fiction. In fact, there's a photograph of Clinton at the runway greeting ceremony where bullets were supposedly flying.
Doesn't appear Clinton appears too concerned about her well-being or that of her daughter or the young girl in the photograph. The Post, in fact, gives Clinton "Four Pinocchios" which means the statement not just contains "significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions" but is a real "whopper" (their words, not mine.).
Far from running to an airport building with their heads down, Clinton and her party were greeted on the tarmac by smiling U.S. and Bosnian officials. An eight-year-old Moslem girl, Emina Bicakcic, read a poem in English. An Associated Press photograph of the greeting ceremony, above, shows a smiling Clinton bending down to receive a kiss.
Among the U.S. officials on hand to greet Clinton at the airport was Maj. Gen. William Nash, the commander of U.S. troops in Bosnia. Nash told me that he was unaware of any security threat to Clinton during her eight-hour stay in Tuzla. He said, however, that Clinton had a "busy schedule" and may have got the impression that she was being hurried on her way.
According to Sinbad, who provided entertainment on the trip along with the singer Sheryl Crow, the "scariest" part was deciding where to eat. As he told Mary Ann Akers of The Post, "I think the only 'red-phone' moment was: 'Do we eat here or at the next place.'" Sinbad questioned the premise behind the Clinton version of events. "What kind of president would say 'Hey man, I can't go 'cause I might get shot so I'm going to send my wife. Oh, and take a guitar player and a comedian with you."
This is not the only example of Hillary over-stating her foreign policy or executive experience. Her role in helping craft peace in Northern Ireland has been severely questioned and her recently released schedules shed no light on any substantive foreign policy experience she obtained in the Clinton White House. This continues to be a real question for Hillary Clinton. Not only does it mean that she does not have significantly more experience than Obama, it goes to her character and honesty with the American people. And according to the Washington Post, at least here, Clinton has been anything but honest.