WASHINGTON (AP) – Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton did something Wednesday night that she almost never does. She apologized. And once she started, she didn’t seem able to stop.
The New York senator, who is in a tight race with Illinois Sen. Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination, struck several sorry notes at an evening forum sponsored by the National Newspaper Publishers Association, a group of more than 200 black community newspapers across the country.
Her biggest apology came in response to a question about comments by her husband, Bill Clinton, after the South Carolina primary, which Obama won handily. Bill Clinton said Jesse Jackson also won South Carolina when he ran for president in 1984 and 1988, a comment many viewed as belittling Obama’s success.
“I want to put that in context. You know I am sorry if anyone was offended. It was certainly not meant in any way to be offensive,” Hillary Clinton said. “We can be proud of both Jesse Jackson and Senator Obama.”
Of Ferraro’s comment, Hillary Clinton told her audience: “I certainly do repudiate it and I regret deeply that it was said. Obviously she doesn’t speak for the campaign, she doesn’t speak for any of my positions, and she has resigned from being a member of my very large finance committee.”
As first lady and senator, Clinton rarely cedes an inch to her critics. On the issue of her vote to authorize the Iraq war, for instance, she steadfastly has refused to apologize, coming close by saying she regrets it, despite calls from many anti-war voters in the party to make a more explicit mea culpa.
Her third conciliatory statement of the evening was more in keeping with that fighting stance.
Asked about the government’s efforts in the Gulf States after Hurricane Katrina, Hillary Clinton turned an apology into a criticism of President Bush, who happened to be speaking at a Republican event in another room at the same hotel.
“I’ve said it publicly, and I say it privately: I apologize, and I am embarrassed that our government so mistreated our fellow citizens … It was a national disgrace,” she said.
Three apologies in one sitting? I think La Clinton is shooting for a national record of sorts. Can we now get back now to discussing how both she and Barack Obama are not only trying to pass themselves off as something they’re not, but are also advocating big government policies that aren’t just baby steps towards Socialism but giant leaps? Please?
In related news, Nutroots idol Keith Olbermann delivered his “Special Comment” slam last night against Senator Clinton, as expected. If you haven’t yet taken that early lunch or have an extraordinarily strong stomach, click the video below to watch:
Scroll through some of the links here, and you’ll see that many of The Usual Suspects loved it. Yeah, I know – I’m shocked, too.