Hil­lary tells it to the Marines

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - BY WES­LEY PRUDEN

The girl just can’t help her­self. Hil­lary Clin­ton has a trust prob­lem. Vot­ers tell the poll­sters they think she’s a liar. No­body but party hacks and fem­i­nist true be­liev­ers trust her.

Some of her lies, like the one she tells about what really hap­pened at Beng­hazi, are deadly se­ri­ous. Some of them are more fibs and stretch­ers than deadly se­ri­ous lies. Some are harm­less and even amus­ing, like sto­ries about the new bride who can’t tell a straight story about her un­bal­anced check­book or how a dent in the new fam­ily car got there.

But she’s a big girl now, old enough to wear a big girl’s pantsuit, who thinks she’s ready to be the pres­i­dent of the United States, whose word is al­ways taken as the truth, or at least as fact. Hil­lary rev­els in the tall tale, badly told.

She res­ur­rected one from the ar­chives this week at a break­fast in New Hamp­shire. She wanted to demon­strate her sol­i­dar­ity with the fight­ing men and women in uni­form. Bubba was a ma­lin­gerer but she has been boast­ing for years that she once tried to join the Marines.

She told the sad story of her visit to the re­cruiter. “He looks at me and goes, ‘umm, how old are you?’ And I said, ‘Well, I am 26, I will be 27.’ And he goes, ‘Well, that is kind of old for us.’ And then he says to me, and this is what gets me, ‘Maybe the dogs will take you,’ mean­ing the Army.” In­ter­ser­vice ri­valry and dis­re­spect, though surely rare, is truly shock­ing. Since she likes this story so much she should work on tim­ing and con­tent. To af­fect the hip­ster, she should get the bar­racks slang right. The men in the infantry are called “dog­faces,” not dogs.

She first told the story in 1994, at a luncheon on Capi­tol Hill shortly af­ter she and Bubba came to town. Bubba had just been elected af­ter strug­gling against the rev­e­la­tion that he was a draft­dodger when young men went to war in Viet­nam, and Hil­lary thought mil­i­tary uni­forms in the White House were toxic. But now she has to make nice.

The story, which she told as fact, not whimsy, was never be­liev­able. She had been an anti-war com­mence­ment speaker at Welles­ley Col­lege, where she was pres­i­dent of the stu­dent body and had or­ga­nized teach-ins in op­po­si­tion to the Viet­nam War. She worked in the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign of Ge­orge McGovern. Sol­diers and Marines were baby-killers and war crim­i­nals. A nice girl from Welles­ley wouldn’t have had any­thing to do with baby-killers and war crim­i­nals.

Per­haps, as Tony Korn­heiser wrote in The Wash­ing­ton Post, “she was look­ing for a few good men as she was about to marry a man who was look­ing for a few good women.” One Hil­lary friend, try­ing man­fully to be help­ful, sug­gested that since she was a Yale law graduate she prob­a­bly as­pired to be a Marine judge ad­vo­cate gen­eral.

Hil­lary has a history of tall tales gone south. She once told the whop­per that her mother named her for Sir Ed­mund Hilary, who with his Sherpa, Ten­z­ing Nor­gay, first climbed to the sum­mit of Mount Ever­est, the world’s tallest peak. But Hil­lary was born in 1947 and Hilary (with one ‘l’) con­quered Ever­est in 1953. Nev­er­the­less, Hil­lary stuck to her story about what she said was her mother’s story. Her mother, now dead, had read about the ob­scure bee­keeper 10,000 miles away when ex­pect­ing Hil­lary.

Hil­lary boasted that she helped ne­go­ti­ate peace be­tween Catholics and Protes­tants in North­ern Ire­land. No­body there re­mem­bered her. She said she was “un­der fire” in Bos­nia, and told how her plane had to make a har­row­ing land­ing, which was news to the pi­lot and other pas­sen­gers. She just can’t re­sist play­ing “Can you top this?”

When Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York re­marked that his daugh­ter was a se­nior at Stuyvesant High School next door to the World Trade Cen­ter on Septem­ber 11, Hil­lary coun­tered with the tale that Chelsea was jog­ging around the World Trade Cen­ter when the first plane hit, and had to duck into a cof­fee shop for shel­ter. Chelsea, it turned out, was ac­tu­ally home in bed four miles away. Later, when Hil­lary was telling the world that the raid on the Beng­hazi lega­tion was re­venge for an ob­scure YouTube video, she told Chelsea it was the act of terror that the White House fi­nally ad­mit­ted it was.

“At this point,” Hil­lary might ask, “what dif­fer­ence does it make?” But if she lies to us, why won’t she lie to pres­i­dents and prime min­is­ters later. Who would be­lieve the pres­i­dent of the United States? Amer­ica de­serves bet­ter. Wes­ley Pruden is ed­i­tor in chief emer­i­tus of The Times.

Sir Ed­mund Hilary

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