I used to have a lot of respect for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton before this 2008 presidential campaign cycle started. But whatever thin layer of it I had for her died Friday when she alluded to the June 1968 assassination of Robert F. Kennedy as one of the reasons she's staying in the race.
Never mind the fact that it's been one anxiety ridden thought in the back of many African-American minds along with many Obama supporters throughout this campaign. One commenter on my Obama rally post alluded to it when I talked about the security layer I had to navigate before I was even allowed to enter the hall for a recent Obama rally here in Louisville.
Sen. Obama received Secret Service protection in May 2007, earlier than any candidate in history with the exception of Sen. Clinton herself, who as a former First Lady continues to receive it.
We African-Americans were already pissed about Mike Huckabee's gun joke at the just concluded National Rifle Association convention here in Da Ville.
Now Sen. Clinton, in the wake of the Huckabbe comment, brings up RFK less than a week away from the 40th anniversary of his June 5 assassination. In a statement released yesterday, Obama campaign spokesperson Bill Burton said, "Senator Clinton's statement before the Argus Leader editorial board was unfortunate and has no place in this campaign."
Sen. Obama was campaigning in Puerto Rico, and had this to say on Radio Isla Puerto Rico about Sen. Clinton's remark. "I have learned that when you are campaigning for as many months as Senator Clinton and I have been campaigning, sometimes you get careless in terms of the statements that you make and I think that is what happened here. Senator Clinton says that she did not intend any offense by it and I will take her at her word on that."
Assassination is not something to be joked about or commented on lightly. There are more than a few unhinged folks who would love to make what Sen. Clinton alluded to a reality. I've heard too many rumblings on the Freeper/batshit crazy end of the Net that we have to 'do something to stop the n----r for taking office.'
Robert F. Kennedy was the 1968 version of Sen. Obama in terms of the popularity and cross cultural appeal of his campaign and his promise to end the Vietnam War if elected, but was more analagous to Sen. Clinton in terms of his chances of winning the nomination.
After winning the June 4 California primary election, he was preparing for a Democratic convention nomination battle with Vice President Hubert Humphrey at the upcoming convention in Chicago.
Part 2 of the Kennedy California victory speech
Part 3 of Kennedy victory speech
But an asssassin's bullet just after midnight at Los Angeles' Ambassador Hotel changed all that. Assassinations are history altering events. Can you imagine just how different our country would be if John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Dr. King and Robert Kennedy were still alive?
At any rate, this is just another example that she's far from being 'ready on Day One' to run this country and that Sen. Obama will be.