December 19, 2007
Hillary shades the truth
Dana Milbank, covering the Iowa Democratic campaign, writes about Hillary trying to humanize herself on the campaign trail in the Washington Post :
Just how hard became clear at her next stop, in Ottumwa. Early in her speech, she tried gamely to speak in the first person. "I was raised in a middle-class family," she said in a soft voice. "My father, who was a World War II Navy vet, came home from serving our country and wanted to start a family and start a small business and save enough money to buy a house.
This sentence gives the impression that Hillary's father fought in World War II -- and I'm sure Hillary wouldn't mind that everyone make that generalization. Hugh Rodham did, in fact, serve in the World War II US Navy, but stateside at the Great Lakes Naval Air Station. From the book, "A Woman in Charge" by Carl Bernstein:
"Life in the Rodham household resembled a kind of boot camp, presided over by a belittling, impossible-to-satisfy drill instructor. During World War II, as a chief petty officer in the Navy, Rodham had trained young recruits in the U.S. military's Gene Tunney Program, a rigorous phys-ed regime based on the champion boxer's training and self-defense techniques, and on the traditional skills of a drill sergeant. After the war, in which Hugh had been spared overseas duty and was assigned to the Great Lakes Naval Station because of a bad knee, he replicated the barracks experience in his own home, commanding loudly from his living room lounge chair (from which he rarely rose, except for dinner), barking orders, denigrating, minimizing achievements, ignoring accomplishments, raising the bar constantly for his frustrated children-"character building," he called it."
I guess it depends on what the meanings of "World War II Navy vet" is. Strictly true, but misleading. Positively Clintonesque. And this is what passes for conveying human qualities for Hillary.
Jack Kemp is not the politician of the same name.