The Corner

Clinton, Obama and the Weather Underground

In response to Hillary Clinton’s criticism of Barack Obama for his friendship with Bill Ayers, there has been a lot of firing back at Clinton from the Obama camp for Bill Clinton’s decision to give clemency to two Weather Underground radicals.  The cases of Linda Evans and Susan Rosenberg are worth looking into, and I had forgotten that the place to start is with Jay’s story on the issue, which was published in the magazine in 2001 and on the website in 2004.  From Jay’s article:

When the news [of the clemency] hit, the cries of the victims’ families were almost unbearable to hear. Their incomprehension at what the president had done was heartbreaking. They were not unforgiving people, they said; rather, Rosenberg—to stick with the chief figure—had not shown any remorse for what had happened to them. She had never said she was sorry, never owned up to any responsibility. One victim’s widow said, “I never believed in my heart Clinton would do this. After Oklahoma City, how could you pardon anybody who was caught in this country with weapons of mass destruction?”

New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who, as a U.S. attorney, had prosecuted the Brink’s case, said, “I’m shocked.” The city’s police commissioner, Bernard Kerik, who had also dealt with Rosenberg, said, “It sickens me.” Even Hillary Clinton’s fellow senator from New York, Democrat Charles Schumer, denounced Clinton’s action.

Perhaps some Democrats will make fun of the Kerik quote, given Kerik’s later problems.  But the Ayers/Evans/Rosenberg controversy is just another example of how surpassingly strange the Democratic race has become.  Given Evans and Rosenberg, how can Clinton credibly criticize Obama?  But given Ayers, how can Obama credibly criticize Clinton?  No one has room to accuse the other of anything.  Now, John McCain, on the other hand…


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