Michael Crowley confirms that Hillary is the only source for the Marine story that he’s aware of. Amusingly, he writes, “I personally find it harder than anti-Hillary conservatives to believe she would make such a thing out of whole cloth.” Fair enough, though I don’t think one need be an “anti-Hillary conservative” to note that she has played games with her image plenty of times.
That said, Crowley sorta-kinda comes to her defense and says that there’s another possible explanation:
But others have offered a different sort of skepticism: not about whether Hillary really visited that recruiting office, but why. Some argue the only plausible explanation is that it was some kind of post-Vietnam feminist stunt–that Hillary wanted to see how a 27-year-old female assistant law professor would be treated by a recruiter. This seems more plausible than the notion of her simply inventing the story. But it’s also not how Hillary first described the event to those veterans in ‘94–nor, as you can see in my story, did she take the chance to cast it this way when I asked her about it (though admittedly, doing so would make close to zero political sense for her). And to spin a “feminist stunt” as a sincere act of patriotism would be a wildly cynical act–even if that’s how Hillary’s detractors assume she always operates.
Now, in fairness, Crowley is clearly not endorsing this theory. But, it should be noted that this version — more plausible or not — is far, far, more damning than the one suggested by anti-Hillary conservatives. In scenario A, a politician wants to buy some patriotic grace on the cheap by claiming she once wanted to join the Marines in good faith. In scenario B, the same politician wants to buy the same fraudulent p.r. but instead of making up what she considers to be a white lie, she spins an event in which she tried to expose the Marines as a disreputable institution. The prevarication is pretty much the same in both scenarios, but Hillary in this version she’s trying to feed off the moral capital of an institution she once wanted to expose as morally illegitimate. Unless I’m misreading him, what I find odd is Crowley’s implication that scenario B is somehow the more forgivable of the two.
Question: Do Marine recruiting offices keep records of these sorts of things? Isn’t the sort of thing bloggers sleuthed out in the Memogate episode?