By Daniel Politi, Slate Magazine
The WP and NYT go inside with looks at how Sen. Hillary Clinton continued to deal with the uproar that was caused by her reference to the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy on Friday. Some have said the former first lady was trying to suggest that she refuses to drop out of the race because her opponent could be killed. In a letter published by the New York Daily News yesterday, Clinton wrote that some took her words “entirely out of context and interpreted them to mean something completely different—and completely unthinkable.”
Clinton went on to emphasize that she was only “making the simple point that given our history, the length of this year’s primary contest is nothing unusual.” Campaign aides said the media and the Obama campaign were partly responsible for turning the statement into such a huge deal. Obama’s campaign immediately seized the story on Friday and sent e-mails to reporters to alert them of the Kennedy statement. But yesterday, the senator’s top strategist said that “as far as we’re concerned, this issue is done.”
The NYT‘s Paul Krugman writes that it may almost be “appropriate” that the last few days of the Democratic primary have been mired by “yet another fake Clinton scandal.” Although none of this will matter in figuring out who will get the nomination since Obama has already won, it could have an effect in the general election if disgruntled Clinton supporters refuse to back the senator from Illinois. Obama and his supporters “should realize that the continuing demonization of Mrs. Clinton serves nobody except Mr. McCain.”
The NYT fronts a look at how despite the fact that Clinton has received millions of votes and came close to reaching the presidential nomination, she would still go back to the Senate “as No. 36 out of 49 Democrats.” Making the awkwardness worse is that, assuming she doesn’t become the vice president, Clinton would have to go back to work with colleagues who pointedly supported Obama. Some contend her increased popularity and exposure would help her, but none of that changes the simple fact that “Clinton’s relatively junior status limits her options in the Senate.” There are suggestions she might immediately jump to a leadership spot, but that would have to come at the expense of more senior members who aren’t likely to want to give up their positions of power.