Hillary Clinton: It’s about Malia Ann and Sasha Obama. Barack is too classy to tell you.

I wonder if Hillary Clinton could even name the Obama children. Barack is too classy to suggest she needs to apologize because Malia Ann (age 10) and Natasha ("Sasha" age 7) might find out that she brought up the chance that "Daddy might get killed".

The Daily News featured her OpEd ("Why I continue to run"), which provided her a second chance to apologize to Barack Obama and his family. She didn’t. According to Terry McAuliffe and Howard Wolfson, she has no reason to do so:

Asked if Clinton has personally called Obama to apologize for the
reference, McAuliffe said she has not, "nor should she." He added,
"Let’s be clear. This had nothing to with Senator Obama or his
campaign."

Appearing on CBS’s "Face the Nation", Clinton senior strategist Howard
Wolfson said McAuliffe is "absolutely right" that Clinton didn’t want
to apologize to Obama for the remark and said: "I think it was
unfortunate to attack Senator Clinton’s remarks without knowing fully
what she had said." LINK

In my previous column (here) I wrote that I am a psychotherapist who believes in the unconscious, and that I believe that some choices of words which one later regrets saying are representative of unconscious wishes too unaccepatble to reach one’s conscious awareness.

I don’t condemn Hillary for having this unconscious fantasy if indeed she does. She’s human. You may have the unconscious wish that your beloved wealthy aunt dies and leaves you a fortune but that doesn’t mean you want it to happen.

I rather doubt Hillary Clinton has ever undergone psychoanalysis or spends much time wondering about her unconscious mind. I’d be surprised she ever awakens from a puzzling dream at 3:00 A.M. and makes a mental note to try to figure out in the morning if it had any hidden meanings she could learn about herself from.

I see Barack Obama as a more self-reflective person as his first book ("Dreams from My Father") suggests. But that’s the subject of another yet to be written column.

I wrote about this before but want to emphasize it again now that Clinton has had the opportunity on reflection to grasp that she said something that has an impact on the Obama family as well as the Kennedys.

This is what I suggest Hillary could had said if she had any sense of empathy for the Obamas. This includes not just a mea culpa, but an explanation far more difficult than the one she gave to the Kennedy’s about the family being on her mind. In these instances apologies without sincere and honest explanations are empty words.

When I initially apologized for bringing up Robert Kennedy in my attempt to illustrate how some hard fought campaigns historically went into June, it was a history lesson best left untaught under these circumstances. I do not need an historic precedent to bolster my case to continue to run and I am ashamed to admit I was insensitive.

I deeply regret even uttering the word which must have boiled up from my unconscious, because I am only human and obviously it lurks there in my mind as a horrendous possibility, as it must for any politician.

I feel I owe Barack and Michelle Obama and their family as much of an apology as I gave to the Kennedy’s. After all, he is the one who now has to explain about this to his children, should they hear of this on the news or from friends. I can’t imagine how he will explain why someone who I am sure he has told them is a good person even though she is running against him would bring up something so frightening and terrible.

In the cold hard light of self-evaluation I realized that after competing against Senator Obama all these months I saw him as more the formidable opponent than the vulnerable human being.

Politics is unfortunately often a fight where you are so focused on trying to exploit your rival’s weaknesses you forget they are humans beings with feelings and families. I know how I have felt when my own daughter Chelsea has been attacked.

I can only ask the Obamas and the American people to accept this belated apology for uttering a word that is so fraught with horror.

I am deeply ashamed for being so caught up in the battle when I initially apologized to the Kennedys that I neglected to appreciate the power of that word to cause emotional pain to the Obamas as well.


—–added——

Andrew Sullivan, whose opinion I have always respected makes a similar point although he doesn’t mention the children:

Now, even if all this was completely unintentional – and we should
see this as just a very unfortunate slip of the tongue – the apology
made it an issue. She owed an apology to Obama but more so to Michelle
Obama, a woman who has to live with this fear all the time. And yet
Clinton could only apologize to the Kennedys. This tells us a great
deal about someone’s character. Clinton has no class and no grace and a
narcissist’s understanding of others’ pain.

LINK

 

Comments

  1. emurph

    emurph

    This is such crap! There is no reason to apologize. Last time I checked Bobby Kennedy wasn’t African-American, so I fail to see the connection everyone is trying to make. What she said was a true and factual statement. Can Hillary supporters no longer even utter truth? Guess we’re supposed to crawl in a hole somewhere and just shut up. Interesting message for us to take into the general election.

  2. pollchecker

    TX Native

    You know I really respect Senator Clinton as a woman and as a person. However, she has made her own bed and now she has to lie in it. I guarantee you if the situation was reversed she would not be nearlh as nice to Senator Obama.

    If she cannot take the political heat then she should not be POTUS.

    Maybe she should just run for Gov of NY where people seem to really like her and Bill.

  3. Alexandria Lupu

    NY native
    Hal and friends – I think all of you take Nasties & Hate for breakfast each day. Now just lay off your meanness for even once. It;’s enough of piling on Hillary.

  4. Flapsaddle

    I notice that no one had a problem when you expressed a professional therapist’s opinion on the sitting president, but you are suddenly a “two-bit therapist” or making a mountain chain out of a mole hill when you apply the same tool to Hillary Clinton.

    In truth, it does make a difference whose ox gets gored.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  5. lochner

    Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, Hal. You’re sounding shrill and borderline hysterical.

    I heard what Hill had to say and immediately got it that it was a time reference…within a framework that includes many parallels between RFK and Hillary. The real biggie – He was running against Pres Johnson and was also trying to get the votes to get to the Dem convention. Her reference to RFK’s death is a time reference. That she has made it three, four, five times before does not change that it is a time reference. It’s shorthand for people over sixty.

    Ask any five people what RFK was trying to do – politically – when he was shot and I bet you they can not tell you. They’re not educated, informed, or too young…And it’s so much easier to shoot off their mouth re Hillary.

  6. WriteForU2

    I think you are blowing hot air, Hal. You are, after all, hot air incarnate.

    Hillary never mentioned Obama, never had Obama in mind. This is not fantasyland for two-bit therapists. All she spoke of was that campaigns have often moved into June. Her husband’s and RFK’s were used as two examples. Period.

    To translate what she said into your garbled version is ridiculous. The nutcases out there who would kill Obama are just as likely to kill a woman presumptuous enough to run for president.

    The only apology needed is by people like you.

  7. JudyB

    Hal..I did not say nor do I think you were blowing hot air in your article, in fact I always enjoy reading what you write. The point I was trying to make was that the subject is keeping the television pundits busy yapping over another of what I refer to as a “he-said-she-said” item. Obama himself said he thinks the subject should be dropped that its time to move foreward.
    Though I didn’t happen to think an appology was necessary, my opinion on this subject was definitely in the minority. (not the first time nor the last) I now stand corrected! All too often in political campaigns for what ever reasons, insensitive and needless remarks are made without thinking how it will affect others, this is something a good President should be constantly aware of. A simple and sincere apology is never too late and I am now convinced one is due and apparently necessary in order for us all to move on.

    I would love to read yours and others opinions of what steps need to be taken to start correcting this dire
    economy…a think tank of sorts if you will. Today gas was $4.04 a gal. at my gas station (so. Calif.)

  8. Hal Brown


    —–added to column——

     

    Andrew Sullivan, whose opinion I have always respected, makes a similar point although he doesn’t mention the children:

    Now, even if all this was completely unintentional – and we should see this as just a very unfortunate slip of the tongue – the apology made it an issue. She owed an apology to Obama but more so to Michelle Obama, a woman who has to live with this fear all the time. And yet Clinton could only apologize to the Kennedys. This tells us a great deal about someone’s character. Clinton has no class and no grace and a narcissist’s understanding of others’ pain.

    LINK

     

  9. DejaVuAllOver

    You’re right, Hal, this isn’t about character; but it may be about a MAJOR character flaw. I’m not a mental-health professional, like you, so I’m not sure what the proper term is, but egomaniac, hubris driven, prideful and megalomaniac all come to mind! And I for one am sick and tired of such people running the show. Obama at least seems like a decent guy who you wouldn’t mind having at a family barbecue!

    I like your take on the matter, though.