« | »

Bill Re-Tells Hillary’s ‘Marines Rejected Me’ Lie

From (the dogged) Jake Tapper at ABC News:

Bill Clinton Says Hillary Tried to Join the Army

April 02, 2008

… Possibly to avoid being one-upped on Indiana national security politics, former President Bill Clinton told a crowd in Columbus, Indiana, today that his wife had tried to join the Army.

"I remember when we were young, right out of law school, she went down and tried to join the Army and they said ‘Your eyes are so bad, nobody will take you,’" he said, after heralding her record on issues of concern to the military, such as body armor and access to health care.

You can hear an audio excerpt of Mr. Clinton once again regurgitating this preposterous claim at the link.

But as longtime Clinton watchers will remember, this is an old lie from Hillary. A claim that oddly enough never made it into her ghostwritten autobiography.

Indeed, the transcript of her remarks appears to have been scrubbed from Lexis-Nexus. Though Rush Limbaugh still has an audio recording of her remarks.

A near contemporary account from Maureen Dowd (of all people) at the New York Times captures her blatant lie the historic moment:

Hillary Clinton Says She Once Tried to Be Marine

June 15, 1994


The First Lady has offered a kaleidoscope of images to the public, but today she added the most curious one yet: Private Hillary.

Speaking at a lunch on Capitol Hill honoring military women, Hillary Rodham Clinton said that she once visited a recruiting office in Arkansas to inquire about joining the Marines.

She told the group gathered for lunch in the Dirksen Office Building, according to The Associated Press, that she became interested in the military in 1975, the year she married Bill Clinton and the year she was teaching at the University of Arkansas law school in Fayetteville.

She was 27 then, she said, and the Marine recruiter was about 21. She was interested in joining either the active forces or the reserves, she recalled, but was swiftly rebuffed by the recruiter, who took a dim view of her age and her thick glasses. ‘Not Very Encouraging’

"You’re too old, you can’t see and you’re a woman," Mrs. Clinton said she was told, adding that the recruiter dismissed her by suggesting she try the Army. "Maybe the dogs would take you," she recalled the recruiter saying.

"It was not a very encouraging conversation," she said. "I decided maybe I’ll look for another way to serve my country."

Mrs. Clinton offered the story to illustrate how far women had come. She said that "it was not an isolated situation" for women to be turned away by military recruiters. And she lauded efforts to bring women into more aspects of military service….

Mrs. Clinton told friends that she had moved to Arkansas for only one reason: to be with Bill Clinton. Years later, she would tell Vanity Fair that she had stayed because "I didn’t see anything out there that I thought was more exciting or challenging than what I had in front of me."

She and Mr. Clinton married on Oct. 11, 1975 in Fayetteville.

So, if she was talking to a Marine recruiter in 1975 before the marriage, was she briefly considering joining the few, the proud and the brave of the corps as an alternative to life with Mr. Clinton, who was already being widely touted as a sure thing for Arkansas Attorney General?

Neal Lattimore, Mrs. Clinton’s spokesman, said her visit to the recruiter had to be seen in the context of her dedication to public service.

"I’m never surprised when Mrs. Clinton is doing something service oriented," he said. "She was just taking in all her options, saying ‘This is where I am in my life, this is what fits into my life right now.’ "

But she had moved to Arkansas to be with Mr. Clinton, so why was she thinking about joining the Marines?

"Maybe she was thinking about the J.A.G. Corps," he said, referring to the legal branch of the service. "She was exploring all her options, the National Guard, everything."

In addition to the obvious inconsistencies that Ms. Dowd points out, it must be noted that the military had no proscription against taking anyone whose eyesight could be corrected with glasses — unless they sought to be pilots.

And certainly 27 was not too old to join up. Moreover, any service branch would have jumped at the chance to get a Yale law school graduate.

Heck, the Marines even took pregnant women.

But of course it was just a harmless lie told to women who really had served their country. A white lie that the then First Lady thought no one would notice.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

14 Responses to “Bill Re-Tells Hillary’s ‘Marines Rejected Me’ Lie”

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »