That time when Clinton refused to drop out of the race because Obama could be assassinated

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama take questions during a primary debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C. (Photo: Stan Honda, AFP/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama take questions during a primary debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C. (Photo: Stan Honda, AFP/Getty Images)
Originally published May 23, 2016 on RawStory

Call me sentimental but I’m a sucker for anniversaries. Take, for example, May 23 2008, when then Senator Hillary Clinton was asked if she was going to drop out of the primary race, given the Senator Barack Obama’s lead in delegates. During an interview with the editorial board of the South Dakota newspaper The Argus Leader Clinton expressed frustration with the way she was being pressured to suspend her campaign. I should add that I don’t find this part of her response inappropriate:

I don’t know I don’t know I find it curious because it is unprecedented in history. I don’t understand it and between my opponent and his camp and some in the media, there has been this urgency to end this and you know historically that makes no sense, so I find it a bit of a mystery.

But things took a turn for the worse when the editorial board asked, “You don’t buy the party unity argument?” to which she responded:

I don’t, because again, I’ve been around long enough. You know my husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere around the middle of June. We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. Um you know I just I don’t understand it. There’s lots of speculation about why it is.

Now this may seem like a Joycean or Woolfean stream of consciousness. But buried in it is the following argument:

First of all, I’m not gonna drop out now because it’s May and my husband Bill Clinton didn’t secure the nomination until June in California. Speaking of June and California, by gosh, dontcha know, it was that very month and in that very state when then Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Democratic presidential candidate was shot and killed. So, let’s be honest, my opponent could be taken out any second. And I have to be ready to go to the convention so I can defeat the Republican nominee. It’s really the patriotic thing to do. You’re welcome.

I’m not a presidential historian, but I think it’s safe to say that this was an unprecedented use of the potentially-looming-assassination-of-your-opponent-to-justify-staying-in-a-race. While innovative and trailblazing, murdered-Kennedy-dropping is impolite. It’s impolitic. It’s bad etiquette. It’s the presidential equivalent of wearing white after Labor Day or to another woman’s wedding. Except, I would argue, it’s way worse in that instead of violating a dress code, it exploits the national tragedy that was the murder of Senator Robert Kennedy.

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The Katie Halper Show Live! #BernieMadeMeWhite with Erika Andiola, Leslie Lee, Jacob Bridge

This month’s show features guests who shatter the myth of the Bernie Bro, the alleged white male millennials, living in their parents’ basements, harassing women online and supporting Bernie Sanders. Leslie Lee, a Black writer and teacher was so frustrated with the misrepresentation of Sanders fans and the erasure of his supporters of color, he created the spot on and very funny #BernieMadeMeWhite hashtag, which went viral. Erika Andiola is a dreamer, organizer and she happens to be a National Press Secretary for Bernie Sanders Campaign for President. Jacob Bridge, a VeteranForBernie and conscientious objector who has organized around LGBT rights, is also far from a Bernie Bro. So, come, learn, laugh, nosh and drink at this live and free talk show! livestream here https://livestream.com/thecommons/events/5125512

Wednesday, April 6 at 6:00 p.m. at Brooklyn Commons (388 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11217)

The Katie Halper Show Live on International Women’s Day

The feminist, anti-racist educator Killer Mike quoted and the media calls ‘a woman’

Killer Mike introduces Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during a campaign rally in Atlanta on Nov. 23, 2015. [YouTube]
Killer Mike introduces Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during a campaign rally in Atlanta on Nov. 23, 2015. [YouTube]

Originally posted on RawStory on February 17, 2016

Rapper and Bernie Sanders endorser Killer Mike made a terrible mistake on Tuesday night when he quoted “a woman” who used the word “uterus,” during a speech at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Twitter and several media outlets blasted Michael Render, AKA Killer Mike,  for sexism. Interestingly, most of them didn’t bother to explain what he was really saying or who the woman he had cited was: feminist, anti-racist educator and activist Jane Elliott.

Here is what he said:

https://vid.me/e/OZAv?stats=1&tools=1

When people tell us ‘hold on, wait a while’ – that’s what the other Democrat is telling you,  ‘Hold on Black Lives Matter, just wait a while. Hold on young people in this country, just wait a while,’ And then she get good, she have your own momma come to you, your momma sit down and say, ‘Well you’re a woman.’

Render is describing what he sees as an attempt on Clinton’s part to appeal to gender identity to get the vote. Whether or not you think this is accurate is another question. But we can all agree on what he’s saying. He goes on:

I talked to Jane Elliott a few weeks ago, and Jane said, ‘Michael, a uterus doesn’t qualify you to be president of the United States. You have to have policies that’s reflective of social justice.’ ”

To me, it’s pretty clear what Render is saying here. Again, you don’t have to agree with him, but the point he is making is that policies and not gender determine whether someone is actually promoting social justice.

Somehow the takeaway from this was,”Killer Mike Quotes Woman Saying ‘Having a Uterus Doesn’t Qualify You to Be POTUS’” as Blue Nation Review headline put it. The Hill said, “Rapper Killer Mike drew attention late Tuesday after saying during a rally for Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders that a “uterus doesn’t qualify you to be president.” And Mediaite wrote that he “got pretty fired up about Team Clinton saying “just wait a while” and quoted a woman who told him, “A uterus doesn’t qualify you to be President of the United States.”

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headline originally referred to Jane Elliott as a lesbian. She is an activist around LGBT rights, in addition to being a feminist and anti-racist educator.

Hillary Clinton on Reparations, Bernie Sanders & Killer Mike Cop Buddy Movies

On this episode of The Katie Halper Show, we are joined by Fusion journalist Nando Vila, the man who asked Bernie Sanders about his position on reparations which reignited the debate started by Ta-Nehisi Coates. While Sanders is being criticized about his position of the issue, what is Clinton’s position? Find out here, where we play the response she gave which nobody is talking about for some reason. Plus Reagan’s reparations support, Killer Mike and Bernie Sanders cop buddy films and more! Next Wednesday, Feb 3, join us on the radio at 6pm AND In person at 8pm for our #OscarsNotAtAllWhite ceremony and show!

Greg Grandin: U.S. created the Central American gangs & violence people are fleeing


On this really, really engaging and informative episode historian Grandin takes us on a virtual tour of Central America, a land of beauty, enchantment, and U.S.-supported death squads. Then let Bill Conroy exposes the hypocrisy and opportunism behind mainstream media’s contempt for Sean Penn and his interview with El Chapo. Grandin goes over government’s rich contributions to the violence of Central America, starting with the 1950s (or else we’d be here all day) when we helped the coup in Guatemala that set off a civil war; the 1980s when we trained the Contras in Nicaragua and the death squads in El Salvador; the 1990s when we imposed “free market” neoliberal policies AND tightened border security to keep out the people we knew would be displaced (because we think of EVERYTHING!); the 21st century when we continued those policies, did jack s&*^ over the coup in Honduras… and we’re not even talking about Mexico or Colombia yet! Then Bill Conroy who has worked as an investigative journalist covering the drug wars and law enforcement corruption debunks what the mainstream media and Mexican authorities are saying about Sean Penn and his interview with El Chapo. Conroy frames the freakout as part of a larger fear on the part of gatekeeping journalists and reveals one of the things they are attacking Penn over is something they routinely do, but don’t even admit it. Follow us on Soundcloud, like us on Facebook and subscribe on iTunes!

Jay Smooth: The Ill Doctrine, Underground Railroad & Disenfranchised cheese puffs

On our first episode of the Live Katie Halper Show i front of an audience we talk to Jay Smooth, founder and host of The Underground Railroad and of the ill Doctrine video series. His videos have garnered millions of views and praise from people like Rachel Maddow who has called his work genius. Find out what Jay Smooth’s favorite drink and snack are, what he thinks of gun violence, Empire, gentrification and what his grandfather said about The Beatles in the New York Times.

Bill Cosby: Jay Smooth & comedians Rae Sanni & Tarik Daniels.

Sarah Jones on sex work, Patrick Hilsman on heroin and ISIS

On this episode of The Katie Halper show, genius writer and performer Sarah Jones channels multiple characters from latest one woman show Sell/Buy/Date on sex work. You can catch the show at New York Live Arts Jan 6-16. Journalist Patrick Hilsman talks about his addiction to heroin versus his addiction to reporting on the Middle East.

Dar Williams on coming out, depression and Pete Seeger

Singer, song-writer activist Dar Williams talks about coming out of the closet, performing with Pete Seeger, Bruce Springsteen’s empty bottles, and dealing with depression. Featuring a never released lesbian-seeming-Dar-Williams-mashup. Check out Dar live at the Bellhouse in Brooklyn on December 26th!