Archive for April 2nd, 2008

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How To Ask Chelsea About Lewinsky

April 2, 2008

I couldn’t help but notice that there has been a considerable amount of media attention given to these Lewinsky-related questions that are being posed to Chelsea Clinton by college students lately.   It came up again today:

Student: “Right but I, because fortunately or unfortunately he is the president, or was president at the time so as American people, I feel that it is our business.”

Clinton: “Well sir, I respectfully disagree. I think it is something that is personal to my family. I’m sure there are things that are personal to your family that you dont think are anyone else’s business either… but also on a larger point, I don’t think you should vote for or against my mother because of my father.”

That, of course, is a dodge. 

I suppose Chelsea can continue to evade the question with the “none of your business” angle as long as she wants, and if the amount of press coverage stays the same every time it comes up, it’s likely that she’ll be dodging it in this manner a couple more times.

Putting aside any reference to the old “vast right wing conspiracy” gaffe, my suggestion to those who would want to pin Chelsea into a position where she would have to at least address the issue would be to preface the question with something that Hillary said a short while ago:

“We don’t have a choice when it comes to our relatives,” she said. “We have a choice when it comes to our pastors and the churches we attend. Everyone will have to decide these matters for themselves. They are obviously very personal matters.”

If Wright were her pastor, she said, “the choice would be clear.”

Emphasizing that she was saying only how she would have dealt with a minister such as Wright, Clinton added: “I don’t think that’s negative.”

So, Clinton brought what she described as “personal matters” into the political discourse,  stating outright out what her decision would be.

Now, I can see a few different ways to use this, but the first narrative that comes to mind would be to make the connection between the perceived importance surrounding the judgement with regards to leaving a church and …leaving a marriage.

The question would go something like this:

“You mother, Hillary Clinton, recently stated that she would have left a church that featured Rev. Wright’s controversial sermons, and said that the issue was obviously a very personal matter.   But if it is acceptable for Americans to discuss a decision such as this, why wouldn’t it also be acceptable to discuss a decision to not seek a divorce after proven dishonesty and infidelity?”

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