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Politics & Power

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Misstatement or Deception: What Should We Make of Hillary’s Bosnia Story?

Since video footage of her 1996 trip to Bosnia showing no evidence to corroborate the former First Lady’s version of her harried arrival at Tuzla air base has surfaced, Hillary Clinton has been attempting to characterize the statement as being misspoken. The question for voters especially voters in Pennsylvania with their upcoming primary election is whether they will choose to believe it was an honest mistake or if they will see it as an attempt by Mrs. Clinton to deceive the voters about her past experiences preparing her for leading the nation.

With the focus of the Clinton campaign being the experience gap between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama this could be a serious blow to her credibility if the voters deem it to be an attempt to deceive them. In a story for the Fox News website it is reported that Mrs. Clinton told the same story at two other gatherings one in Waco, Texas on February 29th and another in Iowa in December of 2007 while appearing with General Wesley Clark. Her account was also disputed by comedian Sinbad in a Washington Post article who along with Sheryl Crow had been along for that USO trip saying: "I think the only 'red-phone' moment was: 'Do we eat here or at the next place?'"

Her apparently inaccurate comments about her trip to Bosnia now coming under intense scrutiny, Mrs. Clinton will likely face more tough questions about her highly touted international experience. Given that the latest Pennsylvania polls showing her more than ten points ahead of Barack Obama among likely voters there is virtually no doubt that the Obama campaign will pounce on this and question Mrs. Clinton’s credibility. While this story has been dominating the press the Obama campaign has also released the last six years of tax returns for Barack and Michelle Obama as well as all earmarks requested by Barack Obama while in the Senate and is calling on Clinton to do the same. Mrs. Clinton responded by saying that Obama should also release all of his records from his time in the Illinois Senate. Despite her challenge to Obama the Clinton campaign has not yet set a firm date for releasing the Clinton family tax returns and has made no commitment to release her earmark requests while she has been in the Senate.

For the average voter this situation becomes increasingly convoluted and hard to decipher so will voters just tune out and go with their guts or are they still open minded enough to vote based on the information continuing to come out regarding the candidates? In the relatively static minded state of Pennsylvania the Clinton campaign is banking on the reliability of the Pennsylvania voter to stick it out and remain loyal to their first choice. The Obama campaign has to hope for a change of heart and a surge of support from the undecided voters that have not as of yet made a choice. With four weeks until the primary anything can happen and new information could turn the race in favor of either candidate. For now voters can add this to the growing level of acrimonious rhetoric coming out of the two camps as the Pennsylvania primary nears.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | Give your feedback on this article.

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