April 4, 2007

That's why Bubba calls her 'Sarge'

Great cover story by Michael Crowley in this week's The New Republic titled, "Hillary and the War: The Real Reason She Won't Apologize." An eyebrow raiser of an excerpt:

"Sifting through Hillary's life, a portrait begins to emerge of a woman who's always been more confortable with the military than many of her liberal peers," Crowley writes. "I found that Clinton had aggressively pushed her husband to use force when he was president; that one of her most influential new advisers was a former senior aide to hawkish Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia; and that, although she opposed President Bush's Iraq 'surge,' she has consulted regularly with one of its prime architects. I even found that, in her late twenties, Hillary Rodman Clinton briefly attempted to enlist in the U.S. Marines." (emphasis added)

Then again, is this really such a shock, Clinton's rhetorical contortions on Iraq aside?
The timing of Clinton's attempt to become a grunt is illuminating. The war in Vietnam "apparently didn't imbue Hillary with a loathing for the military," Crowley writes. "In 1975, just months after the last U.S. troops returned home, Hillary was living in Arkansas with Bill, who had mounted a failed bid for Congress the previous year. The young couple, who would marry later that year, were both teaching law at the University of Arkansas, when Hillary, for reasons never made entirely clear, decided to enlist in the Marines.

"When she walked into a recruiting office in Little Rock and inquired about joining, the recruiter on duty was unenthusiastic about the 27-year-old law professor in thick, goggle glasses. 'You're too old, you can't see, and you're a woman',' Clinton recalled him saying. 'Maybe the dogs' - Marine slang for Army - 'would take you.' Deflated, Clinton said she decided to 'look another way to serve my country.' "

Crowley doesn't attribute where Clinton recounted the episode, but my guess is that it appears in Clinton's memoirs, "Living History."

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