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Hillary tells it to the Marines

Wesley Pruden

By Wesley Pruden

Published Nov. 13, 2015

Hillary tells it to the Marines

The girl just can't help herself. Hillary Clinton has a trust problem. Voters tell the pollsters they think she's a liar. Nobody but party hacks and feminist true believers trust her.

Some of her lies, like the one she tells about what really happened at Benghazi, are deadly serious. Some of them are more fibs and stretchers than deadly serious lies. Some are harmless and even amusing, like stories about the new bride who can't tell a straight story about her unbalanced checkbook or how a dent in the new family car got there.

But she's a big girl now, old enough to wear a big girl's pantsuit, who thinks she's ready to be the president of the United States, whose word is always taken as the truth, or at least as fact. Hillary revels in the tall tale, badly told.

She resurrected one from the archives this week at a breakfast in New Hampshire. She wanted to demonstrate her solidarity with the fighting men and women in uniform. Bubba was a malingerer but she has been boasting for years that she once tried to join the Marines.

She told the sad story of her visit to the recruiter. "He looks at me and goes, 'umm, how old are you?' And I said, 'Well, I am 26, I will be 27.' And he goes, 'Well, that is kind of old for us.' And then he says to me, and this is what gets me, 'Maybe the dogs will take you,' meaning the Army."

Interservice rivalry and disrespect, though surely rare, is truly shocking. Since she likes this story so much she should work on timing and content. To affect the hipster, she should get the barracks slang right. The men in the infantry are called "dogfaces," not dogs.

She first told the story in 1994, at a luncheon on Capitol Hill shortly after she and Bubba came to town. Bubba had just been elected after struggling against the revelation that he was a draft-dodger when other young men went to war in Vietnam, and Hillary thought military uniforms in the White House were toxic. But now she has to make nice.

The story about trying to be a Marine, which she told as fact, not whimsy, was never believable. She had been an anti-war commencement speaker at Wellesley College, where she was president of the student body and had organized teach-ins in opposition to the Vietnam War. She worked in the presidential campaign of George McGovern. Soldiers and Marines were baby-killers and war criminals. A nice girl from Wellesley wouldn't have had anything to do with baby-killers and war criminals.

Perhaps, as Tony Kornheiser wrote in The Washington Post, "she was looking for a few good men as she was about to marry a man who was looking for a few good women." One Hillary friend, trying manfully to be helpful, suggested that since she was a Yale law graduate she probably aspired to be a Marine judge advocate general.

Hillary has a history of tall tales gone south. She once told the whopper that her mother named her for Sir Edmund Hilary, who with his Sherpa, Tenzing Norgay, first climbed to the summit of Mount Everest, the world's tallest peak. But Hillary was born in 1947 and Hilary (with one 'l') conquered Everest in 1953. Nevertheless, Hillary stuck to her story about what she said was her mother's story. Her mother, now dead, had read about the obscure beekeeper 10,000 miles away when she was expecting Hillary.

Hillary boasted that she helped negotiate peace between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. Nobody at the negotiations remembered her. She said she was "under fire" in Bosnia, and told how her plane had to make a harrowing landing, which was news to the pilot and other passengers. She just can't resist playing "Can you top this?"

When Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York remarked that his daughter was a senior at Stuyvesant High School next door to the World Trade Center on September 11, Hillary countered with the tale that Chelsea was jogging around the World Trade Center when the first plane hit, and had to duck into a coffee shop for shelter. Chelsea, it turned out, was actually home in bed four miles away. Later, when Hillary was telling the world that the raid on the Benghazi legation was revenge for an obscure YouTube video mocking the Prophet Mohammed, she told Chelsea it was the act of terror that the White House would finally admit it was.

"At this point," Hillary might ask, "what difference does it make?" But if she lies to us, why won't she lie to presidents and prime ministers later. Who would believe the president of the United States? America deserves a president everybody can trust.

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JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.

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