Hil Has No Room for Error
September 14, 1999 - Sidney Zion - NY Daily News
The way this clemency deal backfired on Bill and Hillary, you don't
need a wire to hear them crying, "Dick Morris, where the hell you
been?" If Bill Clinton's release of a few Puerto Rican terrorists was
designed to put his wife in the Senate, somebody forgot to run a poll. Morris
would have nixed this hands down.
An old Tammany pro like Morris
wouldn't even need a poll to let the First Family know that you don't pick up
votes here by letting loose felons who are part of an organization that has
maimed cops and killed civilians.
Of course, you don't need Dick Morris to
understand that what Hillary did was idiotic. First, she backed the clemency,
next she opposed it, last heard from she allowed as how she should have
"consulted" with Hispanic leaders who favor clemency.
did she think they'd say, other than she was right the first time and wrong the
The political question is this: How bad does her flip-flop hurt her
in her race against Rudy Giuliani for the Senate? I think all it does is reduce
her margin for error, almost to point-zero. She looked like an amateur, and she
can't afford to look like an amateur again.
But it's not the same as Vinny
Testaverde going down on opening day. The Jets have 15 games to go;
Hillary has 14 months to go before election. Bill Parcells would rather manage
Hillary than the Jets right now, bet me.
The polls have it even, with Hillary
maybe losing two points to Rudy over the flip-flop on the Puerto Ricans. What
this indicates is that the issue has no legs, will probably be forgotten by
If the Hispanic vote is the game, where have the Hispanics
to go? Rudy was totally against clemency and in the end Bill Clinton
granted freedom to those who renounced terrorism.
Note well that the
Hispanic leaders who denounced Hillary did not endorse Rudy. He has had
support for mayor in the Hispanic community, but note well again that Rep.
Jose Serrano (D-Bronx), who dropped his support for Hillary, did not come out
for Rudy and he backed Al Sharpton for mayor against
But if the Hispanics can't turn to Rudy, what about the suburban
and upstate vote? This is where Hillary was hurt by supporting the release of
And the question is, what if she didn't switch, what if she
stuck with supporting clemency? This is the definition of being middled, and
the man who middled her was the President of the United States.
exactly known as Clemency Clinton the last thing he ever does is let
people out of the can. Jonathan Pollard has been sitting in prison for 14
years , and nobody says he killed people. But Clinton has refused to send
Pollard to Israel all he says is it's being studied.
Well, we never
heard about any "studies" on the FALN terrorists this
clemency came on like Hurricane Dennis. The Justice Department opposed
it, and only Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Desmond Tutu want them
This is not to say the sentences were not overly severe up to
90 years for people who were never convicted of directly killing Americans.
What's hard to say is that Bill Clinton suddenly felt compassion for them
without regard to his passion for Hillary for Senate.
It'll pass, but Hillary
had better understand that this is the last error, else she's Vinny and the
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