Current Affairs

Hillary caught out over “sniper fire” claims

Tony Grew March 26, 2008
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Presidential hopeful Senator Hillary Clinton has admitted she “made a mistake” over her claims that while visiting Bosnia in 1996 she was subject to sniper fire.

The Former First Lady has been keen to portray her time in the White House as proof of her foreign affairs credentials.

Earlier this month she claimed to have played a key role in the Northern Ireland peace process.

In a series of interviews last week she claimed that after her plane landed in Tuzla, Bosnia, she and her daughter Chelsea had to run for cover as they were targeted by sniper fire.

In a speech in Washinton last week Mrs Clinton, who has represented New York state in the US Senate since 2001, said:

“I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.”

However, footage of her arrival uncovered by US TV stations shows the First Lady and her daughter being greeted by a small girl with a posy of flowers as they walk calmly from the plane.

Yesterday Mrs Clinton claimed her memory of the event was different but admitted she had made a mistake.

“That happens,” she said.

“It proves I’m human, which, you know, for some people, is a revelation.

“This is really about what policy experience we have and who’s ready to be Commander-in-Chief.

“And I’m happy to put my experience up against Senator Obama’s any day.”

The Obama camp, the focus of her attacks because their candidate is relatively inexperienced, having only served in the Senate since January 2005, said she had made the whole thing up.

Senators Clinton and Obama are still effectively neck-and-neck for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.

The Republicans already have a presumptive candidate, Senator John McCain.

Neither Democrat candidate can secure enough delegates to August’s nominating convention to win outright, even if they took all the remaining caucuses and primaries in eight states and two US territories.

The next state to decide will be Pennsylvania on April 22nd, with the rest of the contests in May and June.

The 795 super-delegates can vote for whoever they want and they will ultimately decide who wins the nomination.

All Democratic Congressmen, state Governors and former and current office holders, along with members of the Democratic National Committee, are super-delegates.

Many party activists, alarmed at the prospect of a bitter and acrimonious fight all the way to the convention, are pushing the candidates to compromise and come together on a President/Vice President ticket.

A Newsweek poll conducted earlier this month found 69% of Democrats are now in favour of a combined “Dream Team” ticket, though the poll did not specify which candidate would run as President.

Former President Bill Clinton talked up the prospect of a Clinton/Obama ticket in recent weeks.

“He would win the urban areas and the upscale voters, and she wins the traditional rural areas that we lost when President Reagan was President,” he said while campaigning in Mississippi.

“If you put those two things together, you’d have an almost unstoppable force.”

The Clinton camp has made it clear it would be willing to accept Senator Obama as a Vice Presidential candidate.

“You won’t see me as a Vice Presidential candidate,” was his response.

“I’m running for President. We have won twice as many states as Senator Clinton, and have a higher popular vote, and I think we can maintain our delegate count.”

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