I really hate it when presidential candidates lie so brazenly about their military records, don’t you?
Hillary Clinton once claimed that she tried to join the Marines in 1975, shortly before marrying her draft-dodging boyfriend, future president Bill Clinton. Or did Hillary Diane Rodham attempt to join the Army, as Clinton suggested in 2008? Or did she indeed try to sign up for the Marine Corps as part of an experiment to see how receptive the military was to female volunteers, as her friends have suggested?
In June 1994, the then-first lady spoke at a luncheon for female military veterans where she told a story about her attempt to sign up for the Marines in 1975.
“You’re too old, you can’t see and you’re a woman,” Clinton recalled a young military recruiter telling her. “Maybe the dogs would take you,” he added, referring to the Army. [You sure that’s what he meant? Ed.]
“It was not a very encouraging conversation,” Clinton added. “I decided maybe I’ll look for another way to serve my country.”
So, after Wellesley College (’69) and Yale Law (’73), after working on the House impeachment committee in 1974, and around the time she accepted Bill’s proposal of marriage and joined him in Arkansas, she tried to become a jarhead? Ironic that she never waded the “shores of Tripoli”, but instead crashed and burned in Benghazi.
But it’s not just in Bosnia where Hillary’s war stories wax poetic:
But many were skeptical of the claim at the time. And in more recent years — in April 2008, to be exact — Bill Clinton said that his wife had attempted to sign up for the Army, not the Marines.
“I remember when we were young, right out of law school, she went down and tried to join the Army and they said ‘Your eyes are so bad, nobody will take you,’” Clinton said at a campaign event, according to Jake Tapper, then a reporter with ABC News.
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd called Clinton’s claims into question at the time. She asserted that Clinton’s story “did not seem to fit in with the First Lady’s own persona” and that her claimed fervor for the military did not match her political work for anti-war Democrats or her then-boyfriend Bill’s recent dodging of the Vietnam War draft.
“Rodham was an up-and-coming legal star involved with an up-and-coming political star,” wrote Dowd, a longtime critic of the Clintons. “She had made a celebrated appearance in Life magazine as an anti-establishment commencement speaker at Wellesley College, where, as president of the student government, she had organized teach-ins on her opposition to the Vietnam War.”
Clinton had also recently moved to Arkansas in order to be with her future husband, she told friends. The couple was married on Oct. 11, 1975.
“So, if she was talking to a Marine recruiter in 1975 before the marriage, was she briefly considering joining the few, the proud and the brave of the corps as an alternative to life with Mr. Clinton, who was already being widely touted as a sure thing for Arkansas Attorney General?” Dowd asked.
I always thought failed romances led to enlistment in the French Foreign Legion, not the Leathernecks.
But who is she kidding?
“Is it possible she was testing?” Blair asked. “I don’t remember if she was seriously exploring a career, or was moved by curiosity, or patriotism or feminism. I wish I had kept notes.”
Ann Henry, another friend of Clinton’s and a business professor at the University of Arkansas in 1994, told The Post that she vaguely remembered Clinton mentioning the military in 1975.
Conducting a test of the military’s response to a female applicant “would have been consistent with what was going on with us at the time,” Henry told The Post.
A career anti-military leftist, whose senior thesis was on Saul Alinsky, a little long in the tooth and with bad eyes, could still volunteer for the Marines. But I doubt it.
As for that other “liar”, Dr. Benjamin Carson:
The door to the ROTC room opened and I heard the sharp commands of cadet colonel Ben Carson. For ROTC cadets, Colonel Carson would be a mixture of discipline and education. As a black officer in a predominately black school, these cadets he commanded were a distinct minority in a school where the Black Panther Party followers were dominant and antagonistic.
For me, on that morning as a young ROTC cadet, I saw this tall slender ROTC Commandant of Cadets who reminded us of a better way, a more honorable way, to conduct ourselves.
Carson’s firm but calm demeanor then was similar to his announcement for president now. He was not loud or bellicose, like the words and angry pronouncements spilling out from the Black Panther Party leaders in the school and in the neighborhood.
That day and in the days that followed, he discussed an honor and duty that each of the cadets had to embrace for themselves to help themselves and the nation. At this first formal cadet formation, Cadet Colonel Carson laid out a litany of expectations and goals that he insisted were not his goals, but were to be our goals, if we were to ever leave high school and go further and higher in life.
While his words nourished this young cadet, I still thought of my father who was lying in a hospital bed and wondered how could words that were intended to nourish and train and create a pathway toward freedom from the neighborhood streets could truly be anything more than simply words. What Carson trained us to understand and even embrace was the notion that words do have power based upon constructive action.
Even as the black ROTC cadets were called “Uncle Toms” and at times much worse, the power of Carson’s words and his instructions and those of the other officers under his command moved about their training roles with the guidance he imparted. He was a leader who was teaching how to take command by first taking responsibility. When he made corrective suggestions to officers, sergeants and privates alike, it was done to improve and enhance the cadet.
As I wrote yesterday, this episode in Carson’s life only burnishes his reputation. I had thought he was just a smart kid who overcame any barriers of money, class, and race to become one of the most respected surgeons in the country. I never knew that he had proven experience of leadership, and had impressed a completely different realm of professionals—the US military—before excelling in medicine.
Only in the cesspool of American media could Carson’s exemplary talents—he could have been a general or the Surgeon General (or president)—be soiled by suspicion and innuendo. And Hillary’s soldier-hating past and her lies get a good leaving-alone.