Just imagine the fun that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are going to have with this one, though I won’t be surprised to see Fox News go easy on her.
Personally, I don’t hold this against Hillary Clinton, in the sense that I don’t think that she’s consciously fabulating. There are too many witnesses, too many records of a First Lady’s visit to make sense in lying about it. She has her stupid moments, lapses in judgment, but this is too much. What happened then?
Mrs. Clinton must be unaccustomed to the kind of imminent physical danger in war zones, and she must have had at least some apprehensions about flying in to recently war-torn Bosnia (though not so much that she wouldn’t bring her daughter along, for Christ’s sake). From the landing to her exit from the airport, subjectively, it could have been the greatest moment of anticipated physical danger in her life, whatever the actual situation turned out to be.
It is my personal experience that I misremember some of the most vivid moments of my life. Reality as I remember it is too often colored and distorted by the emotions, the joys and fears of the moment, the regrets and the triumphs. I imagine that this happens to the far more disciplined Mrs. Clinton as well. (Barack Obama has been caught off base in his first book; Roger Cohen, drawing on his own experience, made a similar case for him in a WaPo column.) It’s been twelve years since the event for her. Still., the damage is done; she has a reputation, and it’s working against her here. It’s too bad that nobody, including her daughter, bothered to stop her from embarrassing herself after the first slipup.