Wednesday, March 26

Truth may be stranger than fiction, but sometimes it needs a boost

The buzz on the political front this week has been about an exaggeration of fact Senator Clinton told about a trip she took to Bosnia in 1996. She said in a speech last week that her entourage landed in Bosnia under sniper fire and "ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base." The truth of the matter was that although she had been warned about the possibility of sniper fire, they landed without incident.

"I made a mistake," Senator Clinton said in response to her mis-speak Tuesday. "That happens. It proves I'm human, which you know, for some people, is a revelation."

Unfortunately, this "human" moment has now caused her credibility to be questioned and one pundit went as far to say that Americans will have trouble believing anything she has said or will say in the future.

Actually, I think this exaggeration of fact could have far wider implications and possibly disqualify women from ever serving as President of the United States because, well, women like to stretch the truth.

You give a woman a boring story about going to buy milk and she will turn it into a 10 minute epic complete with a fashion tip, cute baby story and a lesson we can all learn from.

Women all know other women add a little fluff to their stories. It's a universally accepted truth and one that has served mankind well over the centuries. In fact, women are quite good at it. For example, when is the last time you or someone you know...

  • Subtracted a few years from your age?
  • Added a few hours (or 5) to the length of your labor with your first child?
  • Conveniently forgot where you bought the skirt you're wearing because you don't want to admit you bought it second hand?
  • Rounded the number of dollars down so your husband doesn't know you spent $150 for a pair of jeans (and they were worth every penny!).
  • Fudged the number of pounds you've lost (or haven't lost).
  • Thrown in a few more details to make the trip home from the dentist more interesting (and then the car was swallowed up by a pot hole the size of our pool before the rabid dog could jump in the window).
  • Rounded a number up to the nearest 1,000 (as in "there must have been at least a 1,000 people in front of me at the bank").
  • Said you were under sniper attack in Bosnia

So Hillary, I can empathize with your plight this week. I was also caught in the cross hairs of a sniper attack when my two-year-old carved a 22 foot stick into a bazooka and proceeded to hold his sister hostage in a jail cell that looked strangely like my linen closet. After intense negotiations, the two-year-old put down his weapon after being lured away by the promise of Cheez-Its and a phone call from Elmo. It was a scary afternoon for all of us, so I definitely understand the fear you must have felt when those snipers lobbed grenades and missles at your plane.

We've all been there. We've all been there.


Jane @ What About Mom? said...

Very Funny.

I want to like Hillary (regardless of my party inclinations), but she makes it hard for me.

I think it would be safer to say that Entertainers or Commedians exaggerate.

And we probably don't want an Entertainer or Commedian as president.

Vicki said...

I realize your post is humorous and pokes fun at our tendencies to make life a little more interesting. It does shed light on something we all don't take seriously enough--that a lie is a lie.

Those truth stretchers that were brought up (the age, the weight, the cost of the jeans) above are deliberate misguidances. Both men and women do it, and it's not excusable because they are "little white ones".

By calling Hillary's lie an "exaggeration of fact" you're letting her get away with purposefully deceiving us.

I will not trust what she says because she lied about this. I wouldn't trust a friend either if she lied to me about her labor length. Unless you are specifically writing or speaking for entertainment purposes it all comes down to integrity. I doubt Hillary was trying to be funny with her remarks. Her purpose for turning a safe, uneventful arrival into a terror-filled head ducking thriller is to make her look more legitimate and experienced, not to lighten the mood with a good story.

Melissa said...

That was a dumb thing for her to do. It is very obvious that she is trying to lead people to believe that she has some sort of credibility equal to that of a war hero.

This may have been the straw that breaks the camel's back. Or, shall I say the Clinton's back? Too many lies are associated with the Clinton name.

Natalie said...


This was definitely written in jest and although I'm not a supporter of Hillary's, I don't think it's fair to judge a candidate on a fact that was distorted because I'm not entirely convinced she meant to do it on purpose.

This morning Fox News were recounting McCain and Obama's distortion of facts over the last year and saying how difficult it is to give hundreds of speeches a month and to keep all your facts straight.

So if McCain and Obama also do it, then why has Hillary taken such a hit? Two possible reasons:

1)as Melissa alluded, Hillary has gotten caught in numerous exaggerations over the years and this may just continue to prove that her word can't be trusted.

2) She's held to a different standard than the men.

Ultimately, we need to rise above the fray and use more than the occasional slip-up to evaluate a candidate.


The Gang's All Here! said...

Oh My Word. You crack me up. And I can see the intense negotiations with Jr. in my mind. Who knew Elmo had such sway.

But the other posters are right - this exaggeration is unfortunately just another incident in a long line of reasons we don't trust her.

Regardless of why she's being nailed for it, the fact remains that she did do it. And at a point in her campaign when people are really being pressed to make a decision between her and Obama. Unfortunate timing to get flowery and stretchy with her words.

The Gang's All Here! said...

And yes, I do believe a lie is a lie. I in no way mean to downplay (as she is doing in her responses) the serious-ness of her lie. I am more intrigued by the timing of it all - poorly done.

Anonymous said...

When you're interviewing for a job and you're asked to identify your greatest weakness, is it a lie to say that you're "too loyal" when you really know you're a terrible organizer? While the Clinton "lie" is a bit different, I think it's appropriate to weigh her mistatements in the context of a political campaign where the candidates regularly exaggerate their skills and experiences to appeal to voters. It's a practice as old as the job interview.

Kendra said...

First time on your blog and I love it. I love politics ~ I'm a political junkie.

Isn’t her lie really a disgrace to our Military Men and Woman who truly are put in harms way? I believe that the pilot stated that not only were there no bullets in the air, there wasn’t even a bee flying in the air.
How can you accidentally get that wrong?? "I was shot at....Oh I wasn't...hmmm I just don't remember." Honestly!

Six in the Mix said...

I've definitely been there. This morning my toddler threatened to burst our eardrums if he didn't get juice. But my policy is that I don't negotiate with terrorists. I subdued the twirp single-handedly (quite literally)and I hope that he will consider peaceful negotiations in the future.


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