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Clinton: 'Misspoke'

Clinton's '96 Bosnia trip is getting renewed scrutiny as the campaign -- and the candidate -- now admits Clinton "misspoke" when she talked about her remembrances of that trip. The archive video footage seems to contradict Clinton's memory. "Video footage of that trip shows a smiling Clinton and her then-teenage daughter, Chelsea, casually walking -- without helmets -- from the helicopter to an outdoor welcoming ceremony," the LA Times writes. "'On one occasion, she misspoke,' Clinton campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson said Monday in reference to her Washington speech.

"In fact, Clinton also referred to having to move the Bosnia welcoming ceremony inside at least one other time, on Feb. 29. But, Wolfson insisted, Clinton was potentially in danger. 'There were reports of snipers in the hills and they were forced to cut short an event on the tarmac. That is what she wrote in her book,' he said of Clinton's memoirs.

"The Obama camp jumped on the discrepancies. 'When you make a false claim that's in your prepared remarks, it's not misspeaking, it's misleading, and it's part of a troubling pattern of Sen. Clinton inflating her foreign policy experience," Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said.'

In a meeting with the joint editorial boards of the Philadelphia Daily News and Inquirer, Clinton acknowledged that she "misspoke," made a "misstatement" in her remarks on her 1996 Bosnia trip. Here's what she said, in part: "Now let me tell you what I can remember, OK -- because what I was told was that we had to land a certain way and move quickly because of the threat of sniper fire. So I misspoke -- I didn't say that in my book or other times but if I said something that made it seem as though there was actual fire -- that's not what I was told. I was told we had to land a certain way, we had to have our bulletproof stuff on because of the threat of sniper fire."

More: "I gave contemporaneous accounts, I wrote about a lot of this in my book. you know, I think that, a minor blip, you know, if I said something that, you know, I say a lot of things -- millions of words a day -- so if I misspoke, that was just a mistatement."

The Boston Globe: "Clinton's recall of Bosnia faulted."

Clinton should have owned the news cycle with her unveiling of her mortgage/housing plan but the mini-feeding frenzy that developed over the Bosnia trip seemed to step on things.

The Boston Globe on Clinton's housing speech: "Clinton, seeking primacy on an issue crucial to working-class voters who are her core supporters, proposed that the Federal Housing Administration buy and restructure mortgage debt and called for a new $30 billion federal fund to help state and local governments fight foreclosures.

"The New York senator, who a year ago proposed a moratorium on mortgage foreclosures and more recently a five-year freeze on interest rates, acknowledged that such action could be described as a bailout. But she cast her proposal as a populist parallel to last week's relief for investment banker Bear Stearns by the Federal Reserve, saying 'it's now time for equally aggressive action to help families avoid foreclosure.'"

Today, the Clinton campaign will unveil its plan to keep Social Security secure and the candidate will take a whack at McCain on the issue. This is not a random day to do Social Security, it's the day that the trustees of Social Security and Medicare release their "annual assessment of the fiscal health of the gov't's two biggest benefit programs."

Clinton also told the Daily News and Inquirer, that "she was not altogether sure how her proposals would work in practice but called the ideas 'worth pursuing. . . . My biggest complaint is we've spent a year doing relatively little.'" She also hoped the U.S. Supreme Court would rule gun ownership was not an absolute right. 
 
NYT's David Brooks seems to agree with the Politico take that it's over for Clinton. "The only question is whether Clinton herself can step outside the apparatus long enough to turn it off and withdraw voluntarily or whether she will force the rest of her party to intervene and jam the gears.
If she does the former, she would surprise everybody with a display of self-sacrifice. Her campaign would cruise along at a lower register until North Carolina, then use that as an occasion to withdraw. If she does not, she would soldier on doggedly, taking down as many allies as necessary."

Bill Clinton as Sinatra?
- "It's up to you…" In what's becoming a familiar refrain, Bill Clinton told another state, Indiana this time, that "it's up to you." Reports NBC/NJ's Mike Memoli, Clinton said, "If Hillary wins a big victory in Pennsylvania, she will win in West Virginia in Kentukcy. That means if you vote for her in Indiana, she can win the popular vote, and I believe then she will be the nominee of the Democratic party and the next president of the United States. It is up to you."

More Bill on this "historic" race: "We're going to have a historic election regardless. We're gonna elect either our oldest president ever, or our first African American president, or our first woman president." Catch that "oldest?"

- When you're "young at heart…" Bill Clinton later amended his McCain remarks slightly: "This election's gonna bring a lot of change. We're either gonna elect the oldest person who's ever been elected president, Senator McCain, who's very young at heart."