Back in 1994, Hillary Clinton first launched the cockamamie story that she had tried to join the US Marine Corps in 1975.
In 1975, just months after the last U.S. troops returned home, Hillary was living in Arkansas with Bill, who had mounted a failed bid for Congress the previous year. The young couple, who would marry later that year, were both teaching law at the University of Arkansas, when Hillary, for reasons never made entirely clear, decided to enlist in the Marines. When she walked into a recruiting office in Little Rock and inquired about joining, the recruiter on duty was unenthusiastic about the 27-year-old law professor in thick, goggle glasses. “You’re too old, you can’t see, and you’re a woman,” Clinton recalled him saying. “Maybe the dogs”–Marine slang for the Army–“would take you.” Deflated, Clinton said she decided to “look for another way to serve my country. “
And she decided that her best way of serving lay in staying married to Bill Clinton, drafting off his popularity to advance her career, killing the occasional diplomat, lying about it, and treating security regulations with a Leona Helmsley like casual contempt.
As the U.S. Marine Corps turns 240 years old this week, Hillary Clinton dusted off an old story that has previously been met with skepticism: When the Yale-educated lawyer moved to Arkansas in 1975, she says she tried to join the Marines.
She laughed Tuesday, the day before Veterans Day, as she recalled being turned away by a recruiter.
“He looks at me and goes, ‘Um, how old are you,'” Clinton said at an event in New Hampshire. “And I said, ‘Well I am 26, I will be 27.’ And he goes, ‘Well, that is kind of old for us.’ And then he says to me, and this is what gets me, ‘Maybe the dogs will take you,’ meaning the Army.”
It’s an open question whether the Marines would turn a woman away, especially someone who had an accomplished background like Clinton.
Hard to believe Clinton told a story so outlandish that even CNN, ever torn between being a spitter or a swallower, couldn’t stomach it. Let’s unpack this story.
In 1975, Hillary Clinton was a freakin lawyer who had passed the bar exam. The Marines would not have enlisted her as a Marine even has she wanted to. What that recruiter would have done, though, would have been immediately put her in contact with his commander. Hillary would have been interviewed by some commissioned officer and her case forwarded to the officer responsible of Judge Advocate General recruiting. She was not old for a JAG candidate and no recruiter on the face of the earth in 1975 was going to turn away anyone who could walk into the office. In 1975, you will recall, the draft hand just ended (the Army took in the final draftees in 1973). Without the specter of the draft, the volunteer pipeline was nearly extinguished and all services were struggling to make their numerical quotas with whatever crossed the threshold.
So Clinton’s story is bull**** from two perspectives. What she describes is not a process that existed. The context of the times indicates that even if the process was right, the recruiter acted in a way that no know military recruiter has ever been known to act.
The question, therefore, is why Hillary has decided to float this risible story again?
One reason: Bernie Sanders.
Bernie Sanders is an egregious draft dodger. He didn’t merely evade the draft like Bill Clinton by enrolling in ROTC under false pretenses. Sanders perjured himself. He lied to a draft board. He is the quintessential left wing pu**y draft dodger that actually did let some lower socio-economic status kid get drafted in his place.
By falsely claiming that she was turned down by a USMC recruiter, what Clinton is doing is trying to buy herself some credibility with women… the fat, older, somewhat dazed women who are Hillary’s key constituency… and to subtly differentiate herself from Sanders’s record.
We can also bet that this lie will resurface in the general election as none of the GOP contenders are military veterans and Hillary will claim pseudo-veteran status by virtue of this lie.