January 09, 2004


To properly appreciate the media reaction had George W. Bush made this joke, you’d have to detonate 40 kilos of Semtex in your pants:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton apologized for joking that Mahatma Gandhi used to run a gas station in St. Louis, saying it was "a lame attempt at humor."

The New York Democrat made the remark at a fund-raiser Saturday. During an event here for Senate candidate Nancy Farmer, Mrs. Clinton introduced a quote from Gandhi by saying, "He ran a gas station down in St. Louis."

After laughter from many in the crowd of at least 200 subsided, the former first lady continued, "No, Mahatma Gandhi was a great leader of the 20th century."

Great save.

Posted by Tim Blair at January 9, 2004 01:26 AM

Hillary's gaffe was the toast of St. Louis talk radio. Charles Jaco (of Gulf War I CNN fame) tried to make some lame excuse and was about blasted from the airwaves by furious callers.

Hell, it wasn't even a very good joke. Immigrant Indian Hindus never ran gas stations to any great extent, they ran convenience stores. Talk about out of touch with everyday America...Sheesh!

Posted by: Tongue Boy at January 9, 2004 at 01:34 AM

While the bitch is happy to bathe in Gandhis sunshine, is she willing to adopt a tenant of that mans philosophy - the futility of personal ambition.

Posted by: jafa at January 9, 2004 at 01:42 AM

Too bad she didn't follow it up with a line like "I just flew in, and boy are my arms tired!" How could she have failed to score with that one?

Posted by: Alice at January 9, 2004 at 02:03 AM

Q: When is the last time Hillary pumped gas?
A: The last time she spoke.

Posted by: stevo at January 9, 2004 at 02:05 AM

I am taking bets on how long it will be before the liberal media start lecturing us to "lighten up guys! It was just a joke!" Just imagine if Arnold had made that joke . . . . .

Posted by: Lewis at January 9, 2004 at 02:10 AM

It's OK for Hillary to say anything she wants about Ghandi. She, after all, is the liberals' sacred cow.

Posted by: Winston at January 9, 2004 at 02:14 AM


It's all in good fun.

Posted by: Randal Robinson at January 9, 2004 at 02:36 AM

I read a longer excerpt, and she just kept going with it for several sentences. She's right about one thing: The attempted joke was LAME. Doesn't strike me as someone with presidential-level intelligence. Ah, dang, now I don't know whether my last sentence was a joke.

Posted by: Bob71 at January 9, 2004 at 02:51 AM

All it shows is that she doesn't have the personality for jokes. Here's the audio

Hillary (42kb)

There's not much to work with there. If she could do dialect, which she may be able to do though we don't know it, there are possibilities

Subcontinent Dialect Joke Material (147kb)

Posted by: Ron Hardin at January 9, 2004 at 05:11 AM

Willie: [threatens children] You want to pick on immigrants? Then pick on Willie!
Skinner: Willie, please. The students want to pick on someone their own size.


Posted by: LB at January 9, 2004 at 05:50 AM

Hillary = Dork

Posted by: Quentin George at January 9, 2004 at 06:48 AM

Well, I actually agree with that well-known lefty and Clinton-oid James Taranto: For once, Hillary deserves some slack. It was a lame joke that Clinton's didn't have the wit to let alone. It's not as if she started chanting "Ghandi's mother sucks cock in Hell" then projectile vomited on the first six rows.

Her big mistake was not saying, "Get a life. I'll apologise for being a tin-eared nitiwit if Howard Dean goes first."

Tim, it's a fair point to say if Bush had done the same thing there would have been multi-media hysterics. Pretty good reason for us on the right to not blow Hellary being a dumb bitch out of proportion. Right?

Posted by: Craig Ranapia (Other Pundit) at January 9, 2004 at 06:58 AM

I live in St. Louis, and I have never seen someone of Indian heritage run a gas station or convenience store here.

The joke doesn't make much sense, but even less in relation to St. Louis.

Posted by: Jeremy at January 9, 2004 at 07:25 AM

Uhh, what's wrong with running a gas station? Is that somehow unworthy? A position to be mocked? I thought Sen. Clinton loved and fights for all working Americans. Or is this part of that anti-oil thing?

Posted by: John S at January 9, 2004 at 07:43 AM

Man, after about 14 years of listening to Rush, I have had it up to HERE with the "image if a conservative had said/done that?!" argument. It may be true, but it is STALE. Just grin and bear it through these gaffes by lefties, and let the voters dish out the punishment. Follow the president's lead and be compassionate conservatives, not whiners. Even if it makes you want to projectile vomit over the first 6 rows.

Posted by: pedro at January 9, 2004 at 08:25 AM

Quite right Pedro. The whole point is that we on the Right are better than the poor old lefties. We don't give a toss about such gaffes. The hypocisy of the left on these issues is well known. They SAY they care about the poor, the lame, the people of colour, but their actions always belie their words.

Posted by: Toryhere at January 9, 2004 at 08:41 AM

Calvin Trillin once opined that, if one were trepidatious about eating in an ethnic restaurant, one should probably not patronize it unless the ethnic group in question had at least a couple of aldermen on the local city council. The corollary seems to be that one can only make fun of ethnicities that don't have ANY aldermen on the local city council.

Posted by: Dick Eagleson at January 9, 2004 at 08:49 AM

Pedro, we can't rescue our brethren on the left from their hypocritical righteousness until they recognize what a bunch of two-faced blowhards they are. We don't enjoy pointing out what idiots they are, we do it to help them become better people.

It hurts us more than it hurts them. Honest.

Posted by: R. C. Dean at January 9, 2004 at 09:19 AM

In the first place, she murdered the joke. Secondly, it was rather insensitive - BUT (there's that liberal BUT again!) she gets a pass being the standard bearer of liberals who hate Howard Dean.

Would refering to Ms. Clinton as "trailer trash" be insensitive? And if so, to whom, the people who live in trailer parks?

Posted by: Scaramonga at January 9, 2004 at 09:21 AM

Well, I actually agree with that well-known lefty and Clinton-oid James Taranto: For once, Hillary deserves some slack. It was a lame joke that Clinton's didn't have the wit to let alone. It's not as if she started chanting "Ghandi's mother sucks cock in Hell" then projectile vomited on the first six rows.

Hillary probably does have the physical capability of doing that, along with rotating her head in a 360-degree circle. But, yea, Taranto's pretty much right, though I'd keep the videotape handy for the future moment when the missus goes after Bush or some other Republican for a verbal gaffe they just made.phy

Posted by: John at January 9, 2004 at 09:22 AM

A Democrat fund-raiser is never a place for jokes of any kind.

Candidates excepted.

Posted by: ilibcc at January 9, 2004 at 09:56 AM

"And we found the weapons of mass destruction ..."

How come this guy lies his ass off and gets a free pass because he's such a wacky guy?

Posted by: Burka at January 9, 2004 at 10:08 AM

Actually, a lot of gas stations are also convenience stores, at least in Florida. And quite a few are run by people of Middle-Eastern or Indian extraction. I like those stores the best because you can get real Indian incense cheap there instead of paying out the ass for it at some trendy smoke shop.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at January 9, 2004 at 11:16 AM

Oh yeah -- you can also get clove cigarettes cheaper at convenience stores too, if you are into that sort of thing.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at January 9, 2004 at 11:16 AM

Gahndi- what a loser; takes over a whole sub-continent and is still incontinent by the look of the nappy he was always wearing.
Helen Keller? When was the last time she slam-dunked?
Jesus Christ? Some carpenter- wound up getting nailed up himself.
Mother Theresa? She only kept lepers for her sideline business in medical supplies; turn on the fans, and instant skeleton.

Hillary's an amateur.

Posted by: Habib at January 9, 2004 at 11:30 AM

Give her a break -- she later "wowed" the crowd by smashing a watermelon which sprayed the first five rows. I almost died laughing...

Oh wait, that's someone else stuck in the 60's. Never mind.

Posted by: Jerry at January 9, 2004 at 02:13 PM

Bill to Hillary: What does a totally satisfied man say after sex?

Hillary: I have no idea.

Posted by: perfectsense at January 9, 2004 at 03:33 PM

John S.: I agree. What's shameful about running a gas station? But it was Hill's critics who were implying that there was some "harmful stereotyping" going on. Running a gas station is a hell of a lot more admirable than being the spokeperson for the Society of Po-Faced Ghandi Quoters.

Posted by: Ann at January 10, 2004 at 04:20 AM