During their interview on MSNBC Tuesday, Chris Matthews compared Hillary Clinton’s 2000 New York Senate run to Bobby Kennedy’s 1964 Senate candidacy after his brother was assassinated.
Matthews had asked her about how she’d responded to the “difficult situation” in Bill Clinton’s second term, a clear reference to his affair with Monica Lewinsky and subsequent impeachment, and ultimately made a successful run for the Senate in 2000.
“It’s different than supporting your spouse, isn’t it?” Matthews asked.
“Totally different,” Clinton said. “I had the hardest time when I started saying ‘I’ and ‘me.’ I’m happy to say my husband this, or candidate X or Y. But to stand up there and be the person out there, and it is a big challenge … There’s something a little bit daunting about holding yourself out, asking people to support you, to give you money, to vote for you. It’s hard.”
“You know who went through that?” Matthews asked. “Another New York senator, Bobby Kennedy. He was his brother’s brother, and all of the sudden he had to be the guy, and he stuck his neck out.”
Kennedy was the Attorney General when his brother, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated in 1963. He left the Lyndon Johnson administration the following year to run for the New York Senate seat and won. He went on to run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1968, but he was murdered the same night he won the California primary.
It was unclear if Matthews was directly comparing Clinton’s response to Bill Clinton’s affair to Kennedy dealing with the death of his brother.