By her own admission, Hillary Clinton is not a natural politician.
In fact, Clinton has been something of a gaffe machine over the last four days, averaging one embarrassing flub per day.
Last Friday, Hillary Clinton attended the funeral of a fellow first lady, Nancy Reagan. While discussing her legacy with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Clinton stepped in it by saying that Nancy and her husband had started “a national conversation” about HIV/AIDS.
Clinton’s comment drew outrage, in large part because of hostility toward President Reagan in the LGBT community. While some of this hostility is unfair—Reagan called for and approved a massive increase in funding to research and combat HIV/AIDS, and he publicly opposed a California effort to discriminate against gay schoolteachers—it is fair to say that the Reagans did not start “a national conversation” about HIV/AIDS: they rarely spoke publicly about the issue, especially in the early years of the Reagan presidency.
On Saturday, Clinton jabbed her opponent, socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), for being all talk and no action on health care reform.
“I don’t know where he was when I was trying to get health care in ’93 and ’94,” Clinton said at a rally in St. Louis, referring to her abortive effort to pass a health care reform act, dubbed ‘Hillarycare,’ in the mid-1990s.
This line of attack turned into a rout for her opponent when a video surfaced of Clinton praising Sanders for his “leadership in this great [health care] reform effort.” A note from Clinton to Sanders lauding him for his “commitment to real health care” also emerged.
On Sunday, Clinton lit an exploding cigar by stating her intention to destroy coal country.
“We’re gonna put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business,” Clinton said.
Clinton quickly added that she would support measures to help miners put out of work by her measures.
On Monday, Clinton defended her support for the 2011 U.S. military intervention in Libya, but flubbed the facts yet again.
“Libya was a different kind of calculation,” Clinton said, adding that the United States “didn’t lose a single person” as a result of the intervention.
Clinton didn’t mention the 2013 terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, which killed four Americans. The omission brought renewed attention to one of Clinton’s biggest political liabilities, given her controversial actions as secretary of state before and after the attack.