Bill Clinton Says Hillary Tried to Join the Army

By Saira Anees

Apr 2, 2008 4:49pm

A big Indiana national security endorsement today for Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.

9/11 Commission Vice chair Lee Hamilton, a former member of Congress from the Hoosier state, announced that he’s backing the lanky Illinoisan.

Possibly to avoid being one-upped on Indiana national security politics, former President Bill Clinton told a crowd in Columbus, Indiana, today that his wife had tried to join the Army.

Listen to an excerpt HERE.

"I remember when we were young, right out of law school, she went down and tried to join the Army and they said ‘Your eyes are so bad, nobody will take you,’" he said, after heralding her record on issues of concern to the military, such as body armor and access to health care.

I assume this is a version of the "Hillary Clinton tried to join the Marines" anecdote that then-First Lady Clinton told in 1994 that we wondered about since it’s a story she never seems to have told again.

The original story was that in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in 1975, Hillary walked into a local Marines recruiting office. The Marine recruiter looked at her, she recalled, and asked how old she was. Twenty-seven, she said.

"He looked at me, and in those days that was before I learned how to wear contact lenses," Sen. Clinton told a crowd of women veterans in 1994. "I had these really thick glasses on. He said, ‘How bad’s your eyesight?’ I said, ‘It’s pretty bad.’ …Finally said to me, he said, ‘You’re too old. You can’t see. And you’re a woman.…But maybe the dogs would take you.’"

("Dogs" being a reference to the Army.)

Perhaps she did so — and hence Bill Clinton’s Army story today?

Or maybe he’s conflating the two stories?

(Add that Bosnian sniper fire, and you might have something there that Julia Roberts would want to option.)

jpt

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