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The Quiet Heroism of Hillary Clinton

1:05 PM, Dec 31, 2007 • By DEAN BARNETT
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A nascent narrative has developed that suggests Hillary Clinton wasn't really a co-president serving alongside her beloved husband, but in truth performed the more traditional First Lady roles of running pointless goodwill missions and publishing chocolate chip cookie recipes in Parade Magazine. Obviously, the Clinton campaign, reliant as it is on its candidate's purported "experience," can't take this charge lying down. To rebut this slander, Team Clinton has released a harrowing tale of Hillary's heroism:

(Clinton argued) she risked her life on White House missions in the 1990s, including a hair-raising flight into Bosnia that ended in a "corkscrew" landing and a sprint off the tarmac to dodge snipers.

"I don't remember anyone offering me tea," she quipped. (Aaah, the gallows humor of the remarkably brave!)

The dictum around the Oval Office in the '90s, she added, was: "If a place was too dangerous, too poor or too small, send the first lady."

It turns out that Clinton wasn't quite flying solo into harm's way that day.

She was, in fact, leading a goodwill entourage that included baggy-pants funnyman Sinbad, singer Sheryl Crow and Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, then 15, according to an account of the March 1995 trip in her autobiography "Living History."

As the plane approached the runway, the pilot ordered the Clintons into the armored front of the plane, Clinton writes.

What' not clear is whether Sinbad or Crow were invited to the cockpit or had to brave it out in the unprotected rear.

Upon hearing this remarkable anecdote, assorted questions rush to mind:

1) Does it jeopardize Bill Clinton's legacy that he so cavalierly put his beloved bride in harm's way?

2) What does it say about Hillary that, by her own (admittedly fanciful) telling, she knowingly put her daughter in harm's way, taking a special Mom-and-daughter (and Sinbad) trip to a place that was "too dangerous?"

3) Can America forgive Hillary for jeopardizing the life of national treasure Sheryl Crow?