Duck, Mrs. Clin— Uh, Mrs. Nixon
Gosh, it would be fun to be an eyewitness sitting in the Clinton War Room today, hearing the Official Explainers duck and dodge the latest round on Mrs. Clinton’s “misspeak” of her dangerous arrival in Bosnia ducking and dodging sniper fire. Her story was fine until CBS released their video of her arrival, showing greeters not snipers, little girls presenting flowers, and the First Lady on a walk-about among welcoming dignitaries.
Well, today turned up another eye witness to correct the record, this one being the White House helicopter pilot who flew President and Mrs. Nixon during their unannounced secret trip in July of 1969 to Vietnam, one of the most dangerous war zones ever.
“For Mrs. Clinton to say she was the first First Lady taken into a war zone since Eleanor Roosevelt is absolutely untrue,” says Colonel Gene Boyer, who flew Mrs. Nixon in Vietnam as she visited the palace, an orphanage, a military evacuation hospital, and combat troops.
“We flew more than 1,500 feet above the ground in case of enemy fire,” Boyer says, “with fighter jets above and scores of helos flying under and around us for maximum protection. We even put down bullet proof mats on the helo floor.
“The Secret Service was against the trip,” Boyer says, “because the entire country was a war zone.”
In Julie Nixon Eisenhower’s 1986 biography of her mother, Pat Nixon: The Untold Story, she wrote that her mother’s trip to Vietnam was “the first time that a First Lady had been in a combat zone, although another First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, had also visited troops on her numerous travels to England and throughout the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand during World War II.”