Hillary Clinton Said "Mishpucka"
The following are clips from a C-Span video of the 2005 Roast of Rahm Emanuel, done as a charitable fund raiser for CURE, a research group on epilepsy. In it, Hillary states her family often used the word "mishpucka".
For those unfamiliar with the term, Mishpucka is Yiddish for "family" and is a term used to refer to the Jewish Mafia. The Mishpucka is well-represented in the Chicago area and Illinois, where Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama have held office. Hillary Rodham is from Park Ridge, Illinois.
"You know, Rahm and I have been through a lot together. Now, there's a word my family always used when I was growing up to describe the relationship you have with someone who has shared triumph and hardship with you.
That's the word WE used in the Rodham household in Park Ridge, Illinois.
The word was...'mishpucka'. (laughter, sly grin from Hillary).
So, Rahm, we're lucky to have you as part of our family! Bill and I cherish you as someone we count on and absolutely adore."
In the above clip, Emanuel glosses over the other meaning of "mishpucka":
"And Hillary, I just wanna say this: you said 'mishpucka' like somebody FROM Park Ridge, so... (laughter, applause). And for all the non-Jews, 'mishpucka' is "family" or, another way...of...well, we'll just leave it at that, it's 'family'."
When Hillary made the obligatory trip to Israel to win Jewish votes back home, she went to the Palestinian-controlled city of Ramallah. There she appeared onstage with Yasser Arafat's wife, Suha, who made the charge that Israel was poisoning Palestinian women and children with toxic gas. At the end of Mrs. Arafat's speech, Hillary marched to the podium and gave Suha Arafat a big hug and kiss. The photo of the two women kissing, which was played around the world, sowed serious doubts about Hillary in the minds of many Jewish voters.
The story about Clinton's Jewish family members received extensive media coverage in August 1999, three months before the November 1999 incident with Arafat:
- Washington Post, 8/7/99: "Her audience seemed to have little interest in the two media obsessions surrounding the first lady -- her recent remarks on her husband's infidelities, and the fact that her step-grandfather turns out to have been Jewish. (Headline in the New York Post: 'Oy Vey!')"
- Rita Cosby, Fox News, 8/5/99: "Another surprise from the first lady. As she campaigns in New York, she tells a Jewish newspaper that her step-grandfather, Max Rosenberg, was Jewish."
- Seth Gitell of the Jewish newspaper Forward, CNN, 8/5/99: "What we've found is that Hillary Clinton's grandmother, a woman named Della Murray, married a Russian Jewish immigrant named Max Rosenberg and had a daughter who was Hillary Clinton's half-aunt, who Hillary was in touch with until that woman died in December."