As part of a more general argument to the effect that Barack Obama has had it too easy during this presidential campaign and Hillary Clinton has had it too hard, Martin Kettle lines up, as more or less on a par, Obama's false claim that his great-uncle was involved in the liberation of Auschwitz and Clinton's that she was under fire when visiting Bosnia in 1996.
While neither claim is much to the credit of the candidate who made it, I don't agree with Martin that they are on all fours with each other. In Clinton's case, since what she alleged to have happened to her personally in fact didn't happen, we are left with the alternatives either that she was deliberately fabricating the story in order to embellish her image, or that she misremembered on a matter as potentially vivid as being under fire. To put in another way, either she was lying or she deceived herself bigtime. In the nature of the case, Obama was not present with his great-uncle at the liberation of Buchenwald, and so was not 'misspeaking' about a personal memory, so much as revealing his ignorance about some basic facts of World War II. That kind of ignorance may be surprising in a man campaigning for the US presidency, but it is less worrying and less culpable than the deliberate fabrication or the flattering self-deception (as the case may be) in Hillary Clinton's claim.