LOS ANGELES – Upon arriving to the signing event for her new book “Hard Choices” at a Century City bookstore this morning, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea found themselves caught in the middle of a gang war and were forced to run with their heads down in an effort to escape being hit by gunfire. Both women managed to make it inside the bookstore without injury. Afterwards a stoic Mrs. Clinton told reporters that she feared for the safety of her daughter more than she did her own well being.
“Chelsea is with child and my own motherly instincts kicked in. As we ran I had my arms around her in an effort to shield her from the bullets whizzing past us. All mothers understand my actions because they’re an instinctual, innate reflex instilled by God.”
Mrs. Clinton’s entourage was scheduled to arrive at the rear of the building but at the last minute she asked her driver to drop her off in front of the store. Secret service agents were not informed of the change and continued to the back entrance.
“Chelsea and I just wanted to walk in through the front of the store like regular folks,” Mrs. Clinton said. “Unfortunately, a gang fight erupted when we got out of the car and we found ourselves running through a hailstorm of bullets.”
Few pedestrians were outside during the shootout so eyewitness accounts of the harrowing incident are scant. A female jogger saw people running but didn’t realize it was Mrs. Clinton.
“I saw two women running towards the store with their heads down. I thought maybe they were filming a movie or something. I didn’t hear any gunfire, but I was listening to my iPod. Luckily they weren’t harmed.”
A man entering a bank also said he saw two women running, “but I didn’t hear any gunfire.”
This afternoon Mrs. Clinton spoke of her horrifying ordeal on MSNBC’s Hardball with host, Chris Matthews.
HILLARY: Thank you, Chris. It was a close call.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Tell us what happened.
HILLARY: We arrived at a greeting ceremony that was being held inside a bookstore. I remember getting out of the car and was shocked to discover we were under sniper fire. So we just ran with our heads down to get into the bookstore before either of us were hurt. Fortunately my daughter and the fetus are safe. That’s the only thing that matters, Chris.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well you sure showed the American people how you react under pressure. Your actions were heroic, Madam Secretary, yet you’re so humble about it all.
HILLARY: Oh, Chris, I didn’t do anything a regular mom with financial difficulties wouldn’t do.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: You can relate to the common people, can’t you? I mean, most politicians live in a bubble. How have you been able to keep feelings of entitlement at bay?
HILLARY: Oh, Chris, I guess it’s just who I am. I’m fortunate to be financially secure today, but it wasn’t always that way. Bill and I really struggled after we left the White House. When you’re forced to choose between paying the electric bill or putting food on the table, it’s something you never forget.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: You don’t forget, do you Madam Secretary.
HILLARY: Well, I didn’t. And I think my daughter respects that. She remembers how Bill and I struggled financially after leaving the White House. By then Chelsea was attending an expensive college and it was a constant battle to come up with tuition payments. (Hillary sighs) It wasn’t easy, Chris. And that’s why I’m able to identify with so many Americans who are struggling today.
HILLARY: Oh lord! (laughs) If you only knew the cost of making that child presentable.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: (chuckles) I’m reminded of the Dorothy Parker quote, beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.
HILLARY: (laughing) Bill was so worried Chelsea was going to end up resembling one of his trailer park Tarts. But we hired the finest plastic surgeons in the world and the results they achieved were a godsend.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: The surgeons did a remarkable job. So even as you struggled to put food on the table, you somehow found the money to repair your daughter’s disagreeable appearance.
HILLARY: A mother’s love for her child is unconditional, Chris.
HILLARY: Oh, that’s easy. Genesis 10:8 – And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Did I read somewhere that if you and President Clinton had a son you planned to name him Nimrod?
HILLARY: Yes. We were trying to begat a Nimrod when I became pregnant with Chelsea.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: That’s a beautiful story, Madam President. I’m so glad you’re safe. Keep your head down!
HILLARY: (chuckling) Always a pleasure, Chris.