I've been in the public spotlight for a long time. I've traveled all over the world and encountered some interesting people in some interesting places. I'd be hard-pressed to tell you that I could remember all of those venues, dinners, events and social functions.

So in a way, I can associate with the former first lady, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), and her recent run-in with the truth surrounding Bosnia. Yet she and I (along with the rest of the world, for that matter!) diverge on one key distinction — I can sure remember when I'm being shot at!

I'm referring of course, to the latest revelation by The Associated Press that Clinton "misspoke" last week when she told a rally about her harrowing ordeal of flying into Bosnia under heavy fire at the airport. C'mon, CNN ran photos of her greeting local schoolchildren there on the tarmac!

I'd like to tell you readers that this is a tempest in a teapot: another boring, quick-fizzling Roman candle of a story that the press has conjured up to tip the scales back into balance following a weeklong lashing over her primary opponent, Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.). But that would be too easy and too dismissive, especially given the perpetrator.

You don't need to be a political veteran in this town to know that both of the Clintons run hard and loose with the truth. Heck, Slick Willie gave new meaning to being "coated in Teflon" and was ignominiously immortalized for biting his lower lip and calling his mistress "that woman" ...

This was something more than getting caught up in the heat of the campaign moment — much more than embellishing a story to prove a larger moral, social or even political point. This is another incident in the long line of a PATTERN — a collection or trend of retellings that favor the Clinton name above any other. And that pattern points in one direction — the uncanny ability to say anything that will move her political football farther down the field.

Don't believe me? Just look at what her whole camp is saying this week about the latest delegate count and how electoral votes should decide this primary race! I just about fell out of my La-Z-Boy when I heard that one. Are you kidding me?

The sad commentary here is that the Clintons have so many good stories to tell, so much drama that she doesn't need to embellish the truth to prove a point. But perhaps those are the demons that haunt her — she is worried that the stories of her "successes" have finally come home to roost — and America's "First Black President" and his first lady of policy have really only made this country's problems worse, and Americans just learned that truth the hard way.

Visit www.armstrongwilliams.com .