Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Unmasking Hillary

Hillary Clinton's record.... she boasts of "35 years of experience" ....includes most importantly her claims to have played a pivotal role in decision-making and foreign policy during Bill's presidency.

We'll put aside the fact that she had no top security clearances, and her just-released White House schedule reads more like redacted tea-pouring events. Let's weigh her experience, her judgement, her character, and her claims against the actual record:

Dangerous foreign trips. Last week, during a written speech at George Washington University, Hillary said if "a country was too small, too poor,or too dangerous the president couldn't go, so send the First Lady."

To prove her point, she described a trip to Yugoslavia in 1996 where she said the plane had to land "corkscrew"-style to avoid surface-to-air threats and "I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base."

Good story. But, this week firsthand reports.... and video tapes of her visit contradicting her account.... continued to surface. (YouTube)

Others on the trip said there was no "corkscrew landing," no "sniper fire," and video clips show Hillary walking across the tarmac, greeting a Bosnian girl and well-wishers.... no run "with heads down" to get into vehicles.

U.S. Air Force journalist, Don Jackson, who was on the tarmac when she arrived, said "there was no enemy fire, and no imminent danger."

This oft told story.... in dramatic fashion at her campaign rallies.... always includes "sniper fire."

Hillary now says she just "misspoke." In a recent interview with the Philadelphia Daily News she dismissed it as a "minor blip." Brings back memories of "what is, is." She learned how to fog from the master. But, she isn't the master, and her words and deeds are coming back to haunt her.

NAFTA. In a January 2004 news conference, Hillary said she thought Bill Clinton's NAFTA legislation "on balance has been good for New York and good for America." But, needing to win primary states stomped on by NAFTA.... Ohio and upcoming Pennsylvania and Indiana.... she now says that she has "long been a critic of the shortcomings of NAFTA"

No Child Left Behind. Hillary voted in favor of The Decider's 2002 education bill hailing it as "a major step forward." Now, with student performance plummeting and teachers raging against the limitations the bill places on their ability to perform, she now attacks the law as a "test, test, test" approach.

War in Iraq. Hillary voted for the war, and defended that vote until her last debate when cornered by moderator Tim Russert.

Ending the war in Iraq. In June 2006 Hillary restated her long standing opposition to a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops in Iraq.

Now.... faced with the continuing unpopularity of the war and Barack Obama's promise to withdraw troops in a responsible way she's trying to catch up with his Iraq stance. She now says she'll "start withdrawing" troops within 60 days of her inauguration, bring out "one or two brigades a month" and have "nearly all of the troops out" by the end of 2009.

Drivers licenses for illegal aliens. In a campaign statement in October 2007, Hillary initially expressed support for New York governor Eliot Spitzer's plan to offer limited drivers licenses to illegals. Yet, in a presidential debate two weeks later, after first trying to defend her stand, she finally said "No" when asked if she approved of the unpopular drivers license idea.

Florida and Michigan delegates. In September 2007, the Clinton campaign formally pledged not to participate in primary or caucus elections staged before February 5, 2008 in defiance of DNC rules. She now says delegates from those states should be seated at the Democratic convention, flaunting the rules that all the major Democratic candidates endorsed.

Foreign policy. "There is no doubt that I played a major role in many of the foreign policy decisions." Hillary interview with NPR, March 13, 2008. (WaPo)

Northern Ireland. Hillary claimed to be "intimately involved" in the Northern Ireland peace process although the chief negotiator, George Michael, said that Clinton was "not involved directly" in the diplomatic negotiations, and a former northern Ireland chief minister, David Trimble, described Hillary as more of a "cheerleader" than a "principal player."

Macedonia and Kosovo. Hillary claimed that she had "negotiated" with the Macedonian government to persuade it to re-open its border with Kosovo during the NATO air war against Yugoslavia in May 1999. Actually, the border was re-opened the day before she arrived in Macedonia. She did press the Macedonia president to keep the borders open. But she didn't "negotiate" to open them.

Hillary's "35 years of experience"-resume reminds me of a New Yorker cartoon where the applicant being interviewed for a job was told: "I'm afraid your M.B.A. loses some of its lustre in light of the fact that you were home-schooled."

As Bill and Hill pursue their scorched-earth campaign tactics.... "the audacity of hopelessness".... Hillary's overinflated resume is being exposed for what it is. Truly, she's a legend in her own mind.

No comments: