Among Hillary Clinton supporters and even among the Obama Hopium denizens opinion is divided on the question of Hillary as Secretary of State.
Some true blue Hillary Clinton supporters believe that the country is in such dire need of genuinely qualified and experienced leadership that Hillary should tutor the unqualified and inexperienced Obama and that Hillary can save the world.
Some droopy-eyed Obama supporters are upset that Hillary Clinton will lead the massive State Department apparatus and have control over American foreign policy and that Hillary and Bill Clinton loyalists will also control domestic economic policy – a de facto 44. The droopy-eyed denizens of Hopium alley are asking themselves “this is change?”
Some Hillary supporters are upset with Hillary for falling into a trap. Some Hillary supporters are upset with Hillary for not fighting the nefarious Obama. Some Obama supporters are upset with Obama for falling into a trap (or lying to them). Some Obama supporters are upset with Obama for not fighting the very intelligent Hillary.
We advise a much more cold-eyed, pragmatic approach.
We respect and admire Hillary Clinton but we have read the Psalmist (146.3) Put not your trust in princes. We respected and admired and defended Hillary Clinton during the primaries quite simply because she was and is the best, not a god, simply the best. On universal health care, economic policy and foreign policy Hillary is simply the best. However, when Hillary made her November 4 election recommendation we respected her yet did not follow her recommendation.
We are not worshippers at a Hillary shrine but we do recognize a remarkable jewel when we see one. We respect Hillary and listen with respect to what she says – but we do not genuflect. We do not bow and scrape and burn incense and chant – like those doopy-eyed commemorative plate and coin buyers in the Hopium dens.
On the Secretary of State situation – we will support Hillary’s decision, whatever it is, because it is a personal decision which requires balancing tests which Hillary herself is best positioned to weigh – even as we advise against Hillary placing herself inside a gilded cage. Of course, Hillary is a fabulous bird who has the capacity of pushing aside the bars and barriers of any cage.
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There is a faction within Big Media Hopium dens who foolishly denigrate Hillary Clinton at every turn. This faction even questions Hillary Clinton’s ability in foreign policy. We have no doubt that Hillary’s many experienced talents include foreign policy. Unlike those who dwell in Hopium dens we have history, facts, to support our beliefs.
To succeed at modern diplomacy, it helps to take the long view. As word trickled out that President-elect Barack Obama was considering Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State, Clinton was on the phone with the President of Pakistan. Asif Ali Zardari was calling with a long-overdue thank-you. Back in 1998, when Zardari’s late wife Benazir Bhutto was powerless and out of favor with the United States, the then First Lady had received her at the White House, over the objections of both the State Department and the National Security Council. Bhutto eventually regained her influence, and before her assassination last December, became an important U.S. ally. But she had never forgotten that act of graciousness, Zardari told Clinton on Nov. 14. “To be treated with such respect was very important.”
Perhaps Hillary served tea at her meeting with Benazir Bhutto. In Hillary’s hands, even a teacup is a potentially potent weapon in foreign policy. Obama is too unqualified and inexperienced to understand that type of power. During the primaries Obama denigrated Hillary’s foreign policy credentials as having tea with ambassadors.
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At a great moment during the civil rights struggle of the last century, Dr. King said unearned suffering is redemptive. For decades Hillary has been lashed and verbally beaten by the right wing of American politics. During this election cycle we witnessed the Democratic left decompose into Hillary Haters worse than Republicans and the right-wing.
Earlier tormentors like Richard Mellon Scaife who spent tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars to destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton this year endorsed her presidential bid. Even the far fringe of the far fringe – Ann Coulter – declared that in a general election race with Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate Coulter would not only endorse Hillary – she would campaign for Hillary.
The Dimocratic Party and Dean/Brazile/Pelosi/Kennedy selected Obama and gifted him the nomination. Hillary was hounded by Dean/Brazile/Pelosi/Kennedy to get out of the race for the nomination even as Hillary won primary after primary. The right-wing was watching and gained respect for Hillary.
How did the feminist wife of Bill Clinton, demonized as a fiend during much of his tenure, end up as the Great Right Hope of the party they bested? The race changed her, and it, beyond all expectations. [snip]
Conservatives watched, with surprise, with some awe, and with some bemusement. Perhaps this was her all along.
In the spring, conservatives found themselves pulling for Clinton, in the interests of keeping the Democratic feud going. But as time passed and she refused to dissolve in the face of adversity, a strategic alliance based on convenience became infused with a Strange New Respect. How tough she was. How relentlessly viable. How she resisted the pressure of Obama obsessives, who were trying to show her the door. And how right she was, at least from their viewpoint, and at least upon foreign affairs. “Hillary became the sane one in the race, at least from Republicans’ perspectives,” as Jennifer Rubin observed as the race ended, noting that she was the one who had ridiculed Obama’s plans to meet unconditionally with the leaders of terrorist governments, who had defied her party to vote to classify the Iranian National Guard as a terrorist outfit, who had “looked at George Stephanopoulos with a look of incredulity” when he asked why, if Iran attacked Israel, she would bomb Iran into rubble, or at least smithereens.
The Dimocrats were watching too:
This shift in the Hillary Clinton persona did not go unobserved on the left, which commenced to tear her apart in the same terms of endearment it would later unleash upon Sarah Palin, and had used before on George W. Bush and Joe Lieberman. Moveon.org, founded ten years ago by liberal Democrats to defend the Clintons against impeachment proceedings, now assailed her with the savage ferocity they had once reserved for Ken Starr. As a result, perhaps, Hillary later refused to attack Sarah Palin, and treated her, and McCain, with personal courtesy throughout the campaign.
Our right-wing enemies and opponents agree with us that history is a teacher:
As for the conservatives, many of those who began 2008 willing to do anything to defeat her tended to end it feeling sorry she lost. They began to tell themselves and each other they would sleep better at night if she were the nominee of her party, for reasons having to do with the now-famous three a.m. phone call. She would not, they said, have gone to Berlin and said that the city was saved by the world coming together; she would have known that the Air Force had something to do with it. As thoughts turned later on to possible cabinet picks, the thought of Hugo Chavez and Vladimir Putin staring into the clueless eyes of John Kerry and/or Bill Richardson roused still more anxiety. Better the steely gimlet-eyed stare of a Hillary Clinton. They feared Iran now, not the former First Lady. The days when they feared her now seemed far away.
Hillary Clinton deserves our respect and has earned our admiration.
Like a lighthouse in the dark, Hillary stands alone, casting a light to bring us home. Shine on Hillary.