LOS ANGELES, January 30, 2013 — Secretary of State Hillary “What difference at this point does it make?” Clinton has received fawning praise from liberals in recent days. Even some respected conservatives such as Fox News analyst Eric Bolling have gushed over her tenure at Foggy Bottom. Her lovefest with President Obama and Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes all but ended the 2016 Democratic race for the nomination. Vice President Joe Biden for once had no comment.
Yet is the praise of Hillary Clinton warranted? Even asking the question brings out the Hillary worshipers and the Hillary haters. Clinton is not a saint or Satan. She is not a symbol, nor does she represent an entire gender. She is one person seeking the highest office in the land. Obama managed to glide into office without being scrutinized because he was a blank slate. Clinton has faced more scrutiny than any other political figure in American history. Without love or malice, a look at the real Hillary Clinton reveals a bright woman with a resume that contains plenty of embellishment.
Hillary Clinton is a champion to many feminists, but the woman who said she would not “bake cookies” and “stand by her man” like Tammy Wynette did exactly that from the very beginning. Bill Clinton is one of the most talented politician to ever live. He has a unique gift, and Hillary rode his coattails the entire way. This does not make her a bad person. Many people benefit from family money and talent, often from their parents. Hillary married a political genius.
Her career at the Rose Law Firm was not very distinguished. She benefited by receiving retainers from James B. McDougal and other individuals wanting to curry favor with her husband the Arkansas Governor. This is not in itself illegal, but it dispels the notion that she earned her money the Smith Barney way.
Hillary Clinton was the disciplinarian in her marriage, and it could be argued that without her cracking the whip her husband would not have gotten anywhere. She certainly mastered damage control when he got into trouble. Yet this does not alter the narrative that while she helped him from imploding, he built the family business. He had presidential ambitions before ever meeting her, and she was lucky enough to be invited to sit in the passenger seat of his astroturfed pickup truck.
She eventually won a New York Senate seat, but that was against a weak candidate in a deep blue state. When she had to run a national campaign in 2008, she lost. Supporters will say that she lost to another one of the great politicians of all time, but she also lacked a rationale for her candidacy other than entitlement. She kept citing her “thirty-five years of experience,” but this narrative collapses like an overdone souffle under the slightest honest analysis.
Hillary Clinton was twenty-five years old when she graduated law school. She was sixty when she ran for President. She had thirty-five years of “life experience,” but not in any one particular career. Anybody can claim life experience. She did not have executive experience. Her husband did. Her one major policy foray was health care reform, and it collapsed on her watch due to her own inflexibility. She was praised for “working hard” on the Armed Services Committee, but that meant she attended meetings.
The “working hard” narrative followed Clinton when she became Secretary of State. She had no experience as a diplomat, but her boss wanted her nowhere near domestic policy. She traveled to over 100 countries, but there were no notable achievements. George Mitchell brought peace to Northern Ireland. There is not a single hot spot anywhere in the world that Clinton has successfully cooled down. While nobody before her solved those problems either, that is just a way of saying she is no worse. That makes her average, not exceptional. Many hot spots from Iran to Syria to North Africa to North Korea have gotten much worse during her tenure. This is not all her fault, but neither is she entirely blameless, and “it’s not my fault” is hardly an inspiring battle cry.
There is no question that Clinton is a smart woman. She is not as savvy as her husband, but she has book smarts and a solid work ethic. The hard-worker narrative is true. No one has ever implied that she is lazy, a charge Barack Obama and Dwight Eisenhower both faced. The problem is that her hard work yields no solid results.
Hillary Clinton is banking on the Democratic Party remaining anything but a meritocracy. Obama is partially black, she is a woman, and results don’t matter. While Clinton certainly has more substance than Obama, she does not have nearly as distinguished a career as other Democrats who earned their stripes the hard way.
This is without even factoring in her lifetime of scandals, from Whitewater and the Travel Office to Benghazi. Like Obama, her early political years were pure Illinois. Then came Arkansas. Corruption ran rampant and she did not stay clean. Even if we did as the late Johnny Cochran exhorted us when he said to “forget the evidence,” her record would still be mediocre at best.
Her staunchest defenders attack previous Republicans as unqualified. They ignore the fact that George W. Bush had executive experience, as did Sarah Palin. Michele Bachmann ran a tax law practice. Yet this time the scorched earth strategy may not work. The Republican field of 2016 will be much stronger and far more telegenic than the 2012 crop. Hillary will try to soften her highly abrasive edges, but after eight years of flash, Americans will be starving for a leader with a record of significant accomplishments.
Hillary Clinton does not have this. Her 43 years of experience just don’t measure up.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.”
Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS. Follow us: @wtcommunities on Twitter
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