Hillary Clinton: What difference did she make?

Hillary Clinton had the reputation of being a diplomatic wiz as secretary of state, but what did she really accomplish? Photo: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (AP)

CHARLOTTEJanuary 24, 2013 – The 2016 presidential campaign officially kicked off just two days after the inauguration of Barack Obama with a congressional love-fest for Hillary Clinton.

Four years ago, Obama gave Clinton a plane, told her to travel the world and stay out of the way. He also gave her a title, Secretary of State, so she could look good while doing it. It was a win-win.

Hillary can now add another major position on her already extensive resume with four years to promote her experience.

While she was away, domestic issues took most of the spotlight and Mrs. Clinton was able to create the illusion that she was a foreign policy genius. The New York Times Magazine even went so far as to call her a “rock star diplomat” in 2012.

Chances are that eight years as first lady during an often turbulent presidency had something to do with Hillary’s celebrity image as she traveled the world. While that might make her a “rock star,” it hardly qualifies her as a diplomat.

There were a few “bumps in the road” as Obama likes to call them, but all in all, Hillary managed to oversee a relatively calm foreign policy during the president’s first term. Like Beyonce, Clinton was, for all intents, lip-syncing the job, but we heard the words and they sounded good so most Americans bought into the idea that she was single-handedly keeping the world safe of us all.

Good for Hillary and good for Barack.

But for all of her globetrotting and attention getting while doing it, Clinton’s overall record of accomplishing anything significant was lackluster at best. In the final analysis, she was largely a celebrity decoy so the real business could be conducted elsewhere. In that sense, Hillary was a solid secretary of state because she was a good soldier. She succeeded in her assigned duties while creating the illusion that she was an Einstein of diplomacy.

It was all going fairly well until the Benghazi incident in September of last year. Suddenly, without warning, the secretary of state and the president were blindsided by an untimely terrorist attack that left four Americans dead in Libya.

For weeks Clinton and Obama insisted the attack was caused by an obscure YouTube video which had been on the internet for months. For whatever reason or reasons, which have yet to be revealed, the president and his secretary of state do not want to tell the American people the truth about the Benghazi attacks.

Whether or not the reasons are valid is irrelevant. The situation has been poorly handled from the outset, especially to the satisfaction of the families who suffered losses in the raid.

After three and a half years of playing diplomat, just as she was preparing to retire her superhero cape and tee shirt, Hillary’s credibility took a hit. Other than FOX News, Benghazi became just another of Barack’s “bumps” as the media chose to focus on other stories instead.

Even before the election there was turmoil in Mali that continues today with Al Qaeda getting stronger by the day. But that situation isn’t even a blip on the radar, even now, so Hillary gets a pass.

Recently, Islamist killed numerous foreigners, including Americans, in Algeria . That stirred the press for a bit of commentary, but nothing that would disrupt Clinton’s reputation as she was heading out the door.

And then there was the Benghazi dog-and-pony show in Washington on Wednesday. Hillary’s democratic allies came charging in on their white horses to restore her credibility and give her a clean bill of health as she prepares for her next run at president.

When finally challenged about the attacks, Mrs. Clinton became offended and defensive by claiming it didn’t matter how or why it happened, what mattered is that four Americans are dead.

As to why she angrily asked “What difference does it make?”

Maybe none. Perhaps it makes no difference at all.

Hillary is right about one thing. Four Americans died in Benghazi, and the real question about her tenure as secretary of state is “What difference did she make?”

Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in CharlotteNCTaylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club, which creates, and escorts customized tours to SwitzerlandFrance and Italy for groups of 12 or more.

Inquiries for groups can be made at Peabod@aol.com Taylored Media has produced marketing videos for British Rail, Rail Europe, Switzerland Tourism, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council, the Finnish Tourist Board, the Swiss Travel System and Japan Railways Group among others.

As author of The Century Club book, Peabod is now attempting to travel to 100 countries or more during his lifetime. To date he has visited 71 countries. Suggest someplace new for Bob to visit; if you want to know where he has been, check his list on Facebook. Bob plans to write a sequel to his book when he reaches his goal of 100 countries. He also played professional baseball for four years and was a sportscaster for 14 years at WBTV, the CBS affiliate in Charlotte.




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Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com) and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.


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