Hillary Touts Her Own Commander-in-Chief Credentials—But Not Obama's
Barack Obama's greatest vulnerability as a candidate is, perhaps, his lack of national security credentials—the doubt in voters' minds as to whether he is qualified to be Commander-in-Chief. So if there was one thing Hillary Clinton could have done during her speech today to bolster Barack, it would have been a clear-cut statement that, yes, she believes in his ability to be Commander-in-Chief. But the only person person Hillary spoke of today as qualified to be Commander-in-Chief was . . . herself.
View video here.
Let's recall that during the primaries, Hillary repeatedly hit Obama on the issue of his lack of C-of-C cred, going so far as to draw an invidious comparison between Obama and John McCain on the matter. Consider these statements from March, as reported by the Chicago Tribune [emphasis added]:
In a Cabinet-style setting, surrounded by retired military leaders, Sen. Hillary Clinton said the public should ask whether Democratic presidential rival Barack Obama has met the criteria needed to become the nation’s commander in chief.In her speech today, Hillary used the good old defeating-sexist-stereotypes hook to endorse her own Commander-in-Chief credentials.
“I think that since we now know Sen. (John) McCain will be the nominee for the Republican Party, national security will be front and center in this election. We all know that. And I think it’s imperative that each of us be able to demonstrate we can cross the commander-in-chief threshold,” the New York senator told reporters crowded into an infant’s bedroom-sized hotel conference room in Washington.
“I believe that I’ve done that. Certainly, Sen. McCain has done that and you’ll have to ask Sen. Obama with respect to his candidacy,” she said.
Calling McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee a good friend and a “distinguished man with a great history of service to our country,” Clinton said, “Both of us will be on that stage having crossed that threshold. That is a critical criterion for the next Democratic nominee to deal with.”
HILLARY CLINTON: When we first started, people everywhere asked the same questions: could a woman really serve as Commander-in-Chief? Well, I think we answered that one! [thunderous applause].Hillary did go on to say that Barack Obama answered the question as to whether an African-American could be president, but she conveniently left him out of her Commander-in-Chief comments. Nor did she in any other way in the course of her speech praise Obama's qualifications or good judgement in the areas of national security or foreign policy. It was, by omission, a slight, if not a stab, on the single greatest challenge facing the Dem nominee.
BONUS COVERAGE: Hillary Plays the Victim-of-Sexism Card
Hillary also indulged a good measure of self-pity, blaming her loss on sexism.
CLINTON: When I was asked what it means to be a woman running for president, I always gave the same answer [N.B.—so much for spontaneity!]: that I was proud to be running as a woman, but that I was running because I thought I'd be the best president. But, I am a woman, and like millions of women [pause for dramatic effect], I know there are still barriers and biases out there, often unconscious, and I want to build an America that embraces and respects the potential of every last one of us.If Hillary had won, would Obama have given a speech blaming his loss on racism? I don't believe so.
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Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it's got about 18 million cracks in it.