Experience? How much does Hillary really have? Posted by: McQ
on Friday, December 28, 2007
If you believe the NY Times, it may not be at all as extensive as she likes to claim during those 8 years at Bill's side in the White House:
But during those two terms in the White House, Mrs. Clinton did not hold a security clearance. She did not attend National Security Council meetings. She was not given a copy of the president’s daily intelligence briefing. She did not assert herself on the crises in Somalia, Haiti and Rwanda.
And during one of President Bill Clinton’s major tests on terrorism, whether to bomb Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998, Mrs. Clinton was barely speaking to her husband, let alone advising him, as the Lewinsky scandal sizzled.
My guess is, most of Hillary's time was spent advising on the politics of situations (well, obviously, minus the Lewinsky scandal) and not as much on policy as she'd like to have people believe. And, although I wouldn't put it past Bill Clinton to pass on classified information to her even without a security clearance, there's not much of any role you can play in policy advice in the White House without one.
An interview with Mrs. Clinton, conversations with 35 Clinton administration officials and a review of books about her White House years suggest that she was more of a sounding board than a policy maker, who learned through osmosis rather than decision-making, and who grew gradually more comfortable with the use of military power.
My experience says that advising doesn't really prepare you for the decision making part of a job. But it certainly does allow you to observe the process and how it works. If that counts for "experience" she's going to have to do some mighty spinning to make that a palatable argument. How she'll do that while deflecting Obama's claim that you can't be an agent for change when you're part of the entrenched "problem" will be entertaining to say the least.
It'll be interesting to see how the Clinton campaign addresses these points, if they do at all.