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Clinton's Hard Choices: Too Smart or Too Dumb?

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What remains of the carcass of Hillary Clinton's new book and dubious tour, picked over by legions of fellow pundits, is the simple duty to observe the obvious -- that Hillary Clinton runs plays. Lots of them. And that she's not as smart as she thinks she is. To wit:

2014-06-12-PKPeacock.pngPEACOCK: Clinton's book, Hard Choices, is in and of itself a strategy to garner attention through the novelty of her own views and accounts of so many things, both personal and political. It is the thumbprint of an influencer who is determined to enthrall more than inform.

2014-06-12-RDRedHerring.pngRED HERRING: On the Benghazi tragedy that has tarnished her Secretary of State tenure, she practiced double-speak, accepting responsibility of everything in general but of nothing in particular. Her narrative served the purpose of being accountable to her job but in no way accountable to an ambassador's death or evasions of the facts. It was a dodge dressed as an oath.

2014-06-12-DFDeflect.pngDEFLECT: On the still-simmering matter of her husband's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, she wrote and has said, "I've moved on." This was her opportunity to speak from the heart, but she only reinforced her refusal to show us how she ticks, her values and character. She gambled again that this door can remain shut. That the answer was so curt is out of proportion to the questions that linger. It was a dodge of another kind, but a diverting play nonetheless.

2014-06-12-RCRecast.pngRECAST: On the morning after her "dead broke" gaffe to ABC's Diane Sawyer, Clinton sought to re-thread the needle of her original point: "Let me just clarify that I fully appreciate how hard life is for so many Americans today..."

In 2008, as Hillary's lead on Barack Obama slipped, I asked a Clinton confidant about her campaign of inevitability and if she'd been advised of the risks. "Are you kidding?!," the operative snapped, "Hillary is the brightest, smartest person in politics. I don't presume to tell her anything." No kidding.

Based on this week's performance, Hillary Clinton is following a very private script and strategy. There's little doubt that it lays the foundation for a White House run, and there's little doubt that a Madam President will be tough and smart. But might she be too brilliant and, thus, too blind to hold the office?

As my dear-departed grandfather would say of his conservative hero, Richard Nixon, "The smartest people can do the dumbest things."

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