THE BLOG
01/20/2008 07:13 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Clintons' Inauthenticity Back Again...on Iraq, on Bankruptcy, etc.: "I Voted for Them but I Didn't Inhale"

Hillary's handlers are back.

Following "How Handlers Have Hurt Hillary" (January 5, 2008) that indicated how her major problem was authenticity, she revised her strategy doing everything suggested, including even such minor specifics such as going on Russert for an hour. Coincidence? Perhaps, but despite having won the New Hampshire primary by actually being authentic, she now seems to have returned to her handlers' prescriptions for inauthenticity....

Hillary said during the Nevada debate that she voted for the Bankruptcy Bill of 2001 (as did John Edwards) that made it impossible, for example, for single mothers with high healthcare costs for their children to declare bankruptcy, but she was "glad the bill did not pass." Huh?

Hillary told Russert on Meet the Press that she voted for the Iraq War Authorization Act, but thought it was only to insert inspectors into Iraq. She then referred to the Hagel bill, which was not the bill she voted for. Then, in response to the question of why she voted against the Levin Amendment, that would have inserted the inspectors but forced Bush to come back to Congress before going to war, she said that she always wanted to restrict the president's authority to go to war. Huh? (On her prior visit to Meet the Press she had referenced Bill Clinton's Kosovo and Bosnia operations that occurred without Congressional approval, and said she did not want to compromise the President's freedom of action.]

Then, her campaign tried its hand at voter suppression by contesting rules adopted by the Democratic Party for the caucuses AFTER they did not get the Culinary Workers Union support. Bill Clinton claimed simultaneously he had nothing to do with the lawsuit and that he thought the system was unfair and should be overturned by the courts, i.e., he inhaled but he didn't roll the stogie.

Hillary then professed ignorance about how foreign funds that are purchasing US assets work. Her chief advisor, Mark Penn, represents one of those firms, and Hillary doesn't know about them?

But, the ultimate was Hillary's implication in the debate that she had experience running a bureaucracy, she was the only one prepared on day one to deal with a terror attack. Again, very inauthentic, instead she ought to say what her experience has been. I am not aware of her having any executive experience nor ever having managed an organization involved in stopping a terrorist attack before it happened, or even responding after it happened.

Edwards and Obama were strangely silent as Hillary suggested that she was more "ready on day one" than they were. As indicated in "Newsflash: Clintons Back Bill Richardson for President" (January 7, 2008), the only person in the whole race with executive and foreign policy experience was Bill Richardson who, regrettably, dropped out of the race.

(By the way, inexperience in dealing with preventing terrorist attacks includes ALL the candidates currently running both Democrat and Republican. Giuliani wins the prize for inexperience since his response to the 1993 WTC attack was to ignore security agencies recommendations on where he should place his communications center. How any candidate lets any other suggest that they have the anti-terrorist experience without challenge boggles the mind. The major point is the Bush and Republicans were asleep at the wheel on 9/11, and that their policies increase the risk of terrorism, not that candidate A is better at preventing an actual attack than candidate B].

For reasons hard to understand (because the Republicans will do it anyhow), no one (moderator or candidate) has ever asked Hillary just what it was she actually DID behind the scenes at the White House. Did she manage departments, manage the White House staff? Did she organize legislative strategy to get the Clinton program passed? Did she participate in the response to the World Trade Center car-bombing in 1993? Did she manage the operation that caught the Millenium bomber at the Canadian border? We already know she did not have national security clearance, but why didn't she? What about those White House papers that refer to Hillary?

It may be that Hillary HAS actually done a lot, HAS actually acted as a co-president, and thus has the experience she touts. But, she has never said that. And, that gets right back to the issue of authenticity. One might suspect that if she really had those experiences, she would speak about them specifically. That would be authentic.

What we have heard, instead is this: She voted for the bill authorizing the Iraq War, but didn't mean it. She voted against the bill that inserted inspectors into Iraq but forced Bush to come back to Congress to get war authorization, but she always wanted to limit the president's authority. She voted for the Bankruptcy Bill but was pleased it did not pass. She touts her experience but has not indicated what it is she actually did that confirms that experience. She suggests she is the only one prepared to deal with a terror attack, but never indicates what her expertise is in that role. She says that executive experience, managing departments, is critical... but does not indicate that she has ever done it.

The Clintons' handlers are back in charge. Are we all just supposed to inhale?