Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Beatification of Hillary Clinton

I keep hearing that Obama will be shooting himself in the foot in 2012 if he doesn’t make Hillary Clinton his running mate. Here’s Tunku Varadarajan sounding that theme from the right:
“[Obama] needs . . . Hillary Clinton. The secretary of State has been quite magnificent at her job, the only member of the Obama Cabinet who has not looked mediocre or worse in recent months. If The New York Times were functioning as it would, without doubt, under a Republican administration, there would, by now, have been a Page One story—above the fold!—headed: ‘Clinton Forges Own Path in Foreign Policy.’ In an administration that has become a byword for overreach, Hillary has struck a tone of hard-nosed, understated dignity, of no-nonsense professionalism, of a pant-suited determination in telling contrast to the panty-waist in the White House.”
I must have missed something. What, exactly, has Hillary done that shows she has been a “magnificent” Secretary of State? Has she presided over anything that qualifies as a stunning foreign policy success? And when, for that matter, did she display “a tone of hard-nosed, understated dignity, of no-nonsense professionalism” that makes Obama look like a “panty-waist” by comparison?  I’m having a hard time coming up with any answers to those questions besides “nothing,” “no” and “never.”

When I hear this sort of thing coming from conservatives, like Varadarajan, I suspect that they’re just reaching for a politically correct pretext for calling Obama a “panty-waist.” When I hear it coming from Democrats, I think it’s either a sincere expression of buyer’s remorse on the part of people who wish that they’d paid a little more attention to the Clintons’ arguments about experience during the primaries, or an attempt to lay the groundwork for an intra-party power grab after the mid-term elections. In either case, building Hillary up is a technique for taking Obama down.

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