December 29, 2007

Notice anything terribly wrong with Hillary Clinton's answer to Wolf Blitzer's question?



"I really regret that anybody would try to politicize this tragedy. I personally knew Benazir Bhutto..."

Huh? The question wasn't about Bhutto, and the clip of Barack Obama had him criticizing her about Iraq. She gives a little smirk and a shake of her head as if Obama had just politicized the Bhutto assassination — which he hadn't mentioned (unless there's some editing) — and then she goes on to promote herself based on her various meetings with Bhutto. I'm not going to criticize her for "politicizing the tragedy" though. I'm going to criticize her for not answering the question asked, for cueing up a robotic answer, and for not having much of substance to say about the problems we have going forward with Pakistan. I don't want hushing about "politicizing the tragedy" filling up the time that should spent on a serious discussion of our policy toward Pakistan.

(Thanks to my son John for sending me the link to this clip, at TPM's YouTube channel Veracifier.)

ADDED: Here's the Washington Post's assessment of how the various candidates did responding quickly to an important incident:
One candidate, Democrat John Edwards, passed with flying colors. Another, Republican Mike Huckabee, flunked abysmally. Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John McCain were serious and substantive; Republicans Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani were thin. And Barack Obama -- the Democratic candidate who claims to represent a new, more elevated brand of politics -- committed an ugly foul...

Then Mr. Obama committed his foul -- a far-fetched attempt to connect the killing of Ms. Bhutto with Ms. Clinton's vote on the war in Iraq. After the candidate made the debatable assertion that the Iraq invasion strengthened al-Qaeda in Pakistan, his spokesman, David Axelrod, said Ms. Clinton "was a strong supporter of the war in Iraq, which we would submit was one of the reasons why we were diverted from Afghanistan, Pakistan and al-Qaeda, who may have been players in the event today."
The clip above makes more sense if we see Hillary as responding to that, and I wonder whether the TPM editing was unfair.

IN THE COMMENTS: Christopher Althouse Cohen (my son) writes:
I watched the whole interview when it aired, and the clip you see here directly follows a long conversation about Benazir Bhutto and what should be done in Pakistan. Obama's comments should be looked at in the context of him attempting to connect Clinton's vote for the war with Bhutto's assassination, which he has personally done. Clearly, that's what she was speaking about and she interpreted the clip as being in that context. Wolf Blitzer did some kind of a lead-in from the discussion of Bhutto to showing the clip from Obama that the YouTube clip leaves out in order to make her answer look bad. People on YouTube are out to get her, and you need to look at the entire context.

19 comments:

rhhardin said...

She's focused on sympathy for those affected by the tragedy.

Taking a stand against husbands everywhere, in favor of soap opera.

As the old New Yorker cartoon went, wife to husband, ``Now, don't try to reason with me.''

Either the soap opera demographic is going to be taken seriously or it's not. Hillary is taking it seriously.

She's using whichever side of her brain it is that connects empathy to everything, that men don't have ; and counts on her audience to do the same.

In summary, don't discount the audience demographics.

ricpic said...

There's a script. She memorized it and she's gonna follow it, relevancy be damned.

Middle Class Guy said...

I will bet later in the interview she told Blitzer what the defininition of is is.

Hillary Clinton has proven that she is not fit to be President. She either cannot understand a simple question or she provides answers to questions not asked. The latter is the equivalent of finding a solution and creating a problem to fit it.

Barak Obama is the only candidate who is taking Hillary to task on her lack of qualifications and experience. No one in the media is. There is too much cowardice by the candidates and the media involved in relation to Hillary Clinton.

michaele said...

It was disconcerting to hear how determined she was totally avoiding answering the question even after Wolf asked it the second time in such a way that there could be no misunderstanding. It does annoy me when she gets that all knowing smirk as if the rest of us are idiots.I just can't imagine 4 (or, horrors, 8) years of this stonewalling arrogance. I have a pretty darn full head of hair but I might be down to my last few strands as the Hillary Clinton presidency winds down.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Wolf Blitzer gave Obama and Clinton an equally hard time. If Clinton ended up looking worse for the exchange, she must not have what it takes to handle the press. The editing was not unfair.

PatCA said...

She is robotic! What is this woman all about? Maybe she figures no one is listening anyway, so why say anything of substance that might come back to haunt you.

Meade said...

She should have just referred Wolf Blitzer to her Senate floor speech in 2002 and then gone on to praise the job our forces continue to do in Iraq.

George said...

How glad I am that I no longer watch TV.

(It's 'Hannah Montana" 24/7 in my house.)

What a lot of nothing.

Oh, incidentally, didya know that Benazir Bhutto's brother Murtaza founded a terrorist group after their dictator father was ousted by a military thug? He did a bunch of bombings in Karachi. Then after her husband forcibly shaved off half his moustache (the brother's), thereby humiliating him, about 800 cops accidentally shot him. While she was prime minister.

Hello, Macbeth.

Synova said...

Used to be that if a political leader were deposed his or her whole family would be killed, down to the last baby.

Considering how often a missed baby, or teenager, came back and returned the favor instead of living a quiet life in exile I sometimes wonder...

Do these offspring necessarily have the option to not play?

Ride the beast or be killed by it?

Robert Holmgren said...

Just before this clip Hillary had extensively excoriated president Bush, so when she responded to Blitzer's question via Obama it was hysterical to see her shame him for politicizing the issue. The woman has NO SHAME.

Cedarford said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cedarford said...

Amazing how shallow the Washington Post analysis was. Huge praise and kudos to John Edwards for being so important as a one-term Senator now out of office that he was able to use a campaign contact to get a call placed with Musharaff.

Whereupon he said he gave Musharaff advice on democracy, doing more on Jihadism.

One can expect Musharaff bowled over by the trial lawyers sage wisdom, then turning to a subordinate" "Who the f*ck was that American on the phone? Who owed who a favor to get him routed in to blather when we have a major crisis? What? Someone thought he was f*cking Putin or someone important? By Allah, I want to know who "John Edwards is"

"Umm, exhalted General, he is the pretty candidate....the one with the glossy hair..."

My opinion? It was just a campaign stunt.

Thoughtful answers were given by Biden, Romney, and shockingly, the one I thought best was Fred Thompsons.

Hillary's answer was all about her and the empathy with another "special leader woman"...well, how special that she feels pain. And a unique kinship - maybe it was because Benazir Bhutto put her own nepotic legal fees, Boards appointments, guaranteed Senate seat, and cattle futures profits to shame...

Fen said...

Hillary: "THIS is our conversation"

Synova said...

Heh.

I will say that my general opinion is that when there is an emergency the most responsible thing to do is STAY OFF THE FREAKING PHONE.

Thank you.

From Inwood said...

There's a video floating around the net (don't have a copy anymore) of Hill saying that she'd known Benazir Bhutto for a dozen years and knew her as a leader etc. & that Ms B had written a very moving autobiography which begins with the assassination of her father. Hill then says that she grieves for the late Ms B's family, particularly her two children.

But Ms Bhutto's father was hanged & she had three children.

Alas, poor Benazir; I knew her, Horatio, just not well.

Christopher Althouse Cohen said...

I watched the whole interview when it aired, and the clip you see here directly follows a long conversation about Benazir Bhutto and what should be done in Pakistan. Obama's comments should be looked at in the context of him attempting to connect Clinton's vote for the war with Bhutto's assassination, which he has personally done. Clearly, that's what she was speaking about and she interpreted the clip as being in that context. Wolf Blitzer did some kind of a lead-in from the discussion of Bhutto to showing the clip from Obama that the YouTube clip leaves out in order to make her answer look bad. People on YouTube are out to get her, and you need to look at the entire context.

P. Rich said...

Re HR Clinton: "...not having much of substance..."

Yes, that about sums it up.

-----------------------------------

VAGINAS OF THE WORLD UNITE

--- Vote HILLARY! ---

This message brought to you by LockTight, the traditional prevention apparel. Available in Kevlar with assorted colors and styles; see our catalog. Control your own destiny - extra keys not included. NOW discounts available.

Franco said...

I personally knew Hillary Clinton, as a farmer in Iowa I met her at several meet -n greet forums and I kept in touch with her over recent months sending e-mails to her campaign headquarters in Des Moines and exchanging Christmas cards. My sympathies go out to her and her family for her marital troubles and her campaign difficulties...

- An Iowa cornahol grower

From Inwood said...

Chris

For us superficial folks, would you please put two kids & an assassination in context of “alas poor Benazir, I knew her, Hortaio”?