What does "the excitement of a campaign event for Hillary Clinton" have to do with it? She didn't blurt out something unusual in a moment of excitement. She repeated an old line that had worked over and over before audiences where people have nodded, applauded, and laughed. It was tested and true.
The op-ed, in the NYT, is titled "My Undiplomatic Moment." But how is a line "uttered a thousand times" characterizable as a "moment"? How can Albright portray it as a momentary deviation within a long career, when she's been saying it consistently?
I absolutely believe what I said, that women should help one another, but this was the wrong context and the wrong time to use that line.But all those other times were appropriate, because the audience gave her a warm reception? She set the heads nodding, the ladies chuckling. Pivoting from her nonexplanation for her go-to-hell gaffe, Albright proceeds to get back to condescending to young women:
And while young women may not want to hear anything more from this aging feminist, I feel it is important to speak to women coming of age at a time when a viable female presidential candidate, once inconceivable, is a reality.When was it inconceivable? It was certainly always conceivable to me. I was born in 1951 and grew up hearing that Margaret Chase Smith could be President. Maybe I'm not picking up the inconceivable/reality distinction.
[In the comments, rhhardin calls attention to the 2 abortion-related words in "a viable female presidential candidate, once inconceivable, is a reality." Within that metaphor, if Hillary is viable, then it's too late to abort her.]
Albright moves on to her concern about "the tone of the debate." Not her tone, telling women who don't support Hillary that there's a special place in Hell for them, but the tone those of other people. What's wrong with the tone? Here, she — absurdly — has nothing. She just muses that people are "complacent" about the gains women have made and that we need "an informed dialogue that crosses generations."
Albright badly embarrassed herself and lacks the skill and grace to talk her way into a good light. It makes me want to go back and review what she achieved for us as Secretary of State (other than being the first female Secretary of State).
According to several accounts, U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Prudence Bushnell repeatedly asked Washington for additional security at the embassy in Nairobi, including in an April 1998 letter directly to Albright. Bushnell was ignored. She later stated that when she spoke to Albright about the letter, she told her that it had not been shown to her. In Against All Enemies, Richard Clarke writes about an exchange with Albright several months after the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed in August 1998. "What do you think will happen if you lose another embassy?" Clarke asked. "The Republicans in Congress will go after you." "First of all, I didn't lose these two embassies," Albright shot back. "I inherited them in the shape they were."ADDED: Here's a NYT article from January 9, 1999: "UNHEEDED WARNINGS: A special report.; Before Bombings, Omens and Fears":
*The Central Intelligence Agency repeatedly told State Department officials in Washington and in the Kenya embassy that there was an active terrorist cell in Kenya connected to Osama bin Laden, the Saudi exile who is accused of masterminding the attack.Much more at the link.
*The C.I.A. investigated at least three terrorist threats in Nairobi in the year before the bombing [that killed 12 American diplomats and more than 200 Africans] and took one seriously enough to send a counterterrorism team from C.I.A. headquarters. The agency ultimately concluded that the threat was unfounded, but some officials say the inquiry was botched, and the agency's inspector general is investigating how it was handled.
*State Department officials brushed aside Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, commander of the United States Central Command, who had visited Nairobi and warned that the embassy there was an easy and tempting target for terrorists. General Zinni's offer to send his own specialists to review security in Nairobi was turned down by the State Department.
*The State Department had all but abandoned the commitment it made after the 1983 bombing of the embassy in Beirut to improve embassy security. Department officials had long since stopped asking Congress for the money needed to meet its own standards, and had adopted a strategy of improving the handful of embassies it believed were at greatest risk. Nairobi was not one of them.
Ms. Bushnell, in a rare interview about the bombing, said by telephone from Nairobi yesterday: ''This is a tragedy in the real sense of the word, and it's a tragedy that has caused us to think differently. We no longer operate under the assumptions that we did in the past.''
A report made public yesterday by a commission appointed by Ms. Albright excoriated the State Department for failing to safeguard American missions against terrorist attacks, and particularly for giving vulnerable missions like the one in Nairobi lower priority when experience shows they make attractive targets for terrorists....
In memos sent in April and May, [Bushnell] asked Ms. Albright to cite Nairobi's vulnerability to Congress in seeking more funds for security. In addition, Ms. Bushnell was lobbying every senior American official and member of Congress who came to Nairobi. According to an American official, she would say: ''How do you like our building? I think it's terrible.'' Ms. Bushnell ''did not want to be in that building,'' the official said.