Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gave what was billed as a major policy address at George Washington University today on her three part plan for ending the war in Iraq. Clinton spent an unusual amount of time during the early part of her address attacking both John McCain and Barack Obama. Here is what she had to say about McCain, “Despite the evidence, President Bush is determined to continue his failed policy in Iraq until he leaves office. And Senator McCain will gladly accept the torch and stay the course, keeping troops in Iraq for up to 100 years if necessary. They both want to keep us tied to another country’s civil war, a war we cannot win. That in a nutshell is the Bush/McCain Iraq policy. Don’t learn from your mistakes, repeat them. Well, here is the inescapable reality. We can have hundreds of thousands of troops on the ground for 100 years, but that will not change the fact that there is no military solution to the situation in Iraq.”
She also took on the Bush/McCain mantra that withdrawal is defeat. “Senator McCain and President Bush claim withdrawal is defeat. Well, let’s be clear, withdrawal is not defeat. Defeat is keeping troops in Iraq for 100 years. Defeat is straining our alliances and losing our standing in the world. Defeat is draining our resources and diverting attention from our key interests…The commitment to staying in Iraq has driven President Bush’s foreign policy. It looks like it would drive Senator McCain’s foreign policy as well, but it will not drive mine. My foreign policy will be driven by what is in America’s national security interests.”
Clinton once again characterized Obama as a man of all words and no action. “I believe what matters in this campaign is not just the promises we’ve made to end the war; what matters is what we’ve actually done when it came time to match words with action. Because more than anything else, what we’ve done is an indication of what we’ll do. Now, my Democratic opponent talks a great deal about a speech he gave in 2002, and I commend him for making that speech. Speaking out for what you believe is a solemn, patriotic duty. He is asking us to judge him by his words, and words can be powerful, but only if the speaker translates them into action and solutions.”
She continued, “Now, my Democratic opponent talks a great deal about a speech he gave in 2002, and I commend him for making that speech. Speaking out for what you believe is a solemn, patriotic duty. He is asking us to judge him by his words, and words can be powerful, but only if the speaker translates them into action and solutions. Senator Obama holds up his original opposition to the war on the campaign trail, but he didn’t start working aggressively to end the war until he started running for president. So when he had a chance to act on his speech, he chose silence instead.” Let me see if I understand this, Clinton who voted for the war is calling Barack Obama, who has always been against the war, a Johnny come lately on Iraq. I don’t think she cares about the hypocrisy of that statement.
Clinton also claims to have a concrete plan to end the war. “I have concrete, detailed plans to end this war, and I have not wavered in my commitment to follow through on them. One choice in this election is Senator McCain. He’s willing to keep this war going for 100 years. You can count on him to do that. Another choice is Senator Obama who has promised to bring combat troops out in 16 months, but according to his foreign policy adviser, you can’t count on him to do that. In uncertain times, we cannot afford uncertain leadership.”
In her next breath, she summarized the three parts. “Here’s what you can count on me to do: provide the leadership to end this war quickly and responsibly. Today I’d like to talk about how I will do that, how as president, I will bring our troops home, work to bring stability in the region, and replace military force with a new diplomatic initiative to engage countries around the world in helping to secure Iraq’s future.” Her “detailed plan” is nothing more than a hodgepodge of other people’s ideas. For example, she would implement John Murtha’s idea that the Secretary of Defense must certify to Congress a brigade’s combat readiness before deployment. She would also provide better healthcare and benefits for veterans, and she wants to make the Iraqi government more accountable.
She even adopts the position John Kerry took in 2004 that he would provide a bigger role in Iraq for the international community and the U.N. Even President Bush gets ripped off, as Clinton promised to use Iraqi oil money, instead of U.S. taxpayer dollars to fund the nation’s reconstruction, and she lifted her diplomatic initiative from Bill Richardson’s presidential campaign. For somebody who paints herself as such as leader, she seems to have no original ideas.
I believe with every fiber of my being that the best way for the Democrats to lose this election is to nominate Hillary Clinton. She is John Kerry with higher negatives and a pants suit. I have never seen a policy address that spent so much time attacking other people. The biggest turn off for me when it comes to Hillary Clinton is that she tries to sell herself as something she isn’t. If she is such a leader, they why hasn’t she authored a major piece of legislation? If she always opposed the Iraq war, then why did she vote for it? I expect a policy address to actually contain the candidate’s ideas, not a copy and paste of others’ work. Hillary Clinton would probably be an ok president, but she isn’t what she claims to be, and that is why I can’t support her.
Read the speech: