Some people can admit they were wrong. 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaking at a bicycle shop in Cedar Falls, Iowa Tuesday, responded to questions from reporters about Iraq.
Unlike the Republican candidates who are falling over themselves to avoid saying that Bush got it wrong, that it was a mistake, Secretary Clinton came out of the gate charging with accountability for her past vote as a Senator to authorize the war in Iraq in 2003, one that upset the liberal end of the Democratic Party still burning with rage over the invasion of Iraq based on a lie.
“I know that there have been a lot of questions about Iraq posted to candidates over the last week. I’ve made it very clear that I made a mistake, plain and simple,” the Democratic former Secretary of State said.
Clinton added, “And I have written about it in my book, I’ve talked about it in the past, and what we now see is a very different and very dangerous situation. The United States is doing what it can, but ultimately this has to be a struggle that the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people are determined to win for themselves.”
It’s not hard to admit a mistake. It means that you’re human. In this case, as it relates to foreign policy, Democrats see it as a dynamic, ever-changing situation that must constantly be adapted to as new information comes in, whereas Republicans believe that once they take a position, they will stake that position out in spite of changing evidence, information, and factors. Republicans see foreign policy as static. They freeze in WAR and never look back.
Hillary Clinton admits that the vote she took on Iraq was a mistake. Too bad the people who presented false information to her and other Senators in order to push them into voting the way they did have yet to say they are sorry, or even admit they were wrong. Of course they can’t really do that, because they weren’t “wrong”, they were deliberately cherry picking information in order to get Congress to authorize the war.
Hillary Clinton in 2015 is an improved candidate from 2012. She is confident enough to say she was wrong about Iraq. Her confidence is well warranted, as she has the most foreign policy experience of any 2016 hopeful. Being able to clearly own a mistake is something that helps voters feel they can trust a candidate. Clinton isn’t trying to walk any fine line, she’s giving it straight, as the voters deserve.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.