Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hillary's Tumultuous Closing Chapter

At the Wall Street Journal, "For Clinton as Top Diplomat, Tumultuous Closing Chapter":

Just weeks ago, Hillary Clinton was poised to glide out of office as secretary of state with job-approval ratings near 70% and a political buzz suggesting she is already the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate to beat.

Then, disaster struck at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Mrs. Clinton calls the "terrible events"—involving the death of a U.S. ambassador—"one of the most challenging" periods of her four-year tenure. At that moment, U.S. foreign policy, largely overshadowed by economic concerns in the presidential election, roared to the forefront.

Mrs. Clinton long has said she would leave the job after one term. Now, however, in a sign of how much the tragedy has shaken her final days, she indicated in an interview that she may be willing to stay a bit longer.

"A lot of people have talked to me about staying," Mrs. Clinton said, declining to be more specific. When asked if current events will force her departure date to slip, she said it was "unlikely," but for the first time left open that possibility for the short term.

With presidential voting just days away, the suggestion she might stay could offer a sense of stability for Barack Obama as he makes his closing arguments. Mrs. Clinton has strong appeal among women voters as well, a possible swing constituency on Election Day.

Traveling with Mrs. Clinton in recent weeks, through New York, Asia and Washington, provides a close view of her role executing foreign policy for Mr. Obama, her onetime nemesis. In the Benghazi crisis, she made a previously undisclosed call to Libyan President Mohammed Magarief seeking immediate help in finding the missing U.S. ambassador, and later held a one-hour private meeting with him at the United Nations to urge him to disarm the militias and turn the tragedy into a "positive moment to propel Libya forward."

At the same time, she has faced rising violence in the Islamic world, a complex U.S. relationship with China and testy exchanges with Israel's prime minister over Iran's nuclear threat. These issues and others have gained prominence in the closing days of the U.S. presidential race. They also stand to shape Mrs. Clinton's legacy as secretary of state and her future political prospects.

As she rode to Andrews Air Force Base last month to meet President Obama for the arrival of the American bodies from Libya, Mrs. Clinton pressed the leader of one country where protests were still erupting outside the U.S. embassy. "Get your people there now," she said to him on the phone. "No excuses." Minutes later, she was out of the car, comforting the victims' families.

With President Obama occupied with re-election, Mrs. Clinton is doing much of the foreign-policy heavy lifting. And in the aftermath of the Libya attack that took the life of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Mrs. Clinton put her own imprint on the debate by accepting blame. "I take responsibility," Mrs. Clinton said in an interview in her office.
Well, sounds like just more Democrat CYA to me. All of these people are all messed up by political calculations. Hillary's been found wanting in the 3:00am moment she said she'd be prepared to meet. It's almost Greek tragedy territory. She's getting old. And now she's willing to stay at State longer to try to patch up the damage of President Clusterf-k in Libya, and perhaps the entire Middle East? Alas, too late for that Madame Secretary. Hit the exits as soon as you get the chance. Distance yourself of the presidential imposter in the Oval Office. Perhaps the public will be as forgiving of you as they have your husband.