Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Yglesias on Clinton

Matt has an excellent post up this morning on the problem with Clinton.

I've always defended Hillary because I thought the attacks on her were outrageous and often bordered on misogynistic.

But I also have been uncomfortable with Clinton as a candidate and written about that many times here. I just think criticism of Hillary, like any candidate, should be fair and not based upon gender.

Matt's post does a very nice job of calling into question Clinton's judgment on foreign policy matters with quotes from others that you really need to read. It's not just her vote for the war in Iraq, but much more recently her vote to authorize military action against Iran.

Matt concludes,

In some ways, it's the point Dowd raises here -- about political strategy -- that worries me the most. I don't think it's really going to be possible for Democrats to address the big problems facing American foreign policy unless they're willing to try to break out of the long post-9/11 defensive crouch they've been in for years. John Edwards, as has often been the case, led the way here with a bold move to repudiate the "war on terror" conceptual scheme. Barack Obama, having opposed the war from the beginning, wound up mostly attracting to his banner the substantive advisors who were less invested in the crouch and doesn't seem to have those instincts personally, and wound up essentially forced out of the crouch for his position that we should be willing to conduct diplomatic talks without preconditions.

Clinton's team isn't all bad nor is her record, but she seems the least inclined to make a bold, self-confident big-picture challenge to the conservative conception of how we ought to conduct ourselves in the world.

There is no question in my mind that Clinton is the smartest candidate, from either party, in the race. She understands exactly what the world is like and the importance of, and limits to, American power. She knows how the Pentagon works and how the Generals think. Clinton is clearly qualified for the job, and would hit the ground running like no other candidate from either party would be capable of doing. But would President Clinton continue to conduct foreign policy like candidate Clinton, focused more on projecting an image to win re-election?

These concerns are enough for me to look elsewhere in the primary.

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