She wasn’t involved in foreign policy, wasn’t involved in economic policy – in fact, the only policy area she was heavily involved with was health care, and that was probably the biggest domestic policy failing of the Clinton years, helping to propel the Gingrich Republicans into control of Congress and ushering in a conservative ascendancy that we are only now starting to roll back.
I’m pretty sure that she wasn’t sleeping in Bill’s bed, let alone accompanying him into the situation room when he bombed Sudan or serving as a key player in negotiations with Congress over a balanced budget.
She’s had one term in the Senate – her only elected office. And what has categorized her term most is her going out of her way to seek and be seen to seek the approval of Republicans. So she’s a “hawk” on foreign policy and defence issues, she’s a “hawk” on the deficit, she’s pro-free trade and decidedly pro-business on tax policy.
The Clinton Senate playbook has been one continuous effort to moderate her image in the minds of the electorate and while it may have worked in upstate New York – it has not worked around the country.
Despite all her efforts to out-do Joe Liebeman in crossover appeal, she is still seen as the most partisan and most liberal major Democratic candidate.
And it is her experience in the White House, matched of course by her rampaging ambition to win the presidency, that most defines her – because her negative experiences in the White House, of being attacked constantly and mishandling her one area of policy leadership, has taught her to be cautious, to be tactical, to vacillate on key decisions, to do everything she can to appeal to the right and basically to accept things the way they are because she doesn’t believe the American people are ready for real change.
Hillary Clinton may be able to convince Americans that her serving as First Lady gives her the qualifications to be President. I’m certainly not saying it disqualifies her. But, the experience she gained during the White House years has wedded her to the status quo and the pursuit of power – a status-quo that is failing America and an ambition unmatched by a vision of a better world.
Her experience – both real and imagined – should be judged not only by the addresses she places on her resume but also by the lessons she has learned along the way; lessons that have scarred her in such a way that she cannot or will not serve as an agent of change.