Friday, July 27, 2007

How different would Hillary be from what we've got?

One of the reasons I like Barack Obama is that the rest of the world loves him. There will be so much for the next democratic president to undo* that regaining the admiration for the United States by the rest of the world will be no easy task, but one that Obama already has a head start on.

Further, Obama has distanced himself from Hillary Clinton on foreign policy matters. In turn it seems Hillary hasn't really distanced herself from the current Bush Administration standard operating procedure. From John Nichols column:

In the race for the Democratic nomination for president, the two frontrunners are lining up on opposite sides of the question of whether foreign policy should be conducted in public or behind the tattered curtain of corruption that has given us unnecessary wars in Vietnam and Iraq, U.S.-sponsored coups from Iran to Chile, trade policies designed to serve multinational corporations and a seeming inability to respond to the crisis that is Darfur.

Hillary Clinton, the candidate of all that is and will be, wants there to be no doubt that she is in the Kissinger camp.

The New York senator's campaign is attacking her chief rival, Illinois Senator Barack Obama, for daring to suggest that, he would personally meet with foreign leaders who do not always march in lockstep with the U.S. government.

In Monday's night's YouTube debate, candidates were asked it they would be willing to meet "with leaders of Syria, Iran, Venezuela during their first term," Obama immediately responded that, yes, he would be willing to do so. He explained that "the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them -- which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration -- is ridiculous."

Clinton disagreed in the debate and now her camp is declaring that, "There is a clear difference between the two approaches these candidates are taking: Senator Obama has committed to presidential-level meetings with some of the world's worst dictators without precondition during his first year in office."

Leaving aside the fact that Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, a popularly elected leader, is not one of the "world's worst dictators," it is particularly galling that Clinton -- in her rush to trash Obama -- is contradicting her own declaration in an April debate that, "I think it is a terrible mistake for our president to say he will not talk with bad people."

*Not saying the next president will be a democrat. Maybe the president after that. I should really be more optimistic.


Johnny Yen said...

I already like Obama, and am disliking Hillary Clinton more and more.

I think that a lot of people are under the delusion that electing her would be a sneaky way of getting another term for Bill Clinton. This is an example of how that would not be the case.

Jess Wundrun said...

You know, Johnny, another thing that HRH Clinton has in common with Bush is that we would never really be able to say with certainty where she is from.

Is Chicago the hometown of Hill? Arkansas? New York?

I dunno.

I wish Hillary would have just decided to stay the senator from New York. I had hoped her white house experience would be more valuable in the Senate than it has been. She, above anyone else in Congress, ought to understand the machinations of the White House. When she messed up the Iraq resolution I was dumbfounded.