What did Hillary really accomplish at State?

posted at 3:31 pm on March 2, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

At the Washingtonian, James Rosen poses an interesting scenario for everyone to consider. Let’s see how well you do with this thought exercise.

Take a minute to play communications director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential run. Your task: come up with a 30-second spot to run in the early primary states about your candidate’s four years as Secretary of State.

What part of the world do you start with? Iran? John Kerry now owns, for better or worse, the effort to bar the mullahs from getting the bomb. The “pivot to Asia”? The pushback on China in the Pacific has yet to take any visible shape beyond President Obama’s patented phrase. The “reset” with Russia? Really? Putin’s a pal now?

Anyone putting together a brag clip about Clinton’s tenure at State faces the question a Democratic strategist put to me in a recent e-mail: “Can she translate her record into accomplishments that are meaningful to Iowa farmers and flinty New Hampshire Yankees?”

Perhaps a better question than can she translate her accomplishments might be to ask, point blank, whether she can list any accomplishments. (No… Benghazi doesn’t count. I’m talking about positive accomplishments.) Aside from her already noted record setting pace for racking up frequent flier miles, what did she really do? Was there any great peace deal brokered somewhere? Some breakthrough in trade or normalization of relations with a previously hostile nation? Or even the submission of one to international pressure brokered by the US? Nothing seems to jump to mind.

Rosen also examines exactly how much of a favor Barack Obama did for Clinton by elevating her from the Senate to the State Department after beating her in the 2008 primary. I suppose I was one of those who also assumed that it was an even deal on the President’s part. He needed her cooperation – or at least her silence and apparent forgiveness to win over her supporters – after the trouncing she sustained. In exchange, she not only got a plum assignment, but a perceived step up to be Obama’s successor.

But was it really all that? As the article reminded me, it’s been a century and a half since the last time a Secretary of State moved directly from that office to the White House. The office doesn’t seem to lend itself to the promotion, particularly since voters tend to be more concerned with domestic affairs than foreign policy unless we’re on the brink of war. (The fact that we’ve also tended to nominate people who aren’t even qualified to be President from time to time doesn’t help either.) But the nature of the job also keeps the occupant off the field of play as well. No matter how good a job any Secretary has done, they are pretty much defined as being “outside” of politics (at least in theory), so they spend a full term where they are unable to keep their hand in the game as others position themselves for a run and weigh in on every issue under discussion.

Assuming she runs, when the time comes, will Hillary have a story to tell which inspires confidence among the voters as to the job she’d do? Or will being the inevitable first female president be enough? Until 2008 I wouldn’t have thought so. Now I’m not so sure.

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She embarrassed herself with a cheap button?

hawkdriver on March 2, 2014 at 8:31 PM

While your at it, can anyone name one thing Hillary did as (carpetbagging) Senator from NY?

Didn’t think so….

Pelosi Schmelosi on March 2, 2014 at 8:41 PM

When it comes to Clintons the opposite is true of having accomplishments. Look a Slick Willie. He was the Governor of Arkansas for God’s sake! He was a rapist, a philanderer, a known liar and a Communist sympathizer. Did any of those things hurt him? Hillary is a known liar, a perjurer, a crook, a hard mean person to work for/with, (She was fired from the Watergate committee for lying), and a person who has no compassion for anyone who gets in her way. Will it hurt her? What do you think?

inspectorudy on March 2, 2014 at 8:43 PM

Barky kept Killary on as SOS because she knows where his birth certificate and/or college transcripts are buried (she also knows where her bodies are buried). The Clintons were the first to bring up his birth certificate/ineligibility to run (and Billy boy, the first black president was called a racist for even bringing it up). Barky knows that she knows that he knows, or somthin’. Filthy b*stards all.

AppraisHer on March 2, 2014 at 10:11 PM

One of Hillary’s big problems in 2008 was she had no rationale to offer for her candidacy, no reason for wanting to be President. True, Obama’s “hope and change” was all hooey, but at least it had the illusion of a purpose, however ethereal and vacuous. Even illusions can beat nothing.

It was different being elected to the Senate. She was riding Bill’s popularity and it seemed as if New York was drafting her like RFK, which kept any meaningful opposition sidelined. But if Guiliani hadn’t had to drop out due to health, she might not even have won there.

The fact is, Hillary is NOT a good candidate or campaigner. She is running for who she is, not what she wants to do, and her only hope is to get the identity voters out in the same numbers as Obama. I doubt those young and minority voters will share the same enthusiasm for the mean old white lady.

Adjoran on March 2, 2014 at 10:41 PM

Hillary learned how to dodge bullets at foreign airports, and to remain graceful and humorous in the process.

Come on, give the woman some credit. Doesn’t that count for something?

oakland on March 3, 2014 at 6:33 AM

Her biggest ‘accomplishment’ was getting the 1st Ambassador murdered in over 30 years….adding another body to the ‘Clinton Body Count’.

easyt65 on March 3, 2014 at 7:44 AM

What difference does it make? I know a certain community organizer with a blank resume and look where that got him.

iceman1960 on March 3, 2014 at 9:04 AM

Moll Hillary kept her ‘name’ alive, kept in contact with Dems. here and around the world, and her own hopes up. Otherwise, she gaine 30-40 pounds, aged dramatically, and lost the MidEast to chaos and carried water for the corrupt admin. of which she is one of the best rotten examples.

rennyangel2 on March 3, 2014 at 9:10 AM

you guys are being completely unfair to Hildog .. She sat at Saul’s hooves, turned BJ into Manchurian candidate, killed Ron Brown and Vince Foster, steroidized War on woman (thru personal and propaganda feats), us defense secrets now ancient Chinese secret, stole silverware from WH, and now bringing Huma(MB) into West wing .. She IS an accomplished diva, commie, feminist, and serial downgraded of US .. What more could you ask of a dhimmicrat candidate?

GKChesterton99 on March 3, 2014 at 9:19 AM

If she could only have her primary and election NOW; to wait any further, she only sinks more as her own RESET button misses in translation to the American public.

OCULUS on March 3, 2014 at 10:41 AM

She IS an accomplished diva, commie, feminist, and serial downgraded of US …

GKChesterton99 on March 3, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Add up those individual constituencies of voters and you have yourself the next President of Unite States.

Carnac on March 3, 2014 at 11:34 AM

What difference does it make? I know a certain community organizer with a blank resume and look where that got him.

iceman1960 on March 3, 2014 at 9:04 AM

Ditto. It isn’t any wonder.

All one needs is the MSM to carry your water to the ignorant masses.

Carnac on March 3, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Well we know she will not stay home and bake cookies.

Missilengr on March 3, 2014 at 4:12 PM

She can remind us all that she tried to shove universal healthcare down our throats before Obama did.

Without the Gingrich-led Contract With America, we’d probably be in our 11th year of HillaryCare.

As far as a resume goes, don’t forget to ask about all of the legislation she authored (not co-sponsored or endorsed, but actually created) while being the Junior Senator from New York.

Freelancer on March 3, 2014 at 9:12 PM

And sadly, she is still closer to qualified for the position than the current Resident.

Freelancer on March 3, 2014 at 9:13 PM

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