Sure he did, but you can’t hold him to things he said in the heat of battle. Remember, this is a guy who lied repeatedly on the stump about a pillar of American trade policy and then climbed down as soon as it was safe to do so. BS-ing about his contempt for Hillary’s qualifications is small potatoes by comparison.
Note Her Majesty nodding along at the beginning as Obama pointedly reaffirms that he’ll be the one setting policy. Lurking over her shoulder (literally, in some of the camera angles) is Susan Rice, who was originally touted for State or NSA and who’ll end up instead as ambassador to the UN — which The One now plans to make into a cabinet-level position. That’s significant for two reasons: (1) it signals to the public that he’s serious about “soft power” playing a vastly bigger role in his administration than it did in Bush’s, and (2) it signals to Hillary that if she steps out of line he has someone capable of replacing her without missing a beat. How capable? Maguire points out that while Rice is known for being hawkish on intervening against genocides, she had no problem with The One’s plan to pull out of Iraq notwithstanding the likely outcome. Which is just where Hillary stood at the time, except she was even blunter about it:
Asked if Americans would endure having troops in Iraq who do nothing to stop sectarian attacks there, Mrs. Clinton replied, “Look, I think the American people are done with Iraq. I think they’re at a point where, whether they thought it was a good idea or not, they have seen misjudgment and blunder after blunder, and their attitude is, what is this getting us? What is this doing for us?”
“No one wants to sit by and see mass killing,” she added. “It’s going on every day! Thousands of people are dying every month in Iraq. Our presence there is not stopping it. And there is no potential opportunity I can imagine where it could. This is an Iraqi problem — we cannot save the Iraqis from themselves. If we had a different attitude going in there, if we had stopped the looting immediately, if we had asserted our authority — you can go down the lines, if, if, if.”
I’m going to stop here before I talk myself out of supporting the pick again. Not shown in the video, incidentally: Joe Biden, who finally got to say a few words at one of these pressers because he is, of course, a foreign policy genius who got the surge just as wrong as Hillary did.