Hillary in 2008: "That buck stopped in the Oval Office"

Who could have predicted four years ago that electing a President with no executive experience might end up producing a chief executive that ran away from responsibility for his administration’s actions?  The same woman who just took responsibility for this administration’s failures in Benghazi, as it turns out.  BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski finds this nugget from January 2008, in which Hillary Clinton tells a Missouri crowd that America needs a President who understands that “the buck stop[s] in the White House,” and presumably not Foggy Bottom or Langley:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took “responsibility” for the lack of security at U.S. consulate in Benghazi in an interview with CNN tonight. In remarks from Peru, Clinton said that the “President and Vice President certainly wouldn’t be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals.”

But in 2008, then Senator Clinton criticized then Senator Obama during the Democratic primary seizing on comments Obama had made about being a President who would inspire and provide a vision for the country and not make sure “everything’s running on time.” …

Hillary Clinton also said at rally in Missouri in January, “I believe we need a president who believed what Harry Truman believed. That buck stopped in the Oval Office.”

Allahpundit last night wondered whether Barack Obama would magnanimously assure people in tonight’s debate that the buck stops at his desk. Frankly, it’s too late for that now.  Hillary may or may not have intended to take some heat off of the White House after Joe Biden’s Sergeant Schultz “We knew nothing” declaration at Thursday’s debate, but all she ended up doing is making Obama look tremendously weak by contrast.  Obama had almost five weeks to get in front of a camera and state the obvious — that he’s ultimately responsible for anything that happens within his administration. In fact, he’s has five weeks to get in front of a camera and address the American people about what turned out to be the first successful terrorist attack on an American diplomatic mission in 14 years — and he still hasn’t done so.  Instead, he’s doing sports talk shows while his White House staff try to shift blame onto State and the intel community.

It’s a jaw-dropping display of a leadership vacuum, which Hillary ended up having to fill herself.  This is exactly what Hillary warned voters about in 2008.  The contrast between her moment of leadership in this crisis and Obama’s lack of leadership since the very beginning of it will not help Obama make the case for another four years of buck-passing at the top, not even when Obama showed leadership on the Nicki Minaj-Mariah Carey feud.

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David Strom 5:21 PM on March 31, 2023