In 2014, CNN’s Erin Burnett has hosted a conversation at the Clinton Global Initiative. She devoted last night’s program to CGI 2015, which wrapped up yesterday, and spent the hour interviewing Bill Clinton.
It is impossible for Bill Clinton to be before TV cameras without being asked about Hillary and the 2016 campaign. That was the case last night. He pointed out weaknesses in Republican debate and campaign substance saying that so far all he has heard are claims of who hates and blames Democrats more. He asked, “What would you actually do?”
Is there an Americans who has not heard Donald Trump claim that Hillary Clinton was the worst secretary of state … ever? Burnett played that remark for Hillary’s loving husband who nearly spewed the water he was sipping and launched into a litany of Hillary’s accomplishments (a host of which are listed here addressed to Carly Fiorina).
He mentioned the New START treaty, about which everyone on both sides of the aisle appears to have developed amnesia. This was the exchange of instruments of ratification.
He talked about her phenomenal success in exponentially increasing PEPFAR’s effectiveness without increasing costs. (President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief began as a George W, Bush administration initiative.)
Directly contradicting Trump’s claim that Hillary lost friends for us, WJC said that all of the countries that benefited from the PEPFAR efforts liked us a lot after her work and that our approval rating was 20% higher when she left office than when she arrived.
And there were the Iran sanctions. He told Burnett and the audience that even people who do not like the agreement liked the sanctions.
THE IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL.
When I’m president, we’ll cancel it on my first day in office. We’ll reimpose the sanctions that are on the books. I’ll ask Congress to increase them on every sector of their economy. And it’ll make it very clear to Iran, if they want a peaceful nuclear program, they have to pursue it the way South Korea does, the way Japan does, by importing the enriched material. And if they try to build weapons, we’re going to destroy their weapons program.
Hillary has called canceling the agreement reckless, but at least he liked the sanctions. Clearly, once the Republicans really get into issues as opposed to their sterling and stunning resumés, the Iran agreement will be one of the hot-button issues.
Apr 22, 2010
By Tom Junod
I felt better about myself as an American after spending time with Hillary Clinton for the profile of her that appears in the May issue of Esquire. Seriously. It’s not just the obvious — it’s not just the fact that she never appears so quintessentially American, as simultaneously Daisy-Millerish and Tracy-Flickish, as when she stands smiling on a stage with a bunch of European guys with permanent five-o’clock shadows. It’s not even that I wind up applauding my country for producing a woman whose genius is for a kind of can-do level-headedness that somehow manages to drive both enemies and admirers around the bend. No, it’s that after traveling to Montreal, London, and Paris with the secretary of state — after listening to three of her speeches and attending at least a dozen diplomatic ceremonies and then interviewing her — I’m a little less concerned than I was about the problem of American power. And because of Hillary Clinton, we should all be a lot less concerned about the problem of a nuclear Iran (no matter the war games nor the cautious talk).
But first, let’s face it: The problem with American power is that there seems to be less of it these days. We’re fighting wars we can’t win and incurring debts we can’t pay, and the upshot of all that is that we can’t tell other countries what to do. “You have to approach this [diplomacy] with humility,” Secretary Clinton told me. “Even if you think we’re right — and in fact I do believe we’re right about the major issues — you can’t just assert it.” Now, on the face of it that sounds like a pretty standard, Obama-era formulation, right down to the encoded reference to the Bush administration, whose policy of diplomacy-by-assertion only wound up making us look at once decisive and ineffectual — decisively ineffectual, if you will. But the thing that makes it also a classic Hillary formulation is the parenthetical insistence that she, and we, are right. She has never been given to apology, and while this has caused her some problems politically — think the Iraq war vote — it serves her well as President Obama’s secretary of state. She does not give you the sense, as Obama sometimes does, that she’s conducting foreign policy in expiation of the sins of the previous administration, or for that matter of the previous 234-odd years of American history. She’s not guilty about anything, least of all American power, and standing next to her is like standing next to a Minuteman missile — you can have all sorts of opinions about her, but ultimately you’re glad that she’s one of ours.
Going forward into the debates and the next phase of the campaign, Junod’s articles are handy pieces for us all to keep in our back pockets.
I see a lot of cheering. “Hillary 2016” “I will vote for her!” “She will be our next president!” We need to arm ourselves for the battles. Yesterday I shared an article from HuffPo explaining how doctored video footage was used to eradicate ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) in 2010 and is being used do the same thing to Planned Parenthood now. That article also explained how manufactured information is used against the Clintons.
It time to move on from the sloganeering and find out whence potential attacks might emanate and what the facts are. A great many people who are supporting Hillary know very little about what she has done. We welcome new teammates. Junod’s article is a good place to start getting proficient in Hillary Clinton foreign policy. Today is a great day to begin.