Hillary Clinton might make a fine Secretary of State. For the sake of the country, I certainly hope that she does. However, in the world of political leaders, a leader’s past judgments are often a good guide to his or her future performance. Consider the following that I quoted at NoSpeedBumps in Feb, 2007 just as the surge was starting:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the early front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, has called for a 90-day deadline to start pulling American troops from Iraq.
… “Now it’s time to say the redeployment should start in 90 days or the Congress will revoke authorization for this war,” the New York senator said in a video on her campaign Web site, repeating a point included in a bill she introduced on Friday.
In the same post, to this I wrote:
And then what? Watch the humanitarian disaster unfold? Watch Iraq become a failed state overrun with rival militias, Muslim fundamentalists, and Al Qaeda terrorists?
It is really difficult to figure out what to do in Iraq, and every one of us that has an opinion could be wrong. But to me, whatever the solution to Iraq, to start withdrawing within three months is not it.
I am not saying that I am always right in my judgment on political issues. In fact, when first hearing of the proposed surge in Dec, 2006, I strongly opposed it.
After presumably thinking very hard about this issue for a month after the surge idea was put out there - Hillary Clinton not only opposed the surge - but she decided in Jan. 2007 that we should start leaving Iraq:
Ms Clinton said she opposed George Bush’s plans to send a ’surge’ of more than 20,000 extra troops to Iraq. … “I’m for redeploying our troops out of Baghdad and eventually out of Iraq so we can make sure that they’re not in the midst of a civil war.”
Well I was wrong, and this is probably one of my biggest misses in judgment calls on this blog since I started it four years ago. But I am a lone blogger - not the new Secretary of State. Hillary had numerous experts and seasoned political pros (even her husband - an ex-president!) to discuss the surge idea with before formulating her final policy position. But in the end she got it dead wrong.
Hillary Clinton made a huge error in judgment for a national leader. Not that I expect her to admit this, it just raises concerns about what is heading our way in terms of new foreign policies.