Hillary: Everyone needs to vote for me because I know how to do national security

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Wednesday June 01st, 2016

Oh really.

It's true that Donald Trump has no experience dealing with national security issues. (Neither did Bill Clinton circa 1992, by the way.) It's also true that sometimes people's extensive experience working in a certain discipline, which they hope will prove them qualified for a promotion, actually proves the opposite.

Apparently Hillary is set to give a major national security speech tomorrow in California, in advance of the June 7 primary that she may well lose as part of the march to her inevitability. And her point in this speech will be that Trump is unqualified for the presidency because of his complete lack of knowledge or preparation in the field of national security, whereas she, don't you know, has been in the arena:

“Clinton will rebuke the fear, bigotry and misplaced defeatism that Trump has been selling to the American people,” an aide said. “She will make the affirmative case for the exceptional role America has played and must continue to play in order to keep our country safe and our economy growing."

The aide spoke on the condition of anonymity to outline the plan for the speech, which has not been previously reported.

The address will expand on themes Clinton sketched in a CNN interview in May, when she flatly said Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, is not qualified to be president. She ticked through positions the businessman has taken during a campaign few thought he could win. Among them: an apparent willingness to back out of the NATO alliance; a suggestion that the U.S. defense burden would be lightened if Japan and other nations acquired nuclear weapons; and his pledge to bar foreign Muslims from entering the United States.

"I know how hard this job is, and I know that we need steadiness, as well as strength and smarts in it, and I have concluded that he is not qualified to be president of the United States,” Clinton said.

Just like anything else with Hillary, the case comes down to she's been around and she's seen everything and she knows the players, etc. Those things are undeniably true. It's another question entirely whether she's steady, strong or smart. Just because she keeps saying she is doens't make it true. But what you need to look at when you're assessing a candidate is not just the positions they've held - even though Hillary would clearly prefer you just stop right there - but also how well they performed in those positions. Lots of people have held high-level jobs. The one you'd want to elevate to the presidency would be someone who performed exceptionally well in those jobs.

Is that the case with Hillary? Let's consider:

  • The "reset" with Russia? How is that turning out?
  • The Libya intervention?
  • The Syria debacle?
  • Our relations with Israel?
  • Heck, our relations with Britain and Canada?
  • The advancement of democracy in Iraq? Who was Secretary of State in 2011?
  • How did Vladimir Putin get control of 20 percent of the uranium in the U.S., Hillary?
  • Oh, and who had four years to get the Keystone XL pipeline review done?

I guess I won't blame her for Iran or Cuba, although she supports all those policies.

And this is before we even get into the national security nightmare caused by her schlock, homebrew e-mail server, since we're only beginning to learn who besides some guy named Guccifer might have hacked in and helped themselves to classified information about U.S. dealings abroad.

I have some problems with Trump's foreign policy reflexes, to be sure. I'm more of an American global leadership kind of guy. I think Trump has the right instincts when it comes to fighting ISIS and Islamic terrorism in general, and I definitely think he would be a better friend to Israel than Obama has been - although it's hard to imagine how anyone could be worse. I'm not sure I like the idea of picking fights with allies over who's paying what for NATO, or generally complaining that the allies should do more so we can do less. That's not what global leaders do, and it sounds suspiciously like Obama saying something along the lines of they must stand up so we can stand down.

But it's just like everything in this race. Trump represents a risk of some bad policies. Hillary represents the guarantee of them, because yes, she's been in the arena a long time and we've seen how she operates. It ain't good. She always wants you to look at the resume and forget about the actual record. Otherwise you'll realize that sometimes a person's experience is a disqualifier, and that's definitely the case with her.

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