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  • ahead of the news

Why Hillary Isn’t Qualified to be Commander in Chief


The terrorist attack in Paris—and the fear that such a horrific fate could befall a major American city—has recast the presidential race and prompted former secretary of state Hillary Clinton to brag that she is the most qualified candidate in either political party to be commander in chief.

That, at least, is the story line that Hillary and her campaign are feeding the American public.

But is it true? Let’s refresh our memory.

When Barack Obama offered Hillary the job of secretary of state, she was suspicious of his motives and skeptical that he would allow her to put her stamp on foreign policy.

“I don’t want to be a pantsuit-wearing globetrotter,” she told Bill Clinton in the presence of several friends, two of whom I interviewed.

Her suspicions proved to be accurate. Obama and Valerie Jarrett, his senior adviser, never let Hillary run foreign policy. As one official told Politico, Hillary practiced “odometer diplomacy,” with a “focus on globetrotting to bolster America’s relationships abroad coupled with attempts to cope with an array of pop-up crises.”

Hillary extracted a promise from Obama that she would be free to choose her own deputies, but that is not how things worked out. Jarrett insisted that Hillary hire James Steinberg as her deputy secretary of state, even though Hillary didn’t like or trust Steinberg.

As part of the Obamas vs. the Clinton blood feud that I have written about, the White House went out of its way to humiliate Hillary. For example, Hillary would be summoned to the White House for a meeting only to discover when she arrived that the meeting had been canceled without anyone bothering to tell her. Other times, she was left in the dark about the timing of cabinet meetings.

Bill Clinton urged Hillary to stand her ground with the White House and hit some foreign policy homeruns. But when she tried to follow his advice—as she did in Libya, the “reset” with Russia, and the “pivot” to Asia—the results were disastrous.

Libya became a breeding ground for the Islamic State; the Russian “reset” gave Vladimir Putin an excuse to annex Crimea; and the Asian “pivot” encouraged Beijing to create an archipelago of militarized islands in the South China Sea.

Finally, Hillary’s claim to commander in chief status was demolished once and for all by the events of September 11, 2012 in Benghazi, where four Americans lost their lives, including our ambassador to Libya.

If this tragedy had been inflicted on any other major industrialized country, the foreign minister would have been forced to resign.

That’s exactly what Hillary should have done—taken responsibility for Benghazi and resigned. The fact that she is still trying to wiggle her way out of taking any blame is proof that she is not qualified to be commander in chief of the United States,