Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Hillary Embellishments

Exaggeration of experience baffles me when it comes to political candidates. It seems every year people embellish their personal and professional experiences and every year those same people look like idiots when it turns out they were bending the truth.

Whether it was Al Gore saying he invented the internet or George Bush inventing a record of military service it is not uncommon for candidates to embellish the importance of their past.

The latest version of this stupidity was evident in a story I really didn't consider '17people worthy' and that was the Hillary Clinton, Bosnian Sniper story. In her effort to tout her own experience Hillary told a story about how when she arrived in Bosnia as first lady she had to race to her car dodging the bullets of sniper fire.

It turns out that Hillary had no such drama as she landed and they even have video of her walking the airport with her daughter. Obviously this is the kind of thing that sets people off saying things like "she can't be trusted", but the truth is Hillary has played her first lady foreign policy experience wrong the entire campaign.

Hillary has tried to portray herself as the great international statesman of the Clinton administration. The reality is that Hillary spent most of her time meeting with very important leaders in social and ceremonial settings.

The skeptics say, 'all she did was have tea and crumpets' when she travelled abroad. Those people act as though this is a bad thing and by her exaggeration she does as well.

I remember reading an article a couple years back (which I can't find just yet) that talked about the impact that the Queen of England has in international diplomacy because of the relationships she has formed travelling the world. The article talked about her being able to call Kings or Presidents all through the world and exercising diplomatic magic in some cases. Now the Queen in England has rather limited powers, but through her travels and position she made relationships where she is an incredibly effective diplomat.

Hillary has travelled to more countries and met with more important people than about anyone who has ever run for President. Whether or not she met them in negotiations or at a State Dinner, she has big time experience and personal connections to utilize.

Instead of saying "I've been to over 80 countries and met personally with leaders all over the world", she had to make herself out to be some sort of lead negotiator who was leading soldiers on the battlefield.

While I would never make the "Queen" comparison if I were Hillary she did herself damage by trying to make her experience something it wasn't. By exaggerating her experience and having it exposed, it diminishes the large amount of experience she gained in her time as first lady.

She met foreign leaders, their advisers, and other key people in social settings which in many cases is the best way to develop the kind of relationships necessary. Yet thanks to the famous Clinton imagination, she has undercut her own credibility yet again.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

I was only really ever impressed with Hillary one time.

I don't know if you remember this JC, but Bill was supposed to attend a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza when, unexpectedly, terrorist took over. Hillary had arrived in LA late and so wasn't in the main ballroom when the bad guys struck.

Well, Hillary wasn't going to stand for that, so she launched a one woman all out assault and took those terrorists (who turned out to just be really clever thieves) OUT!

The coolest part was when she used a fire hose to rappel down the side of the building. We need that sort of determination and pluck in our president.

I know a lot of people talk about the time she rescued those two kids from the genetically cloned dinosaurs on Isla Nublar as a standout momment of her first Ladyship, but I think that bit of daring do was pulled off more by the cleverness of Dr. Ian Malcolm than anything she did.

And don't get me started on the time she rallied her fellow gladiators and finally got to take her revenge on the man who had killed her family, the Roman man-god Commodus. Sure, she displayed some excellent leadership skills, but she got killed at the end, and I don't want a zombie President in the White House (again).