Conventional wisdom suggests women voters overwhelmingly will support Hillary Clinton in her presumptive presidential bid in 2016.
But should they?
That’s a question all voters need to ask themselves before marching in lockstep to a Clinton candidacy. More to the point: What, exactly, has she done during her many years as a national figure to demonstrate strong and capable leadership?
Start with her role as first lady, where she failed early on to sell the far left’s dream of universal health care and spent the rest of her husband’s presidency on the arm of history.
Her two terms as a U.S. senator from New York – a state where she put down “roots” a full 13 months before the election – is remarkable only for not being that remarkable. It’s a conversation non-starter even among Clinton boosters.
Yes, her tenure as secretary of state made her America’s top diplomat and gave her a taste of foreign policy experience. The four-year assignment no doubt will feature prominently in her upcoming memoirs and presidential campaign.
But what did she do?
It speaks volumes that a State Department spokeswoman who was asked that question by reporters last month was embarrassingly unable to cite a single Clinton achievement.
The “accomplishments” Clinton is most remembered for actually are horrible failures of policy: her negligence in the deadly Benghazi attacks, and her refusal to place the African Islamist group Boko Haram on the terrorist group watch list.
Benghazi is a stain on Clinton’s record, and rightfully so. Four Americans, including a U.S. ambassador, died in a coordinated terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2012, after their repeated calls for protection were ignored by Washington.
Clinton conveniently was shielded from post-attack media exposure (see Rice, Susan) but still played along with the bogus cover story concocted by the Obama administration to spin the bloody spectacle as spontaneous mob violence sparked by an anti-Islam Internet video.
Then, as the phony narrative was refuted by the facts, she became petulant, dismissive and – in the moment of her infamous Benghazi remark – positively unpresidential: “Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?”
Based on what is known about the Benghazi scandal and cover-up, Clinton’s leadership was abysmal – an assessment unlikely to be improved by revelations from the latest congressional inquiry.
Then there’s Boko Haram, the radical Islamist group currently receiving international attention for its heinous abduction and threatened sale of several hundred Nigerian schoolgirls. Clinton could have dealt the organization a major blow by placing it on the terrorist watch list.
It wasn’t as if Boko Haram was an unknown entity. The group referred to as the “Nigerian Taliban” had been linked to the deaths of thousands of Christians during the past decade, and claimed responsibility for the 2011 U.N. bombing in Abuja.
Like the Taliban, the group despises all things modern, and reserves special hatred for the education of women. The name Boko Haram translates to “Western education is sinful.”
Intelligence organizations, including the FBI and CIA, and members of Congress urged the group’s placement on the list to enhance its global surveillance and cripple its funding.
But like Benghazi, Boko Haram’s rising prominence inconveniently flew in the face of the Obama administration’s narrative that global terrorism was on the run.
Instead of displaying fortitude and esprit de corps for abused women and girls, Clinton chose to emulate the administration’s dodgy, lead-from-behind strategy that has weakened America’s relations with allies and emboldened its enemies on the world stage.
Finally, women should question the legitimacy of Clinton’s feminist street cred.
This is the woman who, after all, not only protected her husband’s philandering for decades, but lashed out at his most high-profile victim, a then-22-year-old Monica Lewinsky, as “a narcissistic loony toon.”
It remains a mind-bending study in hypocrisy as to why Clinton and other so-called feminists – in a post-Anita Hill world – lionized a married man who had nine sexual encounters in the White House with a subordinate half his age, and lied about it on national television.
The prospect of Bill Clinton once again darkening the corridors of the White House should give pause to any Hillary proponent.
In 2016, America will need a chief executive to pull it from the morass wrought by eight years of muddled Obama policies.
America will need a commander in chief whose confidence internationally projects American strength and exceptionalism.
America will need a president who won’t compromise personal convictions for political convenience.
That’s a tall order. And Hillary Clinton falls woefully short.