by Ari Rutenberg
A few days ago my co-editor and I got into a little discussion about an article he wrote regarding remarks made by Hilary Clinton at the recent Youtube debate in response to a question she and Senator Obama received about meeting with foreign leaders with whom President Bush has refused to have diplomatic relations.
Before I begin let me be clear. First I don't particularly like Hillary Clinton. I think she is a pure politician who will try to be all things to all people and never really takes a stand on an issue. In addition I do like Barack Obama. I think his answer to this question, which was whether they would promise to meet with the leaders of states currently on Bushes blacklist within a year.
Obama responded essentially by saying yes, which is the best possible answer in my opinion. Hillary responded that "I will not promise to meet with these leaders within a year. I will promise a very vigorous diplomatic effort because I think it is not that you promise a meeting at that high a level before you know what the intentions are. I don't want to be used for propaganda purposes. I don't want to make a bad situation even worse."
Ben argued that "Hilary Clinton believes that the United States is too morally superior to speak to its enemies."I do not think that is what she meant by that statement, though I do have to say that it was a blatant political dig at Obama's perceived inexperience in foreign policy.I simply think it means that she does not want to promise to meet with them personally in a one-year time frame, not that she does not believe in using diplomacy. Now that all being said I'm never sure with her.
In an email following our discussion, Ben said: "Check this out mate:
Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said Obama "has committed to presidential-level meetings with some of the world's worst dictators without precondition during his first year in office. Senator Clinton is committed to vigorous diplomacy but understands that it is a mistake to commit the power and prestige of America's presidency years ahead of time by making such a blanket commitment."
I think that smacks of exceptionalism, and hypocrisy."
Now I would have to agree that the statement by her spokesman is exceptionalist and hypocritical. That being said I also think it contradicts the sentiment of what she said at the debate. So I went on her campaign website and looked up what her 'issues' sections had to say and this is the email I sent back to Ben:
"also check this out...its from her website
"And to keep our country safe, we need to start engaging our enemies again. During the Cold War, with missiles pointed at us, we never stopped talking to the Soviet Union. That didn't mean we agreed with them or approved of them. But it did mean we came to understand them -- and that was crucial to confronting the threats they posed." so im really not sure what position they are taking."
Ben responded by saying "Typical Clinton; take every position on every subject to cover your bases." At which point I gave up in exasperation. All I could say was "now I'm just confused." Which , I guess, is a pretty good description of her entire campaign.END