Sen. Hillary Clinton said something interesting in Youngstown yesterday.
“Both Senator Obama and I would make history,” the New York senator said. “But only one of us is ready on day one to be commander in chief, ready to manage our economy, and ready to defeat the Republicans. Only one of us has spent 35 years being a doer, a fighter and a champion for those who need a voice.”
Note the part I’ve italicized. It’s a point she repeated at least two or three times during the speech (see fuller text here), and it has been the source of some pointed debate among interested Dem-watchers this morning.
Here’s what I want to know: how, precisely, is Sen. Clinton more prepared to be Commander-in-Chief, on day or on any other day, than Sen. Obama?
If either candidate has a record of senior strategic military command, I’ve somehow missed it. I can’t find any record of Sen. Clinton serving in the military at any level, in fact. As best I can tell, if you have no direct experience in these kinds of matters, your readiness to lead is mostly a function of knowing who to listen to, and again, I have no evidence before me that would suggest Clinton is somehow more qualified on this criterion than Sen. Obama.
Surely she doesn’t think that supporting Dick and Dubya’s Big Iraqi Adventure qualifies her to be CiC. And her promise to bring the troops home within 60 days might be a little more encouraging if she’d actually admitted how badly she fucked up in the first place and apologized, like John Edwards did.
Please don’t tell me that she’s more qualified to run the military because she was married to a president for eight years. If she played a role as first lady that we don’t know about, fine – prove it. I can tell you, with absolute certainty, that I’m not prepared – on Day 1, Day 5 or Day 1000 – to do my wife’s job. So in the absence of something more substantive than stump rhetoric, I find the potential suggestion that marriage prepares you to assume your spouse’s career tenuous, at best.
Sen. Clinton, saying it don’t make it so, not even if you say it loudly, repeatedly and to thunderous applause. So please, if you’re going to make these kinds of dramatic claims, could you provide a little evidence or reasoning or something, anything, to back it up?