The Reinvention of Hillary Clinton: Vote For The Iraq War Now A “Mistake” And The Clintons Faced Hard Economic Times After Leaving The White House

225px-Hillary_Clinton_official_Secretary_of_State_portrait_cropAdvance copies of Hillary Clinton’s new book have been distributed and the book has already created a buzz over her statements about the Iraq War, Bergdahl, and other subjects. In a statement that will be viewed as many as “too little and too late,” Clinton now says that her support for the Iraq war (and vote for the war as a Senator) was a mistake. At the time of the Iraq war, many of us opposed the vote and called on Clinton and her colleagues to hold real, substantive hearings on the war. With the exception of Russ Feingold, the members refused and eagerly jumped on the band wagon for war. After all, the war was popular and the polls were with Clinton. Then the war became unpopular, the reasons for the war exposed as untrue, and Clinton’s position began to change. She tried to offer a nuanced answer while running for President in 2008, but avoided an admission of fault or mistake on her part (as opposed to others). Now, she is coming out and offering a type of “oops, my bad.” At the same time, she has moved to separate herself from the backlash over the Bergdahl trade. With some 44 percent of Americans opposed to the trade (and only around 29 percent supporting the trade), Clinton wants no part of the scandal and insists that she was steadfastly opposed to any trade for Taliban. At the same time, Clinton has publicly stated that she and Bill also faced hard times after leaving office. It seems that when they were “dead broke” while living in the large home in New York and worried (like so many families) of how to cover tuition costs and the mortgage.

The logic on Capitol Hill has long been that votes for wars like Iraq are the safe choice for politicians since the costs of appearing unpatriotic would have greater costs. Moreover, the view in Washington is that Americans have a short attention span and you can always express regret later or blame the prior administration. While thousands of Americans are dead or severely wounded, the war can be treated as something in the past when we need to look to the future.

For those families, Clinton’s new admission is unlikely to erase the anger:

“Many senators came to wish they had voted against the resolution. I was one of them. As the war dragged on, with every letter I sent to a family in New York who had lost a son or daughter, a father or mother, my mistake (became) more painful. . . . I thought I had acted in good faith and made the best decision I could with the information I had. And I wasn’t alone in getting it wrong. But I still got it wrong. Plain and simple.”

Of course, it ignores the objections at the time that Clinton and others were unwilling to even listen to objections over the failure to address constitutional problems over another undeclared war. She also ignored demands for substantive hearings that might have revealed that there was no real evidence of weapons of mass destruction. These calls were ignored because the members did not want to hear anything that would make it difficult for them to vote for a popular war. It was at best willful blindness and can only be defined as “good faith” if one ignores the concerted effort to avoid countervailing information in the rush for war.

For those of us who opposed the war, the revision of history by those responsible for it is not short of maddening. In September 2005, Clinton began to re-position herself and blamed the Bush Administration for her vote. That was three years into the war when the polls were falling. She continued this theme in 2008 in her presidential run. She did not however come clean about being mistaken. She however adds “I wasn’t alone in getting it wrong.” That is not exactly the “buck stops here” attitude when it comes over a decade too late and shares blame with others.

Having offered the admission on Iraq, Clinton proceeds to throw Obama under a bus on Bergdahl. She makes clear that she was against the now unpopular trade and that she made clear “that opening the door to negotiations with the Taliban would be hard to swallow for many Americans after so many years of war.” She also said that Obama ignored her call to arm the Syrian rebels and that they might have been able to overthrow the regime. She wanted action and portrays Obama as timid: “[T]he risks of both action and inaction were high. Both choices would bring unintended consequences. The President’s inclination was to stay the present course and not take the significant further step of arming rebels. No one likes to lose a debate, including me. But this was the President’s call and I respected his deliberations and decision.”

So there you have it. She was “wrong” on the war but not alone but do not blame me for Bergdahl or Syria. It is called a political pivot.

If that reinvention is does not take, Hillary also appears to be making a pitch to struggling American families that she knows their pain because she and Bill were “dead broke” after leaving the White House. In an interview with ABC, Hillary details the harrowing reality that followed their departure from the White House: “We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt. We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses, for Chelsea’s education. You know, it was not easy.” For a candidate who has had persistent problems with authenticity, this is not going to help.

Of course, unlike most Americans, Bill Clinton immediately started a speaking tour that brought in millions, including some fees from questionable associations. Also the Clintons were able to call upon fundraiser Terry McAuliffe (now, the governor of Virginia) to secure a loan for a $1.7 million home in Chappaqua, N.Y. Hillary Clinton has pulled in the same huge fees after leaving office as we previously discussed. This includes half of a million dollars from Goldman Sachs in less than a week. The weird math that allows the Clintons to claim to be “dead broke” is that they had legal fees from their time in the White House. However, no one seriously expected these Democratic firms to pursue the Clintons for payment and donors quickly worked to pay off that debt. Those bills were entirely paid off by 2004 by donors eager to help the Clintons.

It is not clear if this will remake Clinton into a new image of a struggling mother and peace advocate, but many in Washington believe that American voters have the memory of a golden retriever puppy. They will have to. The Democrats have been pushing Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton to a public that is calling for an end to the duopoly of the two parties and a break from the Washington establishment. It will be interesting to see if the next book paints Biden as an outsider in Washington. In any case, the campaign has clearly begun and, despite even liberals wanting to see Hillary face a primary challenge, the Democratic Party appears to be treating her nomination as a done deal.

Source: Politico

239 thoughts on “The Reinvention of Hillary Clinton: Vote For The Iraq War Now A “Mistake” And The Clintons Faced Hard Economic Times After Leaving The White House”

    1. If I were Hillary I would be concerned that Cantor will take a no holds barred approach.

  1. David, Dems need boogeymen to stir up their base, Tea Party, Koch Brothers, Rove, Fox News, etc. It’s all negative energy. You can see the cultists here do it on a daily basis. I am not a Tea Party member but, as you know, I HATE taxes, waste and overregulation. I am also for immigration reform. People here would be shocked @ the impassioned plea from Britt Hume on how we need to do the right thing vis a vis the recent children from Central America who came here to escape drug violence. Hume has a good heart and a sensible head. But he’s from Fox News. What he said does not fit the stereotypical view the Dems here have of Fox.

  2. All of those promises that the right wing establishment made to the Tea People like the repeal of Obamacare didn’t materialize, so now they are going to get some really really truly for sure rootin’ tootin’ righties in there who will not be wimps on shutting down the government and defaulting on our debts to extort what they want out of the Democrats. Good times ahead!

  3. Democrats Rejoice Cantor’s Loss
    Rep. Eric Cantor.

    “Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s loss left the political world stunned Tuesday night, including a Democratic Party official who discussed the shocking upset with Business Insider.
    “It’s unreal,” the official said of Cantor’s loss to his underdog Tea Party-backed challenger, David Brat.

    Their shock hasn’t stopped liberals from rejoicing over the defeat of a man who earned the nickname Dr. No for his vigorous opposition to the Democratic agenda in Congress. The official who spoke with Business Insider described Cantor’s “unfrigginbelievable” loss as being a “rebuke” of the GOP “on every level.”

    “Eric Cantor is the member of the House leadership that’s tasked with putting out their legislative agenda,” the official said. 

    Because of this, the official predicted Cantor’s lost would have left other Republicans terrified. 

    “I guarantee every single Republican Senate and gubernatorial candidate that has a primary left — and that’s a lot of them — their consultants and staff are doing emergency conference calls and hyperventilating into paper bags right now,” said the official. 

    Brat’s victory puts him on a course to face Democrat John “Jack” Trammell in the general election. Trammell’s website notes he is “in part” named for former President John F. Kennedy and declares his intention to fight “extremism and ‘business as usual’ in Washington.” Both Brat and Trammell are professors at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. 

    With Cantor unable to run on the Republican Party line, the

    The official noted Cantor might run as a write-in candidate, which could result in a situation where the conservative vote “gets split” and creates an opening for Trammell. Cantor’s campaign did not respond to a request from Business Insider shortly after his loss.

    Describing the district as one that merely “leans Republican” and isn’t overwhelmingly conservative, the official also suggested Brat might simply lose to Trammell outright.

    “You have a guy that is so far to the right, this guy is areal loon from everything I’ve seen,” the official said of Brat. “That’s not the district this is. This is a suburban Virginia district, it’s not a Glenn Beck crowd.”

    Trammell did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Business Insider. However, the Virginia Democratic Party released a statement on his behalf wherein he said he is expecting a “spirited campaign.”

    “I am honored and humbled to accept the Democratic nomination in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District. I am running because I believe Virginians are hungry for a radical change from the dysfunctional and reckless politics being practiced by those in Congress – and the results of tonight’s primary election are the proof,” Trammell said. “In the coming months, I look forward to a spirited campaign where can talk about the issues that matter to our community, and how we can get Congress re-focused on the priorities that truly matter to us.”

    On Facebook, the previously empty campaign page Trammell created Monday was flooded with nearly 50 comments in an hour from newfound supporters who indicated Cantor’s loss gave him a path to victory. One of those posts was from Virginia’s LGBT Democratic caucus. 

    “Eric Cantor has been defeated in the Republican Primary in the 7th Congressional District!” the post said. “Democrats now have a chance to win this district with Jack Trammell for Congress! Go Trammell!”

    Read more:

  4. Karen,

    I believe Sharyl Attkisson documented all of her FOIA requests how they were ignored of denied regarding Benghazi.

    Isn’t it strange that in 2009 Ms. Attkisson was the most aired investigative journalist for CBS News, yet by 2012 she was getting 1/5 the air time?

    Oh wait…..maybe it isn’t so strange. The head of CBS News is David Rhodes. His brother is Ben Rhodes.

  5. “The documents included a newly declassified emailshowing then-White House Deputy Strategic Communications Adviser Ben Rhodes and other Obama administration public relations officials attempting to orchestrate a campaign to “reinforce” President Obama and to portray the Benghazi consulate terrorist attack as being “rooted in an Internet video, and not a failure of policy.” ”

    What strikes me is that the FOIAs should have come from the mainstream media. It is their job to investigate, but they have repeatedly abstained from investigating scandals that damage the Democratic party, until other media sources make them impossible to ignore.

    1. Karen – remember how the MSM beat themselves up because they should have been harder on Bush? Seems they have forgotten that lesson.
      They do not even get to take their own photos of the President. Now they are given the photos the WH wants them to use.

  6. Steve:

    It’s interesting how the Administration stonewalls Benghazi investigations (won’t allow survivors to speak, Hillary Clinton won’t testify, won’t release FOIAs) and then after they’ve dragged it out absurdly long, they claim it was so long ago who cares?

  7. What hasn’t been mentioned much in this thread is the very large hurdle a “reinvention” will not overcome.
    She may claim she is one of the common folk with debt, knows in hindsight how horrible Iraq was, etc.
    None of that matters to Trey Gowdy or the other members of his committee. The left dismisses Benghazi as “phony” and “a long time ago” all while wishing and hoping it would just go away.
    Mr. Gowdy clearly tells the media what the key issues are and the questions they should be asking. Questions he can obviously answer. (YouTube: Trey Gowdy Demands Answers on Benghazi dated 10/30/31.)
    Do you think after spending 16 years as a prosecutor (losing only one case) he would commit to spending his time/energy on this if there were no credible evidence?
    Regardless, Hillary can play the game, but the questions he asked in the video will be answered between now and the 2016 election.

  8. It really is not irrelevant at all. If Hillary wins the presidency, it will be aided by the extremism of the Tea party. Immigration reform is supposedly dead due to last night’s tea party victory. Hispanic votes will be guaranteed to Hillary if a tea partyer is nominated by the republican party.

    1. swarthmoremom wrote: “Immigration reform is supposedly dead due to last night’s tea party victory.”

      Excuse me, but I am a Tea Partier who supports immigration reform. There are others. Please don’t stereotype this group wrongly. The Tea Party is about taxes, not immigration.

  9. Karen, Hillary lovers have tried distraction on this thread. Not long ago it would have worked. But, no longer. “The truth shall make you free.”

  10. Paul – but she was listed as a minority in her past jobs, and took advantage of AA.

    Was she disadvantaged and discriminated against as a Dutch American?

  11. Hahahaha! A post about Hillary Clinton’s serious shortfalls, and people bash Republicans. That’s what happens when people view truth through political lenses. If you can’t defend the indefensible, make fun of the Tea Party.

  12. Darren:

    “Moreover, I read many years ago that after the Clinton’s moved into their NY home they charged the Secret Service rent.”

    Hahahahaha! That a is what I’m talking about – politicians who would rather spend taxpayer money (free bodyguards, rent) than their own.

    1. Karen – I think Al Gore was charging rent to the Secret Service for living in the guest quarters on his estate.

  13. Paul C. Schulte

    “no 1 – Warren has stopped self-identifying as Indian since she got in the Senate.”

    But she still has those “high cheekbones.”

    5/3/12: Warren explained that she had listed herself as a minority in past professional directories “because I thought I might be invited to meetings where I might meet more people who had grown up like I had grown up.”

    1. Steve – there is a website dedicated to Warren and her ‘Indian’ identity. BTW, there is no indication that she every joined or meet with minority women at any of her places of employment.

  14. no 1 – Warren has stopped self-identifying as Indian since she got in the Senate.

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