So this is what the Presidential debate boils down to – frequent flyer miles on Air Force One !!
Democratic presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton, who earlier questioned Barack Obama’s experience in managing the economy, now claims that she has traveled abroad more than Obama, also a Democratic presidential contender, both as the wife of former president Bill Clinton, and as a Senator, according to this report in the Washington Post.
In remarks after an event yesterday in Shenandoah, Iowa, circulated by her campaign as “New HRC Comments on Experience,” Clinton was quoted as saying, “I have traveled the world on behalf of our country — first in the White House with my husband and now as a senator. I’ve met with countless world leaders and know many of them personally. I went to Beijing in 1995 and stood up to the Chinese government on human rights and women’s rights. I have fought for our men and women in uniform to make sure they have the equipment they need in battle and are treated with dignity when they return home”, according to the Washington Post.
Hillary Clinton has once again missed the point, sounding more like a yuppie than an aspirant for the top political job in the US. She reminds me of the large number of CEOs who, to prove their importance to the folks back home, pepper their conversation with references to meetings with leaders in China, Vietnam, and India to show just how au courant and well-connected they are.
In contrast, Barack Obama wasn’t name dropping. He said he had lived abroad to prove that he knew how people abroad lived. Living with people abroad can help a politician a lot more than rubbing shoulders over caviar and champagne with political leaders, particularly if they are Chinese leaders totally out of touch with their people.
Perhaps if Clinton had moved from well-choreographed receptions for her husband by foreign heads of state, to actually mixing with the people, they would not be taken by surprise when they find how much Americans are hated in so many countries, and not only in the Muslim world. She would have perhaps realized that Americans’ self perception of invincibility is galling to the rest of the world, and seen by many others as downright patronizing.
Yes, and Hillary Clinton would have understood that the world is now shocked that the run-up to the presidential elections in the US is filled with stories and claims relating to “her days when Bill was President” rather than dealing with substantive issues.
On this front, both Obama and Clinton have preferred to give you the big picture with very little specifics. They haven’t laid out a blueprint for the future of Iraq, or for the US economy, or domestic surveillance, or homeland security, or on foreign policy, except to make some populist noises about universal healthcare.
Instead we hear Obama on his childhood abroad and Clinton’s frequent flyer miles on Air Force One.