Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Walsh: Hillary Clinton would face an election; not a coronation

Salon's Joan Walsh writes a "case against Hillary" that's not so much a case against her as it is a case against a complacent presidential bid that rests on the name "Clinton" -- in other words, a case against her 2008 bid.

Most of it is expected -- don't hire Mark Penn, don't coast off an Obama legacy, don't think your popularity ratings are high enough to win this thing.

But the most important point (and the one that will probably give Hillary at least some pause about another run) is this:

Even after she leaves as secretary of state, Clinton will continue to face tough questions about U.S. Middle East policy if she runs for president. As well she should.

The GOP crusade against Susan Rice is personal and unfair, especially since questions about the State Department’s security situation in Benghazi, the role of the CIA at the consulate, as well as the administration’s ongoing Libya policy, are more appropriately asked of Clinton. And have no fear, they will be, should she run.

The 2016 election will at least partly be about whether the Obama administration’s policies have made Americans safer and the world more just. The answer to both questions may turn out to be yes, at least within the confines of reasonable 21stcentury political expectations (I recognize that’s kind of a cop-out qualifier, but the question deserves an article, or a book, or books, or a whole library, of its own). But it’s a debate worth having, and Clinton would be either blessed or cursed with having to defend the Obama side.

In other words, does Clinton want to test her legacy?