The recent Democratic debates showed what was being hidden by the press for months - Hillary Clinton is running against an inept candidate and an arm-waving socialist more interested in revolution in America than winning the nomination of the party he somewhat inhabits. More than ever we must focus on the accomplishments of Ms. Clinton during her long public life.
This really came to the fore because of Carly Fiorina. Ms. Fiorina finally has received notice as a candidate and her comments about Hillary gained parallel fame. Fiorina has said that "Like Hillary Clinton, I too have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles around the globe. But unlike Hillary Clinton, I know that flying is an activity, not an accomplishment." This caused Ms. Clinton to send copies of her recent memoir Hard Choices to all the Republican candidates except Jim Gilmore as a means supposedly to educate them on her accomplishments. I have read the book and thus could speak to those accomplishments, but better yet why should we take my word or her word or any Republican's word. Politico solicited the thoughts of 20 prominent Democrats as to Hillary's accomplishments; thus, we have their thoughts on what they believe she has accomplished.
In the comments from these Democrats, many of them Clinton allies, the responses fall in to three categories. The first is some actual programs she participated in that have become laws whether you agree with them or not. The second is stated accomplishments which are totally debatable as to their benefit. The third is statements which are vapid.
For example, multiple people suggest Clinton was key in passing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. This bill was submitted by Barbara Mikulski in 2009 as soon as the Congress opened and was passed in the initial days of the Obama Administration with the new Democratic majorities. It was signed 21 days after submittal. I can find no significant dispute to this bill passing (it sailed through both houses) and I can find no reference in any material to work done by Clinton.
Clinton is also given credit for key work on the SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program). This is a bill which was sponsored by Senator Ted Kennedy in 1997. First Lady Hillary Clinton definitely participated in moving this bill toward becoming law. Some argue she did not, but it is clear she was helpful in getting this piece of legislation passed.
Then there are the multiple insipid statements made in her support. Bill Richardson, a Clinton ally, former Energy Secretary, and Governor of New Mexico, had this to say: "As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was key in rebuilding America's leadership and prestige overseas after the Bush years. She restored our alliances with the EU and key Asian allies as well as key relationships in Africa and Latin America." This is a nice attack on Bush, but does not speak of any accomplishment by Clinton. That is completely separate of the fact that our standing in the world has vastly declined under Obama and Clinton.
Then there is the person she worked most closely with in the Senate - Chuck Schumer (D-NY). His statement was seconded by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Her principal accomplishment as defined by them and as stated by Schumer, "Hillary Clinton was instrumental in helping secure $21 billion in federal aid to help New York rebuild after 9/11. She fought tooth and nail to protect the first responders who rushed into danger when the towers collapsed and was pivotal in the passage of legislation that helped those first responders who got sick get the care and treatment they deserved."
You all remember America rising up and stating - no money to New York. Was there anybody other than four cranks sitting in their underwear on their couches arguing against taking care of the people of New York and the first responders after 9/11? That is the kind of perception of accomplishment that validates Fiorina's comments.
The thrust of Fiorina's assertions focus on Clinton's time as Secretary of State. We can all have a lot of fun with the comments from Bill Burton - a well-known Obama acolyte. He listed Clinton's first two accomplishments as 1. Her China speech on women; and 2. Her role in killing Osama bin Laden. Gosh, those bespeak the leadership and bravery of this woman. Who would have ever wanted to kill Bin Laden had it not been for her leadership?
A lot of comments were about the New Start treaty. There is significant disagreement on the accomplishment of this agreement. It limited our ability to deploy anti-missile defense systems for us and our allies in Europe. It also gave Russia a significant advantage in tactical nuclear weapons which are not limited by the treaty. One thing is clear -- it was the forerunner for the Iran deal in that the verification aspects of the deal are miniscule. Also, it did wonders for our relationship with Russia and our Eastern European allies which is in shambles.
Multiple people gave Clinton credit for ramping up the sanctions that that legitimately brought Iran to the table. Unfortunately, the negotiations were left for Obama and the effete Kerry, and the value of the deal is highly in question and could not even pass Congress.
The overall tenor of the commentaries was best represented by Senator Harry Reid (D-NV). He said "Secretary Clinton was also an outspoken champion for women around the world. She set records for travel while leading the State Department and used every trip to empower the women of the 112 countries she visited. She made gender equality a priority of U.S. foreign policy. And she created the ambassador at large for global women's issues, a post charged with integrating gender throughout the State Department."
If Ms. Clinton wanted clarity on her accomplishments then she should have sent her book to these people who were seemingly as baffled in describing what she has done for the past 25 years as most everyone else.