At Religion News Service, I posted the following two opposing views. Read their arguments and decide where you fall…
I like Hillary Clinton. We are personal friends. But that’s not the only reason why I am hoping she becomes our next president. My support for her candidacy is based on the fact that she is brilliantly qualified for the job.
As the first lady of Arkansas, she demonstrated her administrative abilities. She took on the task of improving the state’s school system, and even her political opponents had to admit that she made significant progress in lifting an educational system from the doldrums into respectability. Of course, the huge bureaucracies of the U.S. government are much more complicated than the school system of Arkansas, but this was good training for undertaking the huge task of being the chief operating officer for the mega-agencies in Washington.
Hillary also understands how Congress works–a needed skill since legislative gridlock has characterized Washington over the last several years. Amidst dire problems, the last session of Congress proved to be one of the least productive of any in our nation’s history. It seemed like the White House and those in the Congress were not able to negotiate. But Hillary is a brilliant negotiator. When she was a senator, she demonstrated that she could work across party lines to forge progressive policies that made for a better America.
She was by no means perfect in making policy decisions. After all, she believed Dick Cheney when he told her that Saddam Hussein had developed weapons of mass destruction, and that led her to vote for the second Middle East war. She learned from that experience, and her future carefulness will keep her from making that kind of mistake again. She was, however, honest enough to admit that she regretted her vote, and honesty is something we need in Washington.
It’s difficult to understand the logic of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, a drive for the Oval Office sustained far more by dynastic advantage than any recognizable record of public accomplishment.
As First Lady, she presided over the secretive, disastrous “Hillarycare” healthcare reform effort, an effort that not only failed in a Democratically-controlled legislature, but also helped propel Republicans to their first House majority in decades.
As a Senator—an office she won after parachuting into New York at the tail end of her popular husband’s second term—she was undistinguished at best, with no notable legislative accomplishments.
But it’s as Secretary of State that she proved truly disastrous. The Russian “reset” is now a sad joke. Cold-War era tensions have flared again, Russian forces invaded Ukraine and threaten the Baltic states, and Russian jets are buzzing American air space and provoking our allies.
In the Middle East, Americans find themselves again fighting in Iraq after a botched and premature American withdrawal created an opening for ISIS, the world’s largest and deadliest jihadist army. Both Syria and Iraq are torn apart by civil war, and jihadists control more Middle Eastern territory than any time since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
And dare I mention Libya, a country where large sections are now under jihadist control? After the United States launched an undeclared air war to drive Muammar Gaddafi from power and so mismanaged the transition of power that the American ambassador and three other brave Americans were not only killed, but jihadists drove Americans from our embassy and later filmed themselves swimming in the ambassador’s pool.