Hillary Clinton’s campaign ad was memorable. It featured a telephone ringing at 3 a.m. It strongly suggested that Barack Obama was not prepared to take that phone call at that critical hour. Somewhere, a crisis would mount, and the inexperienced Illinois senator was not ready to tackle it, she wanted primary voters to understand.
The ad occasioned much comment in the media. Many commentators thought it was Hillary’s best argument against her opponent for the Democratic presidential nomination. But commentators aren’t the ones who nominate candidates for the White House. And Democratic primary voters preferred that young Hope and Change over old Tough and Ready.
Now, we have two years experience with the foreign policy team of Obama and Clinton. Right after his sweeping election, Barack Obama assuaged many disappointed Democrats and glass ceiling breakers by tapping the New York senator as his Secretary of State.
A comprehensive, 19-page article by Ryan Lizza in the May 2nd issue of New Yorker Magazine paints a vivid picture of the Obama-Clinton foreign policy team. Interestingly, Joe Biden—once the Democrats’ chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee--doesn’t even make a cameo appearance in this exhaustive survey.
Lizza is one of the most-read writers today. He relates how the young, untested president had written a “forgettable” essay promoting the nuclear freeze when he was a student at Columbia. Forgettable the article may be, but it would be nice to see if there has been any growth whatever since he sowed his nuclear wild oats.
We now know that the nuclear freeze was promoted by the Soviet KGB to gullible western liberals and socialists. Lizza’s citing of Obama’s early support for the Freeze suggests that he has been a man of the left forever. What the Freeze meant was that the Soviets could move aggressively to place SS-19 and SS-20 medium range ballistic missiles (MRBMs) in Eastern Europe, but that NATO would not respond in kind. The U.S. and our Western European allies would simply, voluntarily, abstain from matching the Soviets’ buildup. Think frozen in terror. This was a policy so obviously wrong that even France’s Socialist President Francois Mitterrand rejected it.
But Barack Obama is much more mature now, Lizza tells us. And his article shows the results of this new maturity. Obama wanted to test the idea that Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak was essential to our interests in the Mideast. So he did. Mubarak soon was toppled, but not without a shove from President Obama.