Tony Blankley

Of course, as secretary of state, Hillary cannot plausibly be assigned any responsibility for a bad economy and high unemployment. Nor, perhaps ironically, would her fingerprints be on a stunningly unpopular health care plan that increases the national debt by trillions, increases the cost of health care premiums for the middle class and increases taxes on the middle class while also reducing the benefits to the middle class.

Nor, curiously, is she likely to be seen as responsible for the Obama administration's foreign policy. It has been reported repeatedly in major newspapers that she is one of the most marginalized secretaries of state in modern times. The White House has made little effort to disabuse the press and the public of that view. She was not even included in the president's Moscow summit. She is seen as the good soldier and team player with little voice in policy.

It isn't forgotten that foreign affairs were the major policy disputes between Clinton and Obama during the primary. She accused Obama of "being naive" about agreeing to unconditional meetings with leaders of Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, Syria and Cuba. She was -- and is -- a strong supporter of Israel and, during the campaign, was opposed to forcing Israel to freeze West Bank settlements unconditionally.

In April 2008, she was "deeply disturbed" by Russia's move to strengthen links to the separatist regions of Georgia -- Abkhazia and South Ossetia. At the time, she called on then-President George W. Bush to send a senior representative to Tbilisi to "show our support." She also condemned Russia for engaging in a "pressure campaign to prevent Ukraine from seeking deeper ties with NATO."

Regarding Iran, she favored immediate economic sanctions -- last year. She threatened military force if necessary to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons. She threatened Iran with nuclear annihilation if it used nuclear weapons on Israel.

This year, as each of those issues emerged, President Obama took a different approach. He had to reverse himself on the unconditional settlement freeze. He let the Russians invade Georgia and was slow to condemn them for it. Iran is pushing the United States (and the world) into a corner on its nuclear development. Israeli/Palestinian "peace" talks are about 98 percent of the way to complete failure of administration objectives.

The worse things get in foreign affairs -- and those dark clouds are getting darker and closer -- the better Hillary Clinton's foreign policy will look compared with President Obama's. Even now, her Gallup Poll job approval rating of 62 percent beats her president's number by about 10 percent.

In the 2012 Democratic Party primary, we may once again hear Hillary's advertisement that asked Americans whom we want answering the red phone at 3 a.m.

Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley, a conservative author and commentator who served as press secretary to Newt Gingrich during the 1990s, when Republicans took control of Congress, died Sunday January 8, 2012. He was 63.

Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.

In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.

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