Why Does Obama Consistently Hire People Who Make ‘Tragically Bad Decisions’?

by Charles C. W. Cooke

Per Politico:

David Axelrod, the longtime top adviser to President Barack Obama, has taken to Twitter to slam Hillary Clinton in the wake of her comments rejecting the core of the Obama administration’s self-described foreign policy principle.

In an interview with The Atlantic, Clinton said the White House doctrine of “Don’t do stupid stuff” is “not an organizing principle.”

“Just to clarify: ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ means stuff like occupying Iraq in the first place, which was a tragically bad decision,” read the tweet from Axelrod. He declined to expound on the tweet when reached via email by POLITICO.

Translation: Clinton doesn’t get to criticize Obama when she made such a terrible call herself. Fair enough. But one has to wonder, then, why the president hired her as his secretary of state. Indeed, if voting for Iraq was a “tragically bad decision,” one also has to wonder why he chose Joe Biden to be his vice-president and, after Clinton retired, why he selected John Kerry as her replacement. All three voted for the war — and enthusiastically. Shouldn’t this disqualify them? Or, at the very least, shouldn’t it have prevented Obama from exclusively surrounding himself with architects of a policy he considers to be “stupid”?

Evidently, it didn’t. For his entire presidency, Obama has had an Iraq War backer as his number two and Iraq War backers as his secretaries of state (arguably the highest-ranking position in the cabinet). And, by his own admission, he happily takes their advice. Joe Biden, the White House website tells us, has “played a pivotal role in shaping U.S. foreign policy” and “continues to draw on his foreign policy experience, advising the President on a multitude of international issues.” Why, pray, would Obama want him to do this when he has a tendency to “do stupid stuff,” and when he played such an enthusiastic role in making a “tragically bad decision” back in 2002? The same questions must go for John Kerry, who is described as “the President’s chief foreign affairs adviser,” and for Hillary Clinton, over whose brilliance and counsel he has gushed on national television. Isn’t this . . . irresponsible? Of the top four people within the presidential line of succession, Obama got to pick two – the vice president and the secretary of state. For these positions, he chose people whom he apparently believes have a tendency to “do stupid stuff.” Why?

Sure, times change. But if we’re going to start slamming people for their previous votes, Obama has some explaining to do. Sorry, David. You can’t have this both ways.