Finally, Hillary Clinton is getting some moderately tough questions. More important: People are finally noticing that when she answers these questions, she follows the example of Yogi Berra, who once said, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” At the recent Democratic debate in Philadelphia, she was asked whether she supports New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s plan to give illegal immigrants driver’s licenses. Her response can be summarized as: “Yes, no, maybe, sorta, kinda; Hey, look over there!”
Before the press corps relapses into its coma and Clinton’s competitors go back to hiding from her shadow, let’s see if she can answer a few more questions.
After the Philadelphia debate, your campaign tried to explain away your lackluster performance by implying your male competitors were unfairly “piling on” because you’re a woman. Do you really think sexism is an issue here? Which of your Democratic opponents are the most sexist? Will you play this card with foreign leaders if you run into trouble as commander-in-chief?
You keep saying that Social Security has lost 14 years of solvency on President Bush’s watch. In 2000, your husband’s last year in office, the program’s trustees said it would be solvent until 2037. Now they say it will be solvent until 2041. As the most serious female candidate for president we’ve ever had, aren’t you setting a bad example by not being able to do math?
In the 1990s, the Clinton administration furiously denied the suggestion you were a “co-president.” Now you routinely suggest your tenure as first lady was presidential experience. So which was it? And why should your tenure in the Clinton administration count when the one thing you ran — health-care reform — failed miserably without a vote in Congress?
You’ve said this administration’s secrecy “on matters large and small is very disturbing.” In particular, you and other Democrats have criticized Dick Cheney’s refusal to be more open about his energy task force. Were you disturbed by your health care task force’s similar secrecy? How about your refusal to turn over subpoenaed documents for two years? Why do you tacitly support your husband’s refusal to release your White House correspondence from the National Archives? You’ve said the documents are being released on the Archives’ timetable, but your husband appointed his longtime henchman, Bruce Lindsey, to manage the release of such records. Why isn’t that disturbing?
In 1993, staffers on your secretive health-care task force penned a memo in which they schemed to use state-run children’s health insurance — “Kids First” — as a first step toward the nationalization of health care. “Kids First is really a precursor to the new system,” they wrote. Do you still share that ambition? Is that why you support the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, or S-CHIP?
In 1996, you said, “As adults we have to start thinking and believing that there isn’t really any such thing as someone else’s child.” Given that many people think their children do belong to them and not the government, does it surprise you they that they cherish their gun rights?
You’ve repeatedly denounced Halliburton’s “no-bid contracts.” Did you object when the Clinton administration awarded a similar non-competitive contract to Halliburton for reconstruction work in the former Yugoslavia? If not, why not? If so, why didn’t your husband listen?
Can you explain — without accusing anyone of anti-Asian bigotry — why so many Chinese criminals keep giving you and your husband piles of cash?
When promoting your autobiography, you gave interviews expanding on your personal feelings while insisting you’d rather talk about substance. And yet, you told the Washington Post that you wouldn’t discuss the political substance in your book. Why? Because playing the victim helps?
You’ve claimed that you are the Democrat best able to “deal” with the Republicans’ natural advantage if there is another terrorist attack. Why is it wrong for Republicans to say they’re tougher on terrorism than Democrats, but O.K. for you to say so?
Your husband granted clemency to 16 Puerto Rican terrorists linked to more than 100 bombings and several murders on the eve of your run for the Senate. You supported the decision. How does that square with your claim to be tough on terror? What did you think of the Palestinian Liberation Organization in the 1970s? Why did the New World Foundation approve a grant that ultimately went to PLO-affiliated groups when you chaired its board in the 1980s? Does your infamous decision as first lady to sit silently next to Suha Arafat as she viciously and deceitfully propagandized against Israel weigh against your tough-on-terror credentials? How about the $50,000 you took in 2000 from the anti-Semitic and pro-terror American Muslim Alliance, which you returned only after being criticized for it?
Do you think Republicans won’t ask these questions? Why? Because you’re a woman?
© 2007 Tribune Media Services, Inc.