The Corner

Politics & Policy

Hillary’s Accomplishments Are Her Problem

In response to More On Tire Slashing

I have to add one more thing about that piece by Thomas Patterson in the LA Times complaining about Hillary’s press coverage. Patterson moans that the media hasn’t talked up her record in office enough:

Few presidential candidates have been more fully prepared to assume the duties of the presidency than is Clinton. Yet, her many accomplishments as first lady, U.S. senator, and secretary of State barely surfaced in the news coverage of her candidacy at any point in the campaign. She may as well as have spent those years baking cookies.

How about her foreign, defense, social or economic policies? Don’t bother looking.

 Tellingly, like so many people who tout Hillary’s accomplishments, Patterson doesn’t name any of them. But consider the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, which asked voters to identify their biggest concerns about each of the two candidates:

The number one issue regarding Hillary was “Her judgment and decisions in dealing with Syria, Iraq, and Libya,” followed by “Her use of a private e-mail server during her time as Secretary of State” – combined, these accounted for the biggest concern of almost two-thirds of voters with Secretary Clinton, and they derive entirely from her conduct in office as Secretary of State and, before that, as a Senator. These are her accomplishments. If you drill down into the survey itself, before it asked voters to pick which concern was largest, it asked them if each of these items concerned them at all; 62% had major or moderate concerns about Hillary’s Syria/Iraq/Libya record, 43% having “major” concerns; 64% had major or moderate concerns about the email scandal, 51% having major concerns (note that this means a fair number of people who had major issues with Hillary’s emails were still able to prioritize another issue as being the bigger one).  Only 19% of voters had no concerns about Hillary’s Syria/Iraq/Libya record, and 21% had no concerns about her email server.

As I said, we can’t control the number of voters who pull the lever based on pure tribalism or superficial impressions of the candidates. But to the extent that voters are articulating reasons for opposing Hillary Clinton, those reasons relate directly to her conduct in office.

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