Sunday, April 10, 2016

Qualifications v. Judgment

Imagine you're on the search committee for a major corporation's new ceo.  A candidate presents herself who seems to have extensive qualifications, not only within specific positions relevant to the opening, but also knowledge from an insider's point of view.  In every sense, she is massively qualified.  Her one drawback is her judgment, which has been demonstrably & publicly poor on numerous occasions.  She has taken risks that seemed at least on the edge of ethics, that have put herself & others in at least apparent jeopardy for no discernible good reason, has made statements that called into question if she understood the very issues she was discussing.  

Do you think that you'd consider that person a strong candidate for the position?  Maybe in light of your other options, but even if all of the other options were worse, does that still make HER a good choice, or just the least of all possible evils?

That, for me, is Hillary Rodham Clinton.  And it is all her own doing, all in a shade over ONE MONTH.

I was basically giving this election a pass.  I'd vote in November for the Democratic candidate because it seems the GOP's nominee will either be a vulgar demagogue or a demagogue who believes in his heart of hearts that he's annointed by God to run & be POTUS.  Other than than, my attention was mostly focused on the antics of Donald Trump, with an occasional nod to the toe-to-toe whiney wiles of Ted Cruz.

Hillary, Ted & Donald - Bernie Sanders was off my radar.  Then came Hillary's 03/11/16 comments at Nancy Reagan's funeral.  

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With a whoosh, all of my nascent fears about HRC's core judgment swooped through my mind.  Her bizarro claim that President & Mrs. Reagan - particularly Mrs. Reagan - opened a much-needed & sorely absent discussion on AIDS was the clincher to a question of basic sound judgment that I hadn't even realized was bugging me.

My first response was as much "Who are her staffers?" as it was, "What is she thinking?"  My guess was & still is that her comments were suggested & scripted by a young staffer who didn't know the Reagans' history of sleep walking through the AIDS crisis, a staffer who knew Nancy's advocacy - against most Republicans - of stem cell research, who confabulated the two up and, out of thin air, came up with Nancy being an early AIDS advocate. My guess is that Hillary is so scripted these days, she didn't think to say, "Ah, wait a minute, youngster.  It wasn't really that way."  

Maybe Hillary was so out of touch with what was happening in the country back then, when she & Bill were on-again, off-again serving as Arkansas' First Couple, that she wasn't aware of the nation's First Couple's aggressive silence on the emerging AIDS crisis.  I can't imagine AIDS was much of an issue back then in fly-over Arkansas.  Maybe she didn't correct the eager beaver staffer because she didn't know any better.

Whatever the reason for her jaw-dropping statement, it sure got my East Coast attention.  How out of touch is this woman?  What sort of rotten judgment has her making such a wildly WRONG statement during her 2nd "not going as good as she expected" run for the White House roses?  Which got me thinking about all her other questionable judgments.  Hmmm....  How many have their been?

Well, the first that I was aware of was good ol' Whitewater, a questionable real estate deal that would give them considerable trouble in Bill's first term.

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Then there was her serving on the board of Tyson Foods - not illegal, not unethical, but speaks to her cozy corporate crony roots.

Paula Jones ~ Gennifer Flowers ~ Kathleen Wiley ~ Juanita Braddock and emphatically Monica Lewinsky painted Hillary as a cuckold who tolerated her husband's serial philandering, putting behind-the-throne power above fidelity in marriage. 
Her mishandling of the health care reform effort, doomed by her behind-doors dealings, perceived at the time as the result of her need for control (see server issues). 

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Her vote FOR attacking Iraq, an action opposed by both Sen. Barack Obama (voted NO) & Rep. Bernie Sanders.

Her mishandling of the fall-out after Benghazi, although conservatives would have gone after her hammer & tong no matter what.

The stupidity of a Secretary of State using a personal server that was kept in the basement of her home.  Yes, she craves privacy, but what a DUH! move, especially for anyone measuring drapes for the Oval Office.

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Her stupid use, as Secretary of State, of Sidney Blumenthal for counsel, while he was on The Clinton Foundation's payroll.  A reminder of Bill's good old/bad old days at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the White House had denied her hiring approval as an official aide, so she just sort of skirted the issue by "casually" seeking his advice on sensitive matters, much to her own staff's consternation.  Not wise.

Conflict of interest issues with trusted aides Cheryl Mills & Huma Abedin (already on conservatives radar for being - gasp! - of Middle Eastern descent AND still married to the now infamous Anthony Weiner), who worked for her while still working for NYU & a private consulting firm, respectively.  

Those private sector speeches.  Yes, they paid her a kazillion dollars for them, but really - you KNOW you're making another run for the White House roses & you do something as dumb as make speeches that as so questionable you won't let anyone have transcripts?  

The Clinton Foundation - how many levels of conflict of interest are built into the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation?!!! 
Bill, Bill & Bill.  Nuff said.

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Until her flagrant, out-of-the-ballpark, "What is she smoking?" comments about Nancy Reagan, Hillary' 2nd race for the White House roses wasn't seriously on my radar.  Boy, those days are gone! 

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