Happy Boxing Day! If By “Boxing,” You Mean, “Candidates Getting Beat Up On”

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Hope everyone had a lovely holiday. Swamplanders have, obviously, been scarce as of late, resting up for what’s to be a fast-paced and hectic couple of weeks head of us. But we’re gearing up now — finalizing car rentals, getting credentials, packing long underwear — and the virtual conversation here, starting today, will increase in both volume and, uhm, volume.

To start us out: This NYT story jolted me out of whatever Christmas lull I had been in. Clinton scourge Pat Healey put the Senator’s first lady years into perspective:

But during those two terms in the White House, Mrs. Clinton did not hold a security clearance. She did not attend National Security Council meetings. She was not given a copy of the president’s daily intelligence briefing. She did not assert herself on the crises in Somalia, Haiti and Rwanda.

The story has the process angle that’s catnip to chatterers — analyzing the Clinton campaign tactic of asserting her “experience” — and the substantive policy component that will fuel day two, three and four stories — she was complicit in the administration’s refusal to take action in Rwanda, but apparently was a hawk about bombing Serbia, as well as an advocate of having senior US officials “socialize” with Slobodan Milosevic.

I’m sure the Hillary Hub of Facts or whatever they’re calling it (Media Matters, maybe?) will have material or at least quotes that dispute both the Times’ assertions and conclusions — and who knows if the people of Iowa even care what the NYT thinks? But if she makes it to the nomination, the questions raised by this article — unlike those about, say, her vote on the Kyl-Lieberman amendment — aren’t going to go away…. though how they play out is unpredictable. If anything, I wonder if Republicans will be able to make more of an issue of her lack of “real” experience… they won’t hesitate, as Dems have, to say that marriage is not a professional partnership. Then again, the Rs have counted upon portraying Hillary has a powerful force in her husband’s administration in order to gin up anxiety about her…

I guess we may have to rely on actual facts about her accomplishments in order to decide how to evaluate them. Back to the article…

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