Hillary vs. Obama

A lot of people, including some I know, are really warming to Hillary. I haven’t had much concrete to say about what I dislike, but I think the recent flap with Obama is really telling. During the debate, there was a question about meeting with leaders of countries such as Iran, Syria, North Korea or Venezuela. Obama said he would meet, Clinton gave a response arguing that this could give propaganda victories to those leaders.  Since the debate, the two camps have been after each other over the issue, and Matt Yglesias sums up some of the dynamic here.

On the substantive issue, it’s hard to deny that Hillary’s post-debate position sounds a lot like the Bush position, that we should look for concessions as a precondition for talks, rather than as their goal.  So she seems to be indicating a continuation of the arrogant and unilateralist sort of position the Bush administration has had (albeit it’s hard to think she could be all that close to Bush–his behavior has been truly insane).

On the political issue, she seems to have been acting in an untrustworthy fashion.  She’s really been going after Obama hard, on an issue where he didn’t say anything too objectionable.  They gave different answers during the debate, but I don’t think that either of them said anything worth picking a fight over (keep in mind, I’m reconstructing what they said after the fact).

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