Friday, January 11, 2008
What Hillary Clinton alludes to but never comes out and says when she mentions her experience with Team Clinton is that she has experience not so much in governing, but in campaigning. That's why she thinks she's more prepared to take on the GOP candidate come November, and why she so often brings the argument back to dealing with the rigors of the campaign. (It's also one of the striking internal contradictions in her 'emotional moment', since that was in effect a reaction to what she's been presenting as one of her strengths.) Of course, part of the Clinton method of governing is the permanent campaign, so for her it follows that she's got more governing experience than Obama also.
At the same time, the clear subtext of Clinton's "ready on day one" theme is the Commander-in-Chief function. But she really doesn't have any professional qualifications in that area that make her any more ready than Obama. What gives her the gravitas she's talking about is the foreign policy company she's been keeping for fifteen years now (and yes, that can rub off on someone as bright and ambitious as Hillary Clinton is), and the fact that if push comes to shove, a guy who has already exercised the Commander-in-Chief function will presumably be sitting across from her at the dinner table each night.
Oddly enough, though, while Bill Clinton was adored the world over and his foreign policy was probably better than average, his relationship with the military was rocky at best. So far Hillary's gotten a pass on that one.