CNN reports that Hillary Clinton is taking full responsibility for the lack of security at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that contributed to the terrorist attack on September 11 and the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
If we were less familiar with Mrs. Clinton, we could interpret her sudden embrace of accountability any number of ways. Could she just be stepping up and taking one for the team, with the best political interests of her party foremost in her mind as we approach a presidential election? Or is it simply a weak, subservient acquiescence to the directives of her superiors in the West Wing, a resigned admission that she’s gone as far as she’s going to go and there’s no use ticking off the boss? One could even, if one tried, imagine that her motivation was one of noble recognition and acceptance of the duties of her office.
One could imagine. But after all, we are not so unfamiliar with the Secretary of State, are we? In fact, one could say that there are few public figures that America is more familiar with. No single other person – not Barack Obama, not any member of the Bush dynasty, not even her own husband – has had a role as consistently visible, powerful, and uninterrupted in American politics over the last two decades as has Hillary Rodham Clinton.
And if we know anything about Hillary Clinton after all these years, we know she doesn’t go around falling on swords for the fun of it. Which brings us to the question…what is she getting for this? What was the arrangement?
It’s a rare Secretary of State who stays around for a second term, so we can reasonably speculate that she’s not sticking her neck out so she can stay where she is. Another cabinet position, indeed any office in the administration besides the Vice Presidency would be a step down, and that’s certainly not the trajectory Hillary’s charting. (Besides, it appears that Joey the Scrappy Circus Clown is sticking this one out. Good for Crest, bad for the rest of us.) Of course, regardless of the outcome of the election in 2012, Hillary’s path to the Democratic nomination in 2016 appears relatively unencumbered by any formidable rivals. But she also knows as well as anyone that her greatest challenge in four years won’t be that Castro kid from Texas. It’ll be the fact that she’ll be just about seventy and right now she looks not a day over seventy-five. And that’s not a cheap shot, it’s just the cruel reality of the HD world. This is America, and economy or no economy stupid, Americans like an idol, a next top model, a star to dance with. HRC is a lot of things, but she’s none of those.
So what then? What does that leave? Well, I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. True story. So get out there and vote on November 6. Her future depends on it.