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October 16, 2012
Hillary Throws Obama Under The Bus
Last night from the relative safety of Lima, Peru Hillary Clinton announced that when it comes to the Benghazi disaster the buck stops with her (sort of).
Many have taken this as a sign Hilary is taking the fall for Obama and letting him off the hook. I have a a different theory....David Axlerod tried to throw her under the bus and she tossed it right back on him and Obama.
What Hillary has done is basically say, "the damn phone is ringing and President Creased Trousers isn't answering it so give it to me. She comes off as the grown up who said, look I'm in charge here and for good or ill that makes me responsible".
People tend to admire others who stand up and take the hits. Hillary looks like A-the loyal soldier and B-the only one who is going to stand up and say, "something awful happened on my watch and I'm going to look in the mirror to see who is in charge and not like some other people I could name, look around for scapegoats".
Hillary isn't taking the blame, she's taking the credit.
Now a lot of this is hypocritical because Hillary already tried casting the blame elsewhere but when all else fails, it's sometimes better to own it in the end.
How does this hurt Obama? Well tonight he will be standing next to Mitt Romney. Romney you might recall has made a rather big stink about Obama's failure to lead and his own stellar leadership record.
Here's how he might play this when Benghazi comes up (or he brings it up himself)..."It's all well and good that Secretary Clinton is taking responsibility but my leadership experience has taught me that only the person at the top of the organization is truly responsible. President Obama is at the top of the Executive Branch and he's ducking responsibility. I'd like to know if the President agrees with the Secretary and if he does, why hasn't he asked for her resignation? If he doesn't agree, why doesn't he say who is responsible? Most importantly, why hasn't he taken responsibility from Day 1. Harry Truman didn't say the buck stopped at the Department of State, it stopped at his desk in the Oval Office."
And then it will get ugly for Obama when Romney ads, "And who does the President blame for the failure of his policies to get this economy going? The Secretary of the Treasury? Maybe he blames you the voters for not paying enough in taxes. This country needs a President who accepts the responsibility that comes with the job and doesn't blame his subordinates."
Obama will have no answer to any of that. He also can't fire Hillary because that would cause problems with Team PUMA and his administration would be in disarray 3 weeks before the election
He can't suddenly say, "Oh no, it's me not Hillary who is responsible" because A-he doesn't believe that and B-It's too late. She beat him to the punch, he'll look like he's scrambling to catch up (which he would be).
Mitt's been running a campaign based on his leadership and Obama's unwillingness and inability to lead. The second most popular (maybe the most popular) Democrat in the country, who happens to be Obama's own Secretary of State, just co-signed that charge by stepping into the vacuum Obama's cowardice created.
What Hillary has done is hand Mitt a baseball bat, turned him in the direction of the giant Obama pinata on stage tonight and said, "Have at buddy. Maybe I'll see you in four years".
And what's the downside to Hillary? None. No one is really going to hold her responsible. The DMM (Democratic Machine Media) won't. The GOP certainly won't (update: as predicted) and Obama can't. She'll be hailed as "presidential", "the one official willing to stand up and take responsibility" and ironically enough, a "good soldier".
Don't forget, Hillary has seen a variation on this play work before. Remember Janet Reno taking the blame for Waco? Clinton looked weak and Reno owned him for the rest of his presidency.
Sure it's kabuki theater and there are still plenty of outstanding questions (who said "hey, let's blame a protest about some tape" among them) but the story will be the debate and if Romney can use it to put Obama back on his heels. By the time Hillary gets back in the country the story and the campaign will have moved on and the damage to Obama will be done.
Maybe Hillary didn't do all of this on purpose (but why wait until now to do this?) but intentionally or not, she's teed this up for Mitt. Will he hit it?
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