WHAT HILLARY DIDN'T DO
DICK MORRIS & EILEEN MCGANN
March 6, 2007
When pressed about her qualifications for the presidency, Sen. Hillary Clinton falls back on her husband's domestic-policy record - claiming credit for the good economy, welfare reform and the balanced budget.
It's a very fine record, indeed - but it's Bill's, not Hillary's.
Hillary was the moving force behind the Clinton presidency in 1993 and 1994 - with primary responsibility for the disastrous health-care plan, which helped hand Congress to the Republicans. After that, her husband sent her into a polite exile.
Hillary stopped attending political strategy meetings, traveled extensively and wrote "It Takes a Village." She was most emphatically not part of the splendid record President Clinton amassed in the 1995-96 period. Bill indirectly confirms this by failing to credit Hillary with much in his memoirs.
She was not part of the negotiations on welfare reform nor was she in most of the talks with the Republicans that led to the balanced-budget deal. Later, after these policies succeeded, she trumpeted her support. But she wasn't there when they hung in the balance.
The 1998 Lewinsky scandal returned Hillary to her '93-94 role of power-behind-the-scenes, directing the response to what she called the "vast right-wing conspiracy." But nothing happened in those years beyond saving Clinton from impeachment.
Hillary's embrace of Bill's record is also selective. She claims to have had nothing to do with the pardons of the FALN Puerto Rican terrorists, for example. And, even though her brothers took hundreds of thousands of dollars in "fees" to lobby the president for pardons for Carlos Vignali, the head of the crack racket in Minneapolis, and others, she professes her ignorance of their activities.
Hillary says she wasn't involved in her husband's decision to pardon the leaders of the Hasidic New Square community despite her pre-election visit on site and her post-election White House meeting with them. Coincidentally, this Republican enclave voted almost unanimously for Hillary.
Hillary takes credit for what she didn't do and avoids responsibility for what she obviously was involved in. Some qualifications.