Hillary Takes The Fall - How Does That Affect The Race?

In a CNN interview, Hillary Clinton said “I take responsibilty” for the attacks that killed the American ambassador to Libya. “I want to avoid some kind of political gotcha,” she said on Monday night.


I don't understand the thinking between this kind of statement. With three weeks to go until the election, how can this be read as anything other than Clinton clumsily trying to take the political bullet for Barack Obama?

 Forgetting for the moment who was actually at fault in this lethal fiasco (we must sadly set that aside and examine the problem wholly on the basis of image and not substance), doesn't this smack of evasion from Obama? I can't believe this kind of statement was made without prior consultation with the White House. 

 I can only speculate that perhaps Obama is jockeying to field this question tomorrow (for he surely will be asked) and answer that  the safety of all the country is his number one priority and that despite Clinton's mea culpa  he is ultimately responsible for failing to shield the ambassador from the deadly attack. Clinton's statement, they must feel, will help soften the president's admission by making it look like he is bravely taking responsibility for circumstances beyond his control. 

I must again underscore that the above paragraph is only speculation, but it is the only logical explanation I can offer for this shocking statement from Clinton. 

Politics is usually a lot more like a cage match than a chess match, but I think the Obama camp may be playing a subtle game here. 

Anyone else got any theories? 


Edited to remove annoying line breaks.  

  • no idea

    If the idea was to get Obama off the hook, it’s not going to work. I can’t imagine that during the debate he is going to agree that it’s Hillary Clinton’s fault–that would be ludicrous.

    I find it amazing that Republicans are getting no blowback for relentlessly politicizing this tragedy. If Democrats had done anything like this when Bush was president, there would have been a huge outcry. I don’t know what goals the terrorists had, but if one of them was to manipulate the U.S. election, they are succeeding.

  • also

    I’ve never subscribed to the “Obama is playing three-dimensional chess” school of thought. Most recent example: tv ad featuring Big Bird.

  • hillary

    I should have been more clear in my original post, but in my mind a mid level functionary is “responsible” for what happened inasmuch as one person can be for failing to predict the future, not the U.S. president or secretary of state.

    Whoever created those security arrangements doubtless cleared them with his/her boss, who passed them up the chain of command, a chain that ends with Clinton reporting to Obama. So yes, Clinton and Obama are responsible but I don’t see what specific policy action either could have taken to avert the attack.

    Still, all that will be lost in the hue and cry of the election. I don’t know what they were thinking by clearly politicizing the blame game while explicitly disavowing “some kind of political gotcha.”

  • excerpt

    from Obama’s answer to the Libya question:

    Secretary Clinton has done an extraordinary job. But she works for me. I’m the president and I’m always responsible, and that’s why nobody’s more interested in finding out exactly what happened than I do.

    The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people in the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened. That this was an act of terror and I also said that we’re going to hunt down those who committed this crime.

    And then a few days later, I was there greeting the caskets coming into Andrews Air Force Base and grieving with the families.

    And the suggestion that anybody in my team, whether the Secretary of State, our U.N. Ambassador, anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we’ve lost four of our own, governor, is offensive. That’s not what we do. That’s not what I do as president, that’s not what I do as Commander in Chief.

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