Consider 2016 to be the Year of the Launch Speeches — plural. That’s assuming that other candidates in the race follow Hillary Clinton’s lead and launch their campaigns multiple times.
Hillary’s latest relaunch was yesterday on Roosevelt Island in New York City, which provides a dramatic sweep of the Manhattan skyline. Time magazine provides the full text of the 4,700-word disquisition, including the homespun homilies her mom delivered to her when she came home from a rough day at the office.
But 25 words stand out above all the rest. They form the two sentences that lay out at last her self-described achievements as secretary of state:
I’ve stood up to adversaries like Putin and reinforced allies like Israel. I was in the Situation Room on the day we got bin Laden.
A third accomplishment — she stayed at a Holiday Inn Express — failed to make the speech’s final cut, though the boast about being in the Situation Room during the bin Laden raid is pretty weak tea by itself.
The first two claims won’t hold up under the scrutiny of the press, either, once reporters are given a chance to ask her questions. The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack writes:
On Clinton’s watch, the U.S. sought a “reset” with Russia and scrapped missile defense plans in Eastern Europe to appease Putin, who invaded Ukraine just a year after Clinton left the State Department.
Clinton’s tenure was marked by new tensions with Israel. As Noah Pollak pointed out, “Clinton took the lead in making indignant, confrontational public statements that were clearly intended to intimidate the Israelis and gratify the Palestinians.”
Ultimately, Clinton can have all the campaign launches she likes. But until she’s ready to take questions from the media and provide substantive answers, she will remain a “pre-candidate.”
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