As the 2016 presidential race lurches forward, seemingly inexorably toward a nomination of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate, it is clear that part of the Republican strategy to woo voters away from her will be to focus on her role in the disastrous U.S. intervention in Libya.
Clinton was given something of a practice round with that question on Thursday, during her heated debate with top rival Bernie Sanders. When the Vermont socialist criticized her mismanagement of the 2011 military campaign that led to overthrow of dictator Muammar Gaddafi and left a power vacuum in its place, she deflected blame away from herself.
“The decision was the president’s,” she said, adding:
Did I do due diligence? Did I talk to everybody I could talk to? Did I visit every capitol and then report back to the president? Yes, I did. That’s what every secretary of state does. But at the end of the day, those are the decisions that are made by the president to in any way use American military power, and the president made that decision, and yes, we did try without success because of the Libyans’ obstruction to our efforts, but we did try and will continue to try to help the Libyan people.
Here’s the video:
Clinton was capitalizing on a rare concession made by Barack Obama in his interview a week ago with Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace in which he acknowledged that the “worst mistake” of his presidency was “failing to plan for the day after” the Gaddafi regime was toppled.
So, will Clinton’s finger pointing be enough to quell voter’s anxieties over her ability to be the nation’s number one decision maker? Not judging from comments on Twitter that took her to task over her on-again off-again support for her former boss:
— Dr Annette Rodríguez (@Alacranita) April 15, 2016
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) April 15, 2016
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) April 15, 2016