But she has experience

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on January 2, 2008

One of Sen. Hillary Clinton's selling points has been that she has experience in the White House. Let's ignore for the next several months that she never held a security clearance while she was First Lady and that she was never in the room when foreign policy decisions were being made.

In the wake of the assassination of former Pakistan PM Benazir Bhutto last week, Hillary waved her foreign policy credentials -- and got so much wrong that it would be a minor scandal had a Republican made a similar mistake.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was praised in the wake of the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto for demonstrating her command of the players and the issues at stake in Pakistan, even as another candidate, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, was criticized for stumbling over details.

But in two confident television appearances, on CNN and ABC, Clinton made an elementary error about Pakistani politics: She described President Pervez Musharraf as a "candidate" who would be "on the ballot."

In fact, Musharraf was reelected to the presidency in October. The upcoming elections are for parliament, and while Musharraf's party will be facing off against opposition parties, the president himself is not a candidate.

"He will NOT be on the ballot," said a Pakistan scholar at Columbia University, Philip Oldenburg, in an e-mail. "These are parliamentary elections, where the contests are for a seat in the national assembly. The prime ministerial candidate typically fights for victory in a local constituency, as well as lead[ing] the party in a national campaign."

So much for her command of the facts, but don't expect any reporting on this from any of the three major networks or major newspapers. Thus far the only non-blog that appears to have picked up on the story is The Politico.


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January 2008



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