Saturday, June 20, 2015 - The Triumph That Was to Be Libya

. . .This memo is dated August 22, 2011, immediately after the fall of Qaddafi’s government. It is interesting for several reasons. First, it shows Blumenthal giving Hillary political advice. Second, it confirms that Libya was intended to be Hillary’s great accomplishment as Secretary of State, for which she was to take full credit. Third, it is striking how Blumenthal’s comments about Libya sound as though he was talking about Iraq.
Blumenthal writes:
First, brava! This is a historic moment and you will be credited for realizing it.
When Qaddafi himself is finally removed, you should of course make a public statement before the cameras wherever you are, even in the driveway of your vacation house. You must establish yourself in the historical record at this moment.
The most important phrase is: “successful strategy.” …
This is a very big moment historically and for you. History will tell your part in it. You are vindicated.

This is deeply ironic and, at this point, embarrassing to Mrs. Clinton. The fact that Hillary wanted Libya to go down in history as her great achievement is not new; we wrote about it here and elsewhere. The problem with Hillary’s “successful strategy” is that she had no plan for what would follow after Qaddafi’s overthrow. (She may have had a wish, but a wish unaccompanied by the ability to influence events on the ground is not a plan.) What happened was that the vacuum caused by Qaddafi’s removal was filled–predictably–by Islamic extremists. Libya became a terrorist playground. This is why, a year after Hillary and Sid were patting each other on the back, Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were murdered in a terrorist attack. It was the ultimate proof, but by no means the first or the last proof, of the failure of Hillary’s policy. Critics of Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State should talk less about Benghazi and more about Libya.
Remember, Blumenthal is a Clinton political hack being paid $100,000 per year of untaxed money donated to the Clinton Foundation as a charity. It must be nice to have someone pick up the check for the court jester.

Why It Matters That Hillary Clinton Wore Ralph Lauren
Mrs. Clinton has been extremely clever at co-opting the whole fashion-in-politics thing, defanging it and using it to demonstrate her quite developed sense of humor. It’s a tool for her these days, and not just when it comes to image.

Which is why it is worth thinking about. She is clearly considering it, as are her advisers, and using it to manipulate perception. As are all her competitors. Clothes are a political tool like any other. And that is why it was interesting to learn that the pantsuit she wore at her Roosevelt Island rally had been made by Ralph Lauren.

Yet there’s a possible weak spot in the relationship. Because for a candidate who has been pushing her connection to, and understanding of, the middle class — and whose speech while wearing the pantsuit was largely about closing the income gap — Ralph Lauren is a relatively inaccessible brand. It is also one often worn by and beloved of that sector of the population, the chief executives and financial wizards, she somewhat disavowed.

An average Ralph Lauren Women’s Collection pantsuit, which this was — not, in other words, a style from the more accessible line, Lauren Ralph Lauren — is a few thousand dollars (a pinstriped wool jacket alone, for example, is $2,450 at the online store). That is out of reach for most voters.

It might not matter, given that voters also want their candidates to look presidential, which generally means good. Except that one of the story lines surrounding Mrs. Clinton has been how she is out-of-touch with those she claims to represent. It seems to me that working with a famous and high-end designer could provide ammunition for the opposition. And why even take that chance?

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