Battle Tested?

Time and time again during the Democratic presidential primary season, we’ve heard Hillary Clinton and her supporters tout the fact that of the two remaining Democratic presidential candidates, only Hillary is “battle tested” and ready to stand up to the inevitable Republican attacks on the Democratic nominee. However, the more I’ve listened to Hillary since she lost her status as the front runner, I’ve come to realize that her behavior undermines all her talk of being battle tested and ready to stand up to the GOP.

Take, for example, last night’s Democratic debate. On health care, Hillary tried again and again to denounce Barack Obama for his attacks on her health care plan. Clinton said the attacks were based on “false, misleading and discredited information.” She claimed that an Obama campaign mailing read “as though the health insurance companies and the Republicans wrote it.” In response, Obama defended his campaign’s criticisms of Clinton’s health care plan, making sure to note, “Senator Clinton has … constantly sent out negative attacks on us … and we haven’t whined about it because I understand that’s the nature of this campaign.” Obama’s observation both minimized Hillary’s accusation and made her sound thin-skinned – the exact opposite of the battle-tested, Republican-slayer she would have us believe she is.

Then there’s Hillary’s comments about constantly being chosen to answer first in the debates. She seemed to be genuinely bothered by the fact that she answers first, which in my mind undermines her assertion that she’s “ready to lead on day one” as President. After all, if she’s “ready to lead” from the moment she steps foot in the Oval Office, she sure should be able to take the first question in a few debates.


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