Clinton Claims She Was Secretary of State in … the Bush Administration. (I think that’s what she’s claiming, anyway.)

Clinton put her presidential experience in stark terms by telling detail-laden stories about her political life, including one about dealing with a terrorist threat around President Barack Obama’s first inauguration from the White House’s Situation Room.

“I was able to bring my years of experience to the forefront,” Clinton said about having to decide whether to go on with the inauguration despite the threat against Barack Obama, who she described as the nation’s “newly elected young dynamic president.” “This is one of the biggest parts of the decision as you head toward February 1 that I want you to keep in mind. We’re living in a complicated world, to say the least. We know we have a terrorist threat — and I’ve laid out a detailed set of recommendations of what to do.”

The anecdote, which gripped town hall attendees here, squares with Clinton’s closing argument: I am ready for the presidency on Day 1 and you and your family don’t have time to wait for someone to learn on the job.

One Iowa city, two messages for Clinton and Sanders, Dan Merica and Jeff Zeleny, CNN, yesterday

The years of experience she brought to the forefront in early January 2009 were eight years as a United States senator.  She was not yet secretary of state, unless she was playing that role secretly in Bush’s State Department.

And, yes, the reporters’ phrasing above (“… Clinton said about having to decide whether to go on with the inauguration despite the threat against Barack Obama”) is an accurate description of her claim.  In a more detailed account I read elsewhere but couldn’t find just now to quote from, she did indeed claim that she was the one who made the call on whether the inauguration should proceed.  Which strikes me as probably not accurate.

I guess the implication is supposed to be that Sanders, who on Inauguration Day 2017 will have been a senator for 10 years and, before that a member of the House for 14 years, would make a different call in such a situation, because he lacks sufficient experience to weigh the complex pro and cons properly.  Only someone who has had no particular experience in foreign affairs other than as a run-of-the-mill senator for eight years but nonetheless was about to become secretary of state could have called that one right.

What worries me more than anything else about a Clinton general election campaign is her propensity to say obviously silly things. Elsewhere in that speech, in Clinton, IA on Friday, she again repeated her (and her daughter’s) complaint—without any hint of recognition of irony—that Sanders’ single-payer healthcare insurance plan would kill Obamacare.  As if it weren’t the very purpose of a single-payer healthcare insurance system to eliminate private healthcare insurance for the benefits that the single-payer plan provides.  As if the purpose of Obamacare was to create some living monument to Obama, rather than to provide healthcare insurance to people who had no access to it, and provide decent insurance to people who had policies that provided almost no coverage.

In a post here last week, I said about her contest with Bernie Sanders:

Live by the sleight-of-hand, die by the sleight-of-hand.  Or at least because of the sleight-of-hand: you’re own.  At least if your opponent is now, finally, getting real media attention and has a zillion followers.  Who use social media!

But if it is Clinton, not Sanders, who wins the nomination, is there some way to get her to speak in normal, sensical sentences and paragraphs?  Like her husband did on her behalf a few days ago in New Hampshire?

I think whichever one wins the Dem nomination will win the general election.  But will she make it an easier procession by ditching the incoherencies?  Or is that type of thing just inherent to her, something she lacks the ability to stop because she doesn’t realize that it is counterproductive and could be fatal to her candidacy?

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ADDENDUM: I posted the following comment in the Comments thread in response to a comment by Run75441 about Hillary and Chelsea Clinton’s (mis)representations about the single-payer healthcare insurance bill that Sanders proposed in 2013, and about the proposal he released two weekends ago:

The single-payer plan that Sanders released a few hours before the debate two weekends ago is administered entirely by the federal government, just as current Medicare is, run. I read that last night.

Sanders’ earlier proposal, from 2013, was structured like the marketplaces part of the ACA are, including the provision that if states refused to administer it, either at the outset or down the road, the federal government would do so.

The purpose of the state involvement was to give states some slight latitude in coverage and administration of it, in order to try to fend off the usual attacks about states having no say, no leeway. That, of course, was the reason that the ACA was structured the way it was.

But of course since 2013, it became clear that Republican-controlled states would not cooperate at all, in any respect, so the federal government would have to run a whole lot of it anyway.

But what Hillary and Chelsea Clinton did was to outright lie that the 2013 Sanders proposal was similar to the ACA’s Medicaid provision rather than the ACA’s marketplaces provision, and that the states could opt out or hamstring or cripple healthcare insurance.

This was especially strange since it is Clinton, not Sanders, who sings the praises of the ACA and says she wants to keep it and improve upon it. The ACA has separate marketplaces for each state, and therefore separate policies available in each state.

The Clintons’ misrepresentation of what part of the ACA Sanders’ plan resembled was classic Hillary Clinton: a bald misrepresentation about Sanders’ policy proposals and stated goals, via glaring misdirection and sleight of hand.

Added 1/25 at 11:27 a.m.

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