Brilliant, Quick Witted Hillary Can’t Take the Heat
Earlier this week, the Democrats had another debate leading into the rough & rugged Democrat primary season. Of course, most Americans didn’t even know it was happening – they were too busy down at the neighborhood tavern with their baseball caps on backwards, watching the Lakers get beaten by the Rockets.
The NY Post reports…
Hillary Rodham Clinton stumbled badly at last night’s Democratic debate when she repeatedly refused to give a direct answer about whether she supports Gov. Spitzer’s plan to give driver’s licenses to illegal aliens – and got slammed by her opponents for evasive double-talk. “I was confused on Sen. Clinton’s answer,” said Sen. Barack Obama, who backs the plan. “I can’t tell whether she was for it or against it.”
He added, “One of the things that we have to do in this country is be honest about the challenges that we face.”
Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut said a driver’s license was “a privilege, not a right,” and that illegals shouldn’t be allowed to get one.
Clinton shot back that “I did not say that it should be done,” prompting Dodd to counter, “You said yes.”
“No I didn’t, Chris,” Clinton insisted.
The Democratic front-runner said illegal immigrants are “driving on our roads. The possibility of them having an accident that harms themselves or others is just a matter of the odds.”
But she did not clearly say whether or not she backs Spitzer’s plan.
That prompted MSNBC moderator Tim Russert to ask, “Do you . . .support your governor’s plan to give an illegal immigrant a driver’s license?”
Again, Clinton wouldn’t respond directly, saying, “We want people to come out of the shadows,” and adding Spitzer is “making an honest effort to do it.”
“Unless I’m missing something, Senator Clinton said two different things in about two minutes,” said former Sen. John Edwards.
Check out the video of her performance…
Hilly did quite a number on herself this time.Russert starts by noting that she had told a New Hampshire newspaper that the NY Governor Spitzer proposal for giving drivers licenses to illegals “makes a lot of sense,” and then asks her why it makes sense.
Hillary then goes into a criticism of the Bush administration for failing to make Comprehensive Immigration Reform a reality, which really doesn’t make much sense. The Democrat controlled House & Senate failed to pass an Immigration Reform bill, so no bill was presented to the president for his signature. Blaming him for the Democrat leadership’s failure to navigate the bill through Congress is just wrong. This misdirection is punctuated by the fact that President Bush in fact liked the Democrat’s proposed bill and would have signed it into law.
The failure of Comprehensive Immigration Reform to become law is the fault of the Democrat controlled Legislature, not the Republican Executive.
Mrs. Clinton then matter-of-factly notes that at any given time we have ‘millions’ of illegals in NY State, and then quickly describes them as ‘undocumented workers,’ which of course presumes that they are all working at jobs, which is a dubious presumption.
Then she says that these illegal undocumented people are using our roads, which is undoubtedly true, and that it’s just a “matter off the odds” that they will get into automobile accidents and hurt themselves or others.
I think she is making a quiet logical connection that once illegals get drivers licenses, they will buy auto insurance, also. The only problem is, there is no real reason that this would be true. While a valid license is often a predicate to getting insurance, having insurance isn’t a predicate to getting a drivers license.
Mrs. Clinton evidently believes that once the illegals are given a drivers license, they will start becoming more responsible and buy auto insurance in enough numbers to make the whole plan worthwhile. This is broad conjecture, not based on anything in particular beyond wishful thinking.
Senator Chris Dodd then was the only candidates to clearly state that he was against giving drivers licenses, and took a deserved shot at Senator Clinton, pointing out that she said (in the NH news article) that she said Spitzer’s plan “made a lot of sense.”
Mrs. Clinton then took leave of her senses, insisting that she said no such thing. In fact, she never denied that she told the NH newspaper that the plan made a lot of sense, and when she originally answered Russert’s question, she explained why in her best judgment it did make sense. She repeats the idea that illegal alien licensed drivers would somehow be more responsible drivers (presumably because of the insurance issue), though again there is no clear logical nexus between the two.
She then describes Spitzer’s plan for 3 classes of NY State IDs, but in doing so only digs herself into a deeper hole as this plan just came across as poorly conceived and confusing. Mr. Dodd or course slammed her on this, which only seemed to annoy Mrs. Clinton even more, and she even dismissively waves her right hand as if to bat off Dodd and his observation.
Russert then tries to clarify, asking the NY Senator if she supports the NY Governor’s plan. Note her nervous head nodding as he asks a clear, pointed question to her. She then refuses to answer the question, and simply mentions that they have all failed in Immigration Reform, and then equivocates that while she doesn’t think that the plan is the best plan, she understand why it would be done.
So there you have it – after a few minutes of discussion on the matter, we don’t know where she stands of the issue if the policy decision was up to her. Credit to Dodd for a clear, unequivocal answer, and kudos to Senator Obama and John Edwards for giving clear, direct answers also.
Where does Hillary stand? It’s an idea that makes sense but she is unable to clearly endorse it or criticize it.
It’s interesting to see that when pressed for a clear, direct answer, Senator Clinton can’t do better than appear annoyed and dismissive of criticism of her. Further, I find her hapless, almost stream of conciosness use of buzzwords disconcerting. In the span of a couple of minutes, she talks about comprehensive immigration reform, auto accidents, the value of getting illegals ‘out of the shadows,’ and ultimately notes ‘what’s the governor supposed to do?’
Not very inspiring from a candidate who wants to lead the nation.