First, I admit that I haven’t been a fan of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate for president of the United States. I lost my affection for her when she abandoned fundamental issues tied to her femininity and dignity for the sake of coming to power. She was not forced against her will to be close to power, even as the first lady of the greatest nation. She wants it absolutely, all to herself, and without a partner — not even her partner in life. I do not like her, but I admire many of her qualities. Her triumphant ambition still amazes me. She wanted to reach the presidency, so she endured – with great patience and extraordinary strength – the fallout from the meteoric rise of her husband and his numerous affairs. She turned a blind eye to all but one, which “palace intrigue” and the lurking eyes of the media threw in her way. At that time, details came out to the public about the president’s dalliances with White House intern Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office.
Her performance as secretary of state did not please me; rather, I think this period – 2009-2013 – was among the worst in Mrs. Clinton’s political career. Her reputation was stained by the downturn in relations between Washington and leaders in Israel, the continued deterioration of conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the consequent failure to extract them from a state of chaos and war. Likewise, Hillary did not escape the accusation that she and President Obama were negligent in their handling of the Arab Spring uprisings. In particular, they botched the management and direction of the military campaign in Libya, which resulted in the collapse of the state and the spread of chaos.
I noticed – as others have who follow the developments of the presidential campaign – that Hillary tried to ignore this phase of her life, although she held one of the highest positions of power in Washington, let alone the position that guaranteed her the most in-depth and wide-ranging contacts with numerous world leaders. It is clear that she believed that speaking about her time as secretary of state now may cost her a large number of conservative votes. So, she has avoided talking about it.
However, I must admit that Hillary enjoys a considerable war chest – as compared to the two men competing with her for the presidency – not least of which is the enormous, financial support – perhaps unprecedented – on the part of the wealthiest elements in America and the Middle East. There is also no doubt that organizations around the country that have influence on the proceedings of the election process seemingly chose to support Clinton in all kinds of ways. Add to that the fact that Hillary embodies a unique experience: she lived in the White House as wife to the president and was perhaps the most influential first lady in a long chain of spouses who left no lasting mark on political life, despite their long residence in the White House. Suffice it to say that now Mrs. Clinton knows the leaders of the world and the leaders of civil society in many countries – more than Mr. Trump and Sen. Sanders combined.
We cannot ignore the expertise that Secretary Clinton obtained while representing the state of New York in the Senate, although we know that she did not put forward a single meaningful piece of legislation and her participation was not on the level of seasoned and well-known senators. I believe – like other observers – that she sought to hold this office thinking it was a necessary stepping stone to a presidential candidacy. So that’s what she did.
Something else in her arsenal, which distinguishes her from her competitors, is that Mrs. Clinton was able – with success – to preserve her strong ties with the neo-conservatives, particularly with Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and Jeane Kirkpatrick. She did the same with a wing I like to call the ”interventionist liberals,” or those in the Democratic Party and media who defend rights and freedoms to the extent of supporting any decision by an American president to impose democracy upon this country or that, most notably Paul Krugman, Thomas Friedman, and Fareed Zakariah. At the same time, Hillary enjoys a great reputation in military circles and their different branches, particularly the security branches. I single out those hardcore leaders and personalities who crave war occasionally. To this day, they speak highly of Hillary, who at 27 revolted against the mainstream in America at that time when she presented herself to the Army to volunteer for the fighting in Vietnam. Jeffrey Max [sic]* summarizes the nature of this relationship between Hillary and the military in an analysis he did on her role in making foreign policy: "Her so-called foreign policy ‘experience’ has been to support every war demanded by the U.S. deep security state run by the military and the CIA." Many also know that the military establishment does not forget what Hillary did on its behalf during her time on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
It’s not a secret – rather, it’s mentioned in some of her memoirs – that she began her political activities at the age of 17 as an intern on the presidential campaign of radical right-wing Sen. Barry Goldwater in 1964, and then again on the campaign of radical Sen. Eugene McCarthy when she was 21 years old. Here she is, advancing toward the presidency of the United States, totally supported by the radical, right-wing institutions and forces, and making serious attempts to shift a little toward the center and moderate left in hopes of soaking up some the “revolutionary” energy that Sen. Bernie Sanders unleashed.
Hillary has abided by the principles and polices of the radical right for a long time, but she is under pressure from her “Democratic” competitor Bernie Sanders, now finding herself forced to outdo him lest she lose the votes of millennials and the growing progressive current in some states and demographics. An example of this is her call for increasing the minimum wage against the wishes of the businessmen and “money men” who finance her election campaign. Another example is her retreat from supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership, although two years earlier she described it as the gold standard for international trade. It follows that no one believes Hilary will succeed in stopping the decline in her popularity during the remaining phase of the election, especially among young women. They will not vote for her in order to defend a woman’s right to become president because they are in a generation that is not committed to the rules and principles of the feminist movement. Their priority is to maintain their right as young people to change and reject the establishment of the ruling political class. The most astonishing variable of this campaign season is that young women, just like Sanders and Trump, are against the established two-party system and the political election games that Hillary Clinton is trying to force upon them, despite her own shortcomings and known associations.
I heard one of these women saying, “We will not vote for a candidate of our gender just because she is a woman; moreover, we are surprised that this woman as president will play a role bent on attacking the rights and freedoms and serving the interests of banks, the financial sector, and bankers. She is not different from women who betrayed issues of freedom and fighting corruption, like Jeane Kirkpatrick, Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice, and Margaret Thatcher.”**
*Editor’s Note: The author’s name, though accurately translated from the original, is in fact Jeffrey Sachs.
**Editor's Note: This exact quote could not be sourced.