OP-ED | Profiles In Courage: Connecticut Pols Line Up Behind Hillary
by Terry Cowgill | Jun 12, 2015 4:30am
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Posted to: Analysis, Congress, Foreign Policy, Election 2016, Health Care, Insurance, Military Spending, Opinion, White House
To no one’s surprise, Democratic elected officials in the Land of Steady Habits are playing it safe. They’re lining up to support the safe choice for president: Hillary Clinton.
The latest high-profile Connecticut pol to throw his support to the former first lady is no less than Gov. Dannel P. Malloy himself. On Face The State this past Sunday, Malloy told host Dennis House:
“I’ve been an admirer of hers for many years, going back to when she was first lady. I want to see her get elected president. I also think she is the best candidate the Democrats could run. I think she is one of the most experienced candidates that any party has run.”
Malloy joins Sen. Chris Murphy, who gave a full throated nod to Hillary’s candidacy earlier this month. Murphy called Hillary “a fighter,” adding that she “has started this campaign the right way — by listening to everyday Americans all across this country about their concerns, hopes, and fears.”
Lest we think only mainstream Democrats support Hillary, the uber-progressive Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro of New Haven lined up behind Hillary in April.
“America needs a President who understands the economic challenges facing working families across the nation. Hillary Clinton is the exact right person to tackle these critical matters,” DeLauro gushed. “She has spent her professional life fighting for families and children.”
Not to be outdone, Sen. Richard Blumenthal endorsed Hillary more than a year ago and with the same enthusiasm he exhibited in 2008, when as Connecticut’s attorney general he threw his weight behind Hillary’s ill-fated first presidential candidacy.
“She knows how to get things done,” he told a Ready for Hillary PAC fundraiser last year on the Fairfield County Gold Coast.
Hillary is experienced, to be sure. And she has done many things. But you’d have to ask yourself: what is the quality of the major work she did as part of that experience? The universal healthcare initiative she planned in secret and launched as first lady was nothing short of a disaster.
After her election to the Senate, accomplished only because of her advantage in being married to the president, Hillary cast perhaps the most important vote of her career in favor of giving President George W. Bush the authority to invade Iraq. The excuse that she was lied to doesn’t hold water. Twenty-three senators voted against the resolution, including 21 of Hillary’s fellow Democrats.
What did they know that she didn’t know? Was she was afraid of the political consequences of voting against the resolution? To make matters worse, Hillary turned around and opposed the 2007 troop surge that proved to be something of a success in stabilizing Iraq. Are these the kinds of qualities we want in a president? Wrong on policy and lacking courage?
As secretary of state, Hillary played a key role in the dreadful U.S. military intervention in Libya, which has devolved into an ISIS stronghold. To be fair, I do not blame her for the terrible tragedy at the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, which has become little more than a wedge issue for partisan Republican hacks and the Fox News echo chamber. But her so-called reset button symbolizing a renewal in U.S-Russian relations seems only to have emboldened the regime of strongman Vladimir Putin.
Most troubling, as a candidate, Hillary has thus far refused to stake out a position on the Trans Pacific Partnership, a trade pact that she promoted as President Obama’s secretary of state but now is afraid of endorsing — presumably for fear of offending the left and organized labor.
At this point, I’m having a hard time figuring out what it is that makes Hillary tick and why so many Connecticut pols are falling all over themselves to embrace her. Perhaps it’s her aura of power and inevitability. Or maybe Bill and Hillary have done a lot of favors for the powers-that-be in the Nutmeg State.
At any rate, I’d like to think our elected officials would consider honesty, principles and positions on the issues in deciding whom to endorse. I might disagree with Sen. Bernie Sanders on a number of issues, but at least he’s courageous, clear in his positions, and is willing call out injustice at every turn. Ditto Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Heck, even former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley will answer questions from the news media. But Hillary is missing in action on so many levels. And that’s just fine with Malloy, Blumenthal, Murphy, and DeLauro?
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