By: Ronald Kessler, Wednesday, September 26, 2007 9:17 AM
As Hillary Clinton rises in the polls, her nose grows longer and longer.
To be sure, she has never had any shame about making stories up out of thin air. After 9/11, Clinton appeared on national TV and claimed that when the two airplanes hit the World Trade Center, her daughter Chelsea was going to jog at Battery Park near the towers, where she heard and saw the catastrophe unfold.
Clinton’s arrogance was so profound that she did not coordinate the story with Chelsea, who wrote an article for Talk in which she described what she had been doing that day. According to Chelsea, she was on the other side of town in a friend’s apartment on Park Avenue South. She watched the events unfold on TV.
Nor does Clinton’s hypocrisy have any limits. When asked about the recent MoveOn.org ad suggesting that Gen. David Petraeus has betrayed the country, Clinton on "Meet the Press" on Sept. 23 called for an end to such attacks. “I don’t condone anything like that, and I have voted against those who would impugn the patriotism and the service of the people who wear the uniform of our country,” she said.
Yet three days earlier, Clinton had voted against a Senate resolution to condemn the MoveOn.org ad. Her closest competitor, Sen. Barack Obama, voted earlier that day but conveniently missed the vote condemning the ad.
Now that she begins to see her candidacy in the general election as a certainty, Clinton’s prevarications — largely ignored by the media — are becoming more frequent.
On Sept. 23, on "Fox News Sunday," Clinton said that she has “fought hard” for body armor . . .” She added, “I’ve stood with my colleagues to fight hard for armored vehicles because we knew that they needed additional protection in Iraq and they weren’t getting it.”
Yet last May, Clinton voted against the emergency supplemental bill to provide $1.6 billion for body armor, including advanced combat helmets; $2.4 billion to help protect against improvised explosive devices; and $3 billion for mine-resistant, ambush protected vehicles.
During her Sept 23 appearance on "Meet The Press," Clinton said that current strategy in Iraq is not working: “I will end our involvement at the level that we’ve seen that has not proven to be successful.” But in August, Clinton had said in a speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention in Kansas City, Mo., that the so-called surge in Iraq is “working.”
Clinton’s prevarications about her vote to support the Iraq war are even more striking. On Oct. 10, 2002, she stated on the Senate floor: “It is clear. . . that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capability to wage biological and chemical warfare and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.” On Sept. 15, 2002, she said on "Meet the Press": “I can support the president, I can support an action against Saddam Hussein because I think it’s in the long term interests of our national security . . .”
Yet this year in the Democratic presidential debate on Aug. 19 in Des Moines, Clinton claimed that when she voted for the Authorization of the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq, she thought she was voting to support more diplomatic efforts. She said she “regret[ed] giving George Bush the authority that he misused and abused.”
In fact, she voted against an amendment introduced in 2002 by Sen. Carl Levin that would have required more diplomacy. On the Sept. 23 "Meet the Press," Clinton made yet another misleading statement about that vote, saying she opposed the measure because she did not want to give the United Nations veto power over U.S. actions. But the measure did not give the U.N. veto power and explicitly said the U.S. has the inherent right to use military force in self-defense.
In fundraising appeals, Clinton has claimed the administration is spying on innocent Americans, when she knows that National Security Agency intercepts of calls and e-mails are to ping in on terrorists before they kill innocent Americans.
Last Sunday, when asked questions by Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday" and by Bob Schieffer on CBS’ "Face the Nation," Clinton engaged in prolonged cackling. In particular, when asked by Schieffer if her healthcare plan was a step toward socialized medicine, Clinton began to giggle uncontrollably.
Like her ever changing positions on Iraq, her contrived performance suggests that she thinks she can give almost any response to a question and get away with it.
“Hillary has a keen sense of entitlement,” Bay Buchanan, author of "The Extreme Makeover of Hillary (Rodham) Clinton," has told me. “She doesn’t admit mistakes or learn from them. She believes in her own mind that she doesn’t have to take responsibility for things she’s done in the past. She can say whatever it is she wants to say today, and it’s as if the slate is clean and nothing has occurred before this.”
At a hearing on Sept. 11, Clinton told Gen. Petraeus that “the reports that you provide to us really require the willing suspension of disbelief.”
In making that accusation, Clinton aptly described what our own reaction should be to her serial dissembling. If any other job candidate had such a record, only a fool would hire the applicant. If Hillary Clinton becomes the Democratic presidential candidate in 2008, it will say as much about us as about her.
Is this really who we want for President?