The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


In the Loop

Team of Rivals, Indeed

By Al Kamen
Should Sen. Hillary R. Clinton (D-N.Y.) get the nod to be Secretary of State, she's likely to get a friendly reception on the Hill, especially given all the wonderful things Republicans have been saying about her (and her supporters) in recent months. But should anyone need fodder for an old-fashioned grilling at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, they can get all they need in a blistering memo Obama campaign aide Greg Craig, oft-mentioned as a possible deputy secretary of state, put out on March 11.

After a passing shot at her "failed effort" on health insurance, Craig, who was a State Department official under President Clinton, argued that the senator's "claims of foreign policy experience are exaggerated." He then delivered a claim-by-claim rebuttal of Clinton's stated achievements, from her record on Northern Ireland -- "gross exaggeration" -- to opening Kosovo's borders, to urging President Clinton to intervene in Rwanda and so on, including that sniper fire thing in Bosnia.

In contrast, Obama, Craig wrote, "does not use false charges and exaggerated claims to play politics with national security."

Yikes. Well, this was all in the heat of battle. And besides, there's always a chance for something at the National Security Council.

Posted at 12:29 PM ET on Nov 15, 2008  | Category:  In the Loop
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Mr. Obama has decided he will not use Mr. Craig's national security and foreign policy experience that he gained in the Clinton administration and apparently no longer believes his "blistering memo" would be an impediment for Clinton to be considered as SOS.

It was announced yesterday that Greg Craig will be serving as White House counsel for the president, a job he has the qualifications and expertise for since among other experiences he was Bill Clinton's impeachment attorney.

Mr. Craig attended Yale Law School with the Clintons and is a long time friend of theirs. He endorsed Obama early on in his
candidacy and is very capable of rewriting and rethinking any primary campaign criticisms if Obama decides Clinton is his
new SOS.

Posted by: rdklingus | November 16, 2008 8:39 AM

It's so hard for many of us to trust Hillary after the horrid campaign she ran against Pres. Elect Obama - but I do trust Obama to know what he is doing and I do believe in the theory about "keeping your enemies close" - but we are not living in 1860 anymore and politics has certainly changed since then. I just keep remembering that Hillary's foreign policy relationships were as a President's wife - not as an office holder. Based on her logic, Laura Bush could run for President in 2012. (Of course she would probably do a MUCH better job than her husband did).

Posted by: valady | November 15, 2008 3:52 PM

Sorry, but Craig was absolutely CORRECT!

Combine that, with the severe need to get involved with Central and South America, BEFORE Chavez, Morales, the Castro Bro's and even Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have a Field Day, causing all kinds of mischief;

and it CLEARLY becomes Bill Richardson!

Shrillery, would be a Circus Side Show of Foreign Relations and State affairs!

Posted by: SAINT---The | November 15, 2008 12:47 PM

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