~ Readings highlights content from elsewhere on the web. ~
Yesterday, in San Diego and standing in front of nineteen United States flags, Hillary Clinton delivered a widely anticipated speech on foreign policy in which she lambasted Donald Trump. But as the New York Times noted, “the speech was devoid of new policy prescriptions, and she skipped over difficult episodes during her tenure as secretary of state.”
CNN has video of the speech, and in addition, Time has posted a transcript:
Some reactions from around the web:
Hillary roasts Trump: Clinton’s foreign policy speech was an effective takedown of Trump’s dangerous ignorance
By Simon Maloy, Salon, June 3, 2016
“Once it became clear that the 2016 general election matchup would be between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, one of the big unanswered questions was how the Democrats and the Clinton campaign would approach their politically exotic adversary. And it was looking a little dodgy there for a bit. Early reports indicated that the Clinton campaign was going to attack Trump as a heartless businessman whose ruthless tactics had screwed over normal people – an attack that worked perfectly well against Mitt Romney but risked feeding into Trump’s self-styled image as a cutthroat hard-ass. Then came the nicknames: “Dangerous Donald,” “loose cannon,” “risky,” etc. It seemed like Hillary and the DNC were determined to attack Trump in ways that also helped validate his shtick about being an outsider who will go to Washington and break things.
But it looks like Hillary and her team have figured out how to effectively hit Trump… What made [her speech] so effective is that Hillary pegged Trump as petty, ignorant, and weak. She called Trump’s foreign policy ideas “dangerously incoherent” and “a series of bizarre rants, personal feuds, and outright lies.” She poked fun at his obvious lack of basic knowledge about foreign affairs. “He says he has foreign policy experience because he ran the Miss Universe pageant in Russia,” Clinton said, letting the absurdity of that real Trump statement do her work for her. “Donald Trump doesn’t know the first thing about Iran or its nuclear program,” she said. “Ask him. It’ll become very clear very quickly.”… ~ Continue reading
Where Hillary Clinton’s Heavy Attack Was Light on Specifics
by Mark Landler, New York Times, June 3, 2016“Hillary Clinton on Thursday delivered her most robust attack yet on her likely republican opponent, Donald J. Trump, declaring him temperamentally unfit to be commander in chief. But although her campaign had described the speech as a major foreign policy address, Mrs. Clinton spent more time ridiculing and dismantling Mr. Trump’s statements than she did elucidating her positions. Here are a few key issues she did not discuss.”Continue reading for discussion of Clinton’s previously stated positions on Syria, Vladimir Putin, Libya, ISIS, and Kim Jong-un.
The Clinton Anti-Trump Speech
John Podhoretz, Commentary Magazine, June 2, 2016
“Hillary Clinton just gave the speech of her life in attacking Donald Trump on foreign policy. I’ve been watching and listening to her for 25 years and wrote an entire book in 2006 warning America about the dangers of a Clinton presidency (a book almost as unsuccessful as her 2008 presidential bid, now available for $.01 on Amazon, and I’m not kidding). Never before has she pulled off a coup like this one — an extremely well-crafted and well-delivered broadside against Trump’s willful ignorance and ill-considered policy prescriptions, as well as a coherent presentation of a liberal internationalist approach to foreign affairs. (It was likely written by Jake Sullivan, who would likely be her secretary of state or national security adviser should she win in November.) …
Now, there will be untold thousands of words of analysis devoted to this address, and much of it will properly center on the areas in which she factitiously and falsely defended her and Barack Obama’s foreign-policy choices from the Russian reset in 2009 to Syria in 2012 and, most especially, the Iran deal. But in its immediate aftermath, what is most striking is how determinedly Clinton decided to move herself to the center, edging to the center-right, on foreign policy matters and most especially on the complex issue of American exceptionalism.
With a few deletions and emendations here and there, this could have been Marco Rubio’s stump speech….” ~ Continue reading
Hillary’s ‘major’ foreign policy speech shows how clueless she is about Trump
By K.T. McFarland, Fox News, June 03, 2016
“Hillary Clinton has begun the policy wars with Donald Trump. She gave it her best shot Thursday with what was billed as a major foreign policy speech. I’ll save you the effort to read the transcript. She said in essence, nothing.
Most of her time was spent trash-talking Trump saying he’s neither smart enough nor stable enough to be president.
The rest of the time was telling us about all her many self-proclaimed successes and ending with how she and President Obama were responsible for killing Usama bin Laden. I give her full credit for that, as well as Obama. But that’s not the only issue in American foreign policy over the last two terms…” ~ Continue reading
Why Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy speech is almost impossible to analyze
Daniel W. Drezner, Washington Post, June 3, 2016
“There are two big problems in trying to analyze Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy speech.
The first echoes a conundrum I mentioned back in November. The core theme of Clinton’s speech on Thursday was pretty simple: I’m a grown-up, my opponent is a thin-skinned child, and who do you want to be sitting next to the nuclear codes?
…The thing is, this speech was almost entirely about Trump and very little about Clinton. Sure, she referenced her foreign policy experience, but as other commentators pointed out, politicians ranging from Bernie Sanders to Marco Rubio could have said 95 percent of that speech without any alterations whatsoever. It was not so much a speech about Clinton’s positive attributes as Trump’s negative qualities.
This leads to the second problem: Commentators are already saying that Clinton is to the right of Trump on foreign policy, following up on previous pundit claims that Clinton is more hawkish than Trump on matters of national security….” ~ Continue reading
Clinton pillories Trump’s foreign policy, but history says it won’t help
By Lesley Clark, McClatchy DC, June 2, 2016
“WASHINGTON – Presidential contenders often tout their foreign policy credentials. But that may matter little to voters.
In a speech Thursday, Hillary Clinton mocked and pilloried Donald Trump and charged that the real estate magnate is a dangerous threat who can’t be trusted with nuclear weapons. But history shows that in the past 40 years, the candidate with the robust foreign-policy portfolio often has lost to the one with the arguably thinner international résumé….” ~ Continue reading
Hillary Clinton’s Flat and Misleading Foreign Policy Speech
By William Astore, Huffington Post, June 3, 2016
“Yesterday, Hillary Clinton gave a foreign policy speech in San Diego that was notably flat and misleading. It’s been getting decent reviews in the mainstream media for the zingers she tossed at Donald Trump. But when you listen to the speech (you can watch it [above]) and think about it, you realize how insipid and unoriginal it really was….” ~ Continue reading
Hillary Clinton’s evisceration of Donald Trump
By Stephen Collinson and Dan Merica, CNN, June 3, 2016
“There’s a new Hillary Clinton in town.
“A speech that was billed as a major foreign policy address instead unfolded as a savage, mocking evisceration of Donald Trump Thursday as the former secretary of state adopted an aggressive new campaign persona designed to repel the unpredictable challenge posed by the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
“In one of the most striking speeches of her political career, Clinton dispensed with the sober diplo-speak that has characterized her previous national security addresses and went straight for the jugular, unleashing a series of biting attacks on Trump….” ~ Continue reading
Sanders jabs at Clinton’s foreign policy credentials following speech
By Harper Neidig, The Hill, June 2, 2016
“Bernie Sanders took a swipe at Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy credentials on Thursday in the wake of the Democratic presidential front-runner’s speech attacking presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump’s proposals.
“”I agree with Secretary Clinton that Donald Trump’s foreign policy ideas are incredibly reckless and irresponsible,” Sanders said in a statement. “But when it comes to foreign policy, we cannot forget that Secretary Clinton voted for the war in Iraq, the worst foreign policy blunder in modern American history, and that she has been a proponent of regime change, as in Libya, without thinking through the consequences.”” … ~ Continue reading
The Latest: Trump Says Clinton Now ‘Lyin’, Crooked Hillary’
AP/ABC News, June 2, 2016
…”She made up my foreign policy,” Trump said Thursday night in San Jose, California. “She’s Lyin’, Crooked Hillary.”
… “My temperament is so much tougher, so much better than hers.”… ~ Continue reading