Politico, for once, said it best:
If you want to stump a Democrat, ask them to name an accomplishment of Hillary Clinton,” Carly Fiorina quipped at Wednesday’s Republican debate. The line got hearty applause—but it also cut to the core of one of the defining lines of attacks against the former first lady and Democratic presidential frontrunner. After nearly forty years in public life, what exactly has she accomplished.
It’s a question that even, at times, has tripped up Clinton herself: During her 2014 book tour, when ABC’s Diane Sawyer asked her about her “marquee achievement,” Clinton changed the subject and she fumbled over a similar question during a women’s forum in Manhattan last year. “I see my role as secretary—in fact leadership in general in a democracy—as a relay race. You run the best race you can run, you hand off the baton. Some of what hasn’t been finished may go on to be finished,” she told Thomas Friedman.
The question Fiorina posed has also tripped up members of the Obama administration. When State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki was asked last year to “identify one tangible achievement” accomplished through one of Hillary Clinton’s key projects as Secretary of State—the first-ever audit of the department—Psaki punted, “I am certain that those who were here at the time, who worked hard on that effort, could point out one.”
Hillary’s supporters have been stumped too. When Bloomberg Politics’ Mark Halperin asked a focus group of Iowans this summer about Hillary Clinton’s accomplishments, one Democratic supporter said, “I honestly can’t say I followed along [with] everything that was going on.”
So is Fiorina right? Are Democrats really unable to defend Clinton’s record on the merits? To find out, Politico Magazine on Thursday asked the nation’s top Democratic leaders and thinkers to name Hillary Clinton’s biggest accomplishment.
And here are their funniest responses:
1) Her role in killing Osama bin Laden. (Her role? Was she in that chopper that took sniper fire? Or was she the one who cold-tapped him?)
2) The sanctions that brought Iran to the table. (And now laughing to the bank.)
3) She empowered women in the 112 countries she visited. (Did that stop one woman from suffering genital mutilation, or one woman from being beaten by her husband, or one woman from being whipped for walking around outside without a male relative?)
4) She worked to create jobs at the Center for Bioinformatics at the University of Buffalo. (This is her signature accomplishment. She will be known as the Bioinformatics president.)
5) Renewing diplomatic relations with Myanmar. (Shouldn’t her greatest accomplishment be locatable on a map?)
6) Winning the U.N. resolution supporting military intervention in Libya. (They want to talk about Libya? Really?)
7) Helped Haiti recover from an earthquake. (Sure. Go to Haiti now. It has gleaming skyscrapers just like Singapore, and Hillary built them all.)
8) She was the point person in Copenhagen in compelling the Chinese to commit to cutting carbon emissions. (David Axelrod said this, but I am not sure if he was joking. The Chinese have not actually cut a thing. And even if they did, it would be in service to solving an imaginary problem.)
9) As first lady, Hillary was the point person in the Clinton administration on the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997. (It’s not encouraging when they have to reach back to her “married to the president” job to find something.)
10) Hillary Clinton defined and tried consistently to implement a “smart power” diplomacy. (So how exactly did that work out?)
11) The world is safer and people are more free thanks to Hillary Clinton. (People in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Iran, Cuba, North Korea, Russia, China, Israel, and of course the United States would surely agree.)
I think Hillary could give any of these ridiculous answers with a straight face. The only question is whether we are going to get a nominee who will to call her on it (like Trump), or a nominee who will hang his head guiltily for even asking the question (like Bush).
This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.