As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I don't think Sinbad is a particularly funny guy, but I've worked with him before and he's pretty sharp, as a well as extremely tech-savvy. So when i saw him pop up in comment threads discussing Hillary Clinton's "experience" of accompanying him to Bosnia for a USO tour in 1996, I was pretty convinced it was actually him. And apparently, it was.

In an interview with the Sleuth Monday, he said the "scariest" part of the trip was wondering where he'd eat next. "I think the only 'red-phone' moment was: 'Do we eat here or at the next place.'"

Clinton, during a late December campaign appearance in Iowa, described a hair-raising corkscrew landing in war-torn Bosnia, a trip she took with her then-teenage daughter, Chelsea. "They said there might be sniper fire," Clinton said.

Threat of bullets? Sinbad doesn't remember that, either.

"I never felt that I was in a dangerous position. I never felt being in a sense of peril, or 'Oh, God, I hope I'm going to be OK when I get out of this helicopter or when I get out of his tank.'"

In her Iowa stump speech, Clinton also said, "We used to say in the White House that if a place is too dangerous, too small or too poor, send the First Lady."

Say what? As Sinbad put it: "What kind of president would say, 'Hey, man, I can't go 'cause I might get shot so I'm going to send my wife...oh, and take a guitar player and a comedian with you.'"

The Clinton camp's response to this has LITERALLY been to suggest that Sinbad has more foreign affairs experience than Obama because he's been to Bosnia. I will go with the studious distillation of the facts of Hillary's so-called experience in place of that argument.

There is no reason to believe...that she was a key player in foreign policy at any time during the Clinton Administration. She did not sit in on National Security Council meetings. She did not have a security clearance. She did not attend meetings in the Situation Room. She did not manage any part of the national security bureaucracy, nor did she have her own national security staff. She did not do any heavy-lifting with foreign governments, whether they were friendly or not. She never managed a foreign policy crisis, and there is no evidence to suggest that she participated in the decision-making that occurred in connection with any such crisis...

The Clinton campaign’s argument is nothing more than mere assertion, dramatized in a scary television commercial with a telephone ringing in the middle of the night. There is no support for or substance in the claim that Senator Clinton has passed “the Commander-in-Chief test.” That claim – as the TV ad – consists of nothing more than making the assertion, repeating it frequently to the voters and hoping that they will believe it.

This is going to get her in a lot of trouble and there was no reason to make the argument the way she did. Calling Obama inexperienced and unready to deal with threats is fine, but turning the First Lady position into Madeleine Albright just sets you up for ridicule. When Sinbad is ripping on you - and scoring! - it's time to cut the crap. At least Bill Clinton can call it what it is:

But given the Clinton camp's implicit argument that Obama is not ready to be commander-in- chief or handle a 3:00 am phone call, Clinton was asked why then would she consider Obama for the No. 2 spot. "That's politics," Clinton said, not taking the bait, as he would put it.

Or, as Obama said, They're trying to hoodwink you.

UPDATE: I gotta say, Sinbad is a funnier blogger than a stand-up, though the constant referral to himself in the third person grates. D-Day does not approve.

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