Television viewers are seeing an overwhelming surge of pundits praising Hillary Clinton for a masterful debate performance against her less than impressive rivals on the stage.
But Clinton had plenty of awkward moments, including questions about her record that she was unable to dismiss. Here are the top 10.
1. Awkward Answer On Flip-flopping:
Debate moderator Anderson Cooper came out strong with a simple question. “Will you say anything to get elected?” Clinton’s answer pretty much admitted that yes she would.
“Like most human beings — including those of us who run for office — I do absorb new information,” she said. “I do look at what’s happening in the world.”
Clinton tried to defend herself regarding important decisions like the Keystone Pipeline and Obama’s trade deal – when essentially she held out as long as possible before taking a position seemingly based on political expediency.
2. I’m an outsider!
When asked why Democrats should vote for Hillary Clinton, she responded by playing the woman card.
“Well, I can’t think of anything more of an outsider than electing the first woman president,” she smiled.
Clinton, of course, has spent most of her adult life in politics – since she first joined her husband in Arkansas as the first lady in 1979. After living in the White House as First Lady, fiercely defending her husband’s political legacy, she became a United States Senator before running a failed presidential campaign. After Obama was elected, Hillary Clinton was his Secretary of State for a term before resigning to prepare for her second run for office. Thanks to her consistent pursuit of political office, she hasn’t driven a car since 1996.
3. Hillary’s “blessed” answer
When Cooper challenged Hillary’s ability to speak for the middle class as a member of the one percent, Hillary tried in vain to gloss it over.
“Well, you know, both Bill and I have been very blessed,” she said. “Neither of us came from wealthy families and we’ve worked really hard our entire lives.”
Clinton’s line was better rehearsed than the first time she tried to answer the question by trying to explain how she and her husband had left the White House “dead broke” – but it’s hard to see how giving speeches and penning memoirs are the definition of “working hard.”
4. Who cares about ethical standards?
A lot of people mocked candidate Lincoln Chafee for his bumbling debate style, but one point that did make sense was his insistence on ethical standards in office.
“I think we need someone that has the best in ethical standards as our next president,” he said, when asked about Clinton’s email scandal. “That’s how I feel.”
“Secretary Clinton, do you want to respond?” asked Cooper.
“No.” Hillary said with a grin.
5. Hillary’s Defense of Libya
While discussing the tragic terrorist attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Hillary Clinton defended the war that led the U.S. into that conflict and actually boasted that no American ground troops were used.
“Our response, which I think was smart power at its best, is that the United States will not lead this. We will provide essential, unique capabilities that we have … we did not put one single American soldier on the ground in Libya,” she insisted.
“But American citizens did lose their lives in Benghazi,” Cooper responded.
Clinton weakly responded that the United States had to send diplomats into dangerous places.
“When we send them forth, there is always the potential for danger and risk,” she said.
Perhaps some more boots on the ground in Libya might mitigated that danger.
6. List of Enemies
When asked to describe one enemy she was most proud of, Clinton had a full list: The NRA, the health insurance companies, the drug companies, the Iranians, and the Republicans.
All those enemies are Americans except for Iran. Islamic terrorists and Vladimir Putin didn’t even make the list.
For a candidate who has an actual “hit list” of allies and enemies, Hillary reminded the audience just how vindictive she still is.
For a political family who has taken millions of dollars from both health insurance companies and drug companies, she hardly fits the bill of a populist warrior against big business.
7. Demanding that Edward Snowden go to jail
When asked if Edward Snowden should be imprisoned for his crimes, Hillary demonstrated her weakness as a fearless enforcer of justice
“I don’t think he should be brought home without facing the music,” she said, pointing out that much of Snowden’s released documents had fallen into the wrong hands.
For a candidate that has done everything possible to skirt the law over her email addresses, her demand of justice under the law looks a bit hollow. If found guilty of breaking the law, will she be the one facing the music?