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Archive for July, 2010

As if we really needed further evidence that running a campaign is different from running a country,  the Obama White House served up a perfect storm of unjust job losses this week, only one of which received much attention.  The level of ineptness and dysfunctionality boggles the mind.

By now, everyone has heard the story of Shirley Sherrod,  the USDA employee who was contacted on her cell phone while she was on the road for her job and told she was to resign.  The request order was a hasty overreaction to a doctored video  and came without the caution of investigation that should have preceded it.  Judging from remarks from Ms. Sherrod in the aftermath, for her this is a bell that cannot be unrung.  Things will not be the same for her even if she is offered and accepts her job back.  It is hard to believe that a DC insider like Secretary Vilsack did not know the nature of source of that video, Andrew Breitbart, when political activists of every stripe and range on the spectrum do.  That investigation was called for should have been obvious.  That the hand should have been stayed for awhile until the truth could be uncovered is very clear in hindsight.

But if hasty action robbed Ms. Sherrod of her career of more than 30 years, it is INACTION by the White House that, the very next day,  deprived Lt. Dan Choi of the military career he loved.  Lt. Choi, who is  a graduate of West Point and fluent in Arabic, is openly gay and was discharged on the basis of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, a law that Obama keeps saying he will repeal.  We keep waiting , Mr. President.  Why is there still no moratorium on these discharges?  Why no executive order rescinding this law that you say is unfair and discriminatory?  Why no swift, sure action on this, while the action against Ms. Sherrod was so speedy?

Finally, and also relatively quietly, Gen. Stanley McChrystal retired from the military at the end of the week.  Had it not been for a few careless remarks, he would still be running the Afghanistan campaign, but it appears the Obama White House is too thin-skinned to take a few wisecracks for what they were.  When he was recalled from Afghanistan by the White House,  the media speculated that McChrystal would be Obama’s MacArthur.  Hardly.  McChrystal crossed no borders  except perhaps those of prudence and disobeyed no orders. The White House has no sense of humor.

So the folks who gave you the “perfect campaign” in contrast to the one called “dysfunctional” by unnamed “insiders” who sang to the authors of Game Change now present us with a dysfunctional White House.  And the woman who ran the “dysfunctional” campaign … she’s doing very nicely running a highly active and efficient State Department which she is in the process of reorganizing.

If you want to know what Hillary Clinton would have done as POTUS, just look at her record at DOS.  By June 1, 2009, she had granted domestic benefits to partners of gay State Department employees.  If she had been POTUS, she would have rescinded DADT by executive order on that date.  She initiated her Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) just a little over a year ago.  Were she POTUS, she would have ordered a review like that in every department.  Judging from the news of the past week regarding the incredible mess our intelligence and security agencies are in, it is shocking that the current and actual POTUS does not take that example and ORDER this at least for DHS which is so obviously a mess.  It has NEVER been an organized department.  The Bush White House created it as an umbrella and no one ever organized it.  The current secretary and the president appear as clueless about what to do as W was!

Lastly,  a President Hillary Clinton would not have established an atmosphere in the White House that would have acted incisively without investigating first.  That is why the domestic benefits did not come immediately.  She investigated first.  She would never preside over a White House that would pull an honest government worker to the side of the road while on the job, and tell her to resign.   And Gen. McChrystal?  Well, he might never have made remarks like that under Commander-in-Chief Hillary Clinton, but if he had, she might have called him in for a talk and probably would have ended up exchanging smart, funny remarks with him.  If Hillary Clinton were president, these three people would still be employed in the jobs and careers they loved.

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Occasionally I have a guest blogger in.  A dear friend wrote her version of what Hillary would have done faced with the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.  Check out the website!

Contributed by my very good buddy and Team Hillary Teammate villager4ever

If Hillary is potus, here’s how quickly she will respond to this spill from DAY ONE.Her red phone is right beside her bed and will answer that 3 AM phone call. Her chief of staff Cheryl Mills called to report the BP spill and the loss of lives. She asked Cheryl to give her the phone nos. of the families. Then she called the WH switchboard to get her the chief of the Coast Guard to get a brief assessment, commanders of ships in gulf area, cabinet people (not czars) to step up and meet her at the gulf by daylight. Meanwhile, Pres. Clinton gets up to brew coffee and heat some cinnamon buns at the family kitchen.

After she hang up, she had the operator call the BP ceo to meet her at daylight along the gulf (she won’t need to be served coffee, she’ll bring her own from the coffee pot made by Pres. Clinton at the WH family kitchen with a cinnamon bun. He knew it will be a long day from then on). While she was taking a quick shower, her phone rang, it was Cheryl who said the list of phone nos. are with her personal secretary, ready to make the calls to the families, and that the helicopter and Air Force One have been coordinated by the Secret Service. She then told Cheryl to have the Secretary of Protocol cancel all the social events, to be rescheduled until further notice.

While continuing to dress, she called Chelsea to tell her where she’s going and that she reviewed the wedding invitations last night and they look great! She then called her mom Dorothy to give her daily love and to tell her not to forget her dental appt.; she then  told the housekeeper to let her neighbor in to take her mom to the dentist. Meanwhile, she told Pres. Clinton to go back to Haiti and CGI (no politics, Bill!).

By the time she finished putting on her old and grabby-looking jeans and nautical tee shirt, the helicopter was parked on the lawn ready to transport her to Air Force One. Her favorite old boots that she wore when Chelsea was in grade school in Little Rock was parked in her seat. Her mother’s old straw hat was also ready for her. She said it makes her feel close to her mom in her travels.

And off she went aboard Air Force One to travel to the gulf at daylight on that same day, to see first hand the oil spill coming from five thousand feet below. While on board, she called the families of the victims and offered her thoughts and prayers to them. On landing, she was met by the Coast Guard chief and BP ceo and their respective cohorts. She quickly asked questions and listened thoroughly, asked for suggestions. Then she went to talk to the small businesses, the shrimpers, the fishermen, sat down with them to reassure them that this is on top of her priority.

She also got regular updates and calls to action on the neighborhoods suffering from storm floodings in the mid-west from the governors directly, and with the head of FEMA.

At the end of that day, no beachside photo op statements, just calls to action, helping and feeling the pain of the commonfolks! Meanwhile, her WH staff was busy working to get information from BP, other oil companies and domestic and foreign experts on how to stop the spill, clean up and lessen the impact on the natural resources.

This is my DAY ONE! What’s yours?

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Candice is a Hillary Clinton Democrat.

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