Foreign policy differences materialized under the spotlight at last night’s #DemDebate; and if you didn’t know who Henry Kissinger was before, you probably will now.
If you’ve been watching the primary debates this election season, last night’s late back-and-forth between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will have stood out. And not only for the surreal name drop-and-trashing of Henry Kissinger (not someone I’d expect to steal the show at a Democratic debate). But also for the details provided by both candidates’ as to their foreign policy stances.
The short argument pitch for Hillary Clinton:
Vote for me. I’ve got the experience.
The short argument pitch for Bernie Sanders:
Vote for me. I know a quagmire when I see one.
Someone at PBS must have shared my call for more focus on international affairs, because a good chunk of the debate’s last half was spent on questions about Iraq, Syria, ISIS, and Russia.
So to the dignified and estimable PBS debate moderators: I thank you.
It occurred to me that one meaningful upper hand Hillary Clinton has, but cannot use, is to give Barack Obama as an argument against Sanders’ claim.
Barack Obama also voted against authorizing the Iraq war. But despite that better judgment, even avid supporters agree his foreign policy has been disastrous.
Unfortunately for HRC, she has decided to hold onto Obama in a kind of vicarious vice-grip. His name comes out of her mouth with metronome regularity.
There’s no chance she’ll abandon that strategy now.
As for Sanders, he grew most irate during a spiel about how Henry Kissinger is no friend of his, and he would never be taking advice from someone like that.
I pictured thousands of Millennial Bernie fans Googling Henry Kissinger, and sure enough, the nonagenarian began trending on Twitter. It made me chuckle.
At any rate, the debate delivered on foreign policy. Clinton has the expertise and range of knowledge; Bernie has his signature ideological purity. How the voters go remains to be seen.
Now if only we could get some questions on K12 Education…
Photo: Flickr/Michael Vadon