Although I always try to stay open-minded—a few words with Sec. Albright left me thinking Hillary Clinton is the best choice for President: not because she’s a woman, not because she’s a Democrat—but because she’s simply the best person for the job.
A couple of months ago (before the NCDP Chair election) I was able to have a brief conversation with former UN Ambassador and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright relating to a project that will air tentatively in June on BBC 4.
At one time Sec. Albright was the highest ranking woman in the history of United States government. She was the first female to ever hold the post of United States Secretary of State.
Albright, who is now in her late 70s, still has a vast amount of energy-– carrying the sword for the topics that she’s passionate about through out the world: hunger, education, democracy and women’s rights just to name a few.
Albright is a diplomat— attesting to a career that goes back further than her appointment as ambassador to the United Nations under the Clinton administration.
After speaking with Sec. Albright, my perspective is that the next president of the United States will have to hit the ground running when it comes to foreign policy and diplomatic negotiations with other countries– especially the countries controlled by radicals who obviously don’t have respect for the United States or our interests.
We don’t live in the same world anymore– we live in a global economy and an open society. What happens around the world, even covertly, can potentially be a hash tag on twitter in less than 30 seconds—and trending almost as fast.
Presidents are not chosen any more from a random population of citizens—they’re groomed from years of political acumen and campaigning— some successful some not so successful.
For what it’s worth– diplomacy is more art than science. That art is cultivated from having years of personal experience with multiple leaders around the world-– leaders that for years– whether they’re in power are not– have developed personal relationships of trust with certain United States politicians.
For lack of a better way of putting it– the United States is served best when a diplomat has the ability to give her word and keep it.
Whether you are Republican or Democrat– independent or unaffiliated– we would honestly have to agree we all want what’s best for our Nation.
Hillary Clinton has that experience and has best developed international relationships more than anyone else in the small circle of potential candidates considered in the 2016 cycle.
Why does it really matter? After all, Reagan never had international experience before he became president of the United States– and Republicans hold him as the Godfather of conservative politics. But, the fact is Reagan had filters—everything he said didn’t get out on the internet—literally at the speed of light. Old political dogs like me can attest that Reagan never completely stuck to his script.
It matters because, as I said earlier, we don’t live in the same world with the same technology. It used to be that when a president or a Secretary of State made a statement relevant to a foreign country or leader– there was a lag time of a few days to be able to gauge opinion– and possibly backtrack on some of the rhetoric. No country has that luxury anymore. Everything that is done and every statement that is made is in real time– and has immediate consequences.
Take for example when Vladimir Putin fell off the grid a few weeks ago. The speculation was that we were headed for World War III.
Another example is when United States special ops went into Pakistan to take out Osama bin Laden— less than 3 miles away literally someone was on a mountaintop posting tweets about it in real time.
And it’s not just the Internet– Intel is gathered much differently than it was 30 years ago. So much differently, that we need someone like Hillary Clinton– who not only has the necessary experience– but who also knows how to sidestep landmines both political and otherwise—that a novice would not see.
At the end of the presidential decision-making process– voters need to understand that the next four years will be international– in ways we are not even aware of.
Even if we wanted to be isolationist, America doesn’t have that luxury anymore. And because of that, it is in every voter’s best interest to elect someone with the most diplomatic experience possible.
Although it’s nice to talk about being the first at something (and as important as that may be)– the end result was that even though Madeline Albright was the first female Secretary of State– she was the best person for the job and she came along at the right time. She had the skills. And, she developed even more skills along the way.
The same holds true for Hillary Clinton. It’s not so much that she would be the first female president of the United States– what it comes down to is the fact that she has the skills— over anyone else who could possibly run for office– to take America forward both domestically and internationally in this so-called new age.
Let’s hope she runs—but more importantly, let’s hope for our sake she wins. And, she can if we put the time in to give an accurate account of her accomplishments without all the political spin that comes from both Parties.
Accuracy is important—so much so that I’ve come to rely on the insight of such people as David Moore. Moore is a national politico in the group Organizing for Hillary and comes from my home state of North Carolina. More importantly, he’s spent the last year going all over the country setting the stage for a Hillary announcement and he and others are building a grassroots foundation.
But, what sets Moore apart, at least in my opinion, is that he’s talking to people. From the Dakota’s to the mid-west and from Florida up the east coast—David Moore is actually a key person who doesn’t feel like it’s a waste of time to actually sit with local voters and ask them what’s on their mind.
Sadly, that old school way of stumping has become a lost art. I’m glad to see, not only him, but others within Hillary Clinton groups take the same approach.