Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from the LA Times

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

Obama's foreign affairs claims leave Hillary Clinton 'speechless'

April 8, 2008 |  7:44 pm

On a day when American foreign policy, primarily the Senate hearings on the Iraq war in which all three presidential candidates paraded their views for the cameras, is on the line, Sen. Hillary Clinton says she's "somewhat shocked'' and "speechless'' over Sen. Barack Obama's assertion that he has more expertise in the matter than she.

As reported here Monday, Obama met with supporters at a Sunday night fundraiser in San Francisco after his Saturday night appearance in Montana.

The freshman Illinois senator was asked about his thoughts on a potential running mate and provided a classically inarticulate quote that the Clinton camp and possibly John McCain's vice presidential pick will have some fun with later in the year.

Obama said: "I would like somebody who knows about a bunch of stuff that I'm not as expert on. I think a lot of people assume that might be some kind of military thing to make me look more commander in chief like. Ironically, this is an area -- foreign policy -- is the area where I am probably most confident that I know more and understand the world better than Sen. Clinton or Sen. McCain."

The account of his closed-door fundraising talk, first reported by Huffington Post, made for some spirited public talk Tuesday morning on "FOX and Friends," when Democrat Clinton, who ventured into the Republican-friendly TV camp, was asked about Obama's statement.

"Well I’m somewhat shocked by that since I don’t see any evidence of it,'' Clinton said.

"This is kind of hard to square with his failure to ever have a single policy hearing on the only responsibility he was given, chairing the European and NATO subcommittee (of) the foreign relations committee."

"I don’t know. I’m speechless,'' she added. "Making an assertion like that belies the facts and the record.''

--Mark Silva

Mark Silva writes for the Swamp of the Chicago Tribune Washington Bureau.