Senator Hillary Clinton engaged in some last minute election fear-mongering in New Hampshire Monday, warning that Al Qaeda is watching US elections closely:
In one of her most overt plays of the national security card yet, the senator from New York noted that days after Gordon Brown became British Prime Minister, militants planted bombs which failed to explode.
"I don’t think it was by accident that Al-Qaeda decided to test the new prime minister," Clinton said here, referring to two devices which did not go off in London and a car which was crashed into Glasgow airport in June.
"They watch our elections as closely as we do … they play our allies."
The former first lady’s comments day before the New Hampshire primary, in which Obama is poised according to opinion polls to inflict a second damaging defeat on her White House campaign, after his Iowa caucuses victory last week.
"Let’s not forget, you are hiring a president not just to do what a candidate says he or she will do in an election," Clinton said.
"You are hiring a president who will be here when the chips are down, and problems pile up, because that’s when you really need somebody who knows exactly what has to be done, to make the tough decisions."
"I hope I don’t face any of those in my first 100 days, but if it do, I think I will be ready," Clinton said.
Clinton may well believe that she has the most experience for dealing with national security and is undoubtedly competent. However, this kind of attempt to appeal to people’s fears is misguided and tries to borrow from the conservative playbook that doesn’t work for people who want a new direction in US foreign policy. We would like to see Senator Clinton instead advocating policies that will truly make America safer, starting with a swift, complete withdrawal of US forces from Iraq.