Another day, another problem. “Under fire from Democratic critics who charge he’s mouthed conflicting positions on Israel and voting rights, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s support for regulations on coal and a past comment that it is ‘very dirty’ are fueling a new assault on the 2016 GOP front runner as he boards Sen. Mitch McConnell’s ‘Coal Country Bus Tour.'” I don’t think he’s the front-runner, but this is another consistency problem to be sure.
Another issue, another Hillary Clinton headache. “With the [United Nations Human Right Council] set to launch another anti-Israel Report, with the standing agenda item against Israel in full effect, with the administration’s promised reforms having never taken place — shouldn’t Hillary Clinton now endorse U.S. withdrawal and congressional defunding of the Human Rights Council? After all, Clinton has begun the process of distancing herself from the foreign policy troubles of the Obama presidency. Endorsing the end of U.S. involvement in the Council would complement that process. It would right a wrong that she committed as secretary of state. It would be an act of leadership, of clarity, and would send a powerful signal of friendship to an embattled ally. And it would draw a contrast between her willingness to abandon failed policies and the administration’s stubborn refusal to change course.”
Another scandal, another sign this isn’t “the most transparent administration in history”: “In an unprecedented letter, a majority of the federal government’s inspectors general (IGs) claim that the Obama administration is obstructing their investigations into government mismanagement and corruption. So much for President Obama’s claim that his would be the most transparent administration in history.” Read the whole thing.
Another adviser, another Obama foreign policy failure. “One sign of the disrepair of Obama’s foreign policy is the admissions and/or criticism being leveled at it not from Republicans but from those who have served in the highest ranks of the Obama administration. Take President Obama’s current secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel, who admitted yesterday that ‘the world is exploding all over.’ Those comments shouldn’t be confused with the ones made by Mr. Obama’s former defense secretary, Robert Gates. . . . Secretary Gates’s comments, in turn, shouldn’t be confused with those made by the president’s former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton. . . .”
Another flap, another meeting off limits. “The White House doesn’t plan to allow the press in to see the expected ‘hugging it out’ meeting between Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a private party on Wednesday. But it’s also pledging not to scoop the press with its own photos on social media.” Well, I imagine they wouldn’t want any record of it. (If Obama had a sense of humor he’d begin: “You’re my old secretary of state, and I love you. But don’t ever take sides with anyone against the family again.”)
Another Hillary Clinton blunder, another rotten news cycle. For someone inevitable she isn’t very good at this. Gloria Borger on Hillary’s distancing herself from Obama and then walking it back: “I think she’s well aware that she stepped in it. She had in her book said that there were differences with the president on Syria, but what she did was she took a policy difference and she made it personal. Calling Syria a policy of failure, and then, of course, David Axelrod, his former aide, tweeted something that people in the White House were saying privately, which is don’t do stupid stuff means stuff like occupying Iraq in the first place. . . . So I think lots of hurt feelings here she’s got to try and fix. . . . This is the kind of thing, when you take a policy dispute and you disparage the president and you kind of make it personal, which I would argue she did, it can backfire on you, and I do believe that people in the White House are very upset about this.” Not smart diplomacy, to be sure.
Another poll, another question mark. “Kentucky poll: 50 percent want [Rand] Paul to sit out 2016.” That is for president, but his approval is under 50 percent.