PICKET:(VIDEO) Susan Rice '08 - Obama and Hillary 'both not ready to have that 3 am phone call'

← return to Water Cooler

The terrorist attack of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya which led to the deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three embassy staffers along with the attack on the U.S. embassy in Cairo has many wondering how prepared the Obama administration has been to protect U.S. interests all over the world.  

During the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, then presidential candidate and New York Senator Hillary Clinton, now Secretary of State, took a shot at then presidential candidate and Illinois Senator Barack Obama over his lack of geo-political experience. The Hillary Clinton presidential campaign released a TV ad known generally as the “3 AM phone call at the White House.”   (Video above)

Obama’s campaign shot back at Clinton with surrogates and campaign policy advisors like Susan Rice, who is now President Obama’s U.N. Ambassador. Rice responded on MSNBC’s Tucker Carlson’s program, “Tucker.”


“Clinton hasn’t had to answer the phone at 3 ‘o clock in the morning and yet she attacked Barack Obama for not being ready. They’re both not ready to have that 3 am phone call,” Rice said. Here’s the full transcript from the NY Times:

Mr. Carlson: So Hillary Clinton runs this ad, the famous red phone ad, that says when the phone rings at 3 o’clock in the morning, you know, who do you trust to make those snap decisions that could hold all of our lives in the balance? And the Obama campaign, I thought very wisely, came back and said, name one that you — you know name a situation where you’ve judged a foreign policy crisis, and she couldn’t.

I’m going to ask the same question to you. Where has — Barack Obama been in a position where he has to make those kinds of decisions?

Ms. Rice: He hasn’t and he hasn’t claimed that he’s been in a position to have to answer the phone at 3 o’clock in the morning in a crisis situation. That’s the difference between the two of them. Hillary Clinton hasn’t had to answer the phone at 3 o’clock in the morning. And yet she attacked Barack Obama for not being ready. They’re both not ready to have that 3:00 a.m. phone call.

The question is and what Barack Obama raised is, when that phone call is received for each of them for the first time, who’s going to make the right judgment? Who is going to make the right decision?

On the critical foreign policy issues of the day, whether it was a decision to go to war in Iraq or the decision to give President Bush the benefit of the doubt and beat the drums of war with Iran, Hillary Clinton has made the same wrong judgment as John McCain and George W. Bush. Barack Obama has made a very different judgment.

So neither one of them, and nor John McCain for that matter, have had that 3 o’clock phone call that others have had. And I think we have to be honest about that.] 

About four years later Obama, Clinton, and Rice are on the same team but are back peddling on messaging since the attacks on our embassies and current anti-American protests in the Middle East. President Obama was criticized for jetting out to a Las Vegas fundraiser one day after the attacks, while claiming the attacks were sparked by an obscure online movie trailer that Muslims found to be offensive. Rice and Clinton followed suit with the claim that the movie trailer caused the attacks even after Libyan officials said otherwise.

By Thursday, the administration began to change its messaging that the attack in Benghazi was indeed a terrorist attack. However, Press Secretary Jay Carney stopped short of declaring that the attack was premeditated. President Obama is now saying that the anti-Muslim film trailer is  being used “as an excuse” to harm American interests as opposed to being the root cause that is setting off any attacks against American diplomatic missions abroad.  

Last Thursday Sec. Clinton focused her remarks on the controversial online video saying to Moroccan leaders, “Let me state very clearly and I hope it is obvious that the United States government had nothing to do with this video,”

“We absolutely reject its content and message. America’s commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation,” she added.

Today Sec. Clinton told reporters, according to theAP, that “what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack.” Clinton added that the U.S. would find the “terrorists who murdered four Americans.”

Who is picking up that 3 AM phone call now? GOP lawmakers are growing irritated with the administration over the handling of the middle east. Fox News reports:

“You hate to think that the president would purposely mislead the American people, but it sure looks like it to me,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, R-Calif., said. McKeon was among several top-ranking lawmakers who expressed frustration following a briefing with administration officials late Thursday.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said he learned “nothing” from it, claiming the administration is still blaming an anti-Islam film on YouTube for the attack that killed four Americans including the U.S. ambassador. The White House has been sending mixed signals. Press Secretary Jay Carney for the first time Thursday called the strike terrorism.

Obama, though, continued to cite the anti-Islam film when asked about the attack during a voter forum hosted by Univision. “There are going to be different circumstances in different countries.

And so I don’t want to speak to something until we have all the information. What we do know is that the natural protests that arose because of the outrage over the video were used as an excuse by extremists to see if they can also directly harm U.S. interests,” he said.

But McCain retorted: “It’s not the video. It’s the Islamists who are pushing this video.” He and other lawmakers claim the attack was clearly pre-planned and could lead back to Al Qaeda or an affiliate. Obama, in his interview with Univision, did not say whether Al Qaeda might be involved, saying the matter is still under investigation.

Apparently,no one appears to be answering.



← return to Water Cooler

About the Author
Kerry Picket

Kerry Picket

Kerry Picket, a former Opinion Blogger/Editor of The Watercooler, was associate producer for the Media Research Center, a content producer for Robin Quivers of "The Howard Stern Show" on Sirius satellite radio and a production assistant and copy writer at MTV.

Latest Stories

Latest Blog Entries

blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

    LAMBRO: Skirting the lane-closure issue

  • Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

    LYONS: Benghazi demands a select committee in Congress

  • Happening Now