- - Tuesday, September 16, 2014

We cannot risk making Hillary Clinton the next commander-in-chief, regardless of the desire to have a political chill run up our legs. Let me explain.

This summer, we had a big event in our family. My oldest son became a teenager. Yes, I’m feeling a lot older and it’s weird to be saying phrases like “Where has the time gone?” or “Yes, I know he’s taller than I am.” I’m bracing myself for this new world of driving permits, first crushes and facial hair. But it also gives me pause to think about what the rest of his life will look like.

He’s always admired our military and frequently discusses the possibility of joining a branch of the armed services after high school or college. I must admit, it scares me a bit, but I also feel a deep sense of pride in his patriotism. If that is the course he chooses to pursue, I will support him with every fiber of my being and I plan to begin that support when I cast my vote in the 2016 election.

My son will be old enough to join the military in five years. That means, the next president of the United States will serve as my son’s first commander-in-chief. Just like millions of other moms, nothing matters more to me than the safety of my children. Nothing else comes close to that concern. I buckle them up in the car, I make them wear helmets on bikes and ATVs and I make them wear life vests on boats. The one thing I expect from my government is to keep our nation safe from our enemies.

It’s hitting me hard that when I cast my ballot in 2016 I will be electing the person whose decisions could directly affect my son’s life. With that in mind, I will be considering two points as top priorities in a presidential candidate: first, their ability to lead effectively in foreign policy; and second, their unwavering commitment to our national security, regardless of polls or political risk.

Regarding effective foreign policy, we need look no further than America’s present relationship with Russia. It’s just one example of Hillary’s lack of competence and effectiveness. We all remember Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presentation of the “reset” button to Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, in Geneva. Her big presentation was interrupted by awkward laughter when Mr. Lavrov informed her that she had labeled it with the Russian word for “overcharged” instead of “reset.” Whether dealing with Dmitry Medvedev, Vladimir Putin, Eric Snowden or Ukraine, the relationship with Russia has been a downward spiral ever since.

The second priority when evaluating our next commander-in-chief is their unwavering commitment to national security regardless of political risk. I write this less than a week after the 13th anniversary of September 11th, the second anniversary of the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi and just a day after the third video of an ISIS beheading was posted. For the first time in a decade, this September 11th seemed precarious, unsure and almost ominous. Perhaps one of the reasons we’ve lost a sense of security is that we’ve lost confidence in our leadership. The results of the Clinton approach to foreign relations are clear. We now face the rise of an organized, well-funded terror group in their own safe haven, with capabilities of enacting violence and terror worse then we’ve ever seen before. Is it any wonder we’re starting to feel insecure?

During the 2008 presidential primary, Hillary asked voters a poignant question: “Who do you trust to answer that 3 a.m. phone call?” Her ad started off with pictures of a house at night and children, peacefully sleeping in their beds. The announcer said, “It’s 3 a.m., and your children are safe and asleep, and there’s a phone at the White House that is ringing. Something’s happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that call.” During that primary campaign, Susan Rice was part of the Obama team and rebutted the Clinton ad by saying: “They’re both not ready to have that 3 a.m. phone call. The question 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?” Well, now we know.

We watched in disbelief as both then-Secretary Clinton and President Obama failed to “answer the phone” on September 11, 2012, when American lives were on the line. The consequences of the Benghazi attack are still coming to light. Think about it. Everyone knows that it’s dangerous to go to the Middle East. But for our enemies to kill the figure head and official representative of the government of the United States of America in Libya was hugely historic and symbolic to our enemies. The fact that our representatives were deliberately attacked in a planned, systematic way in the American consulate compound is unbelievable. The fact that the body of our ambassador was recovered not by Americans, but by Libyans, is incomprehensible. The fact that our enemies succeeded in murdering four Americans and burning our compound is shameful. The fact that more could have been done to save them is inexcusable. And the fact that our leaders tried to avoid the blame afterward  is reprehensible.

It should have never happened, but it did and the reason is clear. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was deaf to the pleas for more security because of her own desire to present voters with a positive foreign policy record. She allowed politics to overrule common-sense measures in the face of a crisis, and when that 3 a.m. phone call came, she failed us.

After the attack, Hillary avoided the talk shows and then agreed to the Obama administration’s plot to “plant” the headlines they wanted to be printed: blaming a YouTube video for a spontaneous demonstration. This was a second decision where she chose to use message manipulation to preserve political appearances instead of taking responsibility for the role she played in the debacle. How can we ever forget seeing Hillary, standing in front of the flag-draped coffins of the four murdered Americans and saying with disdain, “We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with.” And then, months later, while being questioned by members of Congress about the attack on Benghazi, an enraged Secretary Clinton shouted, “What possible difference, at this point, does it make?”

That’s where Hillary failed the final test of competence to serve as our commander-in-chief. My heart goes out to the grieving mothers and families who heard her say that and still don’t have the answers they deserve. Just days ago, it was revealed that in the days following Benghazi Hillary’s staff deliberately withheld damaging documents pertaining to the attack. Under suspicion of withholding evidence, shirking responsibility, downplaying the importance of the attack: Hillary’s self-promoting agenda has been on full display. She hesitated to lead in time of crisis, resulting in the loss of four American lives; possibly more. That’s the “difference” that it makes to this mother of a potential serviceman. The difference is American lives.

The facts are clear. From Egypt to Russia to Libya to Syria, the Clinton legacy of foreign policy is a disaster. When the Benghazi attack occurred, she opted to save her own political life by hiding the truth, twisting the facts and diverting the blame in front of the grieving families and the nation.

So, I’m “Just Sayin’, let’s never forget that for the past 13 years in the war on terror, countless American families have had to answer that dreaded 3 a.m. phone call. We deserve better than Hillary Clinton who failed to answer her own.

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