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The Politicizing of Benazir Bhutto’s Assassination

December 28, 2007

 Less than 24 hours after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto the latest polls have come out and they show a dead heat in Iowa between Obama, Clinton, and Edwards. In New Hampshire Obama and Hillary remain tied in a close battle. In New Hampshire Romney holds a slight lead over McCain. The poll then goes on to try and determine who the assassination of Bhutto will hurt and help the most. According to the poll:

Clinton might gain stature in both states if Democrats’ concern about world affairs increases after Thursday’s assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. The poll shows that Democrats in Iowa and New Hampshire consider Clinton far better equipped than her rivals to safeguard national security — as do Democrats around the country

 And this:

Such a shift in focus away from domestic policy also could affect the Republican presidential contest and benefit Sen. John McCain of Arizona, whose campaign has rebounded in New Hampshire. He’s second behind Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.

The poll found that Republicans in New Hampshire and Iowa consider McCain best qualified to handle foreign affairs, though his campaign has suffered from months of weak fundraising and staff turmoil.

 Less than 24 hours after her assassination and already the LA Times is looking at this in political terms. Who will this help? Who will this hurt? I have to say I find this in bad taste. The first thing that the Times looks at is how can they push their political agenda. They don’t care about what repercussions could be felt by this brutal act. Immediately they go to the polls and tell us why Hillary and McCain are the candidates to nominate.

 Then comes word that the Democrat frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, to show how tough she is, demands an international investigation:

“I’m calling for a full, independent, international investigation,” Clinton said in an interview with CNN.

“I think it’s critically important that we get answers and really those are due first and foremost to the people of Pakistan,” Clinton said.

  She doesn’t give a damn about the people of Iraq, she wants to pull out of there and let Iraqi’s fend for themselves. why should we believe she cares about the Pakistani people?

She couldn’t get to the CNN interview fast enough to show America how deeply concerned she is about Bhutto’s death.

She gave the interview from her hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, in a presidential-style setting with the backdrop of an American flag, bolstering the claims of experience and leadership on which she is pinning her campaign.

 Typical Clintonese, tell me she didn’t immediately start working on how she could benefit from the assassination of Bhutto. She probably got a little sparkle in her eye when she realized how she could play this to the media.

 Meanwhile, Obama actually tried to blame Hillary, and anyone who voted for the Iraq war, for the assassination:

comments made by the Obama campaign that seemed to link former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination to Sen. Hillary Clinton’s vote to authorize the use of force against Iraq

 Everything this election cycle is first looked at through a political prism, and in this case I find it highly distasteful.

 I don’t care what anybody thinks about Benazir Bhutto, this was a true woman of courage. She returned to her country knowing that her life was in danger and she did it unflinchingly. This was a woman running a campaign on her beliefs and ideals. She did not hide behind anyone, and it cost her her life.

 Meanwhile we have a supposed woman of courage running for the presidency of the United States of America who is running on her husband’s ideals and beliefs. She is hiding behind her husband, running on his record. And now trying to capitalize on the tragic death of another woman.

 You tell me, who is the real woman of honor here?

 You can read my source material here, and here.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. December 29, 2007 12:01 pm

    “She gave the interview from her hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, in a presidential-style setting with the backdrop of an American flag, bolstering the claims of experience and leadership on which she is pinning her campaign.”

    Is everything in the world only about appearances to these people???

    “presidential style setting”.

    I think I am going to vomit. They think this is all it takes to be president?

    Like

  2. December 30, 2007 1:29 am

    I don’t care what anybody thinks about Benazir Bhutto, this was a true woman of courage. She returned to her country knowing that her life was in danger and she did it unflinchingly. This was a woman running a campaign on her beliefs and ideals. She did not hide behind anyone, and it cost her her life.

    Meanwhile we have a supposed woman of courage running for the presidency of the United States of America who is running on her husband’s ideals and beliefs. She is hiding behind her husband, running on his record. And now trying to capitalize on the tragic death of another woman.

    You tell me, who is the real woman of honor here?

    hmm, lemme think about that for a minute. Got it. Bhutto. Hillary couldn’t even take being criticized in a debate by a bunch of rich males.

    Like

  3. December 30, 2007 9:05 am

    Great points. It wasn’t surprising that Hillary barely waited to capitalize on this. She couldn’t care less about Pakistan.

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  4. December 30, 2007 10:53 am

    Steve, interestingly you and I took different opinions on this topic (although we both still wrote about it, go figure).

    I thought that this was a unique opportunity to expose the various candidates to a real-world breaking scenario and see how they would react to it. You can use hypothetical situations to reveal foreign policy issues all you want during a campaign, but a real event that demands an immediate and not contrived response stands to paint a drastically different picture.

    What really amused me, though, was that Clinton did exactly what you would expect her to do.. Not only by trying to capitalize on it, but demanding an international “probe” (a’la ever useful UN methods?) and bad mouthed Musharff before all of the facts were even in. Do the dems do anything other than launch hollow investigations and bad mouth people??

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  5. December 30, 2007 1:55 pm

    arclightzero: Exposing candidates to real-world scenarios as opportunities for leadership is key especially during this political climate — excellent point (BTW). Which candidate do you think approached this diplomatically though?

    Like

  6. December 30, 2007 3:07 pm

    While I am biased as a Fred supporter, I think that even from an semi-objective point of view, he had the best approach. I have a clip of his response on my blog, and I think that he did an absolutely phenomenal job of addressing the topic.

    On the dem side, I think the Joe Biden’s approach was right on par with Fred’s response, which impressed me quite a bit. While I am definately not a democrat, I think that Biden is the best choice on their side. Sadly he is being buried by the media (much like Fred) because he isn’t one of their choices.

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  7. December 30, 2007 5:21 pm

    Ryan, you make a good point as A.M. said. I guess when I read that paragraph about Hillary and how she had a presidential backdrop I immediately thought about how the media portrayed her after the hostage crisis at one of her headquarters. They were propping her up, just as I think they are here. That is what got my blood boiling, as Rico said, it is all about appearance with her.
    Hey, even great minds can differ once in a while. 🙂

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  8. December 31, 2007 4:18 am

    If I may correct what might be a misperception about the media … the staging you refer to is actually the work of public affairs officials and broadcast television. As a photojournalist, my experience has often been that these press conferences are produced for live television to “cut to” whereas I wait for the storytelling moment. Nonetheless, after seeing how Fred Thompson and Biden addressed the situation, I question whether it’s the media or the medium that’s failing these two candidates. Case in point — Ron Paul’s aggressive netroots base. Thanks for the reflection.

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  9. December 31, 2007 11:45 am

    It’s difficult to say. I think a big part of it is that there is an inherent interest in controversy and drama. For example:

    Romney: he’s a Mormon. while this should be a non-issue, it raises eyebrows and therefore raises ratings.

    Huckabee: He’s come in from nowhere and is offering to be the nation’s “pastor in chief” which draws all sorts of controversy.

    Giuliani: He was “America’s mayor” and is/was a common household name.

    Clinton: She’s not only a woman, she’s a Clinton. The list of controversies and drama is endless.

    Obama: he’s black, possibly Muslim, used hard drugs, is wholly inexperienced… Again, the list of drama and controversy goes on and on.

    Edwards: He’s disgustingly rich and living the life of uber-luxury, yet parades himself as the hero of the impoverished. Lots of drama. Lots of expensive haircuts.

    Then you have people like Biden and Thompson. There’s no dirt. No controversy. No drama. They have solid positions, solid policy and are running solid campaigns… But there’s no real story there. There’s nothing to spark drama or controversy.

    It makes you wonder what sort of person we’re supposed to be electing. Are we electing somebody “interesting” to the media, or are we electing the best person for the job?

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Trackbacks

  1. Bhutto Reactions: Predatory Campaigning « Backyard Beacon
  2. The Politicizing of Benazir Bhutto’s Assassination - Link « Wit or Wisdom

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