About That 3 a.m. Call… Clinton Defends Obama’s National Security Chops

Oct 23, 2011 6:53pm
abc obama gadhafi death nt 111020 wblog About That 3 a.m. Call... Clinton Defends Obamas National Security Chops

(ABC News)

Now that Osama bin Laden, Moammar Gadhafi and Anwar al-Awlaki have meet their end under President Obama’s term in office, how does Hillary Clinton feel about Obama’s ability to handle national security issues, namely those “3 a.m. calls” she implied he wouldn’t be able to handle during the 2008 presidential primary campaign?

“President Obama has passed with flying colors every leadership challenge,” Clinton said today on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Asked about her accusation during their heated battle for the Democratic nomination that Obama wouldn’t be able to handle emerencies, the secretary of state, who by many accounts works well with the president, defended her boss.

“I think this president has demonstrated that, in a still very dangerous world, it’s important to have someone at the helm of our country who understands how to manage what is an incredibly complex world now,” she said. “Yes, we have a lot of threats, but we also have opportunities, and I think President Obama has grasped that and has performed extraordinarily well.”

But though she praised Obama, she declined to wade back into politics.

“I’m out of politics, as you know, David [Gregory, host of "Meet the Press"].  I don’t comment on it.  But I think Americans are going to want to know that they have a steady, experienced, smart hand on the tiller of the ship of state, and there’s no doubt that that’s Barack Obama,” she said.

Here’s her answer in full:

“Well, let me begin by saying that President Obama has passed with flying colors every leadership challenge.  I mean, look at what he has done, I mean, just to name a few things.  I mean, we were looking for bin Laden for 10 years.  It was under President Obama’s leadership that he was finally eliminated.  Libya, with the kind of smart leadership that the president showed, demonstrating that American leadership was essential, but it was important to try to bring others also into a coalition of efforts, and the objective was achieved, keeping the promise to withdraw from Iraq but not leave Iraq by having a robust security and training mission accompanied by a very large diplomatic presence.

“I could go on and on.  I think this president has demonstrated that, in a still very dangerous world, it’s important to have someone at the helm of our country who understands how to manage what is an incredibly complex world now.  Yes, we have a lot of threats, but we also have opportunities, and I think President Obama has grasped that and has performed extraordinarily well.

“So I don’t know what the other side will do.  I’m out of politics, as you know, David.  I don’t comment on it.  But I think Americans are going to want to know that they have a steady, experienced, smart hand on the tiller of the ship of State, and there’s no doubt that that’s Barack Obama.”

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