Author Finlay: Hillary Opponents Couldn't Match Her Experience

Tuesday, 08 Jul 2014 05:02 PM

By Sean Piccoli

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Experience alone won't put Hillary Clinton into the Oval Office, but it's an asset that few of her likely rivals in either political party could match should the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state opt to run for president, author and actor Anita Finlay told Newsmax TV on Tuesday.

Experience could be a tipping point in 2016, given the remorse of some voters for elevating a certain junior Illinois senator to commander in chief, Finlay told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner.

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"Now, because of the historic nature of his candidacy and the romance of his rhetoric, he was able to overcome that," Finlay said of President Barack Obama's light political résumé as a then-rookie senator in 2008.

"But I don't think the American people are going to be that anxious to make that same move a second time and go with inexperience over somebody who has so much to bring to the table like Hillary Clinton," said Finlay, who wrote a self-styled Clinton supporter's memoir, "Dirty Words on Clean Skin," arguing that sexism impeded her 2008 run.

If gender bias really was a barrier in 2008, Clinton in the last six years has certainly amassed more weapons to combat it. She has greater political experience, name recognition and fundraising pull than ever, Finlay said.

"She's almost in a party unto herself because she is such an iconic brand," Finlay said.

Clinton's ballyhooed book tour has been far from gaffe-free, however, and her friendliness with Wall Street still causes her political headaches.

But Finlay contends that the favorite of the Democratic Party's more populist wing, first-term Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, might not have — or even care to offer — a rebuttal to Clinton's experience.

"Elizabeth Warren has come out with a lot of wonderful bluster about Wall Street, and I agree with her," Finlay said. "She has a lot of great things to offer. However, this is the caveat: that she will also be seen as someone very inexperienced in public office, much as Barack Obama was in 2008."

Besides, Finlay noted, Warren has emphatically called for Clinton to run in 2016.

Finlay said that Clinton's ongoing, undeclared campaign — "She's running until she's not, as someone else put it" — is actually doing pretty well.

She praised Clinton's handling of a recent interview question about National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden in which Clinton said Snowden — currently living in Russia — is entitled to due process in the U.S. justice system.

"She issued a challenge to him," Finlay said. "She said, 'If you really want to have the debate — if what you did was a public service — then come home . . . and do not seek asylum'" abroad, said Finlay.

"So, she's really kind of throwing down a gauntlet and saying, 'If you feel righteous about what you did, then come here and defend those actions.'"

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