Hillary Clinton's stumbling answer when asked to name her biggest accomplishment as secretary of state was her Ted Kennedy moment, says John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
"It reminded me of the famous embarrassment for Teddy Kennedy back in 1980 when he challenged Jimmy Carter for re-nomination in the Democratic Party," Bolton told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"A TV anchor asked Kennedy why he was running for president and he couldn't answer the question. I don't think his campaign really ever recovered from that moment."
Clinton was on a panel at the “Women of the World Summit” on Thursday in New York City when New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman asked, "When you look at your time as secretary of state, what are you most proud of? And what do you feel was unfinished, and maybe have another crack at one day?"
In a rambling response, Clinton in part said:
"I really see my role as secretary, in fact leadership in general in a democracy, as a relay race. When you run the best race you can run, you hand off the baton. Some of what hasn’t been finished may go on to be finished.
“We had the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, we had two wars. We had continuing threats from all kinds of corners around the world that we had to deal with. So, it was a perilous time, frankly.
“We were going to stimulate, and grow, and get back to positive growth and work with our friends and partners.... I’m very proud of the stabilization and the really solid leadership that the administration provided that I think now leads us to be able to deal with problems like Ukraine. Then, of course, a lot of particulars, but I am finishing my book, so you’ll be able to read all about it."
Bolton said he thinks that while the media will cover for her lackluster performance, "she has the same problem, she has no record to run on."
"Since being secretary of state is basically the biggest line on her resume, the fact that she spent four years traveling the globe but not accomplishing much is going to be very hard to explain."
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Clinton's response to Friedman's question was, he added, "very embarrassing."
"But let's face it, it's a very difficult question for her to confront because her record as secretary of state was embarrassing," Bolton said.
"It's not just the tragedy of Benghazi, although she's going to have to answer for that for a long while.
"It's the lack of accomplishment on so many different areas, and indeed when she uses the example of Ukraine, it was her inattention to the potential threat posed by Russia for five years that convinced Putin he could do what he's doing even today as we speak and getting away with it."
Bolton said he thinks Clinton will seek and "may well waltz to" the Democratic nomination for president.
"It's going to be a very interesting general election campaign," he said.
On the subject of the Palestinians' going to the United Nations in a bid to be recognized as a state, Bolton said the quest is doomed.
"The Palestinians don't have their act together, they don't have institutions that can make hard agreements, difficult compromises, and then implement them in the years to come," Bolton said.
Nor is there any point in attempting to hammer out a deal between the Palestinians and Israel, as the United States has been attempting to do.
"If you're in Israel's position, you say, what's the point of negotiating with somebody on the other side of the table who can't live up to whatever bargain we may make," Bolton said.
"Even worse, the prospect that after agreeing to a Palestinian state you end up with Hamas or some other terrorist group in charge of it, and that was the basic flaw all along.
It's only one of three major negotiations in the Middle East that are failing or have already failed. Civil war in Syria, where those negotiations have produced nothing, and Iran's nuclear weapons program, which has been a benefit to Iran," Bolton said.
"So, when you add all this together, the Obama administration's Middle East policy is in complete collapse."
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