"The assassination of (former Pakistani Prime Minister) Benazir Bhutto presented
U.S. presidential candidates with a test," the Washington Post said in an editorial
Dec. 29. "Could they respond cogently and clearly to a sudden foreign policy
"One candidate, Democrat John Edwards, passed with flying colors. Another,
Republican Mike Huckabee, flunked abysmally. Democrat Hillary Clinton and
Republican John McCain were serious and substantive; Republicans Mitt Romney and
Rudy Giuliani were thin. And Democratic candidate Barack Obama who claims to represent a new, more elevated brand of politics committed an ugly foul."
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is bleeding like Julius Caesar on the Ides of
March. But Mr. Huckabee's wounds, unlike Caear's, are self-inflicted. He issued a
statement in which, on behalf of America, he apologized for the assassination of Ms.
Bhutto. (He said later he merely meant to express sympathy, but misspoke.)
Mr. Huckabee described Ms. Bhutto as a candidate for president of Pakistan, when she
had been seeking a third term as prime minister. He seemed unaware that the martial
law imposed by the actual president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, had been lifted
weeks before Ms. Bhutto's assassination. He put Afghanistan on Pakistan's eastern
border (it's on the northwest). He said Pakistan accounts for more illegal
immigrants than any country south of the U.S. border. (The Department of Homeland
Security estimates there are 270,000 illegal immigrants from India, 250,000 from
South Korea, 190,000 from China, and 160,000 from Vietnam. Pakistan isn't listed on
its Web site. The Border Patrol says it has apprehended only a "handful" of
illegals from Pakistan.)
On paper, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has the best foreign policy qualifications
of any of the Democratic aspirants. As a member of Congress, he took part in
negotiations with North Korea on its nuclear weapons program, and later served as UN
ambassador and Secretary of Energy.
The U.S. should demand that Mr. Musharraf resign, and should suspend military aid to
Pakistan until he does, Gov. Richardson said.
"I think that is a dangerous idea," said a rival, Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut.
"Can you tell me who is going to be controlling the keys to the nuclear weapons in
Pakistan when Musharraf is not there? The idea of dumping Musharraf and cutting off
aid...is the worst possible thing we could be doing right now. That is the height
David Axelrod, a spokesman for Sen. Barack Obama, said Hillary Clinton was partly to
blame for Ms. Bhutto's assassination, because she voted for the war in Iraq.
The Washington Post described Mr. Axelrod's attempt to link Ms. Bhutto's
assassination to the war in Iraq as "far fetched," and noted Sen. Obama has offered
no substantive response to the crisis.
"Is this Mr. Obama's way of rejecting 'the same Washington game' he lambasted
earlier in the day?" the Post asked. If so, his game doesn't look very new, or very
Both right and left wing Web loggers joined in the criticism of Mr. Obama.
"Would President Obama have demanded than Gen. Musharraf first hold an election
before the U.S. would consider requesting the use of Pakistani soil and airspace to
conduct our war in Afghanistan?" wondered Bryan at Hot Air. "Obama's line on the
Bhutto assassination suggests that yes, President Obama would have first made sure
that President Musharraf was democratically elected before the U.S. would work with
him. Which is insane."
"Once again Barack Obama and his campaign not only prove they are willing to say
anything and take any opportunity to point a finger at a fellow Democrat, but they
do so revealing their abject amateur status of their own national security
thinking," said Taylor Marsh on the Huffington Post, a left-wing blog.
Hillary Clinton actually met Benazir Bhutto. But she exaggerated her relationship
with Ms. Bhutto, who had three children (not two, as Hillary stated), and whose
father was executed for treason (not assassinated, as Hillary stated).
In remarking upon Ms. Clinton's exaggerated claims of dangers she encountered while
undertaking diplomatic missions for her husband, Web logger Ed Morrissey (Captain's
Quarters) said: "Hillary keeps reminding us she doesn't have the experience for the
job, and she doesn't have the credibility to fool us into thinking she does."