Experience in Northern Ireland

"I helped to bring peace to Northern Ireland,"

That was one of the claims Senator Clinton made when pressed on what sort of lifelong experience she was talking about in her case to differentiate herself from her opponent. However, Lord Trimble of Lisnagarvey, Nobel Peace Prize winner, is of the opinion she has overstated her involvement:

"I don't know there was much she did apart from accompanying Bill [Clinton] going around," he said. Her recent statements about being deeply involved were merely "the sort of thing people put in their canvassing leaflets" during elections. "She visited when things were happening, saw what was going on, she can certainly say it was part of her experience. I don't want to rain on the thing for her but being a cheerleader for something is slightly different from being a principal player."

On the other hand,

[...] former Democratic Senate majority leader George Mitchell, who was a U.S. special envoy to Northern Ireland, told CNN that while Clinton was not directly involved in negotiations, she did play a helpful role in bringing in women's groups that made a difference.

So, make your own conclusions there. The CNN article goes on to say that the Macedonian border was open to refugees prior to the First Lady's visit when she claims she negotiated that event.

Senator Clinton, any candidate should be able to point to his or her experiences and count them as an asset for their ability to use sound judgment in the future. However, you dug yourself a hole when you decided to go so heavily negative against Senator Obama's own "lifelong experience." And potential supporters are reacting badly. You've maneuvered yourself into the position now of having to overstate your involvement, which invites even more criticism. This is a campaign blunder of the type McCain is not going to miss, as he is less willing to take the high road.

Senator Clinton: stick to the facts, lay off the attacks and show us why people should vote for you not why they should not vote for Obama. You've shown you can play hardball. Great. Now, how about showing the people that they should make their decision based on facts, not fear?

[UPDATE: I would like to offer a clarification. I actually don't think Hillary should completely avoid negative campaigning. I will explain my point of view more completely in a later post. However, I think she has chosen not to pay heed to limits to certain kinds of negative campaigning which hurt the party, and that's what is irking more Democrats.]

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