By Bill Armistead
What does Hillary Rodham Clinton have in common with former President Lyndon Baines Johnson? More than you might think!
The most obvious similarity is their failed foreign policy. President Johnson will always be known for his disastrous foreign policy in Viet Nam. Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, will also be known for her mishandling of America’s foreign policy.
Clinton’s first foreign policy blunder occurred shortly after becoming Secretary of State. Her attempted humor in presenting the Russian Foreign Minister with a gimmicky red plastic “reset” button to symbolize a possible new start in U.S./Russian relations was a total embarrassment.
The Obama/Clinton foreign policy has gone down hill since then with one debacle after another. Their most lasting legacy may be their catastrophic handling of the crisis in the Middle East.
The ongoing slaughter of thousands of innocent citizens in that area exploded after Obama and Clinton pulled all U.S. troops out of Iraq. This was the first inexplicable and obvious mistake that opened the door for ISIS, which may be the greatest threat to the United States since September 11, 2001.
There are many, many other Clinton foreign policy failures including not responding to the plea for help from Christopher Stevens, U.S. Ambassador to Libya as our Embassy in Benghazi was being attacked causing the death of Stevens and four other Americans.
The failed foreign policies of Johnson and Clinton are only the beginning of the similarities between these two Democrat presidential candidates. Both avoided public appearances to keep from answering the media’s questions about their failed foreign policies.
When President Johnson was running for re-election in 1968 it was a foregone conclusion that he would be the Democrat nominee and only had token opposition from one of the most liberal anti-war Democrat senators – Minnesota Sen. Eugene McCarthy.
Currently, Hillary Clinton has only token opposition from one of the most liberal anti-war senators – Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders who is a declared Socialist.
Going into the New Hampshire Democrat Primary it was assumed that Johnson would win by a landslide but he only got 49% and McCarthy received 42%. His poor showing caused him to withdraw from the race shortly after his humiliating showing in the New Hampshire primary.
McCarthy’s strong showing against Johnson motivated liberal Democrat New York Senator Robert Kennedy, originally from Massachusetts, to enter the Democrat Primary for President. Sen. Kennedy had been urged to get in the race for President by the younger liberal generation although he had only been in the Senate for three years.
The 2016 New Hampshire Democrat Primary is seven months away and Hillary looks invincible at this time. But will the similarities between Johnson and Clinton continue with Sen. Bernie Sanders pulling an upset in the New Hampshire Democrat Primary just like McCarthy did?
Like Kennedy, there is another liberal Democrat Senator from Massachusetts who is waiting in the wings to take on Hillary if she falters. Liberal Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who publicly denies having an interest in running for President, is also being urged by the younger liberal generation to enter the race. And, like Kennedy, she has only been in the Senate for three years.
Now the big question is this: Will Clinton will end up dropping out of the race for the Democrat nomination for President like LBJ? Maybe, just maybe. No one would have ever guessed that LBJ would drop his campaign for President in 1968. Campaigns can, and will, provide many surprises over the next year. So, don’t be surprised if Hillary is not the Democrat nominee for President in 2016.
Bill Armistead is the immediate past chairman of the Alabama Republican Party and former State Senator.