Social media is all a buzz about Senator Bernie Sanders’ comments that Hillary Clinton is not qualified to be president. Sanders put out a press release saying that Clinton is not qualified due to her positions on taking money from corporate America, her Iraq war vote and trade issues positions. It was as much a retort at her comments on Sanders not being prepared and not understanding how the legal and political process works. As much as I did not think I would be supporting Hillary Clinton on any issue, on this issue I disagree with Bernie Sanders and his comments.
I will always suspect someone who states a highly qualified woman is not qualified for a position—for whatever the reasons. Hillary Clinton, as a former Senator and Secretary of State, is qualified to be President of the U.S.—probably more so today than her husband was in 1992. It is not her qualifications that concern me. And it is not her qualifications that should concern Sanders. And any reference to Clinton’s qualifications should not be a statement made by Sanders—as it distracts from the issues. And I doubt if anyone seriously believes the statement even as he phrased it. Her abysmal voting record for some does not disqualify her from the office of President. It causes concerns to the Clinton naysayers.
The concerns of many non- Hillary Clinton supporters relate to her issues on trust, corporate accountability, mass incarceration issues, death penalty, war issues, email scandal and a host of others. But framed in terms as being unqualified is not one of those issues. And it is a turn off for even some non-Clinton supporters.
Hillary Clinton and surrogates indirectly raised those issues in 2008 about then Senator Barack Obama. In 2008, she and her husband, Bill Clinton raised issues indirectly about President Obama’s qualifications due to his faith, his pastor, his birthplace and ideology. Those comments were more coyly made than Sanders’s comments about Clinton with Clinton stating that she unlike Barack Obama would be able to do the job from “day one.” Clinton preferred to imply that Obama would not be ready to respond if the 2 am phone call came, in which he had to respond to protect the country. Clinton’s comments and those of her surrogates seemed to paint at times Obama as being unqualified due to endorsements by Muslim Minister Farrakhan, Obama’s dress in African garb and offensive comments by his long time Pastor Jeremiah Wright.
Hillary Clinton never directly outright stated that Barack Obama was not qualified to be President. And Bernie Sanders should not have stated that Hillary Clinton was not qualified to be President—for any reason or to even make a point. Hillary Clinton is qualified to be president but I still don’t trust her. Trust is her issue, not her qualifications.
Washington, DC based Debbie Hines is a trial lawyer, legal/political analyst and former prosecutor. She is often seen on Al Jazeera, BET, CBS, CCTV, Fox 5 DC, MSNBC, Sky News among others.