Yesterday, Senator Clinton again echoed McCain’s claim that he is qualified to be Commander in Chief, adding her own qualifications to be on the same stage but implying Senator Obama did not belong there. TPM has the video:

“I think that since we now know Sen. McCain will be the nominee for the Republican Party, national security will be front and center in this election. We all know that. And I think it’s imperative that each of us be able to demonstrate we can cross the commander-in-chief threshold,”. . .

“I believe that I’ve done that. Certainly, Sen. McCain has done that and you’ll have to ask Sen. Obama with respect to his candidacy,” she said.

Should we conclude that the Clinton campaign believes their best strategy for capturing the nomination is to convince the superdelegates/party leaders they must choose her because she’s prepared to make it impossible for Senator Obama to beat John McCain?

In the meantime, any candidate who touts their foreign policy experience should explain what role, if any, their "experience" played in creating the conditions in which this is still an almost daily occurence:

BAGHDAD — Two bombings killed at least 54 people and wounded 123 more in a bustling shopping district in the heart of Baghdad on Thursday evening, Iraqi authorities said.

The attack, in the Karrada neighborhood, was the worst the capital has seen since early February, when bombings killed almost 100 people at two Baghdad pet markets, and reinforced fears that insurgents can still carry out devastating bombings in well-guarded areas despite reduced levels of violence in recent months.

According to witnesses, the attackers used an old tactic to maximize the casualties: detonating one bomb and then using a second blast to kill unsuspecting passers-by who rush to the scene to aid the victims of the first explosion.

Thursday’s initial explosion sent shards of glass, shrapnel, blood and flesh across a radius of 50 yards. People rushed to the scene to tend to the wounded. Then, minutes later, a man wearing an explosive vest ran into in the crowd and blew himself up, killing many more people.

And here are additional questions I’d like our Democratic candidates to answer:

1. Given that the Bush/Cheney regime has been the most lawless and destructive of Constitutional safeguards in our lifetimes, what do you intend to do to bring those who flouted the law to justice? If nothing, how do you expect to restore respect for the Constitution and the rule of law and restore confidence in the Department of Justice?

2. On repeated occasions, far too many Democrats have voted in Congress to enable or immunize lawless actions by the Bush/Cheney regime. What would you do as President to restore respect for the Constitution within your own party?

3. The country has been deliberately and cynically divided by Republican rule. The right wing has poisoned the political climate, compromised the media’s journalistic integrity, and through incompetence and corruption, undermined government’s ability to function in the public interest. What do you plan to do between now and next January to reunite the country, to return effective governance in the public interest, to fashion a movement strong enough to overcome the continued efforts to divide the country, and to marshal the forces necessary to enact and implement meaningful changes at the federal level?

4. How will you mobilize the country to deal with the necessary and massive transformations it faces if we are to solve issues of (e.g.) universal health care, economic insecurity, global climate change and alternative energy development?

5. With those goals in mind, how do you intend to conduct yourself during the campaign, and how do you propose to treat your fellow Democratic opponent? How will you use the campaign to build and unite the party and the country? Update: E.g., how do we avoid having things like this happen?

6. How do you intend to pay for the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions and prepare the country to fund the public investments you think vital to our economic interests?

7. How do you propose to change the attitudes and mindset that led us into aggressive wars?

The country is pleading for serious leadership, but you’re not answering these questions, and no one has earned my vote yet. How about some answers to real questions, which I suspect are on the minds of millions of Americans, before ever answering another absurd question from the likes to Tim Russert. Surprise me.



John has been writing for Firedoglake since 2006 or so, on whatever interests him. He has a law degree, worked as legal counsel and energy policy adviser for a state energy agency for 20 years and then as a consultant on electricity systems and markets. He's now retired, living in Massachusetts.

You can follow John on twitter: @JohnChandley