The PJ Tatler

Indecision: Will the Obama Campaign Throw Hillary Under the Bus?

Depending on how big an issue the Obama administration’s Libyan security policy becomes, the decision on whether to throw Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the wolves by making her the fall gal for White House incompetence presents a dilemma for the campaign.

First of all, you don’t want to make Bill Clinton angry. You wouldn’t like him angry. The barely concealed contempt the former president holds for the arrogant aides who dismiss his advice and freeze him out of the campaign is approaching critical mass.

Daily Caller:

With tensions between President Obama and the Clintons at a new high, former President Bill Clinton is moving fast to develop a contingency plan for how his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, should react if Obama attempts to tie the Benghazi fiasco around her neck, according to author Ed Klein.

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller, Klein said sources close to the Clintons tell him that Bill Clinton has assembled an informal legal team to discuss how the Secretary of State should deal with the issue of being blamed for not preventing the Benghazi terrorist attack last month.

If blame for the security failures falls to Hillary Clinton, Klein said, it’s possible that she would even consider resigning over the issue.

“Bill is working on a number of strategies about what Hillary ought to do. He’s even gone so far as to play with various doomsday scenarios including up to the idea that Hillary would consider resigning over the issue if the Obama team tries to use her as a scapegoat,” Klein told TheDC in an interview.

Klein — the best-selling author of the Amateur, a book on President Obama — elaborated on his reporting in an op-ed for The Daily Caller.

As of Friday afternoon, the White House, the State Department and the former president’s office did not return requests from The Daily Caller for comment on Klein’s reporting.

But as for the chance that Hillary Clinton would resign, Klein said in the interview: “At this moment, it appears unlikely that she’s going to do that. I mean that would be an extreme step for her to take.”

During the debate, Vice President Biden contradicted sworn testimony by State Department officials before the House Oversight Committee by stating that the administration was unaware of requests for additional security by diplomats in Libya. Yesterday, White House spokesman Jay Carney tried to clarify those comments, and only seemed to put more distance between the upper echelons of the administration and Secretary Clinton:

The vice president was speaking about himself and the president, and the White House. He was not referring to the administration, clearly, since there was a public hearing for four-and-a-half hours where it was discussed openly by individuals working at the State Department, requests that were made. Obviously, he was referring to, he wasn’t talking about the administration writ large, he was speaking about the president, himself, and the White House.

The implication is clear: The secretary of State failed to keep the president informed of the situation on the ground in Libya. If there was a substantial threat to our mission there — and the hearings showed that our diplomats felt that was the case — one would think that the president would have been kept abreast of events in that war-torn country by his secretary of State.

Dare the president ask for Clinton’s resignation? Daily Caller:

But as for the chance that Hillary Clinton would resign, Klein said in the interview: “At this moment, it appears unlikely that she’s going to do that. I mean that would be an extreme step for her to take.”

“Not only would it be hard to predict how it would play out as far as Hillary is concerned in the future, but it would certainly damage Obama’s chances for re-election if she resigned,” he said.

The Clintons have shown an ability over the years to be very pragmatic when it comes to their personal political fortunes. Hillary’s acceptance of the cabinet position — despite her rage at Obama and many of his staffers following a bitter primary campaign — shows that she is perfectly willing to set aside personal feelings to advance her chances for the White House in 2016. Bill Clinton, doing all he can to assist his wife in her probable run for the White House, has also set aside his deep misgivings regarding the president’s abilities and the competence of his staff, and gave a rousing endorsement of Obama at the DNC. How must they both be feeling now that the Obama administration is carefully trying to side step responsibility for the Libyan attack by putting some of the blame on Hillary?

Again, it will depend on how big the issue becomes, but it would be extremely unlikely for Secretary Clinton to resign — or for the Obama White House to ask her to go. The downside for both principals makes a Hillary exit problematic for Obama’s present and for Clinton’s future.

But it is not likely that Hillary will step up and fall on her sword for the president either. Hence, his dilemma — a dilemma that will only be made more difficult if Benghazi continues to bedevil the campaign as an issue.