Hillary's Ireland Story: Is It Experience or Just Proximity?

Election '08

There's a tough and provocative letter in Friday's Washington Post by the wife of the minister (deputy to the ambassador) of the US Embassy in London at the time the Northern Ireland negotiations and the Bosnia crisis were occurring. Jill Deal, who was also a lawyer at a US firm, attended and actively participated in meetings on Northern Ireland, along with her husband, Gerry Adams, Ian Paisley and other dignitaries involved in the peace negotations. "Would I consider this to be foreign policy experience?" Of course, Deal argues. "Would I put it on my curriculum vitae as such? Of course not."

"I have found the notion that one absorbs foreign policy experience just by being a spouse increasingly offensive as the presidential campaign has progressed. It demeans Hillary Rodham Clinton, who by all reports, has gained experience altogether separate from her husband since she became a senator, some of which no doubt can legitimately be categorized as foreign policy."

Deal believes what Hillary Clinton is doing "also demeans women like me who have built their experience ..on what they have done on their own."

Read the full letter here.

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