Updates – On Two Lame Leaders and One Fed-Up Follower

— A Lame Leader of the Week has finally come out of hiding! Hillary Clinton has finally said – albeit only to CNN and albeit only in Peru; there was no more formal statement made on American soil – that she “takes responsibility” for what happened in Libya, including the death of the American ambassador. Whatever the reason for her silence on this issue until now, it was not a good one. To have the Secretary of State mute on a calamity clearly in her bailiwick did no one a favor. All it did was to start the blame game and to prolong the agony of culpability. What’s interesting about all this is the degree to which Hillary Clinton has escaped being tarnished by the Benghazi brush. Everyone somehow protected her, the people and the press and even the Republicans, who kept the issue front and center, but who did not target her in particular. Maybe it’s because she’s a woman.

— This week’s regional elections in Russia brought comfort to Vladimir Putin, as if he needed it. Notwithstanding the low voter turnout, and notwithstanding the charges of fraud, Putin’s ruling party, United Russia, prevailed. For the moment the opposition, which six months ago was organized and energized, is demoralized. For the moment Putin is as I recently wrote – sitting pretty at sixty. Too bad.

— Likely now there’ll be a lull. The gravely wounded Pakistani girl, Malala Yousafzai, has been moved to Britain, where she will receive intensive medical treatment. But the Taliban’s attempt to assassinate the 14-year aroused widespread outrage throughout Pakistan, expressed in part on the street. Tens of thousands marched in Karachi in protest against the terrorists, a rare display of public support for moderation and against extremism. Some have speculated that for Pakistan this will be a turning point, a watershed moment. Likely this is a stretch. Still, whatever her future, Malala’s name will not be forgotten. Nor will her cause – education for girls – which will be helped not hurt by the hurt that was done her.

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