In a brief respite from the controversy over the email account controversy that has hounded her campaign, Hillary Clinton delivered a lengthy speech supporting the Iran nuclear agreement.
It was a thoughtful, measured address reflecting on her support for the Iran deal and the additional initiatives needed for its success, that was quickly eclipsed by a marquee of madness that set up shop to protest the Iran deal on the West Front of the Capitol.
“Only in an Orwellian Obama world full of sprinkly fairy dust blown from atop a unicorn as he’s peeking through a really pretty pink kaleidoscope would he ever see victory or safety for America or Israel in this treaty… you don’t reward terrorism,” said former Alaska governor Sarah Palin. “You kill it.”
Another jumble of words came from Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s mouth: “We are led by very, very stupid people. Very, very stupid people. We cannot let it continue,” Trump said, adding that if he were elected president, “we will have so much winning if I get elected that you may get bored with winning.”
It was a study of the contrasts that would emerge in a race between Clinton and Trump: substance versus style.
Hillary’s speech, given hours before the rally, might as well have been on a different planet.
While Palin and Trump talked unicorns and winning, Clinton spoke to a think tank crowd about the need for the next president to deepen the United States’s commitment to Israel, sustain a robust military presence in the Middle East, expand sanctions against Iran for terrorism and build a coalition to counter Iranian influence.
“The bottom line is that it accomplishes the major goals we set out to achieve. It blocks every pathway for Iran to get a bomb, and it gives us better tools for verification and inspection and to compel rigorous compliance,” the 2016 Democratic hopeful argued.
Meanwhile, inside the Capitol, the push to block the deal was quickly losing steam as House Republicans struggled to find the cohesiveness and support needed to advance a resolution rejecting the Iran deal.
The House was expected to begin the process of considering a resolution to reject the White House deal, but conservatives in the House revolted, arguing that the Obama administration had not produced “secret deals” made between the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran.
In the Senate, the effort to block the Iran deal also looked stuck. Soft support for the measure meant that Democratic allies of President Obama could feasibly filibuster it, preventing a vote on the matter. In order to overcome procedural hurdles in the Senate, 60 senators must vote to advance debate, and it is in doubt whether opponents of the Iran deal have the numbers.
“The Senate appears stuck and House GOP members are fired up about the secret IAEA side deals. They don’t think Obama has complied with [a bill requiring the administration present all documents related to the Iran deal]. Given all of that, we are likely going to take a new approach,” a House leadership aide told The Daily Beast. “House leadership wanted to move forward with a vote of disapproval but leadership got feedback from many members that they believed the president did not comply with the law.”
But if the speakers outside knew what they were protesting was essentially a done deal, they certainly didn’t let on.
“I’ve been doing deals for a long time… that’s what I do,” Trump said, before he entered the Capitol for a meeting with Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama. “Never, ever, ever in my life have I seen any transaction so incompetently negotiated as the deal with Iran…. They rip us off. They take our money. They make us look like fools.”