Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Tip at Chipotle! Stop the Presses!

The scandal that will make everyone forget about Benghazi.

tipping

Finally, The Hill has unearthed a story that makes me care about Hillary Clinton’s lunch choices.

Do you tip at fast food restaurants?

It’s an ethical dilemma tailor made for HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and thrust into the 2016 spotlight when Hillary Clinton left an Ohio Chipotle without leaving a tip.

When to tip can be a difficult decision, but it is especially tricky if you are running for president.

Charles Wright, the manager of the Maumee, Ohio, Chipotle, told Bloomberg that Clinton left no change in the tip jar after paying her bill, which came out to $20.

“We get a bunch of tips,” Wright, a Republican voter, said of his store. “If we’re doing our job right, people tip.”

Now, as regular readers know, I’m not a fan of Clinton. It would take a truly awful Republican nominee to make me even consider voting for her for president. But on this issue, there’s no light between us.

I don’t tip at restaurants unless I’m getting at least some modicum of table service. That’s a pretty low bar. I tip at buffets if someone is re-filling my tea. Hell, I’ll leave something if I got all the food myself but somebody else has to clear the table. But spooning food into a tortilla as I walk down the assembly line doesn’t meet that threshold. Nor does putting food into a take out container and placing said container in a plastic grocery bag. Or handing me the cup of coffee after writing my name on it.

My practice is customary, not exceptional:

The Emily Post etiquette guidelines say there is “no obligation” to leave extra money in tip jars commonly found at fast food restaurants and coffee shops. But customers can “tip occasionally” for exceptional service.

I suppose that I might tip if I were a regular at a coffee shop and established some sort of rapport with the baristas. But my typical experience at a Starbucks is feeling like part of a herd of cattle, inching slowly along towards the cash register at the end. I’m not sure what would constitute “exceptional service” in such a scenario but can’t say that I’ve ever felt it.

Of course, I’m not a politician.

For politicians looking to show their common touch, however, it’s probably a good idea to leave a tip, whether at the Palm or Chipotle.

Politicians, like celebrities, are used to having the tipping decisions scrutinized — and many are ready to make headlines.

President Obama has gained a reputation as a big tipper dating back to his first presidential campaign in 2008.

One month before Clinton conceded the nomination to Obama, he stopped at The Raleigh Times Bar in North Carolina, where he reportedly left an $18 tip on a $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.

Obama and Vice President Biden lunched at Ray’s Hell Burger in Arlington, Va. in 2009, and the president left $5 in the tip jar.

And during the government shutdown in Oct. 2013, Obama and Biden walked to the Taylor Gourmet sandwich shop on Pennsylvania Ave., which was giving a 10 percent discount to furloughed government workers.

The president paid a $21.56 lunch tab and left a tip of $18.44.

Now, unlike Clinton—who I understand is barely making ends meet—Obama is quite well-off. He can certainly afford to leave outsized tips on the rare occasions that he stops at a restaurant to eat. Still, the notion that politicians should be expected to leave 900 percent tips on a crappy beer or nearly double the bill at a sandwich shop is absurd.

But, wait, there’s more!

After a Father’s Day meal at Kenny’s BBQ Smokehouse in Northeast Washington, the presidentforgot to pay his $55.58 tab. The White House cleared up the mistake and paid the bill by the end of the day.

Democrats painted Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney as an out of touch plutocrat during the 2012 campaign. To show he was a man in the people, Romney stopped by fast food chains on the trail.

He visited a Chipotle in Denver one month before Election Day. He left behind a $1.75 tip on a $18.25 bill.

Hillary’s husband, Bill Clinton, was fond of eating at McDonald’s during his time in the White House.

During a campaign stop in Michigan for vice president Al Gore in 2000, Clinton stopped his motorcade at a McDonald’s for an impromptu meal. He was accompanied by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton and their daughter Chelsea.

Clinton reportedly pulled out several $20 bills to pay his bill, but the worker at the counter told him it was not necessary.

“It’s on the house, didn’t they tell you?” the teenage girl said, according to Newsday, adding, “Unless you want to give tips.”

Newsday reported that Clinton slid “what appeared to be a $20 bill” back across the counter and said, “You guys go out and have some fun.”

Hillary has better taste in fast food than her husband. But he’s a better tipper.

 

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    That does it! I am off the Hillary bus for good!

    It would take a truly awful Republican nominee to make me even consider voting for her for president.

    So I take it you’re thinking about it more and more, eh James? 😉

  2. Hazelrah says:

    Tip-gate!!! My tipping habits coincide with yours.

  3. Crusty Dem says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Exactly. Normally I would consider this an endorsement. But James and Doug seem able to make fatal flaws of minor differences with Democrats while ignoring massive flaws in Republicans. Why just yesterday I learned from Doug that Obama’s foreign policy is as unpleasantly aggressive as Dick Cheney’s!

    I look forward to hearing why and how a sentient human could find Hillary Clinton is inferior to Jeb Bush.

  4. steve says:

    The hoagie shop I go to regularly gets a tip since they recognize me when I go in and make the fries the way I like w/o asking. Other fast food places? Not really. Isn’t the campaign season called the silly season? That said, I still think Hillary is a lousy campaigner and any half decent candidate who runs against her can win. This is a good example of how she just doesn’t understand campaigning.

    Steve

  5. rodney dill says:

    Unfortunately, pseudo-scandals like this will take some attention away from real issues and scandals.

  6. James Joyner says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Crusty Dem: I have a visceral dislike for Hillary as a human being. I thought Gore and Kerry were awkward but never fundamentally disliked them. I’ve warmed to Obama personally, even though I think he’s only meh on policy. I actually rather like Biden and Warren. But Hillary? Ugh.

    Of the Republicans, I have written off Paul and Huckabee, would have a hard time voting for Walker or Christie, haven’t formed much of an opinion on Rubio (he’s still feeling his way on the national stage) and am tepid on Kasich and Jeb. They’ve all got several months to crystallize public policy positions. Clinton is different simply because she’s been a national candidate for some 15 years now.

  7. al-Ameda says:

    Not only that, what they left out of the video was the part where Hillary tied Vince Foster to the top of her station wagon and drove to the airport. I’m not usually conspiratorial, but this time I’m beginning to think that all of this is somehow connected to Benghazi.

    Personally, I think she should have left a tip – she should have known better. That said, poll your friends and colleagues some time, I know plenty of people who do NOT tip at Peets, Starbucks or other fast food places, it’s not unusual. I do, but many people do not.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Joyner: She is not my favorite person in the world either, but I won’t be voting for “Bestest Buddy in the World”, I’ll be voting for President of the USA and basing my vote on his/hers proposed policies.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Joyner: Oh and, who doesn’t like Biden? Even the women he’s groping like him.

  10. James Joyner says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Obama is something of a cold fish but he seems like a genuinely decent and generally honorable human being. Hillary has always struck me as completely cynical, willing to say or be anything to advance her agenda.

    Positionally, she’s much closer to me than is Biden or certainly Warren. But I’d strongly consider voting for either of them. It would take something on the level of a Sarah Palin as the alternative for me to vote for Clinton.

  11. michael reynolds says:

    @James Joyner:
    Dude, your sexism is showing. You’re reacting to ambition in a woman. The same ambition and ruthlessness is quite evident in just about every candidate but you spin it differently in your head because it’s coming from a woman.

  12. charon says:

    A few more mini-scandals like this to bore people to death, and Clinton will become inoculated to pretty much anything like this.

    Except for LImbaugh’s listeners. Rush can flog stuff like this forever, Limbaugh listeners can never tire of it.

  13. Mr. Pink says:

    Mr. Pink is a libertarian… Let’s look into a recent discussion…

    Nice Guy Eddie: C’mon, throw in a buck!

    Mr. Pink: Uh-uh, I don’t tip.

    Nice Guy Eddie: You don’t tip?

    Mr. Pink: I don’t believe in it.

    Nice Guy Eddie: You don’t believe in tipping?

    Mr. Blue: You know what these chicks make? They make shi#.

    Mr. Pink: Don’t give me that. She don’t make enough money, she can quit.

    Nice Guy Eddie: I don’t even know a f@cking Jew who’d have the balls to say that. Let me get this straight: you don’t ever tip, huh?

    Mr. Pink: I don’t tip because society says I have to. Alright, I mean I’ll tip if somebody really deserves a tip. If they put forth the effort, I’ll give them something extra. But I mean, this tipping automatically, it’s for the birds. As far as I’m concerned they’re just doing their job.

    Mr. Blue: Hey, this girl was nice.

    Mr. Pink: She was OK. But she wasn’t anything special.

    Mr. Blue: What’s special? Take you in the back and suck your d@ck?

    Nice Guy Eddie: I’d go over twelve percent for that.

    Mr. Pink: Look, I ordered coffee, alright? And we been here a long f@cking time and she’s only filled my cup three times. When I order coffee I want it filled six times.

    Mr. Blonde: Six times? Well, what if she’s too f@cking busy?

    Mr. Pink: The words “too f@cking busy” shouldn’t be in a waitress’ vocabulary.

    Nice Guy Eddie: Excuse me Mr. Pink, but the last f@cking thing you need is another cup of coffee.

    Mr. Pink: Jesus Christ I mean, these ladies aren’t starving to death. They make minimum wage. You know, I used to work minimum wage and when I did I wasn’t lucky enough to have a job that society deemed tipworthy.

    Mr. Blue: You don’t care if they’re counting on your tips to live?

    Mr. Pink: [rubbing his middle finger and thumb together] You know what this is? The world’s smallest violin playing just for the waitresses.

    Mr. White: You don’t have any idea what you’re talking about. These people bust their ass. This is a hard job.

    Mr. Pink: So is working at McDonald’s, but you don’t see anyone tip them, do ya? Why not?, they’re serving you food. But no, society says don’t tip these guys over here, but tip these guys over here. That’s b@llshit!

    Mr. White: Waitressing is the number one occupation for female non-college graduates in this country. It’s the one job basically any woman can get, and make a living on. The reason is because of their tips.

    Mr. Pink: F@ck all that.

    Mr. Brown: Jesus Christ.

    Mr. Pink: I mean I’m very sorry the government taxes their tips, that’s f@cked up. That ain’t my fault. It would appear to me that waitresses are one of the many groups the government f@cks in the @ss on a regular basis. If you show me a piece of paper that says the government shouldn’t do that, I’ll sign it, put it to a vote, I’ll vote for it, but what I won’t do is play ball. And this non-college bullshit you’re givin’ me, I got two words for that: learn to fuckin’ type, ’cause if you’re expecting me to help out with the rent you’re in for a big fuckin’ surprise.

    Mr. Orange: He’s convinced me. Gimme my dollar back!

    Don’t be Mr. Pink. Unless you actually WILL vote to support a higher Minimum wage for all.

  14. @michael reynolds:

    Yes, clearly sexism is the only reason someone could not love saint Hillary. I don’t know why we even bother holding elections anymore. Everyone knows that voting for the Democrat is the only moral choice and there is never a legitimate reason for doing anything else. Instead we should, come election time, just ask people how MANY votes they want to cast for Hillary, so that we may judge not only if they love her, but how WELL they love her.

  15. anjin-san says:

    @James Joyner:

    But Hillary? Ugh.

    I’m curious, which GOP candidate does not rate an “Ugh” as a human being?

  16. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Dude, don’t be obtuse, huh? It’s so fwcking tiresome. I never said sexism was the main reason, or the only reason Joyner wouldn’t like Hillary, I was responding to the specifics of what he said. Read what he wrote. Read what I wrote.

  17. Slugger says:

    Please, pretty please, can we get away from these type of concerns and mature a tiny bit as a nation. I believe that Obama has done some things right and some things wrong, but I can’t figure out the balance because a completely obscuring haze of b.s. complaints blocks my sight. Early in his term, O was accused of putting mustard on a hamburger and moving a statue of Churchill. Also, his wife thinks children should eat their vegetables! These accusations have been followed on a daily basis with more shockers of similar stripe. Now, I am hearing about tipping at a Chipotle’s. I’ve had it! Is this all a plot to get me disinterested in politics? No wonder voting rates are in decline.
    A legitimate complaint about Hillary eating at a Chipotle’s is that she was in Iowa. Iowa is the home of Maid-Rite which is the fast-food choice of all true cognoscenti.

  18. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Slugger:

    Please, pretty please, can we get away from these type of concerns and mature a tiny bit as a nation.

    No, no… the outrage machine demands it.

    Still, why wait for a perceived slip?

    Why not go full meta, like Rand Paul, and SUGGEST that there is a scandal.

    A SECRET scandal ! One that will COMPLETELY RUIN Hillary’s campaign.

    Clearly, we, the American Voting population should be OURAGED !!!

    And what IS that secret? From http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-04-17/rand-paul-keeps-saying-that-a-secret-scandal-will-wreck-hillary-clinton-soon-

    The next day, in New Hampshire, Fox News’s Carl Cameron asked him what the scandals might be.

    “I think there is big news coming on the Clinton Foundation,” said Paul. “I think there are things that went on at the Clinton Foundation that are going to shock people. I think they’re going to make people question whether she ought to run for president.”

    Can you tell us what you’re talking about?

    ” asked Cameron.

    Then it wouldn’t be a secret, Carl!

    ” said Paul. “It’s coming soon.”

    BRILLIANT !!!

    The ultimate conspiracy !!! So Secret, it is TOTALLY UNKNOWN !!!

    * facepalmslap *

  19. James Joyner says:

    @michael reynolds: I don’t think Elizabeth Warren particularly qualified for the presidency but don’t feel any particular animus towards her. Indeed, I find her likeable and impressive. On the other side of the aisle, while I think the Iraq War makes her a non-starter, I otherwise think Condi Rice more qualified for the job than Clinton.

    I’ve never understood the “strong woman” defense as applied to Hillary Clinton. She would have had zero appeal as a politician on her own merits and got to the top of the national spotlight by riding Bill’s coattails. She then used the White House to run for a Senate seat in New York of all places, again based solely on the name recognition she had for being married to Bill and had the good fortune of the Republican frontrunner imploding. She followed that by a losing bid for the Democratic nomination against a young upstart, who then appointed her Secretary of State for no apparent reason.

    She’s uncommonly smart and is more disciplined and hard-working than her husband. But her rubbing people the wrong way isn’t a function of her being a woman but rather of her personality and her path to the top.

  20. Gustopher says:

    @James Joyner: But how do you feel about Bill Clinton? When she is under-authentic, she comes across as cynical, but when he does it, he’s just playing the room.

    You’ll make excuses for Jeb or any Republican candidate — they’ve got to run to the right for the primary, and then run to the center for the general — but it’s the same thing (on a much grander scale, usually, as they will often take several mutually exclusive positions on a policy at the same time). But for Hillary Clinton, it’s a step too far.

  21. Rafer Janders says:

    @James Joyner:

    Hillary has always struck me as completely cynical, willing to say or be anything to advance her agenda.

    Which, even if true, which I don’t grant, would distinguish her from Bush or Walker how, exactly?

  22. Rafer Janders says:

    @James Joyner:

    On the other side of the aisle, while I think the Iraq War makes her a non-starter, I otherwise think Condi Rice more qualified for the job than Clinton.

    What on Earth??? Condi Rice was a spectacular failure as both National Security Adviser and Secretary of State — or don’t the words “9/11” and “Iraq War” mean anything to you? Her “qualifications” consist of being given weighty jobs and then botching them up completely.

  23. michael reynolds says:

    @James Joyner:

    She would have had zero appeal as a politician on her own merits and got to the top of the national spotlight by riding Bill’s coattails. She then used the White House to run for a Senate seat in New York of all places, again based solely on the name recognition she had for being married to Bill and had the good fortune of the Republican frontrunner imploding. She followed that by a losing bid for the Democratic nomination against a young upstart, who then appointed her Secretary of State for no apparent reason.

    Of course most of that would apply to several candidates – Mr. Bush in 2000, for example, or Mitt Romney in 2012. They were both “legacies.” And of course Jeb’s pre-emptive money coup is all a function of his brother’s money machine.

    I’m not suggesting you’re a sexist overall. I think though that Hillary’s barely-suppressed arrogance bothers you more because she’s a woman. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, all ooze arrogance and make little effort to conceal it, but they’re guys so that assholery is more familiar and contextualized for you.

    Elizabeth Warren doesn’t count because she doesn’t have that element in her personality. She reads as tough and determined but not cold or superior.

  24. michael reynolds says:

    @James Joyner:

    I should add that I don’t like Hillary, either. But I do trust her. I think she’ll be a competent president.

    And one other thing: Republicans are going to really want to watch their male assumptions or they’ll walk into a series of Mourdock moments. Republicans have a tin ear for anything not white, male, Christian and upper middle class. Don’t forget, even Obama stepped in it with his, “You’re likable enough,” crack.

  25. James Joyner says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Of course most of that would apply to several candidates – Mr. Bush in 2000, for example, or Mitt Romney in 2012. They were both “legacies.” And of course Jeb’s pre-emptive money coup is all a function of his brother’s money machine.

    That’s certainly true. The difference is that it’s constantly being pointed out with regard to the men and considered taboo to mention WRT Hillary. I do find it more unseemly in the case of the office of First Lady, which carries with it a veneer of untouchability, than it is for simply being someone’s son or brother.

    I think though that Hillary’s barely-suppressed arrogance bothers you more because she’s a woman. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, all ooze arrogance and make little effort to conceal it, but they’re guys so that assholery is more familiar and contextualized for you.

    Actually, they’re all pretty much acknowledged assholes and most of us have written them off for the presidency because of it. Paul is also a bit of a kook. Walker would probably be a pretty plausible nominee aside from the assholery surrounding the way he handled the teachers unions—a policy position on which I could have supported him but found unconscionable precisely because of his arrogance. Christie, aside from being fat, would be almost an ideal candidate aside from his grating personality.

    @michael reynolds:

    Republicans are going to really want to watch their male assumptions or they’ll walk into a series of Mourdock moments. Republicans have a tin ear for anything not white, male, Christian and upper middle class. Don’t forget, even Obama stepped in it with his, “You’re likable enough,” crack.

    It is what it is but it’s patently unfair that male candidates have to bend over backwards to avoid being condescending when dealing with women candidates. Something like Reagan’s “There you go again” or Bentson’s “You’re no Jack Kennedy” would never play against a women but was considered perfectly fair against a man.

  26. James Joyner says:

    @Rafer Janders: She’s earned a series of impressive jobs entirely on her own merit and performed rather well. It’s absurd to argue that the National Security Advisor was somehow going to prevent the 9/11 attacks or the Iraq War. Even Colin Powell went along with that one, playing a bigger role in it that she did; few hold a grudge against him for it. And I think she and Bob Gates steered the Bush foreign policy back into good course in after 2006.

  27. michael reynolds says:

    @James Joyner:

    Hillary won the New York Senate job by going to the voters. The voters made her a Senator. The POTUS made her SecState. I think it’s legitimate to have complained about her being handed the health care job when she was FLOTUS, but once the voters spoke, well, the voter’s spoke and from that point forward she had the identical amount of legitimacy as any other Senator. She should be judged on what she did, same way she should be judged on her State tenure.

    it’s patently unfair that male candidates have to bend over backwards to avoid being condescending when dealing with women candidates.

    As for any special treatment for women, sorry, but that really is your male privilege talking. 44 male presidents in a row, zero female, and we’re to believe she has some unfair gender advantage? Women have to “bend over backward” to avoid seeming too direct, too challenging, too “masculine.”

    You want to talk unfair? Take a guess at how many times over the next 18 months we’ll see talk of hairstyles, clothing choices, wrinkles, etc… discussed on Fox and the networks. I’ll bet you a dollar the ratio of such references is at least 10 times higher for Hillary than for any male candidate – even Christie.

    You’re seeing the ways in which a male candidate might have to adjust to deal with Hillary while failing to see that her adjustment to dealing with the patriarchy will be far more taxing. And I would submit that your intuitive grasp of the male difficulties and blindness to the female equivalents are a result of your gender. You assume the male paradigm is the default and anything else is a suspicious and unfair deviation.

  28. michael reynolds says:

    By the way, the tendency to see the world through a certain unchallenged gender or racial paradigm is pretty universal. Recently some women authors have complained that male authors get better treatment. I dismissed the idea because of the 150 odd books I’ve written, only two were edited by men. Then I discovered that women authors doing school visits are often only given access to female students in assemblies, while male authors get both male and female students.

    Not earth-shaking, but eye-opening. That’s male privilege: we are the default, women are forced to adapt.

  29. steve says:

    “And I think she and Bob Gates steered the Bush foreign policy back into good course in after 2006.”

    And you don’t think she had anything to do with everything that went wrong before then?

    Steve

  30. James Joyner says:

    @michael reynolds: There’s no doubt that women are looked at through a different lens than men and that this comes with advantages and disadvantages. For most of our history, being a woman was a huge disadvantage in electoral politics, if not outright disqualifying. In recent years, it’s actually become an advantage in races other than president, with the problem being that men are much more likely to actually run for office. (There’s essentially no history of qualified women running for president, with Hillary 2000 being the only real example.)

    Regardless, I wasn’t making a general comment about women in politics but rather characterizing your own example. Obama’s “likable enough” comment was only awkward because it was aimed at a woman. Aimed at a Chris Christie or Ted Cruz, it would have brought the house down.

  31. James Joyner says:

    @steve: I think the neocons took control after 9/11, relegating sensible voices like Powell’s and Rice’s in the minority. Emotion and ideology led to worst-case thinking and overreaction.

  32. michael reynolds says:

    @James Joyner:

    I’m with you in hating that kind of chip-on-your-shoulder approach where everything is offensive to someone. It ends up making communication impossible, it trivializes actual important issues, and it generally sucks the humor out of life at which point life becomes intolerable.

    But I’ve been listening more to women lately – not the crazies, but rational people – and I have to say, they have a lot of perfectly good beef with the male half of the human race. I think sexism is a lot more complicated than racism is, but when you look at something like Gamergate you find significant numbers of men really, actually despise women. I was shocked. Women who criticize the gaming community in even the most calm, quiet and reasonable ways get doxxed and are viciously attacked online.

  33. Andre Kenji says:

    @anjin-san: The GOP candidates rate as “Bleargh” as human beings.

  34. James Joyner says:

    @michael reynolds: My response to this got too long. I’m turning it into a post.

  35. Franklin says:

    In response to the actual post, I tip approximately the same way. I’m think I’m fairly generous but still tend to ignore tip jars. However, I don’t see many in my general routine and perhaps they’d get more attention if I did.

  36. Rafer Janders says:

    @James Joyner:

    I think the neocons took control after 9/11, relegating sensible voices like Powell’s and Rice’s in the minority.

    Ah, so your argument is that for the six years from 2001-2006, despite being National Security Adviser and then Secretary of State, Rice was a powerless figurehead who let herself be bullied and swept aside by a cabal of determined men…and therefore that’s why she’s qualified to be president.

    Seriously, that’s the argument:

    James: Rice is qualified because she was National Security Adviser and SoS and ran America’s foreign and security policy.
    Us: But what about all the disasters that took place when she held those positions! What about the utter screw-up of foreign and security policy during those years?
    James: Oh, she didn’t actually make any of those decisions. Foreign and security policy was really run by the neocons, not by Rice, so Rice wasn’t responsible.

    I mean that argument, right there, that’s Republicanism in the nutshell. All power without responsibility or accountability. Being impressed by a pretty title without ever actually considering what actually got accomplished by that title. It’s all surface, no substance.

  37. James Joyner says:

    @Rafer Janders: Ultimately, the president makes these decisions. Rice was his chief foreign policy advisor during the campaign and he ran on a “humble foreign policy” and against “nation building.” After 9/11, Bush became more swayed by Cheney, in particular, for understandable reasons.

    For that matter, what exactly is it that Hillary achieved at State? The Russia Reset was a fiasco, the Arab Spring was botched, etc. I don’t necessarily blame her for that—the policy challenges were extraordinary and there were many players aside from her—but there’s not exactly a stellar record of achievement there aside from holding the office itself.

  38. anjin-san says:

    @James Joyner:

    For that matter, what exactly is it that Hillary achieved at State?

    Well, we did not blunder into any disastrous wars on her watch. These days that is a bit of an accomplishment.

  39. Tyrell says:

    This tipping is getting out of hand. At some fast food place ? I guess next will be convenience stores and school lunchrooms.

  40. James Joyner says:

    @anjin-san: The war in Libya was and remains a disaster. We just didn’t stick around and do anything about it.

  41. Rafer Janders says:

    @James Joyner:

    The war in Libya was and remains a disaster.

    What a stupid comparison. Unlike the Iraq War, which was entirely cooked up, started, and prosecuted by the US, the Libyan conflict was not started or initiate by the Obama administration. The Iraq War was both a crime and a blunder, one which Rice and the rest of the Bush regime bear sole responsibility for because THEY STARTED IT.

    Again, this is the reflexive “both sides do it” comparison of the arsonist and the firefighter because they both deal with fire.

    James is, of course, intellectually smart enough to know the difference, but too intellectually dishonest to admit it.

  42. Rafer Janders says:

    @James Joyner:

    Ultimately, the president makes these decisions. Rice was his chief foreign policy advisor during the campaign and he ran on a “humble foreign policy” and against “nation building.” After 9/11, Bush became more swayed by Cheney, in particular, for understandable reasons.

    So, again, Rice is qualified to be president because she was National Security Adviser and SoS, but Bush made the actual decisions, and Rice allowed herself to get bullied and pushed aside by Cheney, so nothing that happened is her fault? And that’s why she’s qualified? Because she didn’t make the decisions and was an incompetent bureaucratic infighter?

  43. James Joyner says:

    @Rafer Janders: We made a national decision to go to war in Iraq, led by President Bush but ultimately supported by the likes of Joe Biden, John Kerry, and, yes, Hillary Clinton. I don’t know what Condi Rice’s private counsel to the president was in that debate. Regardless, being on the wrong side of a decision isn’t necessarily disqualifying.

    By contrast, Hillary Clinton was a key cheerleader for the decision to enter the war in Libya or the side of an amorphous opposition. I opposed it for a variety of reasons, although I didn’t predict the scale of the disaster that would come from it. And I don’t even consider that disqualifying. Being in positions of power means making judgment calls, some of which you’ll likely get wrong.

  44. Just Me says:

    I’m trying to figure out how Rice gets blame for the Iraq war but Clinton gets a pass for bungling Libya. I’m a woman and am rather tired of the quick to be outraged feminism. There is certainly a double standard in some areas but I hope the media avoids turning any criticism of Hilary into an automatic sexist accusation. But I also don’t want to see coverage covering her hairstyle, clothing or questions to focus on silly, unimportant things.

    As for the OP I don’t leave tips at fast food restaurants but if you are a wealthy politician-especially one who wants to appeal to the common voter-tipping generously is a good idea. Better to be seen tipping than not.

    The media is always in search of a story and when the news is slow they can turn anything into a controversy. Even when the news isn’t slow they might latch onto the story because it has easy appeal.