Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hillary Clinton, Sec. of State - Part II

On Friday I remarked how mind-boggling it was to see someone like Barack Obama - who's received numerous campaign contributions from abroad - make such a fuss over the foreign donations that Bill Clinton received for his private foundation and library. And I wondered if Obama was simply looking for a pretext to deny Hillary Clinton the position of Secretary of State.

Now, I'm not denying that there's a conflict of interest between the hundreds of millions of dollars that Bill Clinton received from foreign sources - including a $10 million gift from the Saudi royal family - and the duties that Hillary Clinton's will perform as Secretary of State. But it still seemed a bit ironic [and hypocritical] that Barack Obama would vet Bill Clinton's international funds when he himself received numerous campaign contributions from abroad.

Hence, I suggested that Barack Obama was simply looking for a pretext to deny Hillary Clinton the top job in the State Dept. And although I posited the aforementioned theory with a bit of skepticism, it seems there are some in the Clinton camp who believe this to be true.

From the Telegraph:
Those in Mrs Clinton’s camp who wanted her to take the [Sec. of State] job wanted the financial issue [Bill Clinton's international funds] off the table believing Mr Obama would find any excuse not to give her the job.
I suppose we'll never really know what happened. However, suffice it to say that while Barack Obama may be the smoothest and shrewdest politician in modern times, Bill Clinton is certainly no slouch himself. And this time around [by agreeing to disclose the names of thousands of his past donors and offering to submit his future business and charitable activities to ethics reviews], he might have beaten the king of foxes at his own game.

P.S. On a side note, Mr. Clinton has also agreed to distance himself from his own foundation - whatever that's supposed to mean:
To clear a path for his wife's appointment, Bill Clinton agreed to several concessions: He gave the Obama team the names of more than 200,000 donors to his foundation and library; he agreed to clear any future paid speeches with the White House and State Department; and he said he would distance himself from his foundation.