timely quote

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president.

Theodore Roosevelt

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bill Clinton's international deals could cause SoS Clinton problems

According to the AP, via Yahoo: Bill Clinton's worldwide fundraising for his foundation could cause problems for the (unasked) possible new Secretary of State...Hillary Clinton. There's even been talk that it could cost her the appointment.

Man, there's a lot of speculation on the details of something that's not happened. :)

Over the last few years, Sen Clinton has criticized China for arresting people who don't agree with them, Brazil for poor working conditions, Dubai for a business deal to buy a British company and Kazakhastan for human rights abuses. Former President Clinton has solicited donations or made business deals with each of the above. He has raised Over $350M for his foundation, which finances his library in Arkansas.

With all of the reported donations and deals that Bill Clinton has around the world, there will be speculation of conflict of interest, which could severly damage the credibility of the United States around the world. Will Secretary of State Clinton be considering her husband's business interests when she's talking to China, Dubai, Kuwait, Qatar, Morocco or Saudi Arabia?

There's already been some questionable "talks" with the former president:

Louis Freeh, the FBI director under the former president, said Clinton sought a library donation from Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah during a discussion of the investigation into the deadly 1996 bombing of Khobar Towers U.S. military dormitory in Saudi Arabia.

Freeh wrote in his book "My FBI" that the FBI was trying to get Abdullah to let the FBI question suspects the Saudi kingdom had in custody and that Clinton failed to pressure Abdullah.

Clinton denied Freeh's account, and has said his business dealings and foundation fundraising pose no political conflicts for his wife. The former president has so far refused to identify donors to his foundation.

Unfortunately for Sen (SoS) Clinton, Bill won't make that determination.

Matt McKenna, a spokesman for the former president, declined to comment on any potential difficulties that Clinton's activities could pose for his wife should she become secretary of state or whether the former president would alter any of his fundraising or other activities to avoid potential conflicts.

Of course, there could also be a few Clinton family squabbles. Can Bill Clinton step back from the spotlight enough to let his wife truly step up to be the diplomat she would have to be? Can the narcissist share the mirror?

Bill Clinton has cultivated the image of a senior statesman since leaving the White House and often makes speeches abroad. That role could be diminished if his wife were representing the Obama administration on international issues.

First, there has to be an appointment.


stevjo said...

Wow, that's an interesting turn of events. Of course, it makes sense that Bill has his hands in a few pies around the world, but he would've had to give all that up if the Mrs. had been elected. Now I guess he really doesn't have to worry about it. If she doesnt get SoS, what are the chances she wants to try for Senate Majority Leader. Reid is a complete dud, and it would be easy to point that out. Wonder how Hillary would get along with Pelosi (another dud, with horrible leadership skills)

folly said...

I don't think she's been there long enough, and I don't think she's got the support. After swearing up and down for almost a decade that she had no desire to run for president, she ran. She left her colleagues in the dust. She didn't have the party support to get the nomination either.

She may win her next Senate election, or she may end up like Tom Daschle.