Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Is Political Gamesmanship Dirty Pool?

Sometimes I feel like I'm writing a continuing story instead of a blog. "In the previous episode..."

Okay, in the previous episode I addressed whether Bill was going to be the cause of Hillary not getting the job of Secretary of State. I'm beginning to wonder, however, what the Obama campaign is up to. The concern is whether contributors to Bill's foundation and philanthropies might be in conflict with governmental policy. That he has been a globe trotting philanthropist since leaving office is no secret. That he has contributors that have been at odds with our government is also no secret.

According to the New York Times Clinton is likely to have to make significant concessions in his activities in order for Hillary to pursue hers. The article tells us he is inclined to do so. At what cost?

The Clinton Global Initiative has done wonderful work world wide. Perhaps one of the better known projects is the work being done to eradicate AIDS in Africa. The question boils down to whether having Hillary as Secretary of State outweighs the work being done by Bill Clinton's organizations. Suggestions for those concessions include declining speaking fees from foreign businesses that have a stake in the actions of the American government. Where are you going to find one that doesn't?

Should the foundations be able to accept donations from foreign governments, businesses and individuals and if so allowed should he be made to make them public? If they are made public, why not?

One of Obama's close advisers, commented, " It's not just what he says or does - it's the fact the foundation is involved with foreign countries, some of which might well be in conflict with U.S. policy. It's more than a legal problem, there are ethical problems and appearance problems."

I'm sorry, but Obama and his advisory team were well aware of all these issues long before Hillary's name was floated. It is one of the reasons given for bypassing her for the Vice Presidency.

So. What the heck are they doing? I can't believe they'd be foolish enough to snub Hillary a second time. Okay, she wants out of the Senate. Reid has made it perfectly clear he isn't going to step aside for her. She's too junior to get plum committee chairmanships. She likes the limelight. The Supreme Court is too low key for that. What's she to do? Does the fact that she is able count?

In sorting through all this I've come to a few conclusions. The obvious one is it is not Bill who is being considered for the Secretary of State post. It's Hillary. As his wife, one might assume she knows the contributors. As a U.S. Senator, would this not also be a conflict of interest?

I think too, it ought to be remembered that William Jefferson Clinton is a former President of the United States. Hillary is a United States Senator. They have devoted years of their lives to the country. Does Clinton and his post-presidential work not deserve better than to be dragged through the proverbial mud of "what ifs"? In more simplistic terms it's like if I were denied a job with benefits because my husband is in the benefits business.

I don't begin to understand it. The Clinton's have long been masters of political gamesmanship. I have not liked it. It doesn't look any better coming from the Obama side.

1 comment:

Margie's Musings said...

I couldn't agree more. His foundation is very important to the world and she is very qualified to be Secretary of State. Why do they have to consider his interests when considering her for this important office?

It's not him that they are considering for Secretary of State.