Posted on November 23, 2008. Filed under: News And Politics... |

As I stated in a previous blog, Obama was upset that there were so many leaks from the Clinton people about his cabinet selections.  I’m sure there was a method to their madness.  They leaked (or maybe it was Hillary herself that leaked it) that she was a top contender for the Secretary of State position.  Of course, Obama has to choose her because if he doesn’t, Clinton supporters will be furious that she was passed over again by him.  Hillary is ruthless and she has her own agenda.  She will stop at nothing if she wants something.  There are some big egos going into the next administration…Obama, Joe Biden, Rahm Emanuel and Hillary Clinton, to name a few.  Hillary Clinton is expected to accept the position of Secretary of State officially later this month.  She has no foreign affairs experience.  She tried to make foreign affairs a selling point during her campaign, repeatedly telling crowds that as first lady she visited more than 80 countries.  While she represented the US on the world stage at important moments while she was first lady, there is no evidence that she played a big role in major foreign policy decisions or in managing global crises.
During a CNN interview earlier this year, Clinton was pressed for specific examples of foreign policy experience that had prepared her for an international crisis.  Clinton claimed that she "helped to bring peace" to Northern Ireland and negotiated with Macedonia to open up its border to refugees from Kosovo.  She also cited "standing up" to the Chinese government on women’s rights and a one-day visit she made to Bosnia following the Dayton peace accords.  Remember Hillary Clinton’s trip to Bosnia?  She was forced to backtrack after claiming she had to evade sniper fire when landing in Bosnia in 1996.  Archival footage showed a peaceful arrival.  She always casts herself in a positive light…Biden is guilty of the same thing.  Remember his words on a CNN YouTube video:  “Let’s start telling the truth,” he said. “Number one, you take all the troops out—you better have helicopters ready to take those 3,000 civilians inside the Green Zone, where I have been seven times and ‘shot at.  You’d better make sure you have protection for them, or let them die, number one.”  Biden aides provided a different scenario…a correct one, of the incident in an email:  "In December 2005, Biden and his staff spent the night in the Green Zone.  At about 6:30 AM, they heard mortars fired a few hundred yards away, which shook the aides’ trailer and rattled the building where Biden was getting ready for the day."  This forced Biden to later say, "Thinking about it now", a more accurate comment would have been, ‘I was near where a shot landed’.”  Biden likes to run off at the mouth, and it’s going to get him into trouble.  These politicians…you can’t trust any of them.

During a conference call with reporters in February of 2008, Clinton aides were asked to name a single foreign policy crisis in which she was tested.  There was a lengthy pause—the same kind of pause one gets when asking anyone to name Obama’s accomplishments.  A reply offered by one aide seemed beside the point:  She had been endorsed by more than two-dozen high-ranking military officers.  Big deal.  Endorsements don’t mean a thing.  We’ve seen that first-hand with so many other endorsements.  One that comes to mind is Deval Patrick, the Massachusetts Governor, highly endorsed Diane Wilkerson, and now she stands to serve up to 20 years in jail (as I outlined in a previous blog).  Some endorsement!

By trading in her Senate job for Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton would command a global stage, and she will fast become a "prima donna" on that stage.  She could use the position to take up causes that are important to her:  Middle East peace, a resolution to the Iraq war and international respect for women’s rights.

Rahm Emanuel has a big ego, but also a bad temper, earning him the nickname, "Rahmbo".  One thing you didn’t hear in the news is that Emanuel  served on the board of directors of Freddie Mac at a time when the scandal was brewing there and the board failed to spot "red flags," according to government reports.  Emanuel was "conveniently" not named in the SEC complaint, but the entire board was later accused by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) of having "failed in its duty to follow up on matters brought to its attention."  He didn’t do a good job there so who’s to say he’s going to do a good job for us in the Obama administration?  He was named to the Freddie Mac board by then-President Bill Clinton (there’s that name again) in 2000 and resigned his position when he ran for Congress in May of 2001.  He is a classic "after me, you come first" kind of guy.  He has his own opinions, and if people don’t agree with him, he has temper tantrums.  In 1992, in a Little Rock restaurant with other top aides, Rahm Emanuel dramatically stabbed the table repeatedly with a steak knife as he yelled off a list of disloyal Democrats who were against Bill Clinton (oh, that name again!), punctuating each name with "dead!"  Corruption surrounds the Clintons like a hungry shark to a wounded seal.  His position in the Obama administration is destined to be quite stormy and controversial.

As Obama selects other officials for his administration, attention is starting to turn to the potential obstacles they face in Senate confirmation hearings.  Senators will have to decide in the confirmation hearings whether to broach Bill Richardson’s involvement, though marginal, in the Monica Lewinsky scandal, as well as Janet Napolitano’s work in the Anita Hill sexual harassment case and Eric Holder’s support of President Clinton’s controversial pardon of Marc Rich.  In 1983, financier Rich was indicted for evading more than $48 million in taxes, and charged with 51 counts of tax fraud, as well as running illegal oil deals with Iran during the 1979-1980 hostage crises.  During his last week in office, Bill Clinton pardoned Rich, who had fled the US during his prosecution and was residing in Switzerland.  Nice guy, huh?

Clinton‘s eleventh-hour move, along with pardons of his half-brother, Roger, and former business partner Susan McDougal, outraged Republicans and Democrats alike.  How quickly they forget.  The Rich pardon sparked an investigation into whether it was bought by the hefty donations Rich’s ex-wife, Denise, had given to the Clintons and the Democrats.  Hmmm…big surprise that in the end, investigators did not find enough evidence to indict Clinton.  Call him the Teflon man, since he got off literally and figuratively with the Monica Lewinsky scandal as well.  The atrocities against Clinton keep mounting, but people love him.  Why?  I can’t figure out how Obama and Clinton have such a strong following, with all the controversies that surround them both.

Although none of these nominations is expected to fail, it is possible some could be delayed.  Richardson’s nomination could be haunted by two incidents.  First, he offered Lewinsky a job at the United Nations in what prosecutors called an attempt to buy her silence on behalf of then-President Bill Clinton.  Richardson also could face a Capitol grilling for accusations he faced from both Democratic and Republican senators for failing to properly safeguard nuclear secrets after he left his UN post to become Energy Secretary.  After delaying Richardson’s appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2000 for inquiries into security lapses at Los Alamos National Laboratories, Democratic Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia told him he would never again receive Senate support for any office he sought.

"You have squandered your treasure," Byrd told him.  He must have a short memory.

And though Napolitano, who was re-elected Arizona’s governor in 2006, has spent all of her political career in that state, she is no stranger to Washington controversy.  As a private attorney in Phoenix in 1991, Napolitano was part of the legal team representing Anita Hill, a former Equal Employment Opportunity Commission colleague of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, whom Hill had accused of sexual harassment.  Her work on that case postponed Napolitano’s own Senate confirmation as US attorney, but did not derail Thomas’ confirmation as a Supreme Court justice.  I guess there was some "Affirmative Action" here for Clarence Thomas.  If he was a white judge, the court would have showed no mercy. 

At the time, some Republicans suggested she coached a witness for Hill into changing testimony.  Napolitano refused to answer questions about that on the grounds it would violate the lawyer-client confidentiality agreement.  She was the Clinton-appointed US attorney for Arizona when the Justice Department decided against prosecuting Senator John McCain’s wife, Cindy, for stealing prescription drugs from her medical charity.  She took no part in that case because she was awaiting Senate confirmation, on which McCain was to vote–another case of "You wash my back, and I’ll wash yours."

The biggest obstacle facing Obama’s choice for Attorney General, Eric Holder, could be his pardon of Marc Rich during the Clinton administration.  Rich was the fugitive billionaire who was given a pardon by Clinton on his final day in office.  Rich’s estranged wife, Denise Rich, was a high-paying donor to Clinton.  There’s a lot of greased palms in political circles, especially around Clinton.

Senate Republicans have told Obama aides that the Rich pardon would come up during hearings, but that the nomination likely wouldn’t be held up, according to a person involved in the talks.  As I’ve said before, there are a lot of corrupt people in this world, and a good percentage of them are politicians.  If Obama really wanted to show America how focused he was on the economy, he would have put together an economic team as the first step, making that his top priority.  Instead, he focused on Homeland Security, State, Atorney General and Health and Human Services first.  Just goes to show you where his priorities lie.  He’s got the Clintons running the White House for another four years because he’s incapable of running it.  Someone should be hired to keep all those massive egos in check for the next four years.




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