A Clinton here a Clinton there – is there never too many Clintons?

Hillary was in China trying to entertain the Chinese, while Bill was in North Carolina most definitely entertaining the Americans.  First off one wonders just why Ms Clinton was not at the National Democrat Convention with her husband urging Americans one and all to give Barack Obama another four years to fix the economy, end all wars and provide all Americans with health care, jobs and an equal opportunity at the American dream.  But she is, after all, the secretary of state – responsible not for drafting and crafting our foreign policy but for articulating it.  So, when she is in China talking about foreign exchange rates, the security of South-East Asia and the Pacific and human rights, the words she speaks are the words of the administration, not her personal ideas and beliefs.

At least, that is the theory of foreign policy, but the press often misconstrues the principle and falsely credits the messenger with the origin of the message.  Even Mohammed was only God’s messenger, not the author of the Quran, he simply repeated God’s words to the faithful as they were given to him. Editorials in China are not buying the messenger argument and are blaming Hillary Clinton for the increased  tension between the two countries and that she speaks in cliches – you know like a football coach during a post-game interview, my metaphor not the Chinese’s.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will arrive in China today. Some have labeled her latest Asia-Pacific trip as a “closing” one, because she may step down as secretary of state even if Barack Obama is reelected again in November’s presidential elections. The biggest “contribution” that she has brought to US diplomacy is the “pivot” to Asia. But besides greatly raising the mutual mistrust with China, the move hasn’t yet brought pragmatic benefits to the US…Superficially, Clinton’s proposal to restrain China with “smart power” diplomacy works on the South China Sea issue…As secretary of state, Clinton fails to present Americans with this simple logic: In the long run, the US can only compete and cooperate with China on an equal footing, and it will have fewer and fewer resources to dominate and curb China.  Clinton has thrown around various slogans during her frequent visits abroad, but failed to contribute to innovating US strategic thought in regard to China. Properly placing China within its diplomatic framework tests the US mentality, rather than its military strength or how many alliances it has…Clinton’s “smart power” diplomacy has fomented frictions between China and some surrounding countries in regard to territorial disputes…We hope Clinton can reflect upon the deep harm she is bringing to the Sino-US relationship in the last few months before she leaves office and try to make up for it. Global Times, 9-6-12

On the opposite side of the planet her husband was doing what he does best – making a speech.  Bill Clinton is a close as the Untied States ever gets to an orator or debtor in the fine tradition of the House of Commons and Tony Blair.  He rarely fails to enthrall his audience and even the opposition admires his speeches.  Bill was called in to make the Obama case to the nation and he did  for 50 minutes. Clinton was as he always was, smart, charming, well informed, confident and articulate – would that all of our leaders where as good.  But of course it would be nice to have that without any stained blue dresses and “I did not have sex with that woman” news conferences.  Since his speech, it has been the topic of conversation in the country.  There have been hundreds of news articles, clips from the speech, analysis by commentators on both sides of the aisle – for the last 24 hours Clinton was right back where he was when he left the White House – the Man.

Clinton may or may not be influential in getting Obama reelected, but he certainly did help the president’s case.  Possibly we should have sent Bill Clinton and not Hillary Clinton to China.  He could have charmed the Chinese and possible made the world a more stable place.  And while Bill was entertaining them, Hillary could have been in North Carolina giving a dull speech, praising the president in stock phrases and cliches and today there would be something else in the news besides former-president, ever-charming William Jefferson Clinton.  Much as I love him, the nation needs to move on.


4 Responses to “A Clinton here a Clinton there – is there never too many Clintons?”

  1. 1 rexdstock1 September 6, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Why must Clinton’s good works be relegated only to the past? Why can’t the ‘…Nation move on’ with him as an instrumental part of that process?

    Pat Riley was a great player, then coach, and finally, GM. Each role was done with winning basketball game(s) the primary goal…

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless Droid

  2. 2 Ken Adams September 6, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Oh good, lets make William Jefferson general manager of the nation – actually I would make him secretary of state and send on tour. Hillary wants to retire and though I have heard her mentioned as VP, I think she needs a rest – she has been a very busy woman since 2000.

  3. 3 Bill Hanigan September 7, 2012 at 12:58 am

    Returning from the desert centre I watched Bill Clintons speech, you do him an injustice in comparing him with Tony Blair et al. I find it difficult to find a modern orator who can compare.
    Mitt has to lift his game beyond his capabilities. Maybe your first comment re Paul Ryan being the candidate is what a lot of Republicans will debate. From an outside position it’s difficult to think of anything but an Obama victory in November. If I gambled which I don’t, then I’d bet on Obama. In Birdsville we were camped next to a bookmaker who told me the winner in the Birdsville Cup, I didn’t place a bet, is that foolish or wise ?

  4. 4 Ken Adams September 7, 2012 at 7:50 am

    It would be nice always to have a president whose speeches were exciting events. Reagan was certainly good, Kennedy and I suppose Roosevelt, but it was a different era and a different style. Like Clinton, I think Blair always was good; of course being a good speaker does not make a person a good president (or prime minister) or does it? Obama is better that Romney, Ryan is better than Biden.

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