Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Sorry Hillary! The War Started Without You!
Let's hope that Hillary's newfound pro-Israel stance (that she adopted for the Senate seat for NY and, I believe strongly, was only for that purpose) holds as she takes the reins of Secretary of State from that horrid Bush lap-dog Condi Rice.
I fear that Hillary will show her true colors, however. Most people either don't know (or prefer to forget) that Hillary was the chairperson of a fundraiser for Americans for Peace Now while her husband was president and I fear, greatly, that we saw the real Hillary then and not now.
I guess we will soon see where she really stands. I just hope she is with us.
Meanwhile, I thought it was pretty dang smart of Obama to select her for Secretary of State. After all, there is no better way to destroy someone's chances of becoming president than by naming them to that particular office.
Remember how popular Colin Powell was BEFORE he was Secretary of State? How about Condi Rice? Remember how they all thought she would be president some day, and now people can't even stand the sight of her?
Hillary will take that spot, become horribly hated, and forget ever challenging Obama again. It was a very nice political trick for Obama, a win-win. He unifies the party and destroys his major competitor, all in one fell swoop.
By the way, can ANYONE EVER remember a former Secretary of State going on to become president??? Well, actually, six have--but all were before the Civil War: Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, J. Q. Adams, Van Buren, Buchanan.
I highly doubt Hillary will ever grab that brass ring.
HILLARY'S FIRST CRISIS STARTS WITHOUT HER
WASHINGTON - Israel's attacks on Gaza could test Hillary Rodham Clinton's mettle as the next top US diplomat mediating between Israelis and Palestinians.
As incoming President Barack Obama's secretary of state, she will have to overcome a view of some in the Arab world that she is more interested in supporting Israel than being evenhanded.
Clinton could find herself pursuing the same Middle East peace that eluded her husband, former President Bill Clinton, in the final months of his presidency in 2000.
University of Maryland professor Shibley Telhami said opinion polls he conducted earlier this year in Arab countries indicated Clinton was viewed as someone who, like her husband, would work to advance Middle East peace.
"Bill Clinton had a much more positive image in the Middle East [than George W. Bush], and Hillary is seen in a similar light," he said, adding that her past support for Israel would not necessarily count against her with Arabs.
But even if Clinton were ready to take on the role of peace broker early on, the upsurge in violence and Israeli and Palestinian elections expected over the next two months would likely delay meaningful discussions. "There is too much blood spilled for this to end quickly," said Telhami.
Aaron Miller, who advised six secretaries of state in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, said Clinton was respected in the region and disputed that she was viewed as pro-Israeli. He said Clinton's personal and political battles as a former presidential candidate made her tough and resilient - desirable attributes in Middle East diplomacy.
More important than her prowess as a mediator will be how high a priority Obama makes the Israeli-Palestinian issue among the many challenges facing his new administration. "She will have to do the heavy lifting, but she must be empowered and backed up and supported by the president," said Miller, at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington.
Sen. Clinton, who lost the Democratic presidential nomination to Obama, needs to maintain a strong relationship with the new president to be effective, he added.
While well-versed in foreign affairs, Clinton has yet to be tested in a crisis, such as the Israeli offensive against Gaza to suppress Palestinian rocket fire against its citizens.
The Bush administration has so far backed Israel's actions in Gaza and demanded that Hamas stop firing rockets into Israel and agree to a lasting cease-fire.
Edward Walker, former US ambassador to Israel and Egypt, said Clinton should go to the region early. Her confirmation hearings are expected in mid-January and she could take office immediately after Obama's Jan. 20 inauguration.
"What the administration needs to do is to say that we consider Israeli-Palestinian peace a priority but that we cannot force the parties into an agreement unless they are prepared for an agreement," Walker said.