HILLARY MAY NOT BE THE ONLY DEMOCRAT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT. THERE IS A DRAFT MOVEMENT FOR ELIZABETH WARREN
Hillary May not be the only Democrat running for President. There is a draft movement for Elizabeth Warren Moveon.org . One is reminded of Howard Dean who conducted a respectable campaign with the aide of Meetup.com through mainly the internet only to be ruled out by a misspoke sound bite after losing in Iowa replayed thousands of times by the media. It will be interesting to see if they both throw their hats in the ring.
Here is a video Moveon.org is using to launch their draft movement.
Filed under: Mikko Hypponen, Mikko Hypponen warns that terrorists have recruited computer scientists with sufficient knowledge to damage the internet itself at the Slush 2014 convention., Slush 2014 convention, Terrorists, to damage the internet itself, Uncategorized
Mikko Hypponen warns that terrorists have recruited computer scientists with sufficient knowledge to damage the internet itself at the Slush 2014 convention.
Hillary Clinton; HARD CHOICES: Book Analysis. Chapter 9. PAKISTAN: NATIONAL HONOR. (Will there be another ISIS in Afghanistan And Pakistan?)
TRUCKS CARRING MILITARY SUPPLIES WAIT AT BORDER CROSSING AFTER PAKISTAN CLOSED THE CROSSING FOR THE ACCIDENTAL KILLING OF 24 PAKISTANI SOLDIERS
This chapter tells the story of Osama bin Laden’s(ObL) death and the U. S. relationship with Pakistan. It also tells of recent politics in Pakistan after the military dictatorship of Pervez Musharraf.
The decision to go into Pakistan to capture or kill ObL was a difficult one and Hilary as Secretary of State participated in the decision along with selected Cabinet Ministers, the White House staff, the military, the intelligence community and the President. Ultimately after listening to the pros and cons President Obama made the decision to send the Navy Seals in to apprehend bin Laden.
Hillary was for sending in the Seals even though the evidence showed a probability that a high value At Quada official was living there probably bin Laden, but It could just as well have been Ayman al-Zawahiri or some other commander. Also we were not going to notify the Pakistani government beforehand because of perceived security problems among the various factions there.
And there was the fact that our servicemen would be deep inside Pakistan far from any support if the Pakistani’s decided to treat them as hostile intruders.
Then there was the memory of the failed attempt to rescue the hostages in Iran under the Carter Administration where eight American soldiers were killed when two helicopters collided.
President Obama listened to all the arguments for and against and decided to go with the Seals rather than a drone strike or a missile attack.
Pakistan was a country that we were giving ten times more aid to than all other countries combined. This was probably because we needed their ports to deliver the supplies and material for our operations in Afghanistan.
Hillary was of the opinion that our relationship with Pakistan was on a transactional basis and not based on shared political, moral or ethical beliefs with some exceptions.
The Pakistani’s were concerned that their sovereignty was being compromised by the U.S. conducting drone strikes and other cross border raids but they participated as well in the active rooting out of Al Quada and other terrorists along the North West Frontier where they had lost many soldiers.
Another complicating factor was that they saw India as their major enemy not Al Quada or the Taliban.
After Musharraf left office Pakistan was able to elect a democratic government. President Zardari was elected when his wife Benazir Bhutto, a presidential candidate, was assassinated at a campaign rally in Rawalpindi. Thus the state of politics in Pakistan was volatile.
While the killing of bin Laden deep into Pakistan proper without their prior knowledge or consent caused a public uproar it was not as bad as when our military accidently killed 24 Pakistani soldiers near the border with Afghanistan. This caused a serious rupture in our relations and the supply lines from Pakistani ports into Afghanistan were cut creating logistical problems for our us and our allies. The closing of the supply lines was costing $100 million a month. This was also a loss of revenue to the Pakistanis who operated the terminals, truck lines and their employees.
However both Pakistan and the free world have a joint interest in fighting terrorism and Hillary was able to persuade President Zardari it was in our mutual self interest to open the supply lines to our operations to defeat the Taliban, Al Quada and other terrorists.
Beyond our partnership with Pakistan to defeat terrorism in their part of the World Hillary inaugurated the Global Counterterrorism Forum which Turkey co chaired and which other Muslim countries joined to fight terrorism all over the World. Progams were set up to train police, educators, religious leaders and others to combat terrorism.
Terrorists need a constant flow of new recruits and they are to be found in areas of poverty, ignorance and lawlessness. Hillary believes that the U.S. must be engaged in changing conditions in these places where ever they exist in order to counter the root causes of terrorism.
(Pakistan wants a weak Afghanistan that they can dominate through their intelligence service. An Afghanistan dominated by the Taliban which they still don’t rule out could be a problem for them if they are perceived as allies of the United States the Taliban’s arch enemy. That is why Pakistan is so conflicted because they are wondering who will run the country after the NATO forces leave.
A hostile Afghanistan would leave them sandwiched between India and whoever is running the Afghanistan. At this point it looks like the Taliban will be running the country except for the major cities. Also Pakistan has a Taliban faction in their own country as well as the remnants of Al Quada. There could be another ISIS in this area.)
Filed under: Fight against Afghanistan’s opium trade, Uncategorized
THE SURGE IN THIS RESPECT IS FAILING . OPIUM IS ONE OF THE TALIBAN’S MAIN SOURCES OF FUNDING
“An inspector general report being released Tuesday says the amount of land used to grow poppies in 2013 eclipsed the previous record set in 2007, producing nearly $3 billion in profits, up from $2 billion in 2012.
“The recent record-high level of poppy cultivation calls into question the long-term effectiveness and sustainability” of the U.S.-led counter-narcotics program, John F. Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, said in the report.
Sopko said several areas once declared poppy-free by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime are now awash in opium, the raw ingredient in heroin. He cited Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan, declared poppy-free in 2008 and cited as a model for successful interdiction. The province saw a fourfold increase in opium production in 2013.
Part of the surge is due to increased reliance on affordable deep-well technology that has provided ample water for poppy plants, the report says. The wells have turned 494,000 acres of desert land into arable agricultural areas over the last decade in southwestern Afghanistan, the center of the country’s opium cultivation” Los Angeles Times.
Hillary Clinton; HARD CHOICES: Book Analysis. Chapter 8. AFGHANISTAN: TO END A WAR. THE DIPLOMATIC APPROACH W/O PAKISTAN?
Filed under: Hard Choices, HARD CHOICES; Book Analysis. Chapter 8, Hillary Clinton, THE DIPLOMATIC APPROACH W/O PAKISTAN?, Uncategorized
Taliban fighters in southern Afghanistan receive direct support from the “S” wing of Pakistan’s main intelligence agency, according to a report published on Thursday.
LONDON TELEGRAPH 2009
HARD CHOICES: Chapter 8
Richard Holbrooke, before he died, endorsed a bottom up strategy where an effort would be made to reach low level insurgents to renounce their Taliban ties and support the Karzai government as they grew tired of increasing military pressure. He also was in favor of a top down approach in trying convince the diehard leadership of the Taliban their cause was futile and that they should endorse a political solution to their goals rather than a military. The top down approach was the more unlikely as the leadership consisted of fanatical, religious zealots. However Holbrooke felt it was worth trying.
There were requirements that low level or even top level Taliban would have to meet to be part of the peaceful political fabric of Afghanistan. One; they must lay down their arms: two; they had to reject Al Qaeda: three; they had to accept the Afghan constitution. Finally they must accept gender equality and human rights rejecting the prejudices of the past.
Karzai came on board with this policy of trying to engage the Taliban members high and low in negotiations for a peaceful settlement of the insurgency. To that end he appointed a High Peace Council led by former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani. He was soon killed by a suicide bomber with explosives hidden in his turban. His son took his place on the council.
The ISI or the Pakistani intelligence service was against Karzai reaching a separate peace with the Taliban which may not include their interests. Karzai also faced opposition from his allies who were former members of the Northern Alliance and not ethnic Pashtuns as he was as well as the Taliban.
Despite the opposition the plans went forward and a man named Akbar Muhammad Mansoor who claimed to be a Mullah and Taliban commander appeared. However he turned out o be an imposter.
In 2010 Holbrook managed to get the Pakistanis and the Afghans to agree to a “transit trade agreement” which had been in limbo for years. This would strengthen trade between the two countries and help stabilize their economies. In July 2010 it was signed with Holbrooke and Hillary present for the signing ceremony by the Afghan and Pakistani Commerce Ministers. Also efforts were made to get the Pakistani leaders to view the Taliban insurgency as a joint responsibility and thus close the safe havens in Pakistan from which the Taliban leadership operated. Holbrooke was of the opinion that there never was going to be a solution to the insurgency without Pakistani support.
Hilary in an interview with Pakistani television journalists stated that she “saw no contradiction in trying to reconcile with those willing to talk and to fight those Taliban who still pursued military action.” (This seems to infer there was a split in the Taliban leadership on these issues.)
Hillary believed that there were persons in the Taliban leadership that wanted to talk. In the fall of 2009 she had received word from the Egyptians that a top aide to Mullah Omar had paid them a visit. Later in 2010 the same aide had approached a German diplomat and the diplomat said the aide was trying to find a way to make direct contact with the U.S. Hillary asked Holbrooke to investigate the possibilities of meeting with the aide whom Holbrooke called A-Rod and who was later identified in the Media as Syed Tayyah Agha. Hobrooke’s deputy Frank Ruggiero was appointed to meet with A-Rod in Munich. The bottom line for the U.S was that the Taliban had to lay down its arms, reject Al Qaeda and agree to equal rights for woman beyond that everything else was on the table. The Taliban top concern was the fate of its fighters and the release of prisoners from Guantanamo and other prisons. We were concerned about Bowie Bergdahl a U.S. Army sergeant being held by the Taliban.
Ruggiero returned to the U.S. to report to Holbrooke which was done apparently in the tap room at the airport. (A secure location?) On December 11, 2010 Holbooke met with Hillary and an aide, Jake Sullivan, in her office. Things were not rosy in Afghanistan but military progress had been made against the Taliban and security was better in Kabul and in key provinces. Aid efforts in support of educational and rebuilding the infrastructure were making progress.
Holbrooke was excited about the opportunities and had many ideas about the way forward when his face turned red and he had to be sent to the hospital where he was diagnosed with an aortic tear from which he died.
Frank Ruggiero took over Holbrooke’s work as acting Special Representative. He went to Kabul to report what had been discussed with the Taliban. A second meeting was arranged with A-Rod and he proved his bona fides by having the Taliban leadership release a statement containing provisions supplied by State. Marc Grossman a retired senior diplomat was selected to take over for Holbrooke
In Mid February 2011 Hillary gave a memorial speech at the Asia Society in New York, which Holbrooke had been chairman at one time, where she announced that beside the military surge and the civilian aid and development push a third diplomatic front had been opened with the Taliban for a political resolution to the insurgency. She announced that this had been her and Holbrooke’s vision from the beginning. She closed the speech calling for other nations in the region to join in the effort. The impact of her speech was to let all others know we were serious about reaching a negotiated settlement with the Taliban.
In May 2011 Ruggiero met for a third time with A-Rod. It was five days after Bin Laden had been killed. We wanted the Taliban to renounce all ties with Al Qaeda and commit to a peace process. The Taliban wanted to open a political office in Qatar. Karzai was against this as it was tantamount to recognizing the Taliban as a political entity with interests in Afghanistan. The discussions with Agha were leaked by leaders in Kabul to the Washington Post and Der Spiegel. Pakistan was enraged because we held secret talks with the Taliban without telling them and also for the killing of Bin Laden on their soil. (This makes you wonder who in Kabul leaked the story and why? Hillary is not naming names. Could it have happened without Karzai’s consent?)
The talks continued in Doha and later the sought after office was left open for discussion as was the prisoner release. ( So far the Taliban has given very little.) Karzai who once approved of the talks reversed himself saying he was not kept informed by Ruggiero and Grossman and wanted his own representative at the talks. This was unacceptable to A-rod and the Taliban pulled out of the talks (This sounds like the Taliban all along wanted to divide us from Kabul and get thier prisoners released while giving up nothing and gaining diplomatic recognition.)
Hillary left office on February 1, 2013 Karzai stepped down as president in September 2014 succeeded by Ashraf Ghani. After Hillary left office a Taliban negotiating office was opened in Qatar.
Hillary is philosophical about this saying no negotiated peace is possible without contact with the Taliban. However the real hard choice here is to make Pakistan close the safe havens and cut all ties to the Taliban which was never attempted or done according to this narrative. So the alleged diplomatic approach was severely flawed.
It seems obvious that as long as the Taliban has safe havens in Pakistan and perhaps support from some elements in the Pakistani government they can go on forever. Holbrooke was right there can be no peace without Pakistan and that means Pakistan must snuff out their relations with the Taliban.
Meanwhile the stalemate continues and the bomb makers are still fully employed.
Hillary Clinton; HARD CHOICES: Book Analysis. Chapter 7. AF-PAK: SURGE; Hillary Leaves On Feb.1,2013 Before AFGHAN Story Plays Out.
ONE OF MANY KABUL MANSIONS BUILT BEFORE 2009.
Corruption pervasive before and after the surge.
This is another “hard choice”. I don’t know if Hillary actually made the choice but she surely participated in it. It was three days before Thanksgiving 2009 and President Obama was in the White House with his advisors asking for their thoughts on sending more troops to Afghanistan. The President had campaigned on bringing troops home from the Middle-East and here he was faced with a decision to send troops to Afghanistan because the coalition forces were losing ground to the Taliban.
The Taliban was operating from safe havens in Pakistan our supposed ally in the region.
The plan was to introduce “thirty thousand U.S. soldiers and ten thousand coalition troops to secure the cities, bolster the government and deliver services to the people rather than waging a war of attrition.”
At the time General Stanley McChrystal was in command of the forces in Afghanistan and General David Petraeus was in Command of all the troops in the Mid-East. Petraeus had been successful in breaking the insurgency in Iraq with a surge but with this caveat: he was able to convince the Sunni tribal leaders to join the U.S in supporting the surge. The Al Queda aligned force and others in the insurgency forces were broken and scattered.( They later turned up in Syria and are now calling themselves the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria).
However at this time we had defeated Al Queda in Afghanistan and were looking for ways to bring the Taliban , the principle force that we were fighting, to the negotiating table. The long range plan was to train the Afghan Army to secure the country and leave after establishing the seeds of democracy.
Both Petraeus and McChystal were experts on fighting insurgencies and were of the opinion that there could not be effective military progress without political progress.
To the end of making political progress the resources of the State Department would be relied on to deliver the diplomatic, aid and community services to break the Taliban’s hold on the country. Clear, Hold and Build was the catch phrase.
In the end President Obama approved the plan and C, H and B went forward. Richard Holbrooke, a career diplomat who had negotiated the Dayton Accords which brought peace to the Balkans, was appointed Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. He assembled a team to build an infrastructure in Afghanistan so the people would know that they had an alternative to the Taliban and we were not just there as conquerors as so many had been before. Holbrooke died but his team was in place and the plan of reducing corruption and economic development continued.
Hillary says that “Over the next year we would triple the number of diplomats and development experts and other civilian experts on the ground in Afghanistan, expanding our presence out in the field. By the time I left State (2/1/2013), the Afghans had made progress. Economic growth was up and opium production down. Infant mortality declined by 22 per cent. Under the Taliban only 900,000 boys and no girls had been enrolled in schools.
By 2010 7.1 million students were enrolled and 40% of them were girls. Afghan women received more than 100,000 small personal loans that allowed them to start businesses and enter the formal economy. Hundreds of farmers were trained and equipped with new seeds and techniques.”
This all may be true but tales of massive corruption in Afghanistan can be found here; http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military/news/corruption-afghanistan-wikileaks
Wonder where all those small personal loans went as well as the massive infusion of economic aid. Also the Taliban are still a force to be reckoned with. Disclaimer: the mansion depicted was built before President Obama took office. Also article at http://cursor.org/stories/emptyspace2.html was written before Obama or Hillary took office. However it shows the pervasive corruption they were faced with in trying to turn things around in Afghanistan.
Hillary Clinton; Hard Choices: Book Analysis. Chapter 3. ASIA: THE PIVOT? Too Soon, Or a Prescient Move?
Filed under: ASIA: THE PIVOT, Book Analysis. Chapter 3, Hard Choices, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Too Soon or a Prescient Move, Uncategorized
The Obama Administration decided that American Foreign Policy need to be more focused on Asia where half the World’s population lived. With this in mind Hillary’s first trip was to Asia to show the region it was to be a priority with the new administration, militarily, diplomatically and economically.
The purpose of her trip, had three goals, visit Japan, South Korea and strengthen and confirm our alliance with them; reach out to Indonesia, a Muslim democracy, an emerging regional power and the home of ASEAN a political and economic organization consisting of ten countries , Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. Its goals include regional economic viability, regional peace, social progress and a forum for members to come together to discuss problems; the third goal was to engage China diplomatically and have sufficient military power to back up our position.
Hillary made more trips to Asia for the purpose of advancing Democratic ideals and our power in the area. One was her trip to Myanmar. A closed country beginning to open up. She met Aung San Suu Kyi who was under house arrest for decades before reforms allowed her to be released and run for office. She is now a Member of Parliament. Perhaps Myanmar will fall into our camp and not be a satellite of China.
North Korea remained a problem not just for the region but also the rest of the world with its nuclear and missile program. Things seem to have become worse under Kim Jong Un.
Vietnam is another communist country to watch. It may adopt a market economy like China. Hillary believes a dictatorship and a free economy cannot exist side by side indefinitely and the dictatorship will either yield to democratic reforms or have to tighten control of the economic life of its citizens. That is the great experiment we are witnessing now in China.
The Pivot to Asia has been criticized by our Allies in Europe as too strong a word and suggest we are refocusing on Asia to the detriment of Europe and the Middle East.
Since leaving office Hillary has stated she was a strong advocate for use of force by proxies in Syria. The failure to do so has led to the current situation where ISIS has gained control over territory in Syria and Iraq and is calling itself an Islamic Caliphate.
She also sought to cement ties with India a great democracy nearly equal to China in population which has been abandoning its socialist economy for a more free market economy. Therefore it will be an example for China, if it not has been already, that a free market economy exists best with a democracy. However the Indian economy is not nearly as robust as the Chinese’s economy.
The Pivot to Asia diplomatically and militarily has refocused American attention to the region. However the Obama mission to withdraw from the Mideast has back fired with the rise of ISIS which will call for greater American resources to be expended to counter its expansion.
The purpose of the Pivot policy seems to be that Asia would be on an equal footing with Europe diplomatically and militarily. The fruits of this policy have yet to be seen. China is getting stronger militarily; it is acquiring at least one aircraft carrier, an offensive weapon, and seeks to assert itself in island disputes with Japan and Vietnam. Whether the U.S. can broker a resolution over these disputes remains to be seen.
It also has not seen fit to deal with Kim Long Un with a strong hand. A lot of time and energy was spent in the East while the administration’s most immediate problem was in the Mideast which Obama thought he could withdraw from and allow it to become the sleepy backwater it once was. This was a true failure of diplomatic and military policy. Perhaps the pivot policy will prevent a crisis like that in the Mideast before they get started. Some great thinker once said ”An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Wonder where he has been. Maybe it has been Hillary constrained to follow the policies set by the Administration beyond her control
Hillary Clinton; Hard Choices: book analysis. Chapter 2: FOGGY BOTTOM: SMART POWER. FUNDAMENTAL POLICY DECISIONS WERE MADE BY OBAMA WTH HIS WHITE HOUSE ADVISORS. WAS SHE MARGINALIZED:?
President Obama took office on January 20 2009, and that was when Hillary took office. Before that she had to assemble a team that could work with the Chief Of Staff Rahm Emmanuel and the White House National Security team. She met with the White House Security Team in Chicago on December 15, 2014. Vice President Joe Biden had been in the leadership of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for years and the President’s National Security Advisor was General James Jones, a former Supreme Allied Commander in Europe . Susan Rice was to be U.N Ambassador. All these people she knew well. (Susan Rice had wanted the National Security Advisor post that went to General Jones . When Hillary resigned her post after four years Rice had her name removed as a candidate for Secretary of State because of her statements on the Benghazi, Libya tragedy.)
Robert Gates remained as Secretary of Defense. He has an old Washington hand and she knew him well. Traditionally State and Defense were often at logger head on many issues. However she and Gates saw eye to eye on major issues. One was that diplomacy (soft power) was to be used to the maximum extent before military power (hard Power). Also Gates believed that State had been under funded compared to Defense and that there should be a better balance in funding between State and Defense. The State budget is approximately 1% of the total national budget, while military spending is approximately 18%.
The Obama administration was determined to use soft power and multilateralism to its maximum advantage. Hillary calls the use of soft power and hard power smart power. This can be seen in Iran where diplomacy supported by economic power coupled with the threat of military power has been the brought to bear on the nuclear issues.
Hillary recruited Cheryl Mills to be her Counselor in Chief. Capricia Marshall was asked to be Chief of Protocol , this last appointment met with some resistance from the White House staff but Hillary got her way .
As for Afghanistan and Pakistan She recruited Richard Holbrooke, in her opinion the première diplomat of our generation appointed as Special Representative For Afghanistan and Pakistan
George Mitchell was appointed Special Representative for the Middle-East. He had worked with her husband to bring peace to Northern Ireland. President Obama approved and came to State for both men’s swearing in ceremony.
At President Obama’s request Jim Steinberg was appointed her Deputy Secretary for Policy. Jack Lew was appointed as Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, a position that had been previously unfilled in prior administrations.
She met with Condoleezza Rice on two cordial occasions as well as receiving a letter from her wishing her well as Secretary. She also talked with formers Secretaries, Albright, Christopher, Kissinger, Baker, Powell and Shultz.
After spending weeks preparing for her Senate confirmation hearing on January 3, 2009 she was confirmed by a vote of 94-2.
She took office with the policy of using smart power to its fullest extent possible. This of course was the mantra of the Obama Administration and did not originate with her office although she may have had some input in the formulation of the policy. (This doesn’t sound like a “Team of Rivals but people pretty much all on the same page concerning the implementation of American soft and hard power now known as smart power, to be asserted in coordination with our Allies. Obama and his advisors seem to have kept a tight reign on foreign policy.)
According to David Packer, in the New Yorker, Hillary was an excellent Secretary visiting 112 countries giving speeches and holding town halls with questions and answers explaining American values and policies. However there no major Foreign Policy events like the doctrine of containment, the Marshall Plan or Nixon’s rapprochement with China during her tenure, the pivot to Asia seems to have never happened except in some minor gestures.
Packer says that that Obama denied Clinton the opportunity to be a great Secretary of State “… she and her department were never trusted with the policy blueprints. From Iran and Israel to proliferation and human rights the President has kept policymaking inside the White House, tightly held by a small circle of trusted advisors.”
So Hillary was a ceremonial Secretary of State implementing policy made by the White House and occasionally her voice was heard on policy decisions like the surge in Afghanistan. Obama may have seen her as a rival but as a result she had a small voice in the formulation of policy and apparently she was not on the White House team that made the policy she was obliged to follow.
Obama sought her support in the campaign and he needed prominent woman in his camp and after winning the election she was rewarded with the Secretary Of State position but he did not give her free reign and she was not a significant voice in the formulation of policy.
If there was a Team of Rivals as she says she was mainly out of the loop on policy issues according to David Packer. Thus Hillary in this chapter may telling us indirectly that she was marginalized by Obama and his staff to being an ordinary Secretary of State when a person of her intellect, energy and talent could have been a great Secretary of State.
HILLARY CALMING SUPPORTERS WHILE GIVING THE UNITY SPEECH FOR OBAMA
Hillary says that after the final primaries in Montana and South Dakota when Barack Obama won the popular vote and the delegates securing himself as the Democratic Presidential Candidate he said “let’s sit down when this makes sense for you.” Later she was invited to Dianne Feinstein’s house for a secret meeting with Obama. She says they met alone and he asked her for her support and the support of Bill in the coming campaign. This was June 5th 2008.
On May 31st 2008 the Washington Post opined Biden would be Obama’s choice for Vice President on the Democratic ticket. This was publically announced on August 23 and confirmed by the convention (August 25-28 2008) on the third night.
Hillary says she agreed to actively support his campaign and the day after the meeting, Bill in a telephone call also agreed to campaign
Hillary says nothing about the Vice Presidential position which was still open nor does she mention any other position with the administration. So this challenger who garnered 18 million votes in the primaries committed her support as well as facilitating the support of her husband, both formidable campaigners, without any understanding what her role would be in the administration if Obama won?
Hillary says when they met at Senator Feinstein’s house she, her husband and her staff were still sore and licking their wounds after losing in the primaries.
Particularly there was much rancor that Bill had been labeled a racist in South Carolina by the Obama people. Barack on the other hand was upset by being called a sexist by people on Hillary’s staff. However this was explained away as over exuberance by minor staff people on both sides and not the candidate’s personal views. Thus at the meeting and during the call with Bill the next day these wounds were healed and the union was made. Hillary made the announcement to her staff the next day amid grumbling by some of the diehards.
The Clinton’s campaigned long and hard for Obama and Biden. In August at the Convention she was asked to give the official nominating speech for Obama which she did and called for party unity behind the ticket. However at the roll call the next day she was asked to interrupt it to move for an immediate declaration for Barack Obama as the party’s candidate. By doing this she hoped to forestall some diehard delegates from casting their votes for her highlighting the fact that a woman had won 1009 delegates in the primaries. She did this to eliminate what could have been evidence of a split in the party on prime time television. (The facts are 1010.5 delegates voted for her in the final tally. This appears to be glossed over without explanation.)
Considering all the political power Hillary had and all the work she did during the campaign one wonders why she was not chosen as Vice President rather than Biden whose own candidacy for president had sputtered out after the past misstatements he had made and the inaccuracies in his biography came to light in the Media.
On August 29, 2008 the day after the Democratic Convention John McCain announced Sarah Palin would be his running mate. At the announcement in Dayton Ohio, Palin in her acceptance speech said, “Hillary left 18 million cracks in the highest, hardest glass ceiling in America. But it turns out the women of America aren’t finished yet, and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all”.
It was a “Hail Mary” pass by McCain to reenergize his foundering campaign which could not draw a crowd to his speeches. He knew little about the inexperienced Palin other than she was Governor of Alaska and was regarded as a maverick just as he thought of himself.
Of course any thoughtful analysis would reveal that Hillary and Sarah were so much unalike that about the only thing they had in common was that they were both married woman with children. So Sarah’s chances of converting Hillary’s female constituency, just because she was a woman, were slim and none and we all know where slim was.
Despite their philosophical and political differences Hillary refused to attack Palin as an inexperienced woman candidate. However as later events revealed this would be unnecessary. (Say what you will about Palin she tied with Michelle Obama recently as the third most admired woman in the United States. Hillary is first and Oprah is number two. So she has a certain charisma too bad it’s not backed up by brains or she would be a serious political candidate.)
After the election Hillary says the president-elect offered her the Secretary of State post. “Reluctantly,” after consulting family and friends she accepted. On January 20, 2009 the new Secretary of State took office. Thus the “Team of Rivals” was in place.
Hillary received $10 million as an advance for this book and so far she seems to be glossing over reality for her expected wide audience consisting of the hoi polloi. I also detect the fine hand of Bill as an editor. I guess the recipe by these too cooks was for plain vanilla pudding topped with whipped facts for the masses.