Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kissing Hillary

An editor who didn't get an expected promotion once cabled Henry Luce of Time Inc, "If you didn't intend to kiss me, why did you keep me standing on my tippy toes?"

The image comes back as days stretch out over the possible appointment of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, creating the first tiny crisis of the Obama Administration in the making.

As in all matters Clinton, the stumbling block is the former President and possible conflicts of interest created by his current activities, donors, backers and business associates in the complex corporation of Bill Inc.

Symbolically, he enthused this weekend, “I think she’ll be really great as a secretary of state” while in Kuwait for a paid speech at a symposium sponsored by the National Bank of Kuwait to “share with a select audience his perspective on the issues likely to shape the future prospects of the region.”

The media frenzy, set off by the face-to-face meeting of Obama and Hillary Clinton last Thursday, raises the question of why the vetting could not have done before that event, which was sure to start a furor of speculation.

Now there are reports of rising anger and unhappiness among Obama supporters as the process drags on with no confirmation or denial.

For someone who was almost uniformly sure-handed during the campaign, the President-to-be has let things get out of hand on this possible appointment. Or did he intend to create such venting of emotion before making the announcement? There will be no shortage of opinions both ways.


Anonymous said...

What did you expect him to do, cancel the engagement planned for that day immediately upon getting word that Hillary was possibly being considered?

Be reasonable. He'll cancel things at a reasonable pace, but bear in mind the expectations of event planners and attendees. There could be litigation over abrupt cancellations.

Mike said...

Trickster, has it occurred to you that he should never have agreed to the "engagement" in the first place?

Bill C's money-grubbing ways are unseemly. A dignified ex-president would act differently. (And no -- don't go looking to the elder Bush as an example. Not the late Mr. Reagan, either. Clinton's not the only president to go for a sleazy extended cash-in after the White House. But that doesn't make it right.)