Sunday, December 21, 2008
The kings of Tyrus with their convict list
Are waiting in line for their geranium kiss,
And you wouldn't know it would happen like this,
But who among them really wants just to kiss you?
I don’t know which is more surprising— that Barack Obama tapped his former rival, Hillary Clinton, to be Secretary of State, or that Bill Clinton has agreed to play ball with the guy who humiliated him by making him sing his praises in the seventh inning stretch of the recent presidential campaign.
Either way, naming Hillary Clinton as the next Secretary of State is a political masterstroke. Once again, Barack Obama has hit it out of the ballpark.
In all fairness to the Clintons, the pitch probably seemed like a softball. In exchange for a coveted spot on Team Obama, all the Clintons had to do was publicly disclose a list of the financial contributors to their wildly successful, albeit highly secretive charitable organization, the Clinton Global Initiative.
Sure, the deal lets the former president feign ‘transparency’ by voluntarily offering up the names of the corporations, countries and charitable organizations that have stuffed more than $500 million into the Clinton coffers over the last 10 years. But can anyone really expect Hillary Clinton, the soon-to-be de facto representative of the Obama Administration abroad, to see past the favors, chits and IOUs that she and her husband have amassed over the last 15 years?
Saudi Arabia alone gave to the Clinton Global Initiative between $10 million and $25 million. The governments of Brunei, Kuwait, Norway, Oman, Qatar and Taiwan each gave more than $1 million. So did the ruling family of Abu Dhabi and the Dubai Foundation.
So why would Barack Obama appoint someone with such an obvious conflict of interest to such a high profile post? Because Hillary Clinton’s nomination was never about building a ‘team of rivals,’ as Obama so often likes to suggest, casting himself in the mold of his political aspirant, Abraham Lincoln. Obama had another Lincoln mantra on his mind when he decided to call Hillary Clinton up to the big leagues, and that mantra goes something like this: “Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?”
By providing the 2,922-page list containing more than 200,000 benefactors, Bill Clinton not only lifted a veil of secrecy that had protected his personal and business dealings from scrutiny for the last decade and half, he publicly disclosed every name of every person from every county on every continent in every corner of the world he has had contact with for the last 15 years.
Anyone connected to the Clintons—all their supporters, their benefactors, their cronies, their champions—all laid out not only for Obama, but for every other Clinton contrarian to see.
This deliberate drawing an adversary out into the open, leading them into the arena, then laying them bare for all to see isn’t just a technique that works well on the political stage. In fact, it’s a technique Bob Dylan has employed with dexterous skill since he stepped in the stage some 40 years ago.
Anyone who has witness Bob in his element knows that when you step on stage with Dylan, you leave nothing on the sidelines. The same is proving true with Barack Obama. Whether it’s writing about a marriage that’s doomed, or plotting a union that will likely end the same way, Dylan and Obama are masters at their craft.
The pending Obama-Clinton pact is a perfect case in point. Should Senator Clinton becomes Secretary of State, Obama gets two of the biggest sluggers in the Democratic Party on his team. If not, they go back to the minor leagues.
Either way, Barack Obama has his bases covered...
Now you stand with your thief, you're on his parole
With your holy medallion which your fingertips fold,
And your saintlike face and your ghostlike soul,
Oh, who among them do you think could destroy you?
For a complete, searchable list of all 220,000 donors to the Clinton Global Initiative, click here.