Certainly there has been no love fest between SOS Hillary Clinton and Obama. But now, even civility may be rapidly disappearing as a frustrated and snubbed Sec’y of State declares she has no intention of a second term in the State Department in the event Obama wins a second term. There wasn’t the slightest bit of hesitation in her responses in her interview with Wolf Blitzer yesterday.
The rapid fire responses, combined with an uncharacteristic air of frustration, is unusual for what is normally a cool customer. A mutiny may have begun it’s escalation during the Egytian uprisings, when Obama was publicly demanding Mubarack’s resignation, while both Sec’y Clinton and Obama’s Cairo envoy, Frank Wisner, were emphasizing that Mubarack’s presence was required for a smooth transition.
Seething about coverage that made it look as if the administration were protecting a dictator and ignoring the pleas of the youths of Cairo, the president “made it clear that this was not the message we should be delivering,” said one official who was present. He told Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to take a hard line with his Egyptian counterpart, and he pushed Senator John Kerry to counter the message from Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Wisner when he appeared on a Sunday talk show the next day.
What may also be more than coincidental timing, yesterday’s Blitzer interview comes on the heels of Clinton advisor and confidant, Anne-Marie Slaughter’s tongue lashing of Obama the day before. A few days earlier, former POTUS, Bill Clinton, was echoing his wife’s support for a no-fly zone over Libya.
“They are not asking for ground troops, they don’t want us to get in the fight,” Clinton said of the insurgents at a conference in New York yesterday on the status of women. “Nobody wants to see an arms race in Libya, but it’s not a fair fight.”
Clinton, who is married to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, said he was “sympathetic” to the Obama administration’s desire not to enforce a no-fly zone alone. Clinton noted that similar efforts had worked in the past, both in Bosnia and Iraq during his own presidency.
The U.S. is spending $110 billion a year to fight wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Clinton said, and should be able to contribute to enforcing an air blockade over Libya.
“If the leaders are on television pleading for it, I think that we should do it,” Clinton said of the Libyan insurgents. He said the U.S. should say to the Libyan people, “If you want any assistance we will give it to you, and if you want us to stay home we will.”
Kind of amazing that now Democrats are calling for unleashing potential dogs of war. I do wonder how they reconcile this with their adamancy to slash the defense budget.
But the slights and snubs don’t stop there. Per Foreign Policy Magazine, Sec’y Clinton was put in an embarrassing position with French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, who was urging the Sec’y to press Obama more urgently for Libyan intervention. Clinton’s cryptic reply was, “There are difficulties.” This presented a quizzical moment for another French diplomat, who told FP:
“Frankly we are just completely puzzled. We are wondering if this is a priority for the United States.”
Obama, himself, seemed to mock Hillary at the traditional Gridiron Club Dinner speech last week.
“I’ve dispatched Hillary to the Middle East to talk about how these countries can transition to new leaders — though, I’ve got to be honest, she’s gotten a little passionate about the subject,” Obama said to laughter from the audience.
“These past few weeks it’s been tough falling asleep with Hillary out there on Pennsylvania Avenue shouting, throwing rocks at the window.”
Hillary ends her interview with CNN’s Blitzer by saying she just wanted to do her best in the remaining two years of her State Department duties. Of course, after what can be construed as a mild, but very public mutiny, Ms. Clinton may find a pink slip in the mail if Obama decides to find a more adoring replacement.
According to the Hillary insider, it may be that Ms. Clinton finally has politics out of her system and just pines simply to be a grandmother. Or perhaps, after mixed messages, public snubs and appearing powerless with other world leaders, politics has become too dirty and unrewarding… even for the Clintons.
Vietnam era Navy wife, indy/conservative, and an official California escapee now residing as a red speck in the sea of Oregon blue.