Monday, February 04, 2008

Two Clintons, two policies?

Last week the New York Times provided another good reason to oppose Hillary Clinton's candidacy for the White House. The Times reported on Bill Clinton's recent trip to Kazakhstan.

While in Kazakhstan, Clinton
expressed enthusiastic support for the Kazakh leader's bid to head an international organization that monitors elections and supports democracy. Mr. Clinton's public declaration undercut both American foreign policy and sharp criticism of Kazakhstan's poor human rights record by, among others, Mr. Clinton's wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.
Right there in the last few words is the nightmare of Bill Clinton as 'First Husband' (Maybe 'First Gentleman' is more appropriate?). How will Bill Clinton be perceived in places like Kazakhstan if he happens to turn up there? Will he be seen as Bill Clinton, former President, or will some of these countries presume he is back in power? Will his views be perceived to be the policies of the American administration?

Bill Clinton is not going to be Denis Thatcher or Joachim Sauer (Angela Merkel's husband). He is not going to go quietly about his business. He's going to sow confusion and uncertainty abroad and, I have no doubt, be the source for a lot of strain in the administration.

{And, yes, I'm ignoring the sleazier tainted money aspects of that story because, well, that's just another reason to not want to see Hillary Clinton as President.}