Bill grabs spotlight from Hillary

August 4, 2009

KOREA-NORTH/For months, Bill Clinton has stayed out of the diplomatic spotlight in deference to his wife.

But the former U.S. president has dominated the news since he turned up in North Korea seeking the release of two American journalists, while Hillary Clinton headed to Africa for her first major trip there as the top U.S. diplomat.

Secretary of State Clinton stayed out of sight from reporters traveling with her on the 15-hour flight to Kenya. Her staff said she would not comment on her husband’s mission to Pyongyang, which the White House billed as private.

“While the mission is in progress, we will have no comment. Our interest here is the successful completion of the mission and the safe return of the journalists,” said a senior U.S. official traveling with her.

There has been talk in the State Department for weeks over who to send to North Korea to see leader Kim Jong-il and try to free the reporters.

Most bets were on the other Bill — New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson — or Clinton’s vice president Al Gore. The reporters — Euna Lee and Laura Ling — worked for Gore’s California-based media outlet Current TV. 

Reuters photo by Thomas Mukoya ( Hillary Clinton greeted by Kenya’s foreign minister in Nairobi on Aug. 4)


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I disagree.
Former president Bill Clinton and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton are GREAT

Posted by keith | Report as abusive

Sounds like a huge success for the Obama administration. Talk about getting it done! Let the neo-cons (whose policies during the Bush years wee a total failure) complain, the hostages are released. Eveyone checked their ideology and their egos at the door. a real ‘Mission Accomplished’!

Bravo Bill, Hillary and Obama!

Posted by thebob.bob | Report as abusive

Let’s be clear, this was more than a victory for the Clinton’s, or Obama, or the Democrats on how to do Foreign Policy the RIGHT WAY. This was a win for the United States and how they are now being viewed by the World. Just imagine how life would be different if Florida had not screwed up the election and allowed the Texas cowboys to run this country.

Posted by Ian | Report as abusive

Well lets have a look here:

1. Bill probably had little to do with the actual negotiation on the ground. Even though events strongly imply he was the hero of the day.

2. If this visit was a surprise, it was certainly not for North Korea. Rather, it was concealed from voters in order to surprise *them*. And it worked.

3. As a rule, negotiations are pretty much finalised long before the head honcho shows up to shake hands.

4. We will not know what incentives or concessions were made in order to secure the release of these journalists.

5. North Korea probably had no further interest in the journalists, especially if something was gained in exchange for their release.

6. These journalists were of little strategic worth to any nation. Hence it will be a little harder to apply such success to Iran, Afganistan, Russia, China or any other international matter you care to name.

This affair is not a lesson in diplomacy. It is just a lesson on perception management.

Posted by Anon | Report as abusive

Yes, yes, yes
he’s our man – she’s our woman – he’s our pres

Posted by Eloise | Report as abusive

Congrats, America !!, you have shown that negotiations work,instead of war.Let there be peace in the World.let us all work for it.

Posted by Raghu | Report as abusive

I agree, Hillary is probablly fuming with anger, and gealousy.

We all know Bill always was better at politics and sex.

Whats wrong with that.

Posted by Ian | Report as abusive

These two worked for Al Gore at Current TV. Had they worked for the local dime store they would have been left to rot. What about the three Americans held hostage in Iran? Where is the news on that? Secure their release, without giving concessions and I will be impressed.

Current TV is an independent media company led by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and businessman Joel Hyatt. The cable television network went on the air at midnight EDT (4:00 UTC) on the morning of August 1, 2005. A second network, operated in the United Kingdom and Ireland started its operation March 12, 2007, for Sky in the UK and Ireland and on Virgin Media in the UK. A third network, operated in Italy started its operation February 8, 2008, for SKY Italia subscribers and later for 3 subscribers.

Posted by Bart | Report as abusive

Lets see, we have one immoral, impeached, lier ex-president on one side, and one fanatical, nuclear lunatic on the other — yes-sir-ee folks the world is in great hands and both of them are leaders who should be trusted completely. Good grief – only a fool would cheer for either of these guys. We will NEVER know what really went on.

Posted by Cin Ick | Report as abusive

well played.

Posted by James Reginald Harris, jr | Report as abusive

Next stop for Bill (or Hilary) will have to be Teheran to “negotiate” the release of the “American tourists” who “strayed” across their border from the adventure tourists’ new hot destination in Kurdish Iraq.

Posted by Peter H | Report as abusive

I am very happy that the families have their loved ones back. However, I have extreme trepidation on the cost to the United States. We have put all of our soldiers and tourist in danger. Doesn’t anyone remember the Iranian Hostage period? I cannot believe that we, as a nation, could ever apologize to a Dictator and bow down to his demands. I do not blame the Clintons or Obama. I blame all of us for allowing our Nation to take us in this dangerous direction. It is time we the people take back control.

Posted by Debby Rice | Report as abusive

Go to North Korea to free Al Gore’s reporters… hmmmm…. The man who gave the world the global warming scam has alot of power.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

fact-N Korea requested BC as the “negotiator”…Obama had nothing to do with it
fact-90 minutes is not usually considered “exhaustive talks”
fact- If BC and Madeline Halfbright hadn’t been duped by Kim Jong Il once already,this trip would have never happened….Thanks for being a pawn again,Bill!

Posted by R melton | Report as abusive

Rejoice brave Democratic citizens of the American United States!

For on this day, glorious minister Clinton has secured, through his masterful words alone, the freedom of the journalists of America.

His majestic voyage was both surprising and unknown, until the fact of his magnificant landing on the ground of fair Korea had reached our ears of listening.

He had no need for diplomats or people of assistance. His mere presence alone was all that he needed, as surely as the Gods of the Heavens can move mountains with but a single push.

His words of honey were so powerful, so binding, that Chairman Kim Jong Il was gripped by a divine rapture. He had no choice but to agree to the great master Clinton. And so the journalists were released without a single cost or concession, to be true.

It is said that a new star has since been born in the sky, proof of the true benevolence and divinity of the Democrats.

Let all citizens who deny this, perish!

Posted by Hmmm | Report as abusive