Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Ex-presidents should be seen and not heard

I know it's not written anywhere, but it was a pleasing custom while it lasted. And it lasted until the polecats took over the Democrat party in the 70's. Check out this puff piece on Bubba Clinton in the Washington Post - Bill Clinton Takes Spot On Global Stage:
In 2001, in the opening months of his ex-presidency, Bill Clinton confided to an aide that he had decided on his dream job for the next chapter of his life: secretary general of the United Nations.

The goal may not be realistic, he acknowledged, but he then went on to analyze all the factors in minute detail, as though he were preparing for a political campaign: whether a U.S. president would ever see fit to back him, for one, and what it would take to persuade other nations to bend the long-standing tradition that the top job does not go to someone from a country with permanent status on the U.N. Security Council.

His ambition, as the aide described it, was both breathtaking and entirely logical for a natural-born politician who had reached the top of the American political ladder: "president of the world."
Grab the sick sacks!
Four years later, say several associates who have spoken with him in recent months, Clinton regards his dream of leading the United Nations as something more than a flight of fancy and something less than a serious prospect. Already, however, he has succeeded to a surprising degree in fashioning his ex-presidency to make himself a dominant player on the world stage.
Dominant? Sheesh, he has photo-ops.
His ambitions are no less obvious than when he was on the rise as a domestic politician. Clinton wants to present an alternative face of America to the rest of the world -- in implicit opposition to President Bush, and to create a legacy that builds on his eight years in office.
Ah that's the Bubba we know. He wants to snipe from the peanut gallery while enjoying the perks of his office. But get ready for the biggie:
The extent to which the 42nd president has preserved influence even after leaving the White House will be far more obvious in September. That is when a large delegation of world leaders, U.S. politicians, business leaders and celebrities of various stripes will arrive in New York for the first Clinton Global Initiative.
Woohoo! I wonder if the initiative is chasing the female staffers around the office?
The event, as Clinton recently described it, is modeled after the famous annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. But Clinton has said he wants his three-day event to be more focused on concrete results. "I'm telling people not to come unless they are prepared to make a commitment to do something when they leave" on the conference's themes of fighting poverty, religious conflict and environmental degradation.
Sigh. Bubba did nothing while he was in office but move his lips. I'm sure that will suffice for this shindig. More gag-inducing puffery by following the link.

But the mention of Jimmy Carter in the article as the prototype for Bubba's exertions, reminds me that although Jimmy may not be bucking for "president of the world," he's got the market cornered on endorsing dictatorial thugs. Building off his success in rubber stamping Hugo Chavez's fraudulent election in Venezuela, he just recently "helped out" in Ethiopia:
Ethiopia's electoral board appears to have lost control of the vote counting for the May 15 legislative polls, European Union election observers said in a report obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The confidential report went on to say the EU might have to make a public denunciation of developments to distance itself from "the lack of transparency, and assumed rigging" of the vote
The EU report also said former U.S. President Carter, who led a team of 50 election observers, undermined the electoral process and EU criticism with "his premature blessing of the elections and early positive assessment of the results."

Unless there is a "drastic reverse toward good democratic practice" the observer team and EU "will have to publicly denounce the situation."

"Otherwise, the EU jointly with ex-President Carter will be held largely responsible for the lack of transparency, and assumed rigging, of the elections."
Things must be pretty bad if the EU complains about what a wuss you are. Good ole Jimmy - give him a foreign trip and his name in the papers and he'll certify your thugocracy. He's a regular "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval" for dictators.

Update: I added the fetching snap of Bubba from FR poster Main Street.