Hillary Clinton goes before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today to begin her confirmation process, but she’s hardly an unknown quantity. She served in the Senate for eight years, and the tradition of the club dictates an easy and comfortable confirmation process. Perhaps, though, we can hope that one member of the most exclusive political club on Capitol Hill might ask Hillary about her habit of paying back her husband’s donors:
Secretary of State appointee Hillary Rodham Clinton intervened at least six times in government issues directly affecting companies and others that later contributed to her husband’s foundation, an Associated Press review of her official correspondence found.
The overlap of names on former President Bill Clinton’s foundation donor list and business interests whose issues she championed raises new questions about potential ethics conflicts between her official actions and her husband’s fundraising. The AP obtained three of the senator’s government letters under the Freedom of Information Act. …
The letters and donations involve pharmaceutical companies and telecommunications and energy interests. An aide to the senator said she made no secret of her involvement in many of the issues. Bill Clinton’s foundation declined to say when it received the donations or precisely how much was contributed.
The most ethical administration evah has more trouble from former Clintonistas than anywhere else. First, Bill Richardson, who served as Bill’s Secretary of Energy, runs afoul of a pay-for-play scandal in New Mexico and has to withdraw. Eric Holder, the Deputy AG during the same period, has embarrassing connections to two scandalous pardons issued by Bill and an undisclosed relationship with impeached Governor Rod Blagojevich. Now the actual Clinton in the Cabinet has pay-for-play connections of her own.
Barack Obama can’t afford to dump Hillary, but clearly, his attempts to return to the Clinton era has proven a little more verité than he intended. They didn’t exactly set the world afire in ethical governance, and it seems like Obama has almost deliberately selected the representative worst of that period for his own administration. This isn’t Hope and Change, it’s Back to the Future with Biff in charge of the casino.
Will the Senate reject Hillary Clinton? Not a chance, mostly because many of her colleagues engage in the same influence-peddling with contributors. Even if they did, we’d likely get someone worse. Obama would either select John Kerry, who reportedly is smarting from not getting an appointment after backing Obama in the primaries, or Susan Rice or even Samantha Power. It’s analogous to the Edwin Edwards-David Duke race for Louisiana governors years ago, when Republicans said, “Vote for the crook — it’s important.” (via Michelle)