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December 5, 2004

Bill Clinton: New UN Secretary-General. No not Really, but think about it.

Topics: National News

After reading Captain Ed's post on his vote for Bill Clinton as UN Sec-Gen., my first thought was that he'd gone over to the other side and had hired out to the Daily Kos. Now I know that my "I remember" stories make me sound a little older than I am, but his support for Clinton does remind me of a fellow that I once had working for me when I was CEO and chief scientist for a biotech company many years ago. While sitting at my desk trying my damndest to be important (I was never really as important as I thought I was), my secretary informed me that Dr. Joe(we'll call him that) had called an employee meeting at the "little house" (a small building on the property that we used for breaks and meetings), and was asking me to join them. Well, I had about 40 scientists(MD, MD-Ph.D, and Ph,D) working for me and about as many technicians, and had long before learned that keeping a technical staff of very bright and creative people happy is never an easy task - so I did my best to hide my surprise(and alarm) and went on over to the little house.

Not knowing what I was facing but knowing that it was probably important to listen and be supportive while remaining "the boss," I did so briefly and then interupted them. They were basically airing grieviances and I felt that although not unreasonable, they needed nipping in the bud (so to speak). I felt that they needed  someone that was "their guy" to listen to their positions, help them to resolve their problems or at listen identify them, and then help them to either identify their problems and resolve them, or at least be able to say, "We're working on it." That guy was not and could not be me. What better guy than Dr. Joe himself, a British socialist-type(he couldn't resist organizing something - especially the employees) I'd hired away from a prestigious institute in England, a bright and 'Clinton-like' fellow. Well, the short ending to a long story is that I told the employees how proud I was of Dr. Joe calling the meeting and how important it was, that I thought it was important enough to make it a bi-weekly event, and that I was immediately promoting Dr. Joe to the position of Sr. Research Director(made the position up on the spot).

At that moment Dr. Joe's world changed(and so did mine), and so did his world view. He had become a "suit," and with it came responsibilities and a brand new relationship with the employees. Instead of a long-winded account of Dr. Joe's complete transformation from Clinton-like to Bush-like, let's just say that I never had any more problems with Dr. Joe, I never had anymore surprise employee meetings, and I never had any problems with employees - Dr. Joe did.

Now how do we get from Dr. Joe to Bill Clinton's 'sort-of' candidacy for UN-Sec Gen? It starts with some of Captain Ed's comments in his post today:

With all of the troubles facing UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan at Turtle Bay -- graft, corruption, multiple investigations into his operations, his son's involvement in at least a major conlfict of interest, and calls for his resignation -- we may have an opening at the top of the UN soon, either through removal or Annan's resignation. Republicans have led the charge to insist on accountability from UN leadership for the disastrous results of their management of the Oil-For-Food program, and Senator Norm Coleman's call for Annan to step down is completely appropriate.

However, it does leave the question as to whom the GOP would consider an appropriate replacement for Annan, and we cannot just advocate abdication without having a constructive candidate in mind. Best of all would be Professor Reynolds' suggestion of Vaclav Havel, a man of surpassing integrity and clarity of thought. Unfortunately, he has such clarity of thought that I'm fairly certain he's too smart to accept it. Why would Havel allow his reputation to be hijacked by an organization of kleptocrats and corrupt bureaucrats, when all of the authority for reform would reside with the criminals?

We need another suggestion. Surprisingly, I think Bill Clinton would make a fine choice. And before my colleagues vote to toss me out of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, hear me out.  Read More...

Captain Ed is right about Clinton's personal political gifts and that despite running the White House as his own personal seraglio and turning a blind eye to the true threat from Islamic threat against humanity, many around the world still see Clinton's presidency as a golden era of transatlantic comity. However, there is a juxtaposition of the world's facination with Clinton(ergo his popularity) and his willingness to cooperate with Europe in just about whatever they wanted to do. This could be a problem to the Bush administration in that Clinton does have a tendency for prefering popularity over doing the right thing regardless of a lacking of popular support for a position that is right for America.

Captains Ed says that Clinton is a willing and able concensus builder, does have significant personal charm, and has the gifts to get people to the table (Captain Ed's example of Northern Ireland), and that he would bring a non-threatening American viewpoint to the UN bureaucracy.

Again, according to Captain Ed:

What would George Bush get for backing Clinton? First, he'd get Clinton out of his hair at a minimal cost. Second, he could then claim a spirit of bipartisanship by reaching out to one of his bitter political rivals. And while Clinton wouldn't bend over backwards for Bush by any means, Clinton did offer defenses of the American strategy in the war on terror while the rest of his party did the Pied Piper routine behind International ANSWER and MoveOn. That defense in the UN could disarm some diplomatic tension over American strategies.

Not enough, you say? Still wanting to strip me of my GOP stripes? Well, how about this: could Hillary run for President while Bill served as UN Secretary-General? Constitutionally, yes, but politically, her run for the White House would be a dead letter. No one, including the Democrats, would want to see that much power concentrated in the hands of one family.

So -- would he accept it, knowing it would cripple a return to the White House?  Please.  We spent eight years with the Ego From Another Planet.  Does anyone really think he'd pass up a chance to run the world?

Bill Clinton for UN Secretary-General -- if not now, then in 2006. Let the Man from Hope run the world's most hopeless organization. It would be the best service he ever gave his country.

Bill Clinton as secretary-general of the United Nations? It has been talked about in U.N. circles and among the former president's insiders for more than two yearsAlso here...
As much as I would like for Clinton to retire from public view entirely and his wife with him, Captain Ed's points are not to far off base and make some sense. Captain Ed is far more politically astute than I am (I'm from South Georgia, we gave the country Jimmy Carter, and we all know what a joke that was), and my wife tells me I have no common sense at all. So I'll stake my "expert opinionator" reputation(it isn't very good) on just one issue alone. It all depends on whether or not Bill Clinton is a Dr. Joe.

Posted by Hyscience at December 5, 2004 5:34 PM

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