Is the Obama and Hillary split widening?
Last week in "The Washington Times," it was reported that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is castigating the White House for delaying an appointment of an administrator to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID.) She said the White House vetting process is not working and that "The clearance and vetting process is a nightmare, and it takes far longer than any of us would want to see. It is frustrating beyond words." Mrs. Clinton added, "I mean, it is ridiculous. Some very good people just didn't want to be vetted." And on July 16th, she said the White House process has become "cumbersom and lengthy."
This follows the rejection by the Obama White House of Secretary Clinton's tough stance against the Iranian government. She wanted to see greater support for the Iranian demonstrators who were getting bloodied and killed by Iranian President Mahamud Ahmajinedad's thugs. In fact, Secretary of State Clinton after the death of Neda Agha-Soltan -- the young woman who was murdered, shown in a video seen around the world on the Internet -- urged the Administration to get tougher with Iran. President Obama very slowly came around to her point of view and did not tell her when he did so.
Of course, Secretary Clinton denies there is a split between them. In "The Washington Times," on July 17th, she said: "I have been consistently involved in the shaping and implementation of our foreign policy." The former senior advisor to President Bill Clinton begs to differ.
In February, Dick Morris wrote a column entitled: "Hillary's Incredible Shrinking Cabinet Role" in which he cited a number of foreign policy czars appointed by Obama. These include former United Nations Ambassador Richard Holbrooke (Afghanistan and Pakistan); the former Senate Majority Leader, George Mitchell (negotiator between Israel and Arab countries); Samantha Power at the National Security Council (NSC); General James L. Jones, the new national security adviser, and Obama's new United Nations Ambassador, Susan Rice."
Morris asks the key question in his column: "So where does all this leave Secretary of State Clinton?" Up the creek is the answer by some political analysts. Secretary Clinton has basically been swallowed up in near-anonymity at the State Department. The headline in "The Los Angeles Times" this week blared: "Hillary Clinton's Star Power Overshadowed, Analysts Say."
Fighting back against this perception, Secretary Clinton said in "The Washington Times" article on June 17th, that "I feel very honored and positive about my working relationship with the White House." This reminds political observers of the remark by the Democratic presidential candidate in 1972, Senator George McGovern, about his vice presidential running mate, Senator Thomas Eagleton -- who had some newly-revealed health problems in his past, revealed just days after he was selected -- "I am behind (Senator Eagleton) 1,000%!" before dropping him from the McGovern-Eagleton ticket days after that ringing endorsement.
Little by little, the schism between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is widening. Some have speculated that it is only a matter of time before there are severe strains in the relationship between the president and his secretary of state. And who knows, there might be an all-out fight between the president and Secretary Clinton which out nation hasn't seen since the primary battle between President Jimmy Carter and Senator Ted Kennedy which Carter barely won. Carter went into the general election greatly weakend and lost in an overwhelming defeat by Governor Ronald Reagan.