2010 Elections – Response to President Bill Clinton

October 15, 2009


Hon. President Bill Clinton.
New York

Dear Mr. President,

Thank you for your letter. It’s truly an honor to receive your request.

I share your thoughts and concerns about the 2010 elections outcome. Needless to say, that you have experience with the opposition majority during your presidency and the challenges you faced in the legislative process with the “Government Shut Down” led by the former speaker Newt Gingrich and the republican allies.

Although, I agree that the Senators competing for their first term or re-election require the grassroots/base support, the general public perception from the health care debate is – the conservative and the moderate democrats forget their promise to the electorate that initially support them to get where they are now.

Instead, they follow the special interests’ policy in the legislative matter evidenced in the ‘Senate Finance Committee’ health care reform bill rejecting the public option.

As a veteran political figure, I’m sure you acknowledge the voter frustration in this regard that often leads to abstinence enabling the opposition gain majority by default. It’s typical of every democracy.

It’s hard to rally the people even within the party when the promises are broken and ‘Special Interests’ agenda prioritized over the public interest. This is in reference to the ‘Blue Dogs’ and the moderate Democrats’ failure in their commitment to the health care reform, the environment policy and the energy bill.

Despite their claim that their unique position attributed to the demography i.e. the conservative Southern States and the relatively lower population in the remote country regions not adequately provided for through social programs might be legitimate. However, their sworn allegiance to the special interests against the constituents in key issues do not bode well during the election campaigns.

The burden is on the elected officials to honor the pledge made on the campaign trails and not become habitual of post-election betrayal during their term in the office. The conventional political trend that maintains a campaign policy and then adapt to the elected term policy to appease all except the ‘average’ electorate has to change to energize the voter turnout.

I couldn’t agree more with you on the mid-term election vulnerability. It’s possible to strengthen the political majority in the House and the Senate through solidarity among the democrats on all issues concerning every American. Unfortunately, in this respect, the Democrats are severely lagging behind their opposition that remains unified regardless of the ideology.

Therefore, the status quo with the sixty Democrats constituting an ‘absolute’ majority is still an uphill battle for the crucial bills to pass in the Senate without the Republican vote. Such gridlock is unnecessary and counterproductive.

Obviously, the present democrats have to reach a consensus to cooperate in the legislative matter affecting not only their constituents but also the entire nation in the rare opportunity to make progress.

Since, the sole purpose of my involvement in politics against the preferred spiritualism and humanitarian field is to ensure the national and global achievements in every aspect; I will do my best to help the nation reach the milestones by supporting the deserving i.e. the people’s candidates elected or re-elected to the office.

Again, I emphasize that the major responsibility for the positive electoral results, rests on the incumbent and the prospective Senators / Representatives in their role as the lawmakers making important decisions affecting the people and the nation, demanding a dynamic shift from the self interest funded by the ‘special interests.’

I take the opportunity to congratulate you on the ‘Clinton Global Initiatives’ success and immensely appreciate the significant contribution to humanity.

Thank you.


Padmini Arhant

Secretary of State Nomination

January 15, 2009

By Padmini Arhant

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for a job interview as the nominee for one of the most important Cabinet positions in the White House Administration.

The hearing as such did not appear to be a formal environment for the hiring and approval of the crucial Cabinet post representing the U.S. Foreign policy requiring reparation and image restoration.

Ironically, Senate committee with members on both sides of the aisle euphoric with the designate, conducted the session in a manner of formality rather than a serious protocol in assessing the eligibility, experience or the lack thereof and particularly the conflict of interest arising from the nominee’s personal and political background.

In the absence of any hard hitting, nail biting moments given the present highly volatile world environment, the hearing as described by the media a love fest … delivered an overwhelming majority of 16-1 vote in favor of the nomination.

Often, when a democratic process subsidized with lack of objectivity poses an imminent threat to the credibility of such hearings. Notwithstanding, the irrelevance of the job criteria involving national and international interests revealed in similar hasty decisions.

Senate performance of this nature legitimately leads to frustration and disappointment of the voters expecting rigorous interrogation of the candidates vying for major representation in matters like foreign policy.


JANUARY 15, 2009


“Senators must ask hard questions of these nominees and demand that they create an environment of scrupulousness and openness in their departments.

As for Clinton, it’s legitimate to worry that foreign governments will try to use support for former president Bill Clinton’s foundations to curry favor with her.

There are safeguards in place. But are they sufficient? Is accountability what it should be for all the Cabinet posts? The Senate must be tough overseers during these important hearings.”

It is important to examine the genuine concerns across the globe, as Secretary of State is the initial representative and emissary of U.S. foreign policy currently under siege in the devastating crime against humanity with Israel’s determination to wipe Gaza of the map.

Contradictory to Senate Committee view of Senator Clinton’s entitlement to the high profile yet delicate ambassadorial position, the world has a different perspective of Senator Clinton’s nomination that deserves attention.

Prior to proceeding with the thoughts and presentations by various groups both nationally and internationally, it is vital to define the Secretary of State position.



The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs.

The Secretary is a member of the President’s Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence.


Particularly in the early years of the republic, the post was regarded as a natural stepping-stone to the Presidency.

Secretaries of State who later occupied the White House included Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren and James Buchanan.


The Secretary also serves as a principal adviser to the President in the determination of U.S. foreign policy and,

In recent decades, has become responsible for overall direction, coordination, and supervision of interdepartmental activities of the U.S. Government overseas, excepting certain military activities.

As the highest-ranking member of the cabinet,

The Secretary of State is fourth in line to succeed the Presidency.

Federal law (3 U.S.C. § 20) provides that a presidential resignation must be accomplished by written communication from the President to the Secretary of State. This has occurred once, when President Richard Nixon resigned in August 1974 via a letter to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

National and International Radar Image of Senator Hillary Clinton:

Conflict of Interest:

1. “Clinton urged to reveal more on husband’s donors

By SHARON THEIMER, Associated Press Writer Sharon Theimer, Associated Press Writer – 47 mins ago – January 13, 2009 – Thank you.

Extract of the article:

WASHINGTON – Hillary Rodham Clinton, President-elect Barack Obama’s choice for secretary of state, rejected calls Tuesday for more details about donors to her husband’s foundation, saying she has revealed enough to avoid even the hint of conflicts.

An Associated Press review found that Clinton stepped in at least a half-dozen times on issues involving businesses and others who later gave to the charity.

The AP reported Tuesday that Hillary Clinton intervened at least six times in government issues directly affecting companies and others that later contributed to her husband’s foundation. The AP obtained three pieces of the correspondence under the Freedom of Information Act.

The letters and donations involve pharmaceutical companies and telecommunications and energy interests; all said their donations to the Clinton foundation had nothing to do with Hillary Clinton’s previous work on their issues.

Hillary Clinton wrote to the Federal Communications Commission in February 2004 expressing concern that changes to competitive local exchange carrier access rates could hurt carriers such as New York-based PAETEC Communications.

PAETEC’s chief executive is Arunas Chesonis, whose family and charity later contributed to the Clinton foundation.

Sarah Wood, executive director of the Chesonis Family Foundation, was invited by a part of the Clinton Foundation — the Clinton Global Initiative — to join the initiative after it was established in 2005, Wood said Monday.

The Chesonis family personally paid $15,000 for Wood’s membership in CGI in September 2007, and when membership fees rose to $20,000 in 2008, the Chesonis foundation paid them in March, Wood said.

PAETEC spokesman Christopher Muller said PAETEC had no involvement in the Chesonis donations.

PAETEC asked Clinton to intervene with the FCC, he said.”

2. Source: Washington Post Editorials


Wednesday, November 19, 2008; Page A20

If Mr. Obama chooses Ms. Clinton, he’ll get Mr. Clinton — two for the price of one, you might say.

And this is where critics of the Clintons, and even their supporters, have legitimate concerns.

Some of these are backward-looking, regarding the hundreds of millions of dollars that Mr. Clinton has raised for his presidential library and foundation, including from foreign governments, foreign individuals and others with an interest in foreign affairs.

We have long argued that presidents, sitting or retired, should not be permitted to collect this sort of secret cash for their libraries.

The imperative for disclosure is even greater in the case of the Clintons because of Ms. Clinton’s continuing involvement in public life.

Among those reported to have given $1 million or more are Kuwait, Qatar, Brunei, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates; the Saudi royal family gave $10 million.

If Ms. Clinton is to serve as the nation’s chief diplomat, the nation is entitled to know what foreign interests have donated generously to help her husband.

Even more complicated is how the Clintons could pursue their parallel careers if she were to become secretary of state.

Mr. Clinton would have to give up his lucrative foreign speechmaking and deal-brokering.

It is difficult to see how Mr. Clinton’s work with a nongovernmental organization could continue alongside Ms. Clinton’s work for the U.S. government.

When Mr. Clinton exhorted a foreign government to provide funding or cooperation, would he be carrying the implicit support of the U.S. government?

Consider Mr. Clinton’s September 2005 trip to Kazakhstan with Canadian mining tycoon Frank Giustra, who has given $130 million to the Clinton foundation.

The two men attended a banquet with Kazakh strongman Nursultan Nazarbayev; within a few days, Mr. Giustra had obtained preliminary agreements for his company to buy into uranium projects controlled by the state-owned uranium agency.

Neither President Obama nor, if it comes to that, Secretary of State Clinton needs headaches like these.

Defiance In Complying With National Interests:


By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer Anne Flaherty, Associated Press Writer – Thu Jan 15, 12:37 pm ET

“Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, the Foreign Relations Committee’s top Republican, has proposed that Bill Clinton’s foundation reject any overseas contributions and take other steps to improve transparency.

Clinton rejected Lugar’s ideas, contending that her agreement to publish an annual list of the foundation’s donors and alert ethics officials to potential conflicts of interest already goes above and beyond any ethics regulations.

Bill Clinton’s charity, which financed his presidential library in Little Rock, Ark., and efforts in dozens of countries to reduce poverty and treat AIDS, has relied on sizable donations from foreign governments, including Saudi Arabia.”




Posted in: Foreign Correspondents

Here’s why:

1. A central appeal of Obama’s candidacy was that his election would mark the end of the Bush-Clinton-Clinton-Bush-Bush years. Hillary Clinton in such a senior position, along with all the other Clinton retreads, blows that out of the water.

2. Bill Clinton would move, once again, to centre stage. Do you think Obama could control him?

3. Specifically, Bill Clinton’s past and future business dealings abroad and donors to his Foundation could be a huge problem and potential source of scandal.

4. Hillary Clinton proved herself a poor manager during her campaign.

Managing the huge foreign policy bureaucracy is a much bigger task.

5. Would she be a team player? She campaigned extensively for Obama and cannot be criticised for not doing her duty in the general election. But it was her duty as a Democrat and it was in her own interests to do so.

It doesn’t mean she’s suddenly lost all her doubts about Obama.

6. It would create a significant alterative focus of power within the administration but outside the White House – a dangerous combination.

7. No recent Secretary of State has been a realistic prospect for president.Clinton clearly (and understandably) still harbours presidential ambitions.
Everything she does will be calculated on her part with that possibility in mind.

8. There will be many former Clinton aides in senior positions in the Obama administration.
The danger of dual loyalties is obvious.

9. Clinton herself made the argument – accepted by many primary voters – that Obama was not ready to be commander-in-chief but that she was prepared to answer that 3am phone call.
Is there any evidence she’s changed her mind? If she believes she knows best then the chances of her freelancing as Secretary of State become very real.


Hillary Clinton is not the best candidate for Barack Obama to choose as his Secretary of State.

There are a few obvious obstacles to placing Hillary in this position:

• She made a big issue of her disagreements with Obama on foreign policy during the primary campaign, going so far as to call his policies “naive” and “irresponsible.”

• Now she would be expected to carry out these policies and not undermine them.

• She has her own foreign policy team which she could easily fill the State Department with, starting with Richard Holbrooke;

• It would be a fight for Obama to get a significant number of his own foreign policy team at State;

• In addition, there is bad blood between the Hillary camp and a number of Obama’s advisors – especially those who worked initially for the Clintons – complicating who could be appointed where and possibly the working relationships.

• Given these two above factors, there is a considerable chance that Obama could face a struggle in enacting his foreign policy agenda – and

• Clinton and her team of insiders could plausibly mount a bureacratic struggle undermining Obama’s agenda – much as Dick Cheney and his team were able to undermine Colin Powell.

• She and her husband have always been surrounded by drama – from Arkansas to the White House to her primary campaign – in stark contrast to the No-Drama-Obama team.

• She caused a serious international incident during the primary season causing both our strong allies to criticize her and our enemies to complain to the United Nations;

• everyone makes mistakes, but in this instance she seemed to choose to cause this incident to gain political capital – not the best attitude for a potential rival who would be acting as your Secretary of State.

• Her husband and his Clinton Foundation make for a huge amount of potential conflicts.

• She has often seemed physically uncomfortable with Obama and Obama has often seemed less certain of himself around her.



Michael Lerner, Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rabbi Michael Lerner is editor of Tikkun Magazine: a bimonthly Jewish and Interfaith Journal of Politics, Culture and Society. He is chair of the interfaith Network of Spiritual Progressives ( www.spiritualprogressives.org), author of 11 books and rabbi of Beyt Tikkun synagogue in San Francisco.

There is little chance peace can be brought to the Middle East unless it is imposed on both Israel and Palestine by the international community.

Calling for an international peace conference and an immediate cease-fire ought to be the first foreign policy priority for the Obama administration.

Instead, Secretary of State-designate Hillary Rodham Clinton’s remarks to the Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday committed the Obama administration to a path that is certain to fail as it has throughout the past several decades.

She stressed three elements of her position:

— The United States remains committed in its support of Israel, which guarantees that it cannot play the role of "honest, neutral broker of peace."

— The United States restates that it will not negotiate with Hamas until it recognizes Israel (which Hamas has already said it would not do, though it has been willing to negotiate a cease-fire agreement with Israel and announced that it is prepared to negotiate a new agreement that could last for 20 or 30 years).

— The Obama administration will work to bring the two parties together for peace negotiations.

This position is at odds with the views that Obama articulated when he was seeking the Democratic nomination.

At that point, he made clear that we should negotiate with Iran and Syria, which both pose more serious threats to American interests than Hamas.

The difference, of course, is the Israel lobby to which Obama and Clinton have repeatedly paid obeisance.

That lobby, representing the most hard-line elements in the Jewish world but also tens of millions of Christian Zionists who support the militarist perspective in dealing with Arabs and Palestinians, has insisted as a matter of faith that American politicians promise not to deal with Hamas.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the lobby insisted that the United States not negotiate with the Palestine Liberation Organization.”


Perspective Analysis:

By Padmini Arhant

It is evident from the diverse national and international opinion that Senator Hillary Clinton’s nomination hearing for Secretary of State position carried out with little significance on major issues such as –

Conspicuous conflict of interest,

Nominee’s defiance to recognize the fact,

Projecting autonomy on foreign policy matters proven counterproductive while undermining the stated policy of the incoming administration.

Pursuit of militaristic agenda via smart power dominating peace and diplomacy creates opportunity to question motive.

Senator Hillary Clinton successfully evaded controversial issues with a complimentary response to the committee members and failed to provide solutions or strategies for any on-going crisis, thus proving her lack of experience.

The preliminary victory is predominantly due to excessive lobbying within the Senate by members emphasizing more on material than substance per national telecast of the hearing.

United States is dealing with many crises at home generating a leadership void for international conflicts. The American electorate invested energy, hope and trust in the new administration to avert further catastrophes.

The bipartisanship displayed in the hearing is appreciative though it would serve better during legislation of economic stimulus package or health, energy, education and environment issues.

Anything to benefit the people is always welcome and worth the time and effort.

However, in matters concerning millions of lives and their future around the globe the representative of the United States new government must reflect and possess a track record as the champion of peace, an advocate of non-violence and a trustworthy partner for all nations during international crisis.

Failing that, any attempt to restore and recapture the image it once had is a farfetched dream with remote possibilities of that turning into reality.

Senator Hillary Clinton is impressive in other ways in performing her legislative tasks for her constituents in the great state of New York. The Senator’s career as an attorney is praiseworthy.

Nevertheless, in the appointment of the Secretary of State, Senator Clinton’s existing background associated with,

The Clinton foundation and Clinton Global Initiative,

Recent rhetoric yielding her the reputation as a polarizing figure during the unsuccessful Presidential bid in 2008 as well as.

Being an enthusiastic supporter of military action including nuclear weapons raises serious credibility issue and further jeopardizes the prospects for United States to be a major player in resolving complex international crises.

The future of humanity is best under the guidance and leadership of those seeking peaceful solutions against war and terror.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant