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As Long as We Remember...

December 20, 2012

Hillary Clinton to Resign. What’s Next?

Zachary Peters

With a failed run for President in 2004 and a leadership position on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on his résumé, Sen. John Kerry (D., MA) will be advancing his career and will likely be our next Secretary of State.


While the White House continues its search to fill other cabinet-level positions, and the nation mourns the unfathomable tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, the formal announcement will be held off for at least a few days.


As a loyal Democrat and the chief leader on foreign relations in the Senate, John Kerry is not a surprise pick. He has always been on a short list for the position with President Barack Obama, especially since U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice withdrew her name from consideration.


Senator Kerry certainly has the experience for the job seeing that he’s already flown to the Middle East and other foreign countries multiple times. These trips were at the president’s behest. He sought to negotiate and mediate various international issues, an unusual task for a member of the Senate.


He has the experience to do an effective job at State, and, hopefully, will not disregard it while serving. But why is Secretary Hillary Clinton even resigning in the first place? To run for president, of course.


Despite numerous press conferences and interviews denying she will run, wheels have been turning inside the Clinton camp as the former first lady, senator, and now almost former Secretary of State prepares to at least explore a run for the most powerful position in our country.


To start, the daughter of the political power couple, Chelsea Clinton Mezvinsky, has suddenly begun collecting email addresses for possible campaign donors from the family’s non-profit, The Clinton Foundation. What else would Ms. Mezvinsky be doing with this sort of information? The youngest Clinton has not ruled out a run for a political office herself, but while her mother is receiving this kind of national attention, this is definitely not her time.


Second – and most notably – Secretary Clinton has been very careful in what she says regarding the Benghazi controversy. Any questionable testimony could get her into hot water before she runs in 2016. After weeks of debating whether or not to testify on the attacks before the Senate, the secretary suddenly came down with a stomach virus and subsequently fainted and suffered a concussion. Despite the head injury, for some reason she was not hospitalized. How strange that the nation’s chief diplomat did not seek hospitalization.


Secretary Clinton’s staff then contacted Senator Kerry, one of the leaders overseeing the hearing, and informed him of the secretary’s condition. Senator Kerry was glad Mrs. Clinton was doing better, and also insisted the secretary not testify – based on her condition – on the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that brutally killed four American citizens including our ambassador.


Does anyone find it odd that this decision and recommendation were made so early, seeing as the fainting and stomach virus all occurred last weekend and the hearings were not to start until today (Thursday 12/20)? This essentially wipes the blood from Secretary Clinton’s hands, passes it to staffers, and allows her to retire without controversy and prepare her campaign.


Senator Kerry’s response is not a surprise because he wants the secretary’s job and will most likely receive it. In turn, he is returning the favor by protecting Mrs. Clinton from anything she might have to say in an official Senate hearing, further safe guarding any political aspirations she may have. Not to mention, if Secretary Clinton should win the presidency, this would put Senator Kerry in her good graces. With that kind of favorability, a Cabinet level position or advisory role in a Clinton administration are possibilities. That certainly beats retiring or trying to run for Senate again.


This should all come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the Clintons throughout their political reign. They rose to power and stay firm in their stature despite a record of alleged slick and slimy acts to keep their dirty laundry secret. Of course, none of this could ever be fully proven or given appropriate media time or investigation.


But I digress…


In Secretary Clinton’s place, two deputy secretaries will testify on the attacks in Benghazi, which took place September 11. While these surrogates are the next best individuals to testify on behalf of the State Department, there is the possibility that these deputy secretaries might not have all of the information regarding the attacks, unlike the secretary, who would certainly have every detail – at least I would hope she does.


Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., FL), chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee said it best:


"Although I respect Bill and Tom,” [The two replacing Secretary Clinton in the hearings], “we still don't have information from the Obama Administration on what went so tragically wrong in Benghazi…We have been combing classified and unclassified documents and have tough questions about State Department threat assessments and decision-making on Benghazi. This requires a public appearance by the Secretary of State herself."


Let’s hope all of the information comes out and that we get all of the facts and finally know where to place the blame. We’ve had to wait months for this information, which was carefully crafted this way so that it would not be released until after the election. We already know the ambassador requested help and support regarding security multiple times from the White House and the State Department and was denied.


Regardless, make no mistake that Hillary Clinton is at least exploring a run for the White House in 2016. Following our first black president, could we next see our first woman president?


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