David Horowitz: Democratic Party is marching off the cliff
David Horowitz – Left Illusions: An Intellectual Odyssey
David Horowitz – The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama
Published on Jan 1, 2017
December 14, 2016 – David Horowitz’s speaks about his new book, The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama, which is volume 7 of The Black Book of the American Left, a multi-volume collection of his conservative writings that will, when completed, be the most ambitious effort ever undertaken to define the Left and its agenda.
Horowitz on Hillary Clinton and Saul Alinsky
In Depth with David Horowitz
David Horowitz discusses Radicals and who has influence over the media
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A Most Excellent Explanation of the Left’s Takeover of America
David Horowitz – What The Left Believes
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Rules for Radicals: What Constitutional Conservatives Should Know About Saul Alinsky
David Horowitz – The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America
David Horowitz interview on Charlie Rose (1997)
David Horowitz – Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey (Part 1)
David Horowitz – Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey (Part 2)
The Black Book of the American Left: The Collected Conservative Writings of David Horowitz
Published on Nov 13, 2013
David Horowitz spent the first part of his life in the world of the Communist-progressive left, a politics he inherited from his mother and father, and later in the New Left as one of its founders. When the wreckage he and his comrades had created became clear to him in the mid-1970s, he left. Three decades of second thoughts then made him this movement’s principal intellectual antagonist. “For better or worse,” as Horowitz writes in the preface to this, the first volume of his collected conservative writings, “I have been condemned to spend the rest of my days attempting to understand how the left pursues the agendas from which I have separated myself, and why.”
He has written several books with author Peter Collier, including four on prominent 20th-century American political families that had members elected to the presidency. He and Collier have collaborated on books about current cultural criticism. Horowitz has also worked as a columnist for Salon; its then-editor Joan Walsh described him as a “conservative provocateur.”
Horowitz was raised by parents who were members of the Communist Party USA during the Great Depression; they gave up their membership in 1956 after learning of Joseph Stalin‘s purges and abuses. From 1956–75, Horowitz was an outspoken adherent of the New Left. He later rejected leftism completely and has since become a leading proponent of conservatism. Horowitz has recounted his ideological journey in a series of retrospective books, culminating with his 1996 memoir Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey.
Horowitz is the son of Phil and Blanche Horowitz, who were high school teachers. His father taught English and his mother taught stenography. During years of labor organizing and the Great Depression, Phil and Blanche Horowitz were long-standing members of the American Communist Party and strong supporters of Joseph Stalin. They left the party after Khrushchev published his report in 1956 about Stalin’s excesses and terrorism of the Soviet populations.
According to Horowitz:
Underneath the ordinary surfaces of their lives, my parents and their friends thought of themselves as secret agents. The mission they had undertaken, and about which they could not speak freely except with each other, was not just an idea to them. It was more important to their sense of themselves than anything else they did. Nor were its tasks of a kind they could attend or ignore, depending on their moods. They were more like the obligations of a religious faith. Except that their faith was secular, and the millennium they awaited was being instituted, at that moment, in the very country that had become America’s enemy. It was this fact that made their ordinary lives precarious and their secrecy necessary. If they lived under a cloud of suspicion, it was the result of more than just their political passions. The dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima had created a terror in the minds of ordinary people. Newspapers reported on American spy rings working to steal atomic secrets for the Soviet state. When people read these stories, they inevitably thought of progressives like us. And so did we ourselves. Even if we never encountered a Soviet agent or engaged in a single illegal act, each of us knew that our commitment to socialism implied the obligation to commit treason, too.
After the death of Stalin in 1953, his father Phil Horowitz, commenting on how Stalin’s numerous official titles had to be divided among his successors, told his son, “You see what a genius Stalin was. It took five men to replace him.” According to Horowitz:
The publication of the Khrushchev Report was probably the greatest blow struck against the Soviet Empire during the Cold War. When my parents and their friends opened the morning Times and read its text, their world collapsed—and along with it their will to struggle. If the document was true, almost everything they had said and believed was false. Their secret mission had led them into waters so deep that its tide had overwhelmed them, taking with it the very meaning of their lives.
While in London, Horowitz became a close friend of Deutscher, and wrote a biography of him which was published in 1971. Horowitz wrote The Free World Colossus: A Critique of American Foreign Policy in the Cold War. In January 1968, Horowitz returned to the United States, where he became co-editor of the New Left magazine Ramparts, based in northern California.
During the early 1970s, Horowitz developed a close friendship with Huey P. Newton, founder of the Black Panther Party. Horowitz later portrayed Newton as equal parts gangster, terrorist, intellectual, and media celebrity. As part of their work together, Horowitz helped raise money for, and assisted the Panthers with, the running of a school for poor children in Oakland. He recommended that Newton hire Betty Van Patter as bookkeeper; she was then working for Ramparts. In December 1974, Van Patter’s body was found floating in San Francisco Harbor; she had been murdered. Horowitz has said he believes the Panthers were behind the killing.
Following this period, Horowitz rejected Marx and socialism, but kept quiet about his changing politics for nearly a decade. In the spring of 1985, Horowitz and longtime collaborator Peter Collier, who had also become conservative, wrote an article for The Washington Post Magazine entitled “Lefties for Reagan“, later retitled as “Goodbye to All That”. The article explained their change of views and recent decision to vote for a second term for Republican President Ronald Reagan. In 1986, Horowitz published “Why I Am No Longer a Leftist” in The Village Voice.
In May 1989, Horowitz, Ronald Radosh, and Peter Collier travelled to Poland for a conference in Kraków calling for the end of Communism. After marching with Polish dissidents in an anti-regime protest, Horowitz spoke about his changing thoughts and why he believed that socialism could not create their future. He said his dream was for the people of Poland to be free.
In 1992, Horowitz and Collier founded Heterodoxy, a monthly magazine focused on exposing what it described as excessive political correctness on United States college and university campuses. It was “meant to have the feel of a samizdat publication inside the gulag of the PC [politically correct] university.” The tabloid was directed at university students, whom Horowitz viewed as being indoctrinated by the entrenched Left in American academia. He has maintained his assault on the political left to the present day. Horowitz wrote in his memoir Radical Son that he thought universities were no longer effective in presenting both sides of political arguments. He thought “left-wing professors” had created a kind of “political terror” on campuses.
In a column in Salon magazine, where he is regularly published, Horowitz described his opposition to reparations for slavery. He believed that it represented racism against blacks, as it defined them only in terms of having descended from slaves. He argues that applying labels like “descendants of slaves” to blacks was damaging and would serve to segregate them from mainstream society.
In keeping with his provocateur position, in 2001 during Black History Month Horowitz purchased, or attempted to purchase, advertising space in several student American university publications to express his opposition to reparations for slavery. Many student papers refused to sell him ad space; at some schools, papers which carried his ads were stolen or destroyed. Editor Joan Walsh of Salon wrote that the furor had given Horowitz an overwhelming amount of free publicity.
Cloud replied in Inside Higher Ed that her experience demonstrates that Horowitz damages professors’ lives by his accusations and that he needs to be viewed as more than a political opponent.
Horowitz’s attacks have been significant. People who read the book or his Web site regularly send letters to university officials asking for her to be fired. Personally, she has received—mostly via e-mail—”physical threats, threats of removing my daughter from my custody, threats of sexual assaults, horrible disgusting gendered things,” she said. That Horowitz doesn’t send these isn’t the point, she said. “He builds a climate and culture that emboldens people,” and as a result, shouldn’t be seen as a defender of academic freedom, but as its enemy.
After discussion, the National Communication Association decided against granting Horowitz a spot as a panelist at its national conference in 2008. He had offered to forego the $7,000 speaking fee originally requested. He wrote in Inside Higher Ed, “The fact that no academic group has had the balls to invite me says a lot about the ability of academic associations to discuss important issues if a political minority wants to censor them.” An association official said the decision was based in part on Horowitz’s request to be provided with a stipend for $500 to hire a personal bodyguard. Association officials decided that having a bodyguard present “communicates the expectation of confrontation and violence.”
Horowitz appeared in Occupy Unmasked, a 2012 documentary portraying the Occupy Wall Street movement as a sinister organization formed to violently destroy the American government.
In the early 21st century, Horowitz has concentrated on issues of academic freedom, wanting to protect conservative viewpoints. He, Eli Lehrer, and Andrew Jones published a pamphlet, “Political Bias in the Administrations and Faculties of 32 Elite Colleges and Universities” (2004), in which they find the ratio of Democrats to Republicans at 32 schools to be more than 10 to 1.
Horowitz’s book, The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America (2006), criticizes individual professors for, as he alleges, engaging in indoctrination rather than a disinterested pursuit of knowledge. He says his campaign for academic freedom is ideologically neutral. He published an Academic Bill of Rights (ABR), which he proposes to eliminate political bias in university hiring and grading. Horowitz says that conservatives, and particularly Republican Party members, are systematically excluded from faculties, citing statistical studies on faculty party affiliation. Critics such as academic Stanley Fish have argued that “academic diversity”, as Horowitz defines it, is not a legitimate academic value, and that no endorsement of “diversity” can be absolute.
In 2004 the Georgia General Assembly passed a resolution on a 41–5 vote to adopt a version of the ABR for state educational institutions.
In Pennsylvania, the House of Representatives created a special legislative committee to investigate issues of academic freedom, including whether students who hold unpopular views need more protection. In November 2006 it reported that it had not found evidence of problems [clarification needed] with students’ rights.
Horowitz has been married four times. He married Elissa Krauthamer, in a Yonkers, New York synagogue on June 14, 1959. They had four children together: Jonathan Daniel, Ben, Sarah Rose (deceased), and Mrs. Anne Pilat. Their daughter Sarah Rose Horowitz died in March 2008 at age 44 from Turner syndrome-related heart complications. She had been a teacher, writer and human rights activist. She is the subject of Horowitz’s 2009 book, A Cracking of the Heart.
As an activist, she had cooked meals for the homeless, stood vigil at San Quentin on nights when the state of California executed prisoners, worked with autistic children in public schools and, with the American Jewish World Service, helped rebuild homes in El Salvador after a hurricane, and traveled to India to oppose child labor. In a review of Horowitz’s book, FrontPage magazine associate editor David Swindle wrote that she fused “the painful lessons of her father’s life with a mystical Judaism to complete the task he never could: showing how the Left could save itself from self-destruction.”
Horowitz’s second marriage, to Sam Moorman, ended in divorce. On June 24, 1990, Horowitz married Shay Marlowe in an Orthodox Jewish ceremony conducted at the Pacific Jewish Center by Rabbi Daniel Lapin.They divorced. Horowitz’s fourth and present marriage is to April Mullvain.
Politico claims that Horowitz’s activities, like the David Horowitz Freedom Center are funded in part by Aubrey & Joyce Chernick and The Bradley Foundation. Politico claimed that during 2008-2010, “the lion’s share of the $920,000 it [David Horowitz Freedom Center] provided over the past three years to Jihad Watch came from Chernick”.
Controversy and criticism
Some of Horowitz’s accounts of U.S. colleges and universities as bastions of liberal indoctrination have been disputed. For example, Horowitz alleged that a University of Northern Colorado student received a failing grade on a final exam for refusing to write an essay arguing that George W. Bush is a war criminal. A spokeswoman for the university said that the test question was not as described by Horowitz and that there were nonpolitical reasons for the grade, which was not an F.
Horowitz identified the professor as Robert Dunkley, an assistant professor of criminal justice at Northern Colorado. Dunkley said Horowitz made him an example of “liberal bias” in academia and yet, “Dunkley said that he comes from a Republican family, is a registered Republican and considers himself politically independent, taking pride in never having voted a straight party ticket,” according to Inside Higher Ed magazine.In another instance, Horowitz said that a Pennsylvania State Universitybiology professor showed his students the film Fahrenheit 9/11 just before the 2004 election in an attempt to influence their votes. Pressed by Inside Higher Ed, Horowitz later retracted this claim.
Chip Berlet, writing for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), identified Horowitz’s Center for the Study of Popular Culture as one of 17 “right-wing foundations and think tanks support[ing] efforts to make bigoted and discredited ideas respectable.” Berlet accused Horowitz of blaming slavery on “black Africans … abetted by dark-skinned Arabs” and of “attack[ing] minority ‘demands for special treatment’ as ‘only necessary because some blacks can’t seem to locate the ladder of opportunity within reach of others,’ rejecting the idea that they could be the victims of lingering racism.”[not in citation given]
Horowitz published an open letter to Morris Dees, president of the SPLC, saying that “[this reminder] that the slaves transported to America were bought from African and Arab slavers” was a response to demands that only whites pay reparations to blacks. He said he never held Africans and Arabs solely responsible for slavery. He said that Berlet’s accusation of racism was a “calculated lie” and asked that the report be removed. The SPLC refused Horowitz’s request. Horowitz has criticized Berlet and the SPLC on his website and personal blog.
Horowitz has used university student publications and lectures at universities as venues for publishing provocative advertisements or lecturing on issues related to Islamic student and other organizations. In April 2008, his ‘David Horowitz Freedom Center’ advertised in the Daily Nexus, the University of California Santa Barbara school newspaper, saying that the Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) had links with the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, and Hamas.
In May 2008, Horowitz, speaking at UCSB, said that the Muslim Students’ Association supports “a second Holocaust of the Jews”. The MSA said they were a peaceful organization and not a political group. The MSA’s faculty adviser said the group had “been involved in interfaith activities with Jewish student groups, and they’ve been involved in charity work for national disaster relief.” Horowitz ran the ad in The GW Hatchet, the student newspaper of George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Jake Sherman, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, said claims the MSA was radical were “ludicrous”. He vowed to review his newspaper’s editorial and advertising policies.
Horowitz published a 2007 piece in the Columbia University student newspaper, saying that, according to [unnamed and undocumented] public opinion polls, “between 150 million and 750 million Muslims support a holy war against Christians, Jews and other Muslims.” Speaking at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in February 2010, Horowitz compared Islamists to Nazis, saying: “Islamists are worse than the Nazis, because even the Nazis did not tell the world that they want to exterminate the Jews.”
Horowitz created a campaign for what he called “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week” in parody of multicultural awareness activities. He helped arrange for leading critics of radical Islam to speak at more than a hundred college campuses in October 2007. As a speaker he has met with intense hostility.
In a 2011 review of anti-Islamic activists in the US, the Southern Poverty Law Center identified Horowitz as one of 10 people in the United States’ “Anti-Muslim Inner Circle”.
The Free World Colossus: A Critique of American Foreign Policy in the Cold War (1971) ISBN 0-8090-0107-1 (also published by Penguin under the title “From Yalta to Vietnam” in a revised edition in 1967.)
The First Frontier: The Indian Wars and America’s Origins, 1607–1776 (1978) ISBN 0-671-22534-0
Second Thoughts: Former Radicals Look Back at the Sixties, ed. by Peter Collier and David Horowitz (Lanham, MD: Madison Books, 1989) ISBN 0-8191-7148-4
Destructive Generation: Second Thoughts About the ’60s, by Peter Collier and David Horowitz (New York: Summit Books/Simon & Schuster, 1989) ISBN 0-671-66752-1
Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey (New York: The Free Press, 1997) autobiography ISBN 0-684-82793-X
The Race Card: White Guilt, Black Resentment, and the Assault on Truth and Justice (Prima Lifestyles, 1997) ISBN 0-7615-0942-9
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Dawn of the New World Order: 2017 will be the year EVERYTHING changes
A NEW World Order is set to emerge next year as huge political changes sweep across Europe including the rise of the mega-alliance under Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.
By Henry Holloway / Published 29th December 2016
GETTY/DSNEW WORLD ORDER: Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump will trigger a revolution across EuropePutin’s growing power and Trump’s extraordinary US Election victory are both herald’s of a growing movement against the established world governments.Anti-establishment parties raging against the political class could sweep to victory in a swathes of elections next year and change the face of the West.
From Germany, to France, to the Netherlands – fringe and extremist parties are gaining momentum hand over fist and looked primed to seize power.
Notable victories have already been won – with a shocking referendum win in Italy causing Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to resign in a move said to pave the way for the collapse of the EU.
DSEND OF THE EU: Anti-establishment parties are set to sweep to power in Europe
“The new axis between Trump’s America, Putin’s Russia, and European populists represents a toxic mix”
Fredrik Wesslau, from the European Council of Foreign Relations, predicted the “unthinkable is now thinkable” after Trump was swept into the White House.
He said the political parties are trying to unseat the “liberal order” in a campaign backed by Putin and Trump.
Politicians look to overthrow the established order are hailing Trump’s election victory as the beginning of the “Patriotic Spring”.
There are six key elections coming up in 2017 which could very easily be won by right-wing parties with nationalist policies which would spell the end of the EU.
GETTYGOLDEN DAWN: The Neo-nazi movement in Greece is the most extreme example
Brexit aftershocks: Who’s next to leave the EU?
Wednesday, 29th June 2016
After Britain voted to leave the EU, we look at which European countries want to hold their own EU referendum.
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Frexit, Nexit or Auxit? Who will be next to leave the EU
Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s National Front, could be poised to take power after the election in May in a move which could pull France out of the EU.
She has described the coming year as a “global revolution” after the election of Trump and the victory of Brexit.Mrs Le Pen has promised to pull france out of NATO and “push migrants who want to come to Europe back into international waters”.The alliance is feared to be a further casualty of the looming political shift – with NATO bosses “preparing for the worst” as they fear Putin will invade Eastern Europe and Trump will pull all US support.GETTYMARINE LE PEN: France’s National Front leader could seize power next yearGEERT WILDERS: The Netherlands’ Party for Freedom leader has compared the Koran to Mein KampfMeanwhile, anti-Islam and anti-migrant leader of the Party of Freedom Geert Wilders ended 2016 leading the polls in the Netherlands – contesting the general election in March.He tweeted a picture of Angela Merkel with blood on her hands following the Berlin Christmas market attack – and shared the message “they hate and kill us. An nobody protects us”.He has also compared the Koran to Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf – campaigning to have the Muslim holy book banned – and coined the phrase “patriotic spring”.FRAUKE PETRY: Angela Merkel faces losing Chancellor’s seat next year after major unrestFrauke Petry is also contesting the German federal election next year as the aftermath of the Berlin attack rocks the government of Angelea Merkel.While she does not have a seat in the Bundestag – the German parliament – approval of her Alternative for Germany party has been swelling in wake of backlash against refugees following terrorist attacks.In her first election manifesto she declared “Islam is not part of Germany” and has previously called on border guard to use “firearms if necessary” when dealing with refugees. GETTYGERMANY: Unrest is sweeping across the European nation after terror attacksGETTYBEPE GRILLO: This comedian turned politician has already struck a blow to the EULeader of Italy’s Five Star Movement TV comedian Beppe Grillo has already caused a stir as the the Italian government lost a key referendum.Savagedly anti-EU, he has said “political amateurs are conquering the world”, called Trump’s victory an “extraordinary turning point” and his party won two key mayoral seats in Turin and Rome.He has been called the “Italian Donald Trump” and his party could be a key player with elections expected to be held in 2017.GETTYJIMMIE AKESSON: Sweden Democrats’ outspoken leader led a campaign against migrantsThe Czech Republic is also set to hold elections in 2017 while Sweden goes to the polls in 2018, both with own Trump-esque leaders who could make a shocking grab for power.Andrej Babis, the second richest man in the Czech Republic, is expected to win the general election for the ANO party and has been reported to have close ties to Putin’s Russia.While in Sweden, anti-immigration Jimmie Akesson of the Sweden Democrats is gaining in popularity – campaigning against his nation’s membership of the EU and advocating a campaign to tell people not to come to Sweden.With Europe’s biggest economies set to go to the polls, struggling Greece could also follow suit.The extreme right fringes of their politics is dominated by the neo-nazi party Golden Dawn – who have launched attacks on refugee camps.While it is very unlikely they have any chance at power, their nationalist cause is of the most intense and hate-filed in Europe.Centre-right party New Democracy is the most likely to unseat the government should a snap election be called.The former EU diplomat Wesslau said: “The new axis between Trump’s America, Putin’s Russia, and European populists represents a toxic mix for the liberal order in Europe.”He added: “Within Europe, populists on the left and right are trying to roll back the liberal order.”This insurgency is being actively backed by Putin’s Russia, and, now, it seems, Trump’s America.”The European Union itself risks being an early casualty.”RELATED ARTICLES
Trump’s populist views of self-determination are sweeping the planet and the elite are in a sheer panic. Only a few weeks ago, the sheep of the planet were being marched to their Armageddon. The dumbed down masses have managed to mount a ninth inning rally that have sent the elite into frenzy.
Hillary Clinton Was Supposed to Usher in the New World Order Through the Fall of America
The lies are exposed. Hillary and Bill cannot unring the bill, the truth has been exposed for millions of people to see.
Two months ago, I called upon the Independent Media to step up their attacks on Hillary Clinton’s criminal behavior in a last-ditch and desperate effort to derail her presidential aspirations. After issuing my plea, I can happily report that I got more than I had hoped for. Merely a year ago, I was one of the few voices that was pounding away at Hillary Clinton’s sociopathic behavior. Today, the attacks are so bombastic and vitriolic, that I am joyfully reporting that I feel that my voice is being drowned out by a relentless chorus of voices that has Hillary Clinton in a death grip and they won’t let go. This is a great time for humanity. Even if the criminal elite unleash genocidal hell on Earth, at least humanity will die on their feet. There is absolutely no way that the criminal elite can stem the tide of rebellion against their corrupt and satanically inspired rule over the people.
The criminal elite had pinned their hopes on Hillary Clinton ushering in the NWO by tearing down what was left of American sovereignty. From a Bilderberg, Trilateral and CFR perspective, this woman was sociopathic enough to do what would need to be done to complete this task. However, the criminal elite forgot to do one thing. They neglected to manage her public image. It is leaders like Clinton and Cameron which have awakened the masses, through their abject criminality, and the people are saying enough is enough.
Clinton’s role in the emails, her treason by selling uranium to the Russians to raise money for her foundation, the Benghazi affair, etc., etc, are exploding on the national scene. Former Clinton campaign leaders and Secret Service personnel are speaking out against this despot. The genie will not fit back into the bottle. The elite know this and they are on the verge of a mass nervous breakdown. The playground bully has just been punched in the nose by the 98 pound weakling.
Zbigniew Brzezinski saw this awakening coming in 2011 which prompted him to say the following:
This is what wounded animals do, they lash out in an uncontrollable manner.
The following op-ed piece written for the Council on Foreign Relations captures the criminal elite’s sense of desperation.
The Face of Global Elite Arrogance
Meet the face of global pomposity and unbridled arrogance. His disdain for “your type” is noteworthy and speaks to the desperation of global criminal elite.
His name is James Traub and he and his kind are the absolute enemy of every American. He is the heir to the Bloomingdale industries and a prominent member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
Traub’s elitist views leave nothing to the imagination. Writing for the mouthpiece of The Council on Foreign Relations, he leaves little doubt that the the evil empire is going to strike back.
It is clear that Traub and his fellow CFR elitist snobs are declaring war on any kind self-determination. He expects every Westerner to relish in their servitude to the globalists as he states the following in the article:
“the Brexit vote…utter repudiation of….bankers and economists”…
“…establishment political parties in major western countries must combine forces to keep out the nationalists”.
“…globalization means culture as well as economics: Older people whose familiar world is vanishing beneath a welter of foreign tongues and multicultural celebrations are waving their fists at cosmopolitan elites.”
“…(describes) the pro-Trump Republican base as “know nothing” voters…”
In one fell swoop, Traub validated several conspiracy theories, as being conspiracy facts as his statements admit to the following conspiratorial beliefs held by much of the Independent Media:
The bankers are involved in a conspiracy that work against the interests of the common man…all wars are bankers’ wars.
The Democrats and the Republicans are “establishment” parties and for all intents and purposes these two parties are two flavors of the same party.
There is an overt admission that illegal immigration is about decultralizing the west.
The “Know-nothing voters” who support Trump should be viewed with extreme disdain (e.g. extremists and domestic terrorists).
After reading Traub’s article, there is nothing left to the imagination, the elite are in absolute panic. This is what makes the criminal elite so very dangerous. It is my considered opinion that the panicked elite may resort to one of more of the following to reassert control over dumbed down masses, who are awake to the corruption that has ruled over them for so long:
False flag induced martial law, followed by mass incarcerations and genocide.
A complete economic collapse which will pit one useless eater vs. another useless eater.
Bankers start world wars of epic proportions. World War III could be right around the corner.
If this is not the future that you want for your children, you best get off of your backside and get involved in the planet-changing conflict.
And how moral psychology can help explain and reduce tensions between the two.
What on earth is going on in the Western democracies? From the rise of Donald Trump in the United States and an assortment of right-wing parties across Europe through the June 23 Brexit vote, many on the Left have the sense that something dangerous and ugly is spreading: right-wing populism, seen as the Zika virus of politics. Something has gotten into “those people” that makes them vote in ways that seem—to their critics—likely to harm their own material interests, at least if their leaders follow through in implementing isolationist policies that slow economic growth.
Most analyses published since the Brexit vote focus on economic factors and some version of the “left behind” thesis—globalization has raised prosperity all over the world, with the striking exception of the working classes in Western societies. These less educated members of the richest countries lost access to well-paid but relatively low-skilled jobs, which were shipped overseas or given to immigrants willing to work for less. In communities where wages have stagnated or declined, the ever-rising opulence, rents, and confidence of London and other super-cities has bred resentment.A smaller set of analyses, particularly in the United States, has focused on the psychological trait of authoritarianism to explain why these populist movements are often so hostile to immigration, and why they usually have an outright racist fringe.Globalization and authoritarianism are both essential parts of the story, but in this essay I will put them together in a new way. I’ll tell a story with four chapters that begins by endorsing the distinction made by the intellectual historian Michael Lind, and other commentators, between globalists and nationalists—these are good descriptions of the two teams of combatants emerging in so many Western nations. Marine Le Pen, the leader of the French National Front, pointed to the same dividing line last December when she portrayed the battle in France as one between “globalists” and “patriots.”But rather than focusing on the nationalists as the people who need to be explained by experts, I’ll begin the story with the globalists. I’ll show how globalization and rising prosperity have changed the values and behavior of the urban elite, leading them to talk and act in ways that unwittingly activate authoritarian tendencies in a subset of the nationalists. I’ll show why immigration has been so central in nearly all right-wing populist movements. It’s not just the spark, it’s the explosive material, and those who dismiss anti-immigrant sentiment as mere racism have missed several important aspects of moral psychology related to the general human need to live in a stable and coherent moral order. Once moral psychology is brought into the story and added on to the economic and authoritarianism explanations, it becomes possible to offer some advice for reducing the intensity of the recent wave of conflicts.Chapter One: The Rise of the GlobalistsAs nations grow prosperous, their values change in predictable ways. The most detailed longitudinal research on these changes comes from the World Values Survey, which asks representative samples of people in dozens of countries about their values and beliefs. The WVS has now collected and published data in six “waves” since the early 1980s; the most recent survey included sixty countries. Nearly all of the countries are now far wealthier than they were in the 1980s, and many made a transition from communism to capitalism and from dictatorship to democracy in the interim. How did these momentous changes affect their values?Each country has followed a unique trajectory, but if we zoom out far enough some general trends emerge from the WVS data. Countries seem to move in two directions, along two axes: first, as they industrialize, they move away from “traditional values” in which religion, ritual, and deference to authorities are important, and toward “secular rational” values that are more open to change, progress, and social engineering based on rational considerations. Second, as they grow wealthier and more citizens move into the service sector, nations move away from “survival values” emphasizing the economic and physical security found in one’s family, tribe, and other parochial groups, toward “self-expression” or “emancipative values” that emphasize individual rights and protections—not just for oneself, but as a matter of principle, for everyone. Here is a summary of those changes from the introduction to Christian Welzel’s enlightening book Freedom Rising:
…fading existential pressures [i.e., threats and challenges to survival] open people’s minds, making them prioritize freedom over security, autonomy over authority, diversity over uniformity, and creativity over discipline. By the same token, persistent existential pressures keep people’s minds closed, in which case they emphasize the opposite priorities…the existentially relieved state of mind is the source of tolerance and solidarity beyond one’s in-group; the existentially stressed state of mind is the source of discrimination and hostility against out-groups.
Democratic capitalism—in societies with good rule of law and non-corrupt institutions—has generated steady increases in living standards and existential security for many decades now. As societies become more prosperous and safe, they generally become more open and tolerant. Combined with vastly greater access to the food, movies, and consumer products of other cultures brought to us by globalization and the internet, this openness leads almost inevitably to the rise of a cosmopolitan attitude, usually most visible in the young urban elite. Local ties weaken, parochialism becomes a dirty word, and people begin to think of their fellow human beings as fellow “citizens of the world” (to quote candidate Barack Obama in Berlin in 2008). The word “cosmopolitan” comes from Greek roots meaning, literally, “citizen of the world.” Cosmopolitans embrace diversity and welcome immigration, often turning those topics into litmus tests for moral respectability.
For example, in 2007, former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown gave a speech that included the phrase, “British jobs for British workers.” The phrase provoked anger and scorn from many of Brown’s colleagues in the Labour party. In an essay in Prospect, David Goodhart described the scene at a British center-left social event a few days after Brown’s remark:
The people around me entered a bidding war to express their outrage at Brown’s slogan which was finally triumphantly closed by one who declared, to general approval, that it was “racism, pure and simple.” I remember thinking afterwards how odd the conversation would have sounded to most other people in this country. Gordon Brown’s phrase may have been clumsy and cynical but he didn’t actually say British jobs for white British workers. In most other places in the world today, and indeed probably in Britain itself until about 25 years ago, such a statement about a job preference for national citizens would have seemed so banal as to be hardly worth uttering. Now the language of liberal universalism has ruled it beyond the pale.
The shift that Goodhart notes among the Left-leaning British elite is related to the shift toward “emancipative” values described by Welzel. Parochialism is bad and universalism is good. Goodhart quotes George Monbiot, a leading figure of the British Left:
Internationalism…tells us that someone living in Kinshasa is of no less worth than someone living in Kensington…. Patriotism, if it means anything, tells us we should favour the interests of British people [before the Congolese]. How do you reconcile this choice with liberalism? How…do you distinguish it from racism?
Monbiot’s claim that patriotism is indistinguishable from racism illustrates the universalism that has characterized elements of the globalist Left in many Western nations for several decades. John Lennon wrote the globalist anthem in 1971. After asking us to imagine that there’s no heaven, and before asking us to imagine no possessions, Lennon asks us to:
Imagine there’s no countries; it isn’t hard to do Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope some day you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.
This is a vision of heaven for multicultural globalists. But it’s naiveté, sacrilege, and treason for nationalists.
Chapter Two: Globalists and Nationalists Grow Further Apart on ImmigrationNationalists see patriotism as a virtue; they think their country and its culture are unique and worth preserving. This is a real moral commitment, not a pose to cover up racist bigotry. Some nationalists do believe that their country is better than all others, and some nationalisms are plainly illiberal and overtly racist. But as many defenders of patriotism have pointed out, you love your spouse because she or he is yours, not because you think your spouse is superior to all others. Nationalists feel a bond with their country, and they believe that this bond imposes moral obligations both ways: Citizens have a duty to love and serve their country, and governments are duty bound to protect their own people. Governments should place their citizens interests above the interests of people in other countries.There is nothing necessarily racist or base about this arrangement or social contract. Having a shared sense of identity, norms, and history generally promotes trust. Having no such shared sense leads to the condition that the sociologist Émile Durkheim described as “anomie” or normlessness. Societies with high trust, or high social capital, produce many beneficial outcomes for their citizens: lower crime rates, lower transaction costs for businesses, higher levels of prosperity, and a propensity toward generosity, among others. A liberal nationalist can reasonably argue that the debate over immigration policy in Europe is not a case of what is moral versus what is base, but a case of two clashing moral visions, incommensurate (à la Isaiah Berlin). The trick, from this point of view, is figuring out how to balance reasonable concerns about the integrity of one’s own community with the obligation to welcome strangers, particularly strangers in dire need.So how have nationalists and globalists responded to the European immigration crisis? For the past year or two we’ve all seen shocking images of refugees washing up alive and dead on European beaches, marching in long lines across south eastern Europe, scaling fences, filling train stations, and hiding and dying in trucks and train tunnels. If you’re a European globalist, you were probably thrilled in August 2015 when Angela Merkel announced Germany’s open-door policy to refugees and asylum seekers. There are millions of people in need, and (according to some globalists) national borders are arbitrary and immoral.But the globalists are concentrated in the capital cities, commercial hubs, and university towns—the places that are furthest along on the values shift found in the World Values Survey data. Figure 1 shows this geographic disjunction in the UK, using data collected in 2014. Positive sentiment toward immigrants is plotted on the Y axis, and desire for Britain to leave the EU on the X axis. Residents of Inner London are extreme outliers on both dimensions when compared to other cities and regions of the UK, and even when compared to residents of outer London.
But if you are a European nationalist, watching the nightly news may have felt like watching the spread of the Zika virus, moving steadily northward from the chaos zones of southwest Asia and north Africa. Only a few right-wing nationalist leaders tried to stop it, such as Victor Orban in Hungary. The globalist elite seemed to be cheering the human tidal wave onward, welcoming it into the heart of Europe, and then demanding that every country accept and resettle a large number of refugees.
And these demands, epicentered in Brussels, came after decades of debate in which nationalists had been arguing that Europe has already been too open and had already taken in so many Muslim immigrants that the cultures and traditions of European societies were threatened. Long before the flow of Syrian asylum seekers arrived in Europe there were initiatives to ban minarets in Switzerland and burkas in France. There were riots in Arab neighborhoods of Paris and Marseilles, and attacks on Jews and synagogues throughout Europe. There were hidden terrorist cells that planned and executed the attacks of September 11 in the United States, attacks on trains and buses in Madrid and London, and the slaughter of the Charlie Hebdo staff in Paris.By the summer of 2015 the nationalist side was already at the boiling point, shouting “enough is enough, close the tap,” when the globalists proclaimed, “let us open the floodgates, it’s the compassionate thing to do, and if you oppose us you are a racist.” Might that not provoke even fairly reasonable people to rage? Might that not make many of them more receptive to arguments, ideas, and political parties that lean toward the illiberal side of nationalism and that were considered taboo just a few years earlier?Chapter Three: Muslim Immigration Triggers the Authoritarian AlarmNationalists in Europe have been objecting to mass immigration for decades, so the gigantic surge of asylum seekers in 2015 was bound to increase their anger and their support for right-wing nationalist parties. Globalists tend to explain these reactions as “racism, pure and simple,” or as the small-minded small-town selfishness of people who don’t want to lose either jobs or benefits to foreigners.Racism is clearly evident in some of the things that some nationalists say in interviews, chant at soccer matches, or write on the Internet with the protection of anonymity. But “racism” is a shallow term when used as an explanation. It asserts that there are some people who just don’t like anyone different from themselves—particularly if they have darker skin. They have no valid reason for this dislike; they just dislike difference, and that’s all we need to know to understand their rage.But that is not all we need to know. On closer inspection, racism usually turns out to be deeply bound up with moral concerns. (I use the term “moral” here in a purely descriptive sense to mean concerns that seem—for the people we are discussing—to be matters of good and evil; I am not saying that racism is in fact morally good or morally correct.) People don’t hate others just because they have darker skin or differently shaped noses; they hate people whom they perceive as having values that are incompatible with their own, or who (they believe) engage in behaviors they find abhorrent, or whom they perceive to be a threat to something they hold dear. These moral concerns may be out of touch with reality, and they are routinely amplified by demagogues. But if we want to understand the recent rise of right-wing populist movements, then “racism” can’t be the stopping point; it must be the beginning of the inquiry.Among the most important guides in this inquiry is the political scientist Karen Stenner. In 2005 Stenner published a book called The Authoritarian Dynamic, an academic work full of graphs, descriptions of regression analyses, and discussions of scholarly disputes over the nature of authoritarianism. (It therefore has not had a wide readership.) Her core finding is that authoritarianism is not a stable personality trait. It is rather a psychological predisposition to become intolerant when the person perceives a certain kind of threat. It’s as though some people have a button on their foreheads, and when the button is pushed, they suddenly become intensely focused on defending their in-group, kicking out foreigners and non-conformists, and stamping out dissent within the group. At those times they are more attracted to strongmen and the use of force. At other times, when they perceive no such threat, they are not unusually intolerant. So the key is to understand what pushes that button.The answer, Stenner suggests, is what she calls “normative threat,” which basically means a threat to the integrity of the moral order (as they perceive it). It is the perception that “we” are coming apart:
The experience or perception of disobedience to group authorities or authorities unworthy of respect, nonconformity to group norms or norms proving questionable, lack of consensus in group values and beliefs and, in general, diversity and freedom ‘run amok’ should activate the predisposition and increase the manifestation of these characteristic attitudes and behaviors.
So authoritarians are not being selfish. They are not trying to protect their wallets or even their families. They are trying to protect their group or society. Some authoritarians see their race or bloodline as the thing to be protected, and these people make up the deeply racist subset of right-wing populist movements, including the fringe that is sometimes attracted to neo-Nazism. They would not even accept immigrants who fully assimilated to the culture. But more typically, in modern Europe and America, it is the nation and its culture that nationalists want to preserve.
Stenner identifies authoritarians in her many studies by the degree to which they endorse a few items about the most important values children should learn at home, for example, “obedience” (vs. “independence” and “tolerance and respect for other people”). She then describes a series of studies she did using a variety of methods and cross-national datasets. In one set of experiments she asked Americans to read fabricated news stories about how their nation is changing. When they read that Americans are changing in ways that make them more similar to each other, authoritarians were no more racist and intolerant than others. But when Stenner gave them a news story suggesting that Americans are becoming more morally diverse, the button got pushed, the “authoritarian dynamic” kicked in, and they became more racist and intolerant. For example, “maintaining order in the nation” became a higher national priority while “protecting freedom of speech” became a lower priority. They became more critical of homosexuality, abortion, and divorce.One of Stenner’s most helpful contributions is her finding that authoritarians are psychologically distinct from “status quo conservatives” who are the more prototypical conservatives—cautious about radical change. Status quo conservatives compose the long and distinguished lineage from Edmund Burke’s prescient reflections and fears about the early years of the French revolution through William F. Buckley’s statement that his conservative magazine National Review would “stand athwart history yelling ‘Stop!’”Status quo conservatives are not natural allies of authoritarians, who often favor radical change and are willing to take big risks to implement untested policies. This is why so many Republicans—and nearly all conservative intellectuals—oppose Donald Trump; he is simply not a conservative by the test of temperament or values. But status quo conservatives can be drawn into alliance with authoritarians when they perceive that progressives have subverted the country’s traditions and identity so badly that dramatic political actions (such as Brexit, or banning Muslim immigration to the United States) are seen as the only remaining way of yelling “Stop!” Brexit can seem less radical than the prospect of absorption into the “ever closer union” of the EU.So now we can see why immigration—particularly the recent surge in Muslim immigration from Syria—has caused such powerfully polarized reactions in so many European countries, and even in the United States where the number of Muslim immigrants is low. Muslim Middle Eastern immigrants are seen by nationalists as posing a far greater threat of terrorism than are immigrants from any other region or religion. But Stenner invites us to look past the security threat and examine the normative threat. Islam asks adherents to live in ways that can make assimilation into secular egalitarian Western societies more difficult compared to other groups. (The same can be said for Orthodox Jews, and Stenner’s authoritarian dynamic can help explain why we are seeing a resurgence of right-wing anti-Semitism in the United States.) Muslims don’t just observe different customs in their private lives; they often request and receive accommodations in law and policy from their host countries, particularly in matters related to gender. Some of the most pitched battles of recent decades in France and other European countries have been fought over the veiling and covering of women, and the related need for privacy and gender segregation. For example, some public swimming pools in Sweden now offer times of day when only women are allowed to swim. This runs contrary to strong Swedish values regarding gender equality and non-differentiation.So whether you are a status quo conservative concerned about rapid change or an authoritarian who is hypersensitive to normative threat, high levels of Muslim immigration into your Western nation are likely to threaten your core moral concerns. But as soon as you speak up to voice those concerns, globalists will scorn you as a racist and a rube. When the globalists—even those who run the center-right parties in your country—come down on you like that, where can you turn? The answer, increasingly, is to the far right-wing nationalist parties in Europe, and to Donald Trump, who just engineered a hostile takeover of the Republican Party in America.The Authoritarian Dynamic was published in 2005 and the word “Muslim” occurs just six times (in contrast to 100 appearances of the word “black”). But Stenner’s book offers a kind of Rosetta stone for interpreting the rise of right-wing populism and its focus on Muslims in 2016. Stenner notes that her theory “explains the kind of intolerance that seems to ‘come out of nowhere,’ that can spring up in tolerant and intolerant cultures alike, producing sudden changes in behavior that cannot be accounted for by slowly changing cultural traditions.”She contrasts her theory with those who see an unstoppable tide of history moving away from traditions and “toward greater respect for individual freedom and difference,” and who expect people to continue evolving “into more perfect liberal democratic citizens.“ She does not say which theorists she has in mind, but Welzel and his World Values Survey collaborators, as well as Francis Fukuyama’s “end of history” thesis, seem to be likely candidates. Stenner does not share the optimism of those theorists about the future of Western liberal democracies. She acknowledges the general trends toward tolerance, but she predicts that these very trends create conditions that hyper-activate authoritarians and produce a powerful backlash. She offered this prophecy:
[T]he increasing license allowed by those evolving cultures generates the very conditions guaranteed to goad latent authoritarians to sudden and intense, perhaps violent, and almost certainly unexpected, expressions of intolerance. Likewise, then, if intolerance is more a product of individual psychology than of cultural norms…we get a different vision of the future, and a different understanding of whose problem this is and will be, than if intolerance is an almost accidental by-product of simple attachment to tradition. The kind of intolerance that springs from aberrant individual psychology, rather than the disinterested absorption of pervasive cultural norms, is bound to be more passionate and irrational, less predictable, less amenable to persuasion, and more aggravated than educated by the cultural promotion of tolerance [emphasis added].
Writing in 2004, Stenner predicted that “intolerance is not a thing of the past, it is very much a thing of the future.”
Chapter Four: What Now?The upshot of all this is that the answer to the question we began with—What on earth is going on?—cannot be found just by looking at the nationalists and pointing to their economic conditions and the racism that some of them do indeed display. One must first look at the globalists, and at how their changing values may drive many of their fellow citizens to support right-wing political leaders. In particular, globalists often support high levels of immigration and reductions in national sovereignty; they tend to see transnational entities such as the European Union as being morally superior to nation-states; and they vilify the nationalists and their patriotism as “racism pure and simple.” These actions press the “normative threat” button in the minds of those who are predisposed to authoritarianism, and these actions can drive status quo conservatives to join authoritarians in fighting back against the globalists and their universalistic projects.If this argument is correct, then it leads to a clear set of policy prescriptions for globalists. First and foremost: Think carefully about the way your country handles immigration and try to manage it in a way that is less likely to provoke an authoritarian reaction. Pay attention to three key variables: the percentage of foreign-born residents at any given time, the degree of moral difference of each incoming group, and the degree of assimilation being achieved by each group’s children.Legal immigration from morally different cultures is not problematic even with low levels of assimilation if the numbers are kept low; small ethnic enclaves are not a normative threat to any sizable body politic. Moderate levels of immigration by morally different ethnic groups are fine, too, as long as the immigrants are seen as successfully assimilating to the host culture. When immigrants seem eager to embrace the language, values, and customs of their new land, it affirms nationalists’ sense of pride that their nation is good, valuable, and attractive to foreigners. But whenever a country has historically high levels of immigration, from countries with very different moralities, and without a strong and successful assimilationist program, it is virtually certain that there will be an authoritarian counter-reaction, and you can expect many status quo conservatives to support it.Stenner ends The Authoritarian Dynamic with some specific and constructive advice:
[A]ll the available evidence indicates that exposure to difference, talking about difference, and applauding difference—the hallmarks of liberal democracy—are the surest ways to aggravate those who are innately intolerant, and to guarantee the increased expression of their predispositions in manifestly intolerant attitudes and behaviors. Paradoxically, then, it would seem that we can best limit intolerance of difference by parading, talking about, and applauding our sameness…. Ultimately, nothing inspires greater tolerance from the intolerant than an abundance of common and unifying beliefs, practices, rituals, institutions, and processes. And regrettably, nothing is more certain to provoke increased expression of their latent predispositions than the likes of “multicultural education,” bilingual policies, and nonassimilation.
If Stenner is correct, then her work has profound implications, not just for America, which was the focus of her book, but perhaps even more so for Europe. Donald Tusk, the current president of the European Council, recently gave a speech to a conclave of center-right Christian Democratic leaders (who, as members of the educated elite, are still generally globalists). Painfully aware of the new authoritarian supremacy in his native Poland, he chastised himself and his colleagues for pushing a “utopia of Europe without nation-states.” This, he said, has caused the recent Euroskeptic backlash: “Obsessed with the idea of instant and total integration, we failed to notice that ordinary people, the citizens of Europe, do not share our Euro-enthusiasm.”
Democracy requires letting ordinary citizens speak. The majority spoke in Britain on June 23, and majorities of similar mien may soon make themselves heard in other European countries, and possibly in the United States in November. The year 2016 will likely be remembered as a major turning point in the trajectory of Western democracies. Those who truly want to understand what is happening should carefully consider the complex interplay of globalization, immigration, and changing values.If the story I have told here is correct, then the globalists could easily speak, act, and legislate in ways that drain passions and votes away from nationalist parties, but this would require some deep rethinking about the value of national identities and cohesive moral communities. It would require abandoning the multicultural approach to immigration and embracing assimilation.The great question for Western nations after 2016 may be this: How do we reap the gains of global cooperation in trade, culture, education, human rights, and environmental protection while respecting—rather than diluting or crushing—the world’s many local, national, and other “parochial” identities, each with its own traditions and moral order? In what kind of world can globalists and nationalists live together in peace?
Jonathan Haidt is a social psychologist and professor in the Business and Society Program at New York University—Stern School of Business. He is the author of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion.
Now, THEREFORE, I, BARACK H. OBAMA, President of the United States, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Hillary Clinton for all offenses against the United States which she, Hillary Clinton, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 21, 2009 through February 1, 2013.
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In dashing through his last few weeks in office, will one of Obama’s final acts be to pardon Hillary Clinton for any violations of federal law she might have committed while she was secretary of State?
It’s an interesting and complex question.
We should first note that the Obama administration’s decision not to prosecute Clinton would not bind the Trump administration. Until relevant statutes of limitations have expired, she could still be prosecuted by the new administration. It is possible, in my opinion, for Clinton to be prosecuted for either her improper handling of classified information on her “home brew” email server or allegations of “pay to play” arrangements between the secretary of State and donors to the Clinton Foundation, which could constitute bribery.
The statute of limitations for most federal crimes is five years from the commission of the offense; that would apply to the two categories relevant to Clinton. Her tenure as secretary of State ended Feb. 1, 2013, so it is possible that the statute of limitations will not run until Feb. 1, 2018, more than a year after Donald Trump takes office.
What looks like one question — will the president pardon Clinton? — turns out, on analysis, to be two. The first question is: Would Clinton wish to receive a pardon?
That question seems to be a proverbial no-brainer. Surely, any person who had been in federal government would be eager to receive a presidential pardon, because it eliminates even the possibility of federal prosecution. That looks like all upside and no downside.
But there is a downside, and it isn’t trivial. A pardon must be accepted by the person who is pardoned if it is to effectively stymie any prosecution.
Furthermore, there is solid legal precedent that acceptance of a pardon is equivalent to confession of guilt. A U.S. Supreme Court case from 1915 called Burdick v. U.S. establishes that principle; it has never been overturned.
If acceptance of a pardon by Clinton would amount to confession of guilt, would she nevertheless accept it? A multitude of factors would go into her decision.
She, together with her attorneys, would have to decide how likely it is that the Trump administration would prosecute her, and, if it did decide to prosecute, how likely the administration would be able to prove she had committed crimes.
Since being elected, Trump has been remarkably warm towards the person he used to call “Crooked Hillary.” But how confident could Clinton be that the Justice Department, under a Trump administration, would not prosecute?
Prosecutorial decisions are supposed to be independent of political considerations, so Trump’s recent friendliness should not be controlling once the new attorney general is in office.
If Clinton believes prosecutors might be able to make a strong case against her, the value to her of a pardon increases. If she is confident that any case against her would be weak or even futile, the pardon has less value.
If Clinton decides that, everything considered, she would prefer to receive a pardon, she would no doubt be able to convey that message to Obama, and then the ball would be in his court. Thus, the second question is: Would Obama grant Clinton’s request for a pardon?
From Obama’s perspective, the decision to grant or withhold a pardon is a political and a personal one. Legal considerations do not directly arise.
Like all presidents at the end of their terms, he is concerned about the legacy he leaves for history. Does he want his legacy to include a pardon of the secretary of State who served under him during the entirety of his first term in office?
Because acceptance of a pardon amounts to a confession of guilt, the acceptance by Clinton would, to a degree, besmirch both Clinton and also Obama. After all, Clinton was Obama’s secretary of State. If she was committing illegal acts as secretary, it happened literally on his watch.
On the other hand, if the new administration were to prosecute and convict Clinton of crimes committed while she was secretary, that might be an even greater embarrassment for Obama post-presidency.
In addition to calculations regarding his legacy, Obama and Clinton surely have developed over many years, both as opponents and as teammates, a personal relationship. If Clinton were to ask Obama for a pardon, how would that personal relationship play into his response? I cannot say.
Days after Trump won the election, the White House press secretary was asked by Jordan Fabian of The Hill whether Obama would consider pardoning Clinton. He carefully avoided a direct answer.
Instead, the press secretary said that, in cases where Obama had granted pardons, “[w]e didn’t talk in advance about those decisions.” He also expressed hope that the new administration would follow “a long tradition in this country of people in power not using the criminal justice system to exact political revenge.”
Of course, there is also a long tradition in this country that no one is above the law, no matter how high a position in government he or she might have formerly occupied.
So, those are the main considerations that would go into deciding a very complex question. It’s time for all of us to show our hands.
I’m saying yes, he will pardon her. Can you beat that?
David E. Weisberg is a semi-retired attorney and a member of the New York state bar. He currently resides in Cary, North Carolina, and has published pieces on the Social Science Research Network and in The Times of Israel.
Would Obama consider pardoning Clinton?
Trump has promised to put her in jail, but Obama could forestall that possibility with the stroke of a pen.
President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign was energized by calls to prosecute Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server containing classified information, but one man now has a unique power to frustrate the Trump partisans’ cries of “Lock her up!”: President Barack Obama.
Experts agree that Obama has the authority to foreclose that possibility by pardoning Clinton for any federal offenses she may have committed or could ever be prosecuted for. And he could do it whether she asks or not.
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“The president here will, I’m sure, consider using what tools he has in his last couple of weeks, including a pardon, to do what he can before Trump takes over,” said Harold Krent, dean of the Chicago-Kent College of Law. “There’s a window and presidents have used those windows to accomplish a variety of goals.”
“What he’s going to do with this power in the next two months is really a good question,” said a close observer of the pardon process who asked not be named. “There are so many things on the table….This whole event is going to cause us to think even more about: what is this power?”
But such an act of clemency for Clinton is fraught with danger to Obama’s reputation and to hers, as any move to protect the failed Democratic presidential nominee would surely trigger charges of unfairness and political favoritism, while seeming to some to be an admission of guilt.
While Trump’s campaign-rhetoric about subjecting Clinton to a special prosecutor who would put her “in jail” was stark and fired up his crowds, he seems likely to softpedal that kind of talk in the coming weeks as he looks to bridge the stark divide in the country and build legitimacy.
Indeed, Wednesday morning, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway suggested the issue of prosecuting Clinton has moved to the back burner for now.
“We did not discuss that last night since his victory. And he certainly didn’t address it with Mrs. Clinton on the phone,” Conway said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“I think you heard his own words last night — to the extent that one man can as president, certainly Vice President Pence who’s phenomenal, they’re looking to unify the country. But we haven’t discussed that in recent days. And I think that it’s all in good time,” she added.
Still, a pardon would offer the only foolproof way to head off such a prosecution. And the window for Clinton’s best shot at clemency closes on Jan. 20.
Such a move by Obama could also be a boon of sorts for Trump. It would provide a convenient way for the incoming president not to follow through with a renewed investigation that could breed further resentment from Democrats.
When it comes to considering a pardon for Clinton, however, one of the biggest obstacles could be Obama’s own words.
At a press conference in August, Obama pledged to handle last-minute pardons by the book, distancing himself from the chaotic situation that played out in the final days of Bill Clinton’s presidency and tarnished his legacy.
“The process that I put in place is not going to vary depending on how close I get to the election. So it’s going to be reviewed by the pardon attorney, it will be reviewed by my White House counsel, and I’m going to, as best as I can, make these decisions based on the merits, as opposed to political considerations,” Obama said.
The White House on Wednesday refused to say whether Obama would consider pardoning Clinton , but appeared to issue a warning to Trump, saying powerful people should not exploit the criminal justice system for “political revenge.”
“As you know the president has offered clemency to a substantial number of Americans who were previously serving time in federal prisons,”, Earnest told reporters during the daily briefing. “And we didn’t talk in advance about the president’s plans to offer clemency to any of those individuals and that is because we don’t talk about the president’s thinking, particularly with respect to any specific cases that may apply to pardons or commutations.”
He added, “We have a long tradition in this country of people in power not using the criminal justice system to enact political revenge. In fact we go a long way to insulate the criminal justice system from partisan politics.”
Longtime Clinton lawyer David Kendall did not respond to a request for comment.
The legacy questions seem certain to be at the top of Obama’s mind. Ford’s pardon of Nixon was highly controversial and the time and helped cost Ford the 1976 election. Bill Clinton’s late-term pardons of financier Marc Rich and others unleashed a controversy that still mars Clinton’s image.
There are numerous precedents for a pre-trial pardon, including one in a high-profile case of mishandling classified information.
In one of his late term pardons in 2001, Clinton granted clemency to former CIA Director John Deutch, who had agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor for storing classified information on his home computer. Deutch had actually signed a plea agreement, but the paperwork had never been filed in court.
Ford’s pardon of Nixon also came before any charges had been filed against him. The broadly-worded decree absolved Nixon of guilt “for all offenses against the United States which he…has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.”
Nixon never asked for or accepted the pardon, but that didn’t affect its validity. (A 1927 Supreme Court case says an unconditional pardon is valid whether or not it’s accepted by the recipient.)
Part of the fairness consideration in Clinton’s case would involve her own aides. How could Obama block a prosecution of Clinton but leave her aides and others caught up in the email fiasco without any protection?
It seems doubtful that a prosecutor would charge one or more Clinton aides or allies if she was off the hook, but it’s far from impossible. Oftentimes in such cases, aides wind up in prosecutors’ crosshairs even when higher-ranking officials escape charges.
A good example of that is Lewis (Scooter) Libby, former Chief of Staff to Vice President Cheney, who was charged with lying and obstruction of justice in an investigation into who leaked the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame.
In 2007, Libby was convicted by a jury and sentenced to two and a half years in prison. President George W. Bush commuted the sentence, sparing Libby jail time. However, Bush turned down repeated pleas from Cheney to clear Libby with a full pardon.
Wording a Clinton pardon might not be easy, lawyers say.
If Obama is fully intent on closing the book on a Clinton prosecution, he could try to sweep in not only her conduct as secretary of state, but also her statements since and anything she might have done in connection with the Clinton Foundation. Moving in that direction would again raise questions of whether Obama would excuse others or just his former secretary of state.
While pre-trial, pre-charge pardons have been uncommon in recent years, there are many examples throughout American history.
In 1974, Ford issued an amnesty for Vietnam War draft dodgers and deserters, conditioned on two years of public service in U.S.
In 1977, President Jimmy Carter issued a blanket, unconditional pardon to hundreds of thousands of men who dodged the draft during the Vietnam War era. Many had been charged, but most had not.
And in 1894, President Grover Cleveland pardoned an unnamed and uncounted number of Mormons in Utah, excusing them from prosecution for bigamy and related crimes.
The pardon power “is unlimited and unreviewable,” former House counsel Stan Brand said. “Constitutionally, certainly [Obama] could do that.”
Brand said he doubts Trump will follow through on his threats of a special prosecutor, but the former Congressional attorney acknowledged that’s a political judgment, so Clinton’s lawyers seem certain to consider the pardon option.
“If he wants to be president, he’s the president-elect now, he truly has to switch from campaign mode to governing mode,” Brand added. “I’d say good luck to them politically, if [Trump’s team] thinks that’s going to advance their agenda.”
A lot of us figured this was coming, but now the mainstream media is predicting the obvious in print.
In a piece by contributor David Weisberg over at The Hill, he declares that Obama will make sure to pardon Hillary Clinton “for any violations of federal law she might have committed while she was secretary of state.”
We should first note that the Obama administration’s decision not to prosecute Mrs. Clinton would not bind the Trump administration. Until relevant statutes of limitations have expired, she could still be prosecuted by the new administration. It is possible in my opinion for Clinton to be prosecuted for either her improper handling of classified information on “home brew,” or allegations of “pay to play” arrangements between the secretary of state and donors to the Clinton Foundation, which could constitute bribery.
The statute of limitations for most federal crimes is five years from the commission of the offense; that would apply to the two categories relevant to Mrs. Clinton. Her tenure as secretary of state ended Feb. 1, 2013, so it is possible that the statute of limitations will not run until Feb. 1, 2018, more than a year after Mr. Trump takes office.
Apparently, however, there is legal precedent for the acceptance of a pardon being equal to an admission of guilt. It was established by a 1915 U.S. Supreme Court case, Burdick v. U.S. which has never been overturned. In other words, if Hillary takes the pardon, she’s admitting she committed at least one crime she committed and needs to be pardoned for.
Then again, is it even likely Trump is actually going to prosecute Hillary anyway? Pretty much as soon as he won, he announced that he no longer planned to. Even Weisberg points out, “Since being elected, Mr. Trump has been remarkably warm towards the person he used to call ‘crooked Hillary’.” It’s been speculated Trump’s promise not to prosecute was part of the phone call ensuring Hillary would concede. Then again, they’d been pretty good friends for the two decades leading up to the election.
Weisberg goes on to say he thinks Obama’s pardon for Hillary is forthcoming. Why not. The White House won’t deny the option is being considered, even though, again, Trump has come out to say he does not plan to prosecute Hillary anyway.
Now, THEREFORE, I, GERALD R. FORD, President of the United States, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.
Hillary’s pardon will be just as ambiguously worded, to make sure and cover anything and everything (and there’s a lot to cover).
As projected, it’ll likely be dated for her entire tenure as Secretary of State, too.
Within a week after the November 4, 2008, presidential election, President-elect Obama and Clinton discussed over telephone the possibility of her serving as U.S. Secretary of State in his administration. Clinton later related, “He said I want you to be my secretary of state. And I said, ‘Oh, no, you don’t.’ I said, ‘Oh, please, there’s so many other people who could do this.'” Clinton initially turned Obama down, but he persisted. Some Democratic senators welcomed the idea of her leaving, having been allied with Obama during the campaign, and believing that Clinton had risked party disunity by keeping her candidacy going for so long.
Obama and Clinton held a meeting on the subject on November 11. When the possibility became public on November 14, it came as a surprising and dramatic move, especially given the long, sometimes bitter battle the two had waged during the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries. Obama had specifically criticized Clinton’s foreign policy credentials during the contests, and the initial idea of him appointing her had been so unexpected that she had told one of her own aides, “Not in a million years.” However, it has been reported that Obama had been thinking of the idea as far back as the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Despite the aggressiveness of the campaign and the still-lingering animosities between the two campaign staffs, as with many primary battles, the political differences between the candidates were never that great, the two rivals had reportedly developed a respect for one another, and she had campaigned for him in the general election.
Clinton was conflicted whether she wanted to take the position or remain in the Senate, and agonized over her decision. While the Senate leadership had discussed possible leadership positions or other promotions in rank with her even before the cabinet position became a possibility, nothing concrete had been offered. The prospect of her ever becoming Senate Majority Leader seemed dim. A different complication was Bill Clinton; she told Obama: “There’s one last thing that’s a problem, which is my husband. You’ve seen what this is like; it will be a circus if I take this job”, making reference to the volatile effect Bill Clinton had had during the primaries. In addition, there was a specific concern whether the financial and other involvements of Bill Clinton’s post-presidential activities would violate any conflict-of-interest rules for serving cabinet members. There was as well considerable media speculation about what effect taking the position would have on her political career and any possible future presidential aspirations. Clinton wavered over the offer, but as she later related, “But, you know, we kept talking. I finally began thinking, look, if I had won and I had called him, I would have wanted him to say yes. And, you know, I’m pretty old-fashioned, and it’s just who I am. So at the end of the day, when your president asks you to serve, you say yes, if you can.”Chief of Protocol of the United StatesCapricia Penavic Marshall, who had known Clinton since her First Lady days, later confirmed the same rationale: “When asked to serve, she does. And her president asked.”
On November 21, reports indicated that Clinton had accepted the position. On December 1, President-elect Obama formally announced that Clinton would be his nominee for Secretary of State. Clinton said she was reluctant to leave the Senate, but that the new position represented a “difficult and exciting adventure”. As part of the nomination, Bill Clinton agreed to accept a number of conditions and restrictions regarding his ongoing activities and fundraising efforts for the Clinton Presidential Center and Clinton Global Initiative.
The appointment required a Saxbe fix, which was passed and signed into law in December 2008 before confirmation hearings began. Confirmation hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee began on January 13, 2009, a week before the Obama inauguration. Clinton stated during her confirmation hearings that she believed that “the best way to advance America’s interests in reducing global threats and seizing global opportunities is to design and implement global solutions” and “We must use what has been called ‘smart power‘, the full range of tools at our disposal — diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal and cultural — picking the right tool or combination of tools for each situation. With smart power, diplomacy will be the vanguard of our foreign policy.”
On January 15, the Committee voted 16–1 to approve Clinton. Republican Senator David Vitter of Louisiana was the lone dissenting vote in the committee. By this time, Clinton’s public favorable/unfavorable rating had reached 65 percent, the highest point in her public career since the Lewinsky scandal during her time as First Lady, and 71 percent of the public approved of the nomination to the cabinet.
Even before taking office, Clinton was working together with Bush administration officials in assessing national security issues. The night before the inauguration of the new president, contingency plans against a purported plot by Somali extremists against Obama and the inauguration was being discussed. Clinton argued that typical security responses were not tenable: “Is the Secret Service going to whisk him off the podium so the American people see their incoming president disappear in the middle of the inaugural address? I don’t think so.” (The threat turned out to not exist.)
On January 21, 2009, Clinton was confirmed in the full Senate by a vote of 94–2. Vitter and Republican Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina voted against the confirmation.
(On January 29, 2009, the constitutionality of her Saxbe fix was challenged in court by Judicial Watch; on October 30, 2009, the courts dismissed the case.)
During the Obama presidential transition, Clinton described her own transition as “difficult … in some respects, because [she] never even dreamed of it.” Then, and in the early days of her tenure, there was considerable jockeying for jobs within the department among those in “Hillaryland“, her longtime circle of advisors and staff aides, as well as others who had worked with her in the past, with not as many jobs as those desiring of them. Obama gave Clinton more freedom to choose her staff than he did to any other cabinet member.
Much like she did at the beginning of her Senate career, Clinton kept a low profile during her early months and worked hard to familiarize herself with the culture and institutional history of the department. She met or spoke with all of the living former secretaries, and especially relied upon her close friendship with Madeleine Albright.
At the start of her tenure, Obama and Clinton announced several high-profile special envoys to trouble spots in the world, including former Senate Majority LeaderGeorge Mitchell as Mideast envoy and Richard Holbrooke as envoy to South Asia and Afghanistan. On January 27, 2009, Secretary of State Clinton appointed Todd Stern as the department’s Special Envoy for Climate Change.
By May 2009, Clinton and the Obama administration intended to nominate Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners in Health, as Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), but by August 2009 his nomination was reportedly scotched by the White House for reasons unknown. This caused Clinton, while visiting USAID, to publicly criticize the long vetting process for administration appointments calling it a “nightmare” and “frustrating beyond words.” In November 2009, an unconventional choice was nominated instead, Rajiv Shah, a young Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics. Clinton said, “He has a record of delivering results in both the private and public sectors, forging partnerships around the world, especially in Africa and Asia, and developing innovative solutions in global health, agriculture, and financial services for the poor.”
During the transition period, Clinton sought to build a more powerful State Department. She began a push for a larger international affairs budget and an expanded role in global economic issues. She cited the need for an increased U.S. diplomatic presence, especially in Iraq where the U.S. Defense Department had conducted diplomatic missions.U.S. Secretary of DefenseRobert Gates agreed with her, and also advocated larger State Department budgets. Indeed, the two, and their respective departments, would have a productive relationship, unlike the often fraught relations between State and Defense and their secretaries seen in prior administrations.
Clinton also brought a message of departmental reform to the position, especially in regarding foreign aid programs as something that deserves the same status and level of scrutiny as diplomatic initiatives.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrives at the State Department on her first day greeted by a standing room only crowd of Department employees.
Clinton spent her initial days as Secretary of State telephoning dozens of world leaders. She said the world was eager to see a new American foreign policy and that, “There is a great exhalation of breath going on around the world. We’ve got a lot of damage to repair.” She did indicate that not every past policy would be repudiated, and specifically said it was essential that the six-party talks over the North Korean nuclear weapons program continue. Clinton re-emphasized her views during her first speech to State Department employees when she said, “There are three legs to the stool of American foreign policy: defense, diplomacy, and development. And we are responsible for two of the three legs. And we will make clear, as we go forward, that diplomacy and development are essential tools in achieving the long-term objectives of the United States. And I will do all that I can, working with you, to make it abundantly clear that robust diplomacy and effective development are the best long-term tools for securing America’s future.” Clinton also soon visited the United States Agency for International Development, where she met employees and said they would be getting extra funds and attention during the new administration.
She kept a low profile when diplomatic necessity or Obama’s involvement required it, but maintained an influential relationship with the president and in foreign policy decisions. Her first 100 days found her travelling over 70,000 miles (110,000 km), having no trouble adapting to being a team player subordinate to Obama, and gaining skills as an executive. Nevertheless, she remained an international celebrity with a much higher profile than most Secretaries of State. Her background as an elected official gave her insight into the needs and fears of elected officials of other countries.
By the summer of 2009, there was considerable analysis and speculation in the media of what kind of role and level of influence Clinton had within the Obama administration, with a variety of assessments being produced. A prominent mid-July speech to the Council on Foreign Relations reasserted her role; she said, “We cannot be afraid or unwilling to engage. Our focus on diplomacy and development is not an alternative to our national security arsenal.”
In July 2009, Clinton announced a new State Department initiative, the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, to establish specific objectives for the State Department’s diplomatic missions abroad. The most ambitious of Clinton’s departmental reforms, it is modeled after the Defense Department’s Quadrennial Defense Review, which Clinton was familiar with from her days on the Senate Armed Services Committee.The first such Review came out in December 2010. Entitled Leading Through Civilian Power, its 220 pages centered on the notion of elevating “civilian power” as a cost-effective way of responding to international challenges and defusing crises. It also sought the elevation of U.S. ambassadors in coordinating work of all abroad-tasked U.S. agencies. Clinton said of the underlying message, “Leading with civilians saves lives and money.” She also resolved to get Congress to approve the QDDR as a required part of the State Department planning process, saying, “I am determined that this report will not merely gather dust, like so many others.” Another theme of the report was the goal of empowering the female population in developing countries around the world; the QDDR mentioned women and girls some 133 times. In part this reflected incorporation into the QDDR of the Hillary Doctrine, which stipulates that women’s rights and violence against women around the world should be considered issues of national security to the United States. In addition, by attempting to institutionalize her goals in this area, Clinton – along with Anne-Marie Slaughter and Melanne Verveer, who also worked heavily in these efforts – were hoping that her initiatives and concerns towards the empowerment of women would persist past Clinton’s time in office as well as break a past pattern of chauvinism in the department.
In September, Clinton unveiled the Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative at the annual meeting of her husband’s Clinton Global Initiative. The goal of the new initiative is to battle hunger worldwide on a strategic basis as a key part of U.S. foreign policy, rather than just react to food shortage emergencies as they occur. The secretary said that “Food security is not just about food. But it is all about security: economic security, environmental security, even national security. Massive hunger poses a threat to the stability of governments, societies and borders.” The initiative seeks to develop agricultural economies, counter malnourishment, increase productivity, expand trade, and spur innovation in developing nations. Clinton said that women would be placed at the center of the effort, as they constitute a majority of the world’s farmers. The next month, to mark World Food Day, Clinton said, “Fighting hunger and poverty through sustainable agricultural development, making sure that enough food is available and that people have the resources to purchase it, is a key foreign policy objective of the Obama administration.”
During October 2009, Clinton said, “this is a great job. It is a 24/7 job” and “this job is incredibly all-encompassing.” She said she never thought about if she were making the same foreign policy decisions as president, and had no intention of ever running for that office again. While some friends and former advisers thought she was primarily saying that to focus attention on her current role and that she might change her mind about running for president in the future, others felt that she was genuinely content with the direction her career and life had taken and no longer had presidential ambitions.
By the close of 2009 there were 25 female ambassadors posted by other nations to Washington; this was the highest number ever. This was dubbed the “Hillary effect” by some observers: “Hillary Clinton is so visible” as secretary of state, said Amelia Matos Sumbana, the Mozambique Ambassador to the United States, “she makes it easier for presidents to pick a woman for Washington.” An added fact, of course, was that two other recent U.S. Secretaries of State were women, but Clinton’s international fame from her days as First Lady of the United States made her impact in this respect the greatest of the group.
Clinton also included in the State Department budget for the first time a breakdown of programs that specifically concerned themselves with the well-being of women and girls around the world. By fiscal 2012, the department’s budget request for such work was $1.2 billion, of which $832 million was for global health programs. Additionally, she initiated the Women in Public Service Project, a joint venture between the State Department and the Seven Sisters colleges. The goal was to entice more women into entering public service, such that within four decades an equal number of men and women would be working in the field.
One specific cause Clinton advocated almost from the start of her tenure was the adoption of cookstoves in the developing world, to foster cleaner and more environmentally sound food preparation and reduce smoke dangers to women. In September 2010, she announced a partnership with the United Nations Foundation to provide some 100 million such stoves around the world within the next ten years, and in subsequent travels she urged foreign leaders to adopt policies encouraging their use.
In February 2010 testimony before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, Secretary Clinton complained about the slow pace of Senate confirmations of Obama’s nominations to diplomatic positions, a number of which were delayed for political reasons and had been subject to holds by individual Republican senators. Clinton said the problem damaged America’s image abroad: “It became harder and harder to explain to countries, particularly countries of significance, why we had nobody in position for them to interact with.”
In 2009, and again in 2010 and 2011, Clinton stated that she was committed to serving out her full term as secretary, but would not commit to serving a second term should Obama be re-elected.
She later used U.S. allies and what she called “convening power” to help keep the Libyan rebels unified as they eventually overthrew the Gaddafi regime.
Throughout her tenure, Clinton has looked towards “smart power” as the strategy for asserting U.S. leadership and values, combining military strength with U.S. capacities in global economics, development aid, and technology. In late 2011 she said, “All power has limits. In a much more networked and multipolar world we can’t wave a magic wand and say to China or Brazil or India, ‘Quit growing. Quit using your economies to assert power’ … It’s up to us to figure out how we position ourselves to be as effective as possible at different times in the face of different threats and opportunities.”
Clinton has also greatly expanded the State Department’s use of social media, including Facebook and Twitter, both to get its message out and to help empower people vis à via their rulers. Clinton said, “We are in the age of participation, and the challenge … is to figure out how to be responsive, to help catalyze, unleash, channel the kind of participatory eagerness that is there.” She has tried to institutionalize this change, by making social media a focus for foreign service officers and up to the ambassadorial level. (Other Clinton initiatives were run solely out of her office and were at risk of disappearing after she left office.) By late 2011, the department had 288 Facebook accounts and 192 Twitter feeds. The change was enough for daughter Chelsea Clinton to refer to the secretary as “TechnoMom”.
Regional issues and travels: 2009
Obama and Clinton speaking with one another at the 21st NATO summit in April 2009
In February 2009, Clinton made her first trip as secretary to Asia, visiting Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, and China on what she described as a “listening tour” that was “intended to really find a path forward.” She continued to travel heavily in her first months in office, often getting very enthusiastic responses by engaging with the local populace.
In early March 2009, Clinton made her first trip as secretary to Israel. During this time, Clinton announced that the US government will dispatch two officials to the Syrian capital to explore Washington’s relationship with Damascus. On March 5, Clinton attended the NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels. At this meeting, Clinton proposed including Iran at a conference on Afghanistan. Clinton said the proposed conference could be held on March 31 in the Netherlands. On March 6, a photo-op with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov intended to demonstrate the U.S. and Russia pressing the “reset button” on their relationship, in an effort to mend frayed ties, went a bit awry due to a mistranslation. (The word the Americans chose, “peregruzka”, meant “overloaded” or “overcharged”, rather than “reset”.) The episode became known as the Russian reset.
In June 2009, Clinton had surgery to repair a right elbow fracture caused by a fall in the State Department basement. The painful injury and recuperation caused her to miss two foreign trips. Nevertheless, during President Obama’s trip without her to Russia, Clinton was named as co-coordinator, along with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, of a newly created U.S.-Russian Presidential Commission to discuss nuclear, economic, and energy and environmental policies relating to the two countries.
Clinton returned to the diplomatic scene and responded to the ongoing 2009 Honduran constitutional crisis, in which plans for the Honduran fourth ballot box referendum had led to the 2009 Honduran coup d’état, and which was becoming Latin America’s worst political crisis in some years. In early July, she sat down with ousted President of HondurasManuel Zelaya, who agreed on a U.S.-backed proposal to begin talks with the de factoRoberto Micheletti government. Later, in September, Zelaya returned to the country, and President of Costa RicaÓscar Arias, who had become a mediator in the matter, as well as Clinton expressed hope that Zelaya’s return could break the impasse with the Micheletti government. In particular, Clinton said, “Now that President Zelaya is back it would be opportune to restore him to his position under appropriate circumstances – get on with the election that is currently scheduled for November, have a peaceful transition of presidential authority and get Honduras back to constitutional and democratic order.” At the end of October, Clinton took a leading role in convincing Micheletti to accept a deal – which she termed an “historic agreement” – in which Zelaya would return to power in advance of general elections in which neither figure was running. Micheletti said that Clinton had been insistent on this point: “I kept trying to explain our position to her, but all she kept saying was, ‘Restitution, restitution, restitution.'” That agreement broke down, despite efforts of the State Department to revive it, and Clinton and the U.S. ended up supporting the winner of the 2009 Honduran general election, Porfirio Lobo Sosa, with Clinton characterizing the elections as “free and fair” and Lobo as holding a strong commitment to democracy and the rule of constitutional law.
In August 2009, Clinton embarked on her longest trip yet, to a number of stops in Africa. On August 10, 2009, at a public event in Kinshasa, a Congolese student asked her what her husband, “Mr Clinton”, thought of a Chinese trade deal with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Clinton looked irritated at the question and replied, “Wait, you want me to tell you what my husband thinks? My husband is not the secretary of state, I am. So you ask my opinion, I will tell you my opinion. I am not going to be channeling my husband.” The incident was played in newsrooms around the world. Clinton aides suggested there might have been a mistranslation, but that was not the case; however the student had later apologized to her, saying he had meant to ask what “Mr Obama” thought.
In October 2009, Clinton’s intervention – including juggling conversations on two mobile phones while sitting in a limousine – overcame last-minute snags and saved the signing of an historic Turkish–Armenian accord that established diplomatic relations and opened the border between the two long-hostile nations.
In late October 2009, Clinton travelled to Pakistan, where she had staged a memorable visit in 1995 while First Lady. Her arrival was followed within hours by the 28 October 2009 Peshawar bombing; in response, Clinton said of those responsible, “They know they are on the losing side of history but they are determined to take as many lives with them as their movement is finally exposed for the nihilistic, empty effort that it is.” In addition to meeting with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, she also staged numerous public appearances. In those, she let students, talk show hosts, and tribal elders repeatedly complain about and criticize American foreign policy and American actions. Occasionally, she pushed back in a more blunt fashion than usual for diplomats, explicitly wondering why Pakistan had not been more successful in combating al Qaeda “if they wanted to.” Member of Parliament and government spokesperson Farahnaz Ispahani said, “In the past, when the Americans came, they would talk to the generals and go home. Clinton’s willingness to meet with everyone, hostile or not, has made a big impression – and because she’s Hillary Clinton, with a real history of affinity for this country, it means so much more.”
In November 2009, Secretary Clinton led the U.S. delegation at the 20th anniversary celebrations of the fall of the Berlin Wall. There, she said: “Our history did not end the night the wall came down, it began anew. … To expand freedom to more people, we cannot accept that freedom does not belong to all people. We cannot allow oppression defined and justified by religion or tribe to replace that of ideology.”
In December 2009, Clinton attended the Copenhagen United Nations Climate Change Conference, where she pushed forward a last-minute proposal of significant new amounts of foreign aid to help developing countries deal with the effects of global warming, in an attempt to unstick stuck negotiations and salvage some sort of agreement at the conference. The secretary said, “We’re running out of time. Without the accord, the opportunity to mobilize significant resources to assist developing countries with mitigation and adaptation will be lost.” The amount of aid she proposed, $100 billion, was in the modest terms of the Copenhagen Accord that was agreed to by the summit.
In January 2010, Secretary Clinton cut short a trip to the Asia-Pacific region in order to see firsthand the destructive effects of the 2010 Haiti earthquake and to meet with President of Haiti René Préval. Clinton said she would also evaluate the relief effort and help evacuate some Americans. She stressed that her visit was designed not to interfere with ongoing efforts: “It’s a race against time. Everybody is pushing as hard as they can.” The Clintons had a special interest in Haiti going back decades, to their delayed honeymoon there up to Bill Clinton being the United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti at the time of the earthquake.
In a major speech on January 21, 2010, Clinton, speaking on behalf of the U.S., declared that “We stand for a single Internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas”, while highlighting how “even in authoritarian countries, information networks are helping people discover new facts and making governments more accountable.” She also drew analogies between the Iron Curtain and the free and unfree Internet. Her speech, which followed a controversy surrounding Google‘s changed policy toward China and censorship, appears to mark a split between authoritarian capitalism and the Western model of free capitalism and Internet access. Chinese officials responded strongly, saying Clinton’s remarks were “harmful to Sino-American relations” and demanded that U.S. officials “respect the truth”, and some foreign policy observers thought that Clinton had been too provocative. But the White House stood behind Clinton, and demanded that China provide better answers regarding the recent Chinese cyberattack against Google. Clinton’s speech garnered marked attention among diplomats, as it was the first time a senior American official had clearly put forth a vision in which the Internet was a key element of American foreign policy.
By early 2010, the Obama administration’s efforts towards forging a new relationship with Iran had failed to gain headway, and the U.S. adopted a policy of adopting international sanctions against it and isolating it diplomatically in order to curtail the that country’s nuclear program. This was a policy more in line with Clinton’s thinking and went back to disagreements she and Obama had had during the 2008 presidential campaign. Clinton was put in charge of rallying support in the United Nations for these sanctions and spent considerable time over the following months and years doing so. At times Clinton suggested the possibility of military action against Iran should economic and diplomatic actions fail to deter it from its nuclear ambitions.
In February 2010, Clinton made her first visit to Latin America as secretary. The tour would take her to Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Costa Rica and Guatemala and Argentina. She first visited Buenos Aires and talked to Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. They discussed Falkland Islands sovereignty and the issue of oil in the Falklands. Clinton said that “We would like to see Argentina and the United Kingdom sit down and resolve the issues between them across the table in a peaceful, productive way.” Clinton offered to help facilitate such discussions, but did not agree to an Argentinian request that she mediate such talks. Within 12 hours of Clinton’s remarks, Downing Street categorically rejected a U.S. role: “We welcome the support of the secretary of state in terms of ensuring that we continue to keep diplomatic channels open but there is no need for [direct involvement].” Clinton then went on to Santiago, Chile to witness the aftereffects of the 2010 Chile earthquake and to bring some telecommunications equipment to aid in the rescue and recovery efforts.
In April 2010, there was a flurry of speculation that Clinton would be nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created by Justice John Paul Stevens‘ retirement, including a plug from ranking Senate Judiciary Committee member Orrin Hatch. The notion was quickly quashed by the White House, which said, “The president thinks Secretary Clinton is doing an excellent job as secretary of state and wants her to remain in that position.” A State Department spokesperson said that Clinton “loves her present job and is not looking for another one.”
By mid-2010, Clinton and Obama had clearly forged a good working relationship without power struggles; she was a team player within the administration and a defender of it to the outside, and was careful to make sure that neither she nor her husband would upstage him. He in turn was accommodating to her viewpoints and in some cases adopted some of her more hawkish approaches. She met with him weekly, but did not have the close, daily relationship that some of her predecessors had had with their presidents, such as Condoleezza Rice with George W. Bush, James Baker with George H. W. Bush, or Henry Kissinger with Richard Nixon. Nevertheless, he had trust in her actions.
During an early June 2010 visit to Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, Clinton dealt with questions at every stop about the recently passed and widely controversial Arizona SB 1070 anti-illegal immigration law, which had damaged the image of the U.S. in Latin America. When answering a question from local television reporters in Quito about it, she said that President Obama was opposed to it and that “The Justice Department, under his direction, will be bringing a lawsuit against the act.” This was the first public confirmation that the Justice Department would act against the law; a month later, it became official as the lawsuit United States of America v. Arizona. While at a hotel bar in Lima, she completed an agreement with a representative of China over which companies could be specified in a UN resolution sanctioning the nuclear program of Iran. Returning to SB 1070, in August 2010 she included the dispute over it in a report to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as an example to other countries of how fractious issues can be resolved under the rule of law.
In July 2010, Clinton visited Pakistan for the second time as secretary, announcing a large new U.S. economic assistance package to that country as well as a U.S.-led bilateral trade agreement between Pakistan and Afghanistan. She then traveled to Afghanistan for the Kabul Conference on the situation there, during which President Hamid Karzai vowed to implement much-promised legal, political, and economic reforms in exchange for a continued Western commitment there. Clinton said that despite the scheduled U.S. drawdown there in 2011, the U.S. has “no intention of abandoning our long-term mission of achieving a stable, secure, peaceful Afghanistan. Too many nations – especially Afghanistan – have suffered too many losses to see this country slide backward.” She then went on to Seoul and the Korean Demilitarized Zone where she and Defense Secretary Robert Gates met with South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan and Minister of National Defense Kim Tae-young in a ‘2+2 meeting’ to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War. There she said that the U.S. experience in staying in Korea for decades had led to a successful result, which might also be applicable to Afghanistan. Finally, she went to Hanoi, Vietnam, for the ASEAN Regional Forum, wrapping up what The New York Times termed “a grueling trip that amounted to a tour of American wars, past and present”. There she injected the U.S. into the long-running disputes over the sovereignty of the Paracel Islands and Spratly Islands, much to the displeasure of the Chinese who view the South China Sea as part of their core interests, by saying “The United States has a national interest in freedom of navigation, open access to Asia’s maritime commons and respect for international law in the South China Sea.”
By this time, Secretary Clinton was quite busy with another role of a kind, “M.O.T.B.” as she wrote in State Department memos, making reference to her being the mother of the bride in daughter Chelsea Clinton‘s July 31, 2010, wedding to Marc Mezvinsky. She confessed in an interview in Islamabad less than two weeks before the wedding that she and her husband were both nervous wrecks, and that “You should assume that if he makes it down the aisle in one piece it’s going to be a major accomplishment. He is going to be so emotional, as am I.” The event itself gained a large amount of media attention.
In a September 2010 speech before the Council on Foreign Relations, Clinton emphasized the continuing primacy of American power and involvement in the world, declaring a “new American moment”. Making reference to actions from reviving the Middle East talks to U.S. aid following the 2010 Pakistan floods, Clinton said that “The world is counting on us” and that “After years of war and uncertainty, people are wondering what the future holds, at home and abroad. So let me say it clearly: The United States can, must, and will lead in this new century.”
With Democrats facing possible large losses in the 2010 midterm elections and President Obama struggling in opinion polls, idle speculation in Washington media circles concerning Obama’s chances in the 2012 presidential election led to the notion that Clinton would take over as Obama’s vice-presidential running mate in 2012 to add to his electoral appeal. Some versions of this idea had Vice President Biden replacing her as Secretary of State if Obama won. That it would ever happen was unlikely, but did not stop the chatter; when the job swap idea was mentioned in public to Clinton, she smiled and shook her head. A couple of months later, Obama shot down the idea, saying the notion was “completely unfounded” and that “they are both doing outstanding jobs where they are.” (In late 2011, however, with Obama’s popularity on the decline, White House Chief of Staff William M. Daley did conduct some research into the idea of Clinton replacing Biden, but the notion was dropped when the results showed no appreciable improvement for Obama.)
Over the summer of 2010, the stalled peace process in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict was potentially revived when the various parties involved agreed to direct talks for the first time in a while. While President Obama was the orchestrator of the movement, Secretary Clinton had gone through months of cajoling just to get the parties to the table, and helped convince the reluctant Palestinians by getting support for direct talks from Egypt and Jordan. She then assumed a prominent role in the talks; Speaking at a September 2 meeting at the State Department between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, she acknowledged that, “We’ve been here before, and we know how difficult the road ahead will be.” Her role in the ongoing talks would be to take over from U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George J. Mitchell when discussions threatened to break down. The talks were generally given little chance to succeed, and Clinton faced the history of many such past failures, including the near miss of her husband at the 2000 Camp David Summit. Nevertheless, her prominent role in them thrust her further into the international spotlight and had the potential to affect her legacy as secretary.
In October, Clinton embarked on a seven-nation tour of Asia and Oceania. In New Zealand she signed the “Wellington Declaration”, which normalized the diplomatic and military relationship between it and the United States. The signing marked twenty-five years after the United States suspended ANZUS treaty obligations with New Zealand in the wake of the USS Buchanan incident.
Clinton maintained her high approval ratings during 2010. An aggregation of polls taken during the late portion or all of 2010 showed that Clinton (and her husband as well) had by far the best favorable-unfavorable ratings of any key contemporary American political figure.
In late November, WikiLeaks released confidential State Department cables, selections of which were then published by several major newspapers around the world. The leak of the cables led to a crisis atmosphere in the State Department, as blunt statements and assessments by U.S. and foreign diplomats became public. Clinton led the damage control effort for the U.S. abroad, and also sought to bolster the morale of shocked Foreign Service officers. In the days leading up to the publication of the cables, Clinton called officials in Germany, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Britain, France, Afghanistan, Canada, and China to alert them to the pending disclosures. She did note that some foreign leaders were accepting of the frank language of the cables, with one telling her, “Don’t worry about it. You should see what we say about you.” She harshly criticized WikiLeaks, saying: “Let’s be clear: This disclosure is not just an attack on America’s foreign policy interests. It is an attack on the international community – the alliances and partnerships, the conversations and negotiations that safeguard global security and advance economic prosperity.” The State Department went into immediate “war room” mode in order to deal with the effects of the disclosures, and began implementing measures to try to prevent another such leak from happening in the future.
A few of the cables released by WikiLeaks concerned Clinton directly: they revealed that directions to members of the foreign service had gone out in 2009 under Clinton’s name to gather biometric details on foreign diplomats, including officials of the United Nations and U.S. allies. These included Internet and intranet usernames, e-mail addresses, web site URLs useful for identification, credit card numbers, frequent flier account numbers, work schedules, and other targeted biographical information in a process known as the National Humint Collection Directive. State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said that Clinton had not drafted the directive and that the Secretary of State’s name is systematically attached to the bottom of cables originating from Washington; it was unclear whether Clinton had actually seen them. The guidance in the cables was actually written by the CIA before being sent out under Clinton’s name, as the CIA cannot directly instruct State Department personnel. The disclosed cables on the more aggressive intelligence gathering went back to 2008 when they went out under Condoleezza Rice‘s name during her tenure as Secretary of State. The practice of the U.S. and the State Department gathering intelligence on the U.N. or on friendly nations was not new, but the surprise in this case was that it was done by other diplomats rather than intelligence agencies, and that the specific types of information being asked for went beyond past practice and was not the kind of information diplomats would normally be expected to gather. In any case, the instructions given in these cables may have been largely ignored by American diplomats as ill-advised. Responding to calls from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and a few others that Clinton possibly step down from her post due to the revelation, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, “I think that is absurd and ridiculous. I think Secretary of State Clinton is doing a wonderful job.”
On December 1, Clinton flew to a summit of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in Astana, Kazakhstan. There she would encounter some fifty leaders who were subjects of embarrassing comments in the leaks, including President of KazakhstanNursultan Nazarbayev. A Kazakh official said that during such encounters, Clinton “kept her face. She didn’t run away from difficult questions.” During the encounters she emphasized that the leaked cables did not reflect official U.S. policy but rather were just instances of individual diplomats giving unfiltered feedback to Washington about what they saw happening in other countries. The situation led to some leaders turning her strong remarks about Internet freedom earlier in the year back against her. The OSCE summit also featured a meeting between Secretary Clinton and Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations. In an attempt to repair the strain caused by the Humint spying relevations, Clinton expressed regret to Ban for the disclosures, but did not make an apology per se. A U.N. statement relayed that Ban thanked Clinton “for clarifying the matter and for expressing her concern about the difficulties created.”
Upon the December 13 death of veteran U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke (who had initially fallen ill during a meeting with her), Clinton presided over a spontaneous gathering of some forty senior State Department personnel and Holbrooke aides at George Washington University Hospital, reminiscing about him. At a memorial service for him days later, both Clinton and her husband praised Holbrooke’s work, and she said, “Everything that we have accomplished that is working in Afghanistan and Pakistan is largely because of Richard.” As it happened, however, Holbrooke had developed poor relations with the White House during his time as Afghanistan envoy, and Clinton’s vision of him forging an agreement in that country that modeled the success of his prior Dayton Accords (that resolved the Bosnian War) were unrealized.
On December 22, 2010, Secretary Clinton returned to the floor of the Senate during the lame-duck session of the 111th Congress to witness the ratification, by a 71–26 margin, of the New START treaty. Clinton had spent the several days beforehand repeatedly calling wavering senators and seeking to gain their support.
Secretary Clinton began the year 2011 abroad, attending the Inauguration of Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, having been sent by President Obama to represent the U.S. Rousseff was the first woman to rule that country. While there, she ran into Venezuelan ruler and U.S. antagonist Hugo Chávez, but the two had a pleasant exchange; Chávez said “She had a very spontaneous smile and I greeted her with the same effusiveness.”
In mid-January, Clinton made a four-country trip to the Middle East, visiting Yemen, Oman, The United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. Speaking at a conference in Doha, she criticized Arab governments’ failure to move more rapidly vis à vis reform in unusually blunt language, saying, “In too many places, in too many ways, the region’s foundations are sinking into the sand. The new and dynamic Middle East that I have seen needs firmer ground if it is to take root and grow everywhere.” Her visit to Yemen, the first such visit by a Secretary of State in 20 years, found her focusing on the dangers of terrorism emanating from that country. An impromptu tour around the walled old city of Sana’a found Clinton being cheered by onlooking schoolchildren. A trip and fall while boarding the departing airplane left Clinton unhurt but news services making predictable witticisms.
When the 2011 Egyptian protests began, Clinton was in the forefront of the administration’s response. Her initial public assessment on January 25 that the government of President Hosni Mubarak was “stable” and “looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people” soon came under criticism for being tepid and behind the curve of developing events, although others agreed that the U.S. could not be out front in undermining the government of a long-term ally. By the next day, Clinton was criticizing the Egyptian government’s blocking of social media sites. By January 29, Obama had put Clinton in charge of sorting out the administration’s so-far confused response to developments. During the frenetic day of January 30, she combined appearances on all five Sunday morning talk shows – where she stated publicly for the first time the U.S.’s view that there needed to be an “orderly transition” to a “democratic participatory government” and a “peaceful transition to real democracy”, not Mubarak’s “faux democracy” – with a flight to Haiti and back to mark the anniversary of its terrible earthquake, all the while engaging in conference calls again regarding Egypt.
The Egyptian protests became the most critical foreign policy crisis so far for the Obama administration, and Obama came to increasingly rely upon Clinton for advice and connections. Clinton had known Mubarak for some twenty years, and had formed a close relationship with Egyptian First Lady Suzanne Mubarak by supporting the latter’s human rights work. Clinton originated the idea of sending Frank G. Wisner as an emissary to Cairo, to tell Mubarak not to seek another term as the country’s leader. As Mubarak’s response to the protests became violent in early February, Clinton strongly condemned the actions taking place, especially those against journalists covering the events, and urged new Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman to conduct an official investigation to hold those responsible for the violence accountable. When Wisner baldly stated that Mubarak’s departure should be delayed to accommodate an orderly transition to another government, Clinton rebuked him, but shared a bit of the same sentiment. Mubarak did finally step down on February 11 as the protests became the 2011 Egyptian revolution. Clinton said that the U.S. realized that Egypt still had much work and some difficult times ahead of it. In mid-March, Clinton visited Egypt and indicated support for an Egyptian move towards democracy, but she avoided specific issues of U.S. aid and when elections should take place.
President Obama was reportedly unhappy with U.S. intelligence agencies following their failure to foresee the 2010–2011 Tunisian uprising and the downfall of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali as well as the Egyptian protests. Responding to criticism that the State Department had failed to see the developments in Egypt coming, Clinton defended the U.S. in an interview on Al-Arabiya, saying “I don’t think anybody could have predicted we’d be sitting here talking about the end of the Mubarak presidency at the time that this all started.”
Reflecting on not just the situation in Tunisia and Egypt but also on the, the 2011 Yemeni protests, and the 2011 Jordanian protests, Clinton said at a February 5 meeting of the Quartet on the Middle East, “The region is being battered by a perfect storm of powerful trends. … This is what has driven demonstrators into the streets of … cities throughout the region. The status quo is simply not sustainable.” She said that while transition to democracy could be chaotic – and free elections had to be accompanied by free speech, a free judiciary, and the rule of law in order to be effective – in the end “free people govern themselves best”. The transformations highlighted that traditional U.S. foreign policy in the region had sided with rulers who suppressed internal dissent but provided stability and generally supported U.S. goals in the region. When the monarchy’s response to the 2011 Bahraini protests turned violent, Clinton urged a return to the path of reform, saying that violence against the protesters “is absolutely unacceptable … We very much want to see the human rights of the people protected, including right to assemble, right to express themselves, and we want to see reform.” At the same time, she said that the U.S. “cannot tell countries what they are going to do [and] cannot dictate the outcomes.” As the situation in Bahrain lingered on and continued to have episodes of violence against protesters, Clinton said in mid-March, “Our goal is a credible political process that can address the legitimate aspirations of all the people of Bahrain … Violence is not and cannot be the answer. A political process is. We have raised our concerns about the current measures directly with Bahraini officials and will continue to do so.”
When the 2011 Libyan civil war began in mid-February and intensified into armed conflict with rebel successes in early March 2011, Clinton stated the administration’s position that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi “must go now, without further violence or delay”. As Gaddafi conducted counterattacks against the rebels, Clinton was initially reluctant, as was Obama, to back calls being made in various quarters for imposition of a Libyan no-fly zone. However, as the prospects of a Gaddafi victory and possible subsequent bloodbath that would kill many thousands emerged, and as Clinton travelled Europe and North Africa and found support for military intervention increasing among European and Arab leaders, she had a change of view. Together with Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice and National Security Council figure Samantha Power, who were already supporting military intervention, Clinton overcame opposition from Defense Secretary Robert Gates, security advisor Thomas Donilon, and counterterrorism advisor John Brennan, and the administration backed U.N. action to impose the no-fly zone and authorize other military actions as necessary. Clinton helped gained the financial and political support of several Arab countries, in particular convincing Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan that a no-fly zone urged by the Arab League would not be sufficient and that air-to-ground attacks would be necessary. Clinton then persuaded Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that his country should abstain on the UN resolution authorizing force against Gaddafi, and Rice and Clinton played major roles in getting the rest of the United Nations Security Council to approve United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973. Regarding whether the U.S. or some other ally would send arms to the anti-Gaddafi forces, Clinton said that this would be permissible under the resolution, but that no decision had yet been made on doing so.
Clinton testified to Congress in March that the administration did not need congressional authorization for its military intervention in Libya or for further decisions about it, despite congressional objections from members of both parties that the administration was violating the War Powers Resolution. During that classified briefing to Congress, she allegedly indicated that the administration would sidestep the Resolution’s provision regarding a 60-day limit on unauthorized military actions. Months later, she stated that, with respect to the military operation in Libya, the United States was still flying a quarter of the sorties, and the New York Times reported that, while many presidents had bypassed other sections of the War Powers Resolution, there was little precedent for exceeding the 60-day statutory limit on unauthorized military actions – a limit which the Justice Department had said in 1980 was constitutional. The State Department publicly took the position in June 2011 that there was no “hostility” in Libya within the meaning of the War Powers Resolution, contrary to legal interpretations by the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel. The State Department requested (but never received) express Congressional authorization. The US House of Representatives voted to rebuke the administration for maintaining an American presence with the NATO operations in Libya, which they considered a violation of the War Powers Resolution.
While Clinton recognized some of the contradictions of U.S. policy towards turmoil in the Mideast countries, which involving backing some regimes while supporting protesters against others, she was nevertheless passionate on the subject, enough so that Obama joked at the annual Gridiron Dinner that “I’ve dispatched Hillary to the Middle East to talk about how these countries can transition to new leaders — though, I’ve got to be honest, she’s gotten a little passionate about the subject. These past few weeks it’s been tough falling asleep with Hillary out there on Pennsylvania Avenue shouting, throwing rocks at the window.” In any case, Obama’s reference to Clinton travelling a lot was true enough; by now she had logged 465,000 miles (748,000 km) in her Boeing 757, more than any other Secretary of State for a comparable period of time, and had visited 79 countries while in the office.Time magazine wrote that “Clinton’s endurance is legendary” and that she would still be going at the end of long work days even as her staff members were glazing out. The key was her ability to fall asleep on demand, at any time and place, for power naps.
Clinton also saw the potential political changes in the Mideast as an opportunity for an even more fundamental change to take place, that being the empowerment of women (something Newsweek magazine saw as Clinton’s categorical imperative). She made remarks to this effect in countries such as Egypt – “If a country doesn’t recognize minority rights and human rights, including women’s rights, you will not have the kind of stability and prosperity that is possible” – as well as in Yemen, where she spoke of the story of the present Nujood Ali and her campaign against forced marriage at a young age. At home, Clinton was even more expansive, looking on a worldwide basis: “I believe that the rights of women and girls is the unfinished business of the 21st century. We see women and girls across the world who are oppressed and violated and demeaned and degraded and denied so much of what they are entitled to as our fellow human beings.” She also maintained that the well-being of women in other countries was a direct factor in American self-interest: “This is a big deal for American values and for American foreign policy and our interests, but it is also a big deal for our security. Because where women are disempowered and dehumanized, you are more likely to see not just antidemocratic forces, but extremism that leads to security challenges for us.” She subsequently elaborated upon this theme, saying “A lot of the work I do here in the State Department on women’s or human-rights issues is not just because I care passionately – which I do – but because I see it as [a way] to increase security to fulfill American interests. These are foreign-policy and national-security priorities for me.”
In the midst of this turmoil, which also included Clinton pledging government-level support to Japan in the wake of the devastating 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, Clinton reiterated in a mid-March CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer during her post-revolution visit to Cairo’s Tahrir Square that she had no interest in becoming Secretary of Defense or vice president or of running for president again. She also explicitly said for the first time that she did not want to serve a second term as Secretary of State if President Obama is re-elected in 2012. She stressed how much she regarded her current position: “Because I have the best job I could ever have. This is a moment in history where it is almost hard to catch your breath. There are both the tragedies and disasters that we have seen from Haiti to Japan and there are the extraordinary opportunities and challenges that we see right here in Egypt and in the rest of the region.” But reportedly she was weary at times from constant travelling, still not part of Obama’s inner circle, and looking forward to a time of less stress and the chances to write, teach, or work for international women’s rights. She was not bound by her statements, and Blitzer for one suspected she would change her mind. In any case, she remained popular with the American public; her Gallup Poll favorability rating rose to 66 percent (against 31 percent unfavorable), her highest mark ever save for a period during the Lewinsky scandal thirteen years earlier. Her favorability was 10 to 20 percentage points higher than those for Obama, Biden, or Gates, and reflected in part the high ratings that secretaries of state sometimes get.
Throughout early 2011, the CIA thought there was a good chance it had discovered the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden, and the White House held a final high-level discussion on April 28 about whether to go ahead with a raid to get him, and if so, what kind of mission to undertake. Clinton supported the option to send Navy SEALs in, believing that the U.S. could not afford to ignore this chance and that getting bin Laden was so important that it outweighed any risks. Following the successful May 1–2, 2011, U.S. mission to kill Osama bin Laden at his hideout compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and the resulting criticism from various Americans that Pakistan had not found, or had let, bin Laden hide in near plain sight, Clinton made a point of praising Pakistan’s past record of helping the U.S. hunt down terrorists: “Our counter-terrorism cooperation over a number of years now, with Pakistan, has contributed greatly to our efforts to dismantle al-Qaeda. And in fact, cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound in which he was hiding. Going forward, we are absolutely committed to continuing that cooperation.” Clinton then played a key role in the administration’s decision not to release photographs of the dead bin Laden, reporting that U.S. allies in the Middle East did not favor the release and agreeing with Secretary Gates that such a release might cause an anti-U.S. backlash overseas.
Clinton continued to poll high, with a September 2011 Bloomberg News poll finding her with a 64 percent favorable rating, the highest of any political figure in the nation. A third of those polls said that Clinton would have been a better president than Obama, but when asked the likelihood she would stage a campaign against the president, she said, “It’s below zero. One of the great things about being secretary of state is I am out of politics. I am not interested in being drawn back into it by anybody.”
Following the October 2011 announcement by Obama that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq would complete by the close of that same year, Clinton forcefully defended the decision as emanating from an agreement originally signed with Iraq under the Bush administration and as evidence that Iraq’s sovereignty was real, and said that despite the absence of military forces, the U.S. was still committed to strengthening Iraq’s democracy with “robust” diplomatic measures. She also praised the effectiveness of Obama’s foreign policy in general, implicitly pushing back on criticism from those running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
Clinton specifically pointed to the death of Muammar Gaddafi and the conclusion of the Libyan intervention. She had been active during the final stages of the Libyan rebellion, and via Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, had urged the rebels forces to unify and avoid factional conflicts with each other. She visited Tripoli in October 2011 and, in private, was somewhat guarded about Libya’s future following the rebel success. (A video of her exclaiming “Wow” upon first reading on her BlackBerry of Gaddafi’s capture achieved wide circulation.) Over the next few years, the aftermath of the Libyan Civil War became characterized by instability, two rival governments, and a slide into status as a failed state; it became a refuge for extremists and terrorist groups, such as ISIL, and spurred a massive refugee crisis as immigrants crossed the Mediterranean to southern Europe. The wisdom of the intervention would continue to be debated, with President Obama maintaining that the intervention had been worthwhile but that the United States and Europe underestimated the ongoing effort needed to rebuild Libyan society afterward; former U.S. Representative to NATO Ivo Daalder stating that the limited goals of the intervention had all been met but that the Libyan people had not seized their opportunity to form a better future and that post-intervention military involvement by the West would have been counterproductive; and scholar Alan J. Kuperman (along with some other scholars and human rights groups) writing that the intervention had been based on the faulty notion that Libya had been headed towards humanitarian disaster when in fact it was not and was thus the intervention was “an abject failure, judged even by its own standards”. Kuperman’s view that Gaddafi son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi held promise as a Western-style political reformer was in turn disputed by former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security AffairsDerek Chollet, who stated that such faith was misplaced and that Libyans were resistant to any post-intervention security mechanism and to many rebuilding programs. Clinton said in her 2014 memoir that she had been “worried that the challenges ahead would prove overwhelming for even the most well-meaning transitional leaders. If the new government could consolidate its authority, provide security, use oil revenues to rebuild, disarm the militias, and keep extremists out, then Libya would have a fighting chance at building a stable democracy. If not, then the country would face very difficult challenges translating the hopes of a revolution into a free, secure, and prosperous future.”
Secretary Clinton cancelled a planned trip to the United Kingdom and Turkey to be with her mother, Dorothy Rodham, who died in Washington on November 1, 2011.
In November 2011, Clinton declared, in both a speech at the East–West Center and in an article published in Foreign Policy magazine, that the 21st century would be “America’s Pacific century”. The term played on the notion of the “Pacific Century“. Clinton said, “It is becoming increasingly clear that, in the 21st century, the world’s strategic and economic center of gravity will be the Asia-Pacific, from the Indian subcontinent to western shores of the Americas.” The declaration was part of the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia” after the focus of the decade of the 2000s on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
When the 2011–2012 Russian protests had begun in late 2011, in response to the Russian legislative election, 2011, Clinton had been outspoken about the need for legitimate democratic processes there, saying in December 2011: “The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve the right to have their voices heard and their votes counted. And that means they deserve free, fair, transparent elections and leaders who are accountable to them.” She added that “Russian voters deserve a full investigation of electoral fraud and manipulation.” In return, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin denounced Clinton, accusing her of backing Russian protesters financially and in fact precipitating their actions: “They heard this signal and with the support of the U.S. State Department began their active work.” When Putin won the Russian presidential election, 2012 in March 2012, some in the State Department wanted to denounce Russian process again, but they were overruled by the White House, and Clinton stated simply that “The election had a clear winner, and we are ready to work with President-elect Putin.”
Secretary Clinton met with Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on December 2, 2011, as part of her historic visit to that country.
In early December 2011, Clinton made the first visit to Burma by a U.S. secretary of state since John Foster Dulles‘s in 1955, as she met with Burmese leaders as well as opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and sought to support the 2011 Burmese democratic reforms. Clinton said that due to the direct and indirect communications she had had with Suu Kyi over the years, “it was like seeing a friend you hadn’t seen for a very long time even though it was our first meeting.” The outreach to Burma attracted both praise and criticism, with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen saying it “sends the wrong signal to the Burmese military thugs” but others saying the visit combined idealism with respect to reform and realpolitik with respect to keeping Burma out of the direct Chinese sphere of influence. Clinton had had to overcome internal administration opposition from the White House and Pentagon, as well as from Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, to make the move, eventually making a personal appeal to Obama and gaining his approval. Regarding whether the Burmese regime would follow up on reform pledges, Clinton said, “I can’t predict what’s going to happen, but I think it certainly is important for the United States to be on the side of democratic reform … This is a first date, not a marriage, and we’ll see where it leads.” She continued to address rights concerns in a December 2011 speech a few days later before the United Nations Human Rights Council, saying that the U.S. would advocate for gay rights abroad and that “Gay rights are human rights” and that “It should never be a crime to be gay.” This itself drew criticism from some American social conservatives.
Secretary Clinton and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu following their bilateral meeting at the Department of State, February 13, 2012.
In a State Department town hall meeting on January 26, 2012, Clinton indicated her desire to remove herself from “the high wire of American politics” after twenty tiring years of being on it and added, “I have made it clear that I will certainly stay on until the president nominates someone and that transition can occur.” She also indicated that she had not watched any of the 2012 Republican Party presidential debates.
As the Syrian Civil War continued and intensified with the February 2012 bombardment of Homs, the U.S. sought a UN Security Council resolution that backed an Arab League plan that would urge Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to relinquish powers to the vice presidential level and permit a unity government to form. However, Russia and China vetoed the resolution, an action that Clinton characterized as a “travesty”. After the failure of the effort, Clinton warned that Syria could degenerate into “a brutal civil war” and called for a “friends of democratic Syria” group of like-minded nations to promote a peaceful and democratic solution to the situation and pressure Syria accordingly. At a meeting in Tunis of the consequent Friends of Syria Group, Clinton again criticized the actions of Russia and China as “distressing” and “despicable”, and predicted that the Assad regime would meet its end via a military coup. Later, during the summer of 2012, she repeated her criticism of those two countries. At that time, Clinton developed a plan with CIA Director David H. Petraeus to send arms to, and perform training of, vetted groups of Syrian rebels, using the assistance of a neighboring state. The plan also had the support of Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Joint Chiefs chair General Martin E. Dempsey. Reluctant to become entangled in the Syrian situation and in an election campaign, Obama rejected the idea.
Clinton has visited 112 countries during her tenure, the most of any Secretary of State in U.S. history.
In February 2012, a spokesman for Clinton denied again that Clinton wanted the President of the World Bank job, saying, “She has said this is not happening. Her view has not changed.”
At a keynote speech before the International Crisis Group, the secretary brought her view regarding the empowerment of women specifically into the area of peacemaking, saying that women’s multifaceted ties with a community make them more compelled to concern about social and quality of life issues that prosper under peacetime conditions. Furthermore, women identify more with minority groups, being discriminated against themselves. Thus, “Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world. It is past time for women to take their rightful place, side by side with men, in the rooms where the fates of peoples, where their children’s and grandchildren’s fates, are decided.” She also continued to believe that empowerment of women would continue to grow as people saw that it would lead to economic growth.
In April 2012, an Internet meme “Texts from Hillary”, hosted on Tumblr and based around a photograph of Clinton sitting on a military plane wearing sunglasses and using a mobile phone, imagined the recipients and contents of her text messages. It became suddenly popular and earned the endorsement of Clinton herself, before being brought to an end by its creators. Obama himself took note of the meme’s popularity, in a humorous exchange that revealed the ease the two now had around one another. Around the same time, a photograph taken during the 6th Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, showed Clinton with a group of colleagues relaxing, drinking Águila beer from a bottle and dancing, at a local nightclub. The episode gained front-page attention from the New York Post and illustrated how Clinton was enjoying the job.  Regarding her ongoing popularity, Clinton said, “There’s a certain consistency to who I am and what I do, and I think people have finally said, ‘Well, you know, I kinda get her now.'” One long-time Washington figure summarized the situation by simply saying, “There’s no coin in criticizing her anymore.” At the same time, her fashion choices gained renewed attention, with her hair grown long and sometimes pulled back with scrunchies. Public commentary on Clinton’s hair was now a tradition across twenty years, but as one female State Department traveller said, “As a chick, it’s a big pain in the butt. The weather is different, and you’re in and out of the plane. [The staff] gets off that plane looking like garbage most days, but she has to look camera ready. She said the reason she grew her hair long was that it’s easier. She has options.” Clinton professed she was past the point of concern on the matter: “I feel so relieved to be at the stage I’m at in my life right now, […] because if I want to wear my glasses, I’m wearing my glasses. If I want to pull my hair back, I’m pulling my hair back.” In any case, Clinton showed a much more relaxed attitude vis a vis the press than in past eras.
A late April/early May 2012 trip to China found Clinton in the middle of a drama involving blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng. He had escaped house arrest and, after finding his way to the Embassy of the United States, Beijing, requested an arrangement whereby he could stay in China with guarantees for his safety. After a deal towards that end fell through, he requested a seat on Clinton’s plane when she flew back to the U.S. After further negotiations in parallel with the existing agenda of Clinton’s trip, Chen left for the U.S. after Clinton’s departure. Clinton had negotiated personally with senior Chinese diplomat Dai Bingguo in order to get the deal back in place. Despite an environment that had, as one aide said, “exploded into an absolute circus”, Clinton managed to find a path for the U.S. that kept China from losing face and kept the overall agenda of the meetings intact.
Following the June 2012 killing of high-ranking al Qaeda figure Abu Yahya al-Libi in one of the U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan, Clinton defended the action, saying “We will always maintain our right to use force against groups such as al Qaeda that have attacked us and still threaten us with imminent attack. In doing so, we will comply with the applicable law, including the laws of war, and go to extraordinary lengths to ensure precision and avoid the loss of innocent life.” Indeed, beginning with her 2009 trip to Pakistan, Clinton had faced questions about U.S. drone strikes, which she refused to comment much upon at the time. Behind the scenes, Clinton was in fact one of the leading administration proponents of continuing and expanding the strikes there and elsewhere. She did, however, side with U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter in 2011 when he requested more input into, and control over, the U.S. “kill list” selections for that country.
Also in July 2012, Clinton visited Egypt for the first time since Mohammed Morsi became the first democratically elected president of the country. As she arrived in the country, her convoy was met with a protest and had shoes, tomatoes and bottled water thrown at it, although nothing hit either Clinton or her vehicle. Protesters also chanted “Monica, Monica”, in reference to the Lewinsky scandal. She also faced conspiracy theories (in a country that tended towards them) that the U.S. was secretly aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood.
President Obama and Secretary Clinton honor the Benghazi victims at the Transfer of Remains Ceremony held at Andrews Air Force Base on September 14, 2012.
On September 11, 2012, an attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi took place, resulting in the death of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. The next day, Clinton also made a statement describing the perpetrators as “heavily armed militants” and “a small and savage group – not the people or government of Libya.” Clinton also responded to the notion that the attack had been related to the reactions in Egypt and elsewhere to the anti-Islamic online video known as Innocence of Muslims, saying: “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.” She and President Obama appearing together in the White House Rose Garden the same day and vowed to bring the attackers to justice. On September 14 the remains of the slain Americans were returned to the U.S. Obama and Clinton attended the ceremony; in her remarks, Clinton said, “One young woman, her head covered and her eyes haunted with sadness, held up a handwritten sign that said ‘Thugs and killers don’t represent Benghazi nor Islam.'”
The attack, and questions surrounding the U.S. Government’s preparedness for it, and explanations for what had happened afterward, became a political firestorm in the U.S., especially in the context of the ongoing presidential election. The State Department had previously identified embassy and personnel security as a major challenge in its budget and priorities report. On the September 20, Clinton gave a classified briefing to U.S. Senators, which several Republican attendees criticized, angry at the Obama administration’s rebuff of their attempts to learn details of the Benghazi attack, only to see that information published the next day in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. She did announce the formation of an Accountability Review Board panel, chaired by longtime diplomat Thomas R. Pickering and vice-chaired by retired Admiral and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen, to investigate the attack from the State Department’s viewpoint.
On October 15, regarding the question of preparedness, Clinton said she was accountable: “I take responsibility. I’m in charge of the State Department’s 60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts. … I take this very personally. So we’re going to get to the bottom of it, and then we’re going to do everything we can to work to prevent it from happening again.” Regarding the different explanations afterward for what had happened, she said, “In the wake of an attack like this, in the fog of war, there’s always going to be confusion. And I think it is absolutely fair to say that everyone had the same intelligence. Everyone who spoke tried to give the information that they had. As time has gone on, that information has changed. We’ve gotten more detail, but that’s not surprising. That always happens.”
On November 6, 2012, Obama was re-elected for a second term as president. Clinton said shortly before the election that she would stay on until her successor was confirmed, but that “this is not an open-ended kind of time frame.” Despite her continuing to express a lack of interest, speculation continued about Clinton as a possible candidate in the 2016 presidential election. A poll taken in Iowa, the first state in the nomination process, showed that in a hypothetical 2016 caucuses contest, Clinton would have 58 percent support, with Vice President Biden coming in next at 17 percent.
Later in November, Clinton traveled to Jersusalem, the West Bank, and Cairo, meeting with leaders Benjamin Netanyahu, Mahmoud Abbas and Mohamed Morsi respectively, in an effort to stop the 2012 Gaza conflict. On November 21, she participated in a joint appearance with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr to announce that a cease-fire agreement had been reached between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. When the 2012 Egyptian protests against Morsi broke out shortly thereafter, Clinton said that it showed how a dialogue between both sides was immediately needed on how to reshape that nation’s constitution.
In mid-December, Clinton fell victim to a stomach virus contracted on a trip to Europe. She subsequently became very dehydrated and then fainted, suffering a mild concussion. As a result, she cancelled another trip and scratched an appearance at scheduled Congressional hearings on the Benghazi matter. A few conservative figures, including Congressman Allen West and Ambassador to the UN John R. Bolton, accused Clinton of fabricating her illness to avoid testifying, but a State Department spokesperson said that was “completely untrue” and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham denounced the allegations.
On December 19, the Pickering–Mullen Accountability Review Board report on the Benghazi matter was released. It was sharply critical of State Department officials in Washington for ignoring requests for more guards and safety upgrades, and for failing to adapt security procedures to a deteriorating security environment. It explicitly criticized the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs: “Systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department … resulted in a special mission security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place.” Four State Department officials were removed from their posts as a consequence, including Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic SecurityEric J. Boswell (who resigned completely), a deputy assistant secretary for embassy security, Charlene R. Lamb, and a deputy assistant secretary for North Africa, Raymond Maxwell. The report did not criticize more senior officials in the department; Pickering said: “We fixed it at the assistant secretary level, which is, in our view, the appropriate place to look, where the decision-making in fact takes place, where, if you like, the rubber hits the road.” Clinton said in a letter to Congress that she accepted the conclusions of the Pickering–Mullen report, and a State Department task force was formed to implement some sixty action items recommended by the report. On December 20, the Deputy Secretary of State, William J. Burns, and the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, Thomas R. Nides, testified in her place before two Congressional committees, and said that many of the report’s recommendations would be in place before year-end. Clinton planned to testify herself in January.
The Benghazi matter also had an effect on Clinton’s successor as Secretary of State. Obama’s first choice was Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, but she came under heavy criticism from Congressional Republicans for what they felt were incorrect or deceptive statements in the aftermath of the attack, and by mid-December she withdrew her name from consideration. Obama then nominated Senator John Kerry for the position instead. By one report, Clinton had preferred Kerry over Rice all along anyway. Although still not well enough to attend the December 21 announcement of Kerry’s nomination, Clinton was described by Obama as being “in good spirits” and, in a statement, praised Kerry as being of the “highest caliber”.
Clinton was scheduled to return to work the week of December 31, but then on December 30 was admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital for treatment and observation after a blood clot related to the concussion was discovered. On December 31 it was announced that the clot was behind her ear near her brain, specifically a right transverse sinus venous thrombosis, that she was being treated with anticoagulants, that she had not suffered any neurological damage, and that she was expected to make a full recovery.
Final days of tenure
Secretary Clinton is welcomed back to work at the State Department on January 7, 2013
On January 2, 2013, Clinton was released from the hospital. She returned to work at the State Department on January 7, when co-workers welcomed her back with a standing ovation and a joke gift of a football helmet featuring the department’s seal. It was her first normal public appearance in a month.
Secretary Clinton receives a football jersey with 112, the number of countries she visited during her tenure
The illness did, however, put an end to her days of travel in the job. She finished with 112 countries visited, making her the most widely traveled secretary of state in history. Her total of 956,733 air miles ended up falling short of Condoleezza Rice‘s record for total mileage. That total, 1,059,207, was bolstered late in Rice’s tenure by repeated trips to the Middle East. Clinton traveled during 401 days, with 306 of those spent in actual diplomatic meetings, and spent the equivalent of 87 full days on airplanes. Compared to other recent secretaries, Clinton traveled more broadly, with fewer repeat visits to certain countries.
Secretary Clinton gives her farewell remarks to State Department employees on her last day in office, February 1, 2013
On January 23, Clinton finally gave more than five hours of testimony on the Benghazi matter before hearings of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. She said with a choking voice, “For me, this is not just a matter of policy, it’s personal. I stood next to President Obama as the Marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at Andrews. I put my arms around the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters.” She again accepted formal responsibility for the departmental security lapses that led to the attack and deaths, but in explanation did not accept personal blame for them. She said, “I feel responsible for the nearly 70,000 people who work for the State Department. But the specific security requests pertaining to Benghazi, you know, were handled by the security professionals in the department. I didn’t see those requests. They didn’t come to me. I didn’t approve them. I didn’t deny them.” She did acknowledge that she had supported keeping the Benghazi consulate open after an earlier debate about its deteriorating security, but said she had assumed the security personnel involved would address any issues with it.
Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican associated with the Tea Party movement, questioned her repeatedly on a different aspect, whether Ambassador to the UN Rice had misled the public after the attacks. This line drew the fieriest response from Clinton, who with voice raised and fists shaking, responded, “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator.” Other Republicans also attacked Clinton, with Representative Jeff Duncan accusing her of “national security malpractice” and Senator Rand Paul saying that the president should have dismissed her from her job for having failed to read security-related cables coming into the State Department (she had said there are over a million cables that come into the department and they are all formally addressed to her). Senator John McCain said that while “It’s wonderful to see you in good health and as combative as ever”, he was unsatisfied with her answers.
Clinton also took the opportunity to address the ongoing conflict in Mali and the rest of Northern Africa, saying “this Pandora’s Box if you will” of side effects from the Arab Spring had opened a new security challenge for the U.S. Specifically, she said “we cannot permit northern Mali to become a safe haven.”
The next day, January 24, Clinton introduced John Kerry before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as hearings were held on his nomination to succeed her. She called him “the right choice to carry forward the Obama Administration’s foreign policy”, and called out his testimony before the same committee in 1971 in opposition to the Vietnam War as “speaking hard truths about a war that had gone badly off track.”
At both public appearances, as well as at the second inauguration of Barack Obama, Clinton wore glasses (instead of her usual contact lens), which upon closer examination were seen to have Fresnel prisms attached to them, likely to counteract lingering blurred or double vision from her concussion. Use of special glasses was confirmed by the State Department, which said, “She’ll be wearing these glasses instead of her contacts for a period of time because of lingering issues stemming from her concussion.”
On January 27, 60 Minutes aired a joint interview with Obama and Clinton. The interview was Obama’s idea and was the first he had done with a member of his administration. In it, Obama consistently praised Clinton’s performance in the position, saying “I think Hillary will go down as one of the finest secretary of states we’ve had.” Both said the relationship between them had been very comfortable, and that getting past their 2008 primary campaign battles had not been difficult for them personally. Regarding her health, Clinton said, “I still have some lingering effects from falling on my head and having the blood clot. But the doctors tell me that will all recede. And so, thankfully, I’m looking forward to being at full speed.”
On January 29, Clinton held a global and final town hall meeting, the 59th of her tenure. Also on January 29, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved Kerry’s nomination unanimously and the full Senate confirmed the nomination by a 94–3 vote. In her final public speech, on January 31 before the Council on Foreign Relations, Clinton returned to the themes of “smart power”. She suggested that a new architecture was needed for relations within the world, giving an analogy of Frank Gehry compared to ancient Greek architecture: “Some of his work at first might appear haphazard, but in fact, it’s highly intentional and sophisticated. Where once a few strong columns could hold up the weight of the world, today we need a dynamic mix of materials and structures.” She added, echoing Madeleine Albright, “… we are truly the indispensable nation, it’s not meant as a boast or an empty slogan. It’s a recognition of our role and our responsibilities. That’s why all the declinists are dead wrong. It’s why the United States must and will continue to lead in this century even as we lead in new ways.”
Clinton’s final day as secretary was February 1, 2013, when she met with Obama to hand in her letter of resignation and later gave farewell remarks in a meeting with employees at State Department headquarters.
Overall themes and legacy
While Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State was popular at the time among the public and praised by President Obama, observers have noted that there was no signature diplomatic breakthrough during it nor any transformative domination of major issues in the nature of Dean Acheson, George Marshall, or Henry Kissinger. The intractable issues when she entered office, such as Iran, Pakistan, Arab-Israeli relations, and North Korea, were still that way when she left. Many of Clinton’s initiatives in the “smart power” realm will take much more time to evaluate as to their effect.Aaron David Miller, a vice president at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, said that “She’s coming away with a stellar reputation that seems to have put her almost above criticism. But you can’t say that she’s really led on any of the big issues for this administration or made a major mark on high strategy.”Michael E. O’Hanlon, a Brookings Institution analyst, said that, “Even an admirer, such as myself, must acknowledge that few big problems were solved on her watch, few victories achieved. [She has been] more solid than spectacular.” Others have been more highly critical of her tenure as Secretary; in a 2015 book entitled Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America, former Vice PresidentDick Cheney and his daughter, Liz Cheney argue that Clinton’s tenure, and the Obama administration‘s foreign policy generally, weakened U.S. standing in its international relations and deviated sharply from 70 years of well-established, bipartisan U.S. foreign and defense policy that the United States had generally adhered to since World War II. Others, however, such as Eric Schmidt disagree, and have argued that Clinton was “perhaps the most significant secretary of state since” Acheson. All agreed on her celebrity; as one unnamed official said, “She’s the first secretary who’s also been a global rock star. It’s allowed her to raise issues on the global agenda in a way that no one before her has been able to do.”
Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama discuss matters in 2009, at a picnic table on the grounds of the White House
The divisions between Obama and Clinton that many observers had originally predicted, never happened. Indeed, a writer for The New York Times Magazine declared that “Obama and Clinton have instead led the least discordant national-security team in decades, despite enormous challenges on almost every front.” In part, this was because Obama and Clinton both approached foreign policy as a largely non-ideological, pragmatic exercise. Nevertheless, there were limitations to her influence: Much of the handling of the Middle East, Iraq, and Iran was done by the White House or Pentagon during her tenure, and on some other issues as well, policy-making was kept inside the White House among Obama’s inner circle of advisors. There were also differences of opinion. Clinton failed to persuade Obama to arm and train Syrian rebels in 2012, but overcame initial opposition to gain approval of her visit to Burma in 2011. Clinton’s initial idea of having special envoys under her handling key trouble spots fell apart due to various circumstances. Clinton did find bureaucratic success in edging out the U.S. Commerce Department, by having the State Department take a lead role in sales pitches in favor of U.S. companies. In doing so, she helped negotiate international deals for the likes of Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Westinghouse Electric Company. Clinton believed, more than most prior secretaries, that the commercial aspects of diplomacy and the promotion of international trade were vital to American foreign policy goals.
Obama later referred to the Libya intervention when questioned about his worst mistake. Obama asserted that he had been reluctant to intervene but that intervention had been championed by Clinton and Susan Rice. Obama cited the lack of preparation the Administration had made for a post-Gaddafi Libya, lack of followup by European countries and greater-than-expected intertribal divisions in Libya.  However, Clinton’s stance is that the intervention was beneficial because it avoided another Syria-like scenario.
Clinton’s background as an elected politician showed in her touch for dealing with people, in remembering personal connections, in visiting State Department staff when overseas, and in sympathizing with the dilemmas of elected foreign leaders. At least until the Benghazi matter, she retained personal support among a number of Republicans; in mid-2012, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said, “I think she’s represented our nation well. She is extremely well respected throughout the world, handles herself in a very classy way and has a work ethic second to none.”
Especially in the Mideast turmoil but elsewhere as well, Clinton saw an opportunity to advance one of the central themes of her tenure, the empowerment and welfare of women and girls worldwide. Moreover, she viewed women’s rights and human rights as critical for U.S. security interests, as part of what has become known as the “Hillary Doctrine“. Former State Department director and coordinator Theresa Loar said in 2011 that, “I honestly think Hillary Clinton wakes up every day thinking about how to improve the lives of women and girls. And I don’t know another world leader who is doing that.” In turn, there was a trend of women around the world finding more opportunities, and in some cases feeling safer, as the result of her actions and visibility.
A mid-2012 Pew Research study of public opinions found that Clinton was viewed positively in Japan and most European countries in terms of people having confidence that she would do the right thing in world affairs. She received mixed marks in China, Russia, and some Central and South American countries, and low marks in Muslim countries, on this question. Overall, Clinton’s attempts to improve the image of America in Muslim countries did not find any immediate success due to many factors, including the unpopularity of drone strikes in Pakistan and elsewhere. Perceptions of the U.S. in those countries declined during her tenure according to a Pew Research, which found that only 15 percent of Muslims had a favorable impression of the U.S. in 2012, compared to 25 percent in 2009. Specifically in Pakistan, only 12 percent of Pakistanis had a favorable impression of the U.S. in 2012, compared to 16 percent in 2009, and only 3 percent had confidence in Clinton compared to 37 percent not.
The first secretary of state to visit countries such as Togo and East Timor, Clinton believed that in-person visits were more important than ever in the digital age. As she said in remarks shortly before leaving office, “I have found it highly ironic that, in today’s world, when we can be anywhere virtually, more than ever people want us to show up, actually. Somebody said to me the other day, ‘I look at your travel schedule. Why Togo? Why the Cook Islands?’ No secretary of state had ever been to Togo before. Togo happens to be on the U.N. Security Council. Going there, making the personal investment, has a real strategic purpose.”
Financial accounting, document requests, Clinton Foundation
According to the Office of the Inspector General report made in 2014, the State Department’s records failed to properly account for some $6 billion in contracts over the prior six years, including around $2 billion for the department’s mission in Iraq. The report said, “The failure to maintain contract files adequately creates significant financial risk and demonstrates a lack of internal control over the Department’s contract actions,” and added that investigators and auditors had found “repeated examples of poor contract file administration” which it had characterized as having been one of the department’s “major management challenges” for several years.
The ethics agreement between the State Department and Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation that was put into force at the beginning of the secretary’s tenure came under scrutiny from the news media during early 2015. A Wall Street Journal report found that the Clinton Foundation had resumed accepting donations from foreign governments once Secretary Clinton’s tenure had ended. A Washington Post inquiry into donations by foreign governments to the Clinton Foundation during the secretary’s tenure found a six cases where such governments continued making donations at the same level they had before Clinton became secretary, which was permissible under the agreement, and also one instance of a new donation, $500,000 from Algeria in January 2010 for earthquake relief in Haiti, that was outside the bounds of the continuation provision and should have received a special ethics review but did not. The Post noted that the donation “coincided with a spike” in lobbying efforts by Algeria of the State Department regarding their human rights record but that during 2010 and 2011 the Department still issued human rights reports critical of Algeria’s restrictions on freedom of assembly, women’s rights and labor rights that also pointed to instances of extrajudicial killings, corruption, and lack of transparency in the government. A Politico analysis of State Department documents found that the department approved virtually all of Bill Clinton’s proposed speaking engagements, even when they lacked sufficient information about the valuation of those talks or links between them and possible subsequent donations to the Clinton Foundation.
From 2009 to 2013, the Russian atomic energy agency Rosatom acquired Uranium One, a Canadian company with global uranium mining stakes including 20 percent of the uranium production capacity in the United States. The strategically sensitive acquisition required the approval of the Canadian government as well as a number of U.S. governmental bodies including the State Department. In April 2015, the New York Times reported that, during the acquisition, the family foundation of Uranium One’s chairman made $2.35 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation. Also during this time, Bill Clinton received a $500,000 payment from Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank whose analysts were praising Uranium One stock, for making speech in Moscow. The Foundation donations were not publicly disclosed by the Clinton Foundation or the State Department, despite a prior agreement to do so, in part due to taking advantage of the donations going through a Canadian affiliate of the Foundation. A FactCheck.org analysis stated that while the reports raised “legitimate questions about the Clinton Foundation and its donations,” the reports “presented no evidence that the donations influenced Clinton’s official actions.” Asked about the issue in June 2015, the former secretary said of the State Department’s role in the approval, “There were nine government agencies that that had to sign off on that deal. I was not personally involved because that’s not something [the] Secretary of State did.”
In early March 2015, a New York Times report revealed that throughout her time as Secretary of State, Clinton used her own private email server, rather than government-issued departmental ones Further investigation revealed that the day of her first Senate hearing to become Secretary of State, Clinton, or an associate, purchased a private email server under the pseudonym “Eric Hoteham”. The server was set up in her home in Chappaqua, New York. The matter gained widespread public attention due to concerns about the security of the mails she sent and received and whether they were exposed to hacking and surveillance; the availability and preservation of the mails for Freedom of Information Act requests and the archival historical record; and whether her action had violated any federal laws, regulations, or guidelines. Also in question was whether the use of the private email server violated State Department transparency protocols.
In response to the attention, Clinton said she had in December 2014 turned over 55,000 pages of e-mails to the State Department following their request and that she now wanted them made public. These 55,000 printed pages accounted for 30,490, or slightly less than half, of the 62,320 emails that Clinton had sent or received on her private email account during her time as secretary. At a press conference Clinton said she had set up the separate server as a matter of convenience so that she could carry one device and not two, but that in retrospect “it would have been better if I’d simply used a second email account and carried a second phone”. She said that she had sent mails to State Department employees on their government accounts, ensuring such mails would be preserved, but it then turned out that the department did not automatically or routinely save such mails. After the revelations, questions were raised about whether Clinton, when she resigned in February 2013, had signed Form OF-109, a standard document declaring that she had turned over all work-related records. After searching, the State Department said it had “no record” that Clinton had signed the form, were “fairly certain” that she had not, and that it appeared neither of her two immediate predecessors as secretary had either. According to the text of the form, it warns individuals signing it that falsification is subject to criminal penalties under Section 1001 of Title 18.
A portion of the emails on Clinton’s private server were emails sent in 2011 and 2012 by Sidney Blumenthal, a political supporter and campaign staffer who worked for the Clinton Foundation. Blumenthal prepared, from public and other sources, about 25 memos which he sent to Clinton during 2011 and 2012 which she shared through her aide, Jake Sullivan, with senior State Department personnel. In the form of intelligence briefings, the memos sometimes touted his business associates and, at times contained inaccurate information.
In August 2015, it was reported that Clinton had personally paid a State Department staffer, Bryan Pagliano, who had previously served as IT director for Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, to maintain her private server while she was Secretary of State. According to a Clinton campaign official, this ensured that taxpayer dollars would not be spent on a private server that was shared by Clinton, her husband and their daughter, as well as several aides to the former president. On September 1, 2015, Pagliano’s attorney sent letters to the House Select Committee on Benghazi, which had subpoenaed Pagliano, and to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which was inquiring about Pagliano’s outside employment while a Federal employee, informing the committees that his client would invoke his constitutional Fifth Amendment rights not to answer any questions from the committees, and on September 10, in a closed-door session before the Benghazi Committee, Pagliano personally appeared to invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to testify before the committee.
Potential mis-handling of classified information
On July 23, 2015, The New York Times reported the existence of a June 2015, memorandum to the Justice Department from the Inspectors General of the Intelligence Community and the State Department regarding the presence of classified government information in emails from the personal email account Hillary Clinton used as Secretary of State. A transmittal memorandum, written by State Dept. official Patrick F. Kennedy, said that, based on an assessment of a small sample of the contents of Mrs. Clinton’s private account by the two Inspectors General, it was likely that the entire body of emails contained hundreds of instances of classified information. In their joint statement, the inspectors general said that classified information in the emails had originated from U.S. intelligence agencies, such as the CIA and the NSA, and that it is illegal anyone to receive a classified document, or briefing, and then summarize or otherwise transmit that information in an unclassified email.
Clinton and her campaign have reiterated that the information transmitted was not classified “at the time”, but the inspectors general, as well as reporting by the New York Times and others, said that it, in fact, was classified at the time. Information is considered classified if its disclosure would likely harm national security, and government procedures and protocols require that such information be sent or stored only on government computer networks with government safeguards.
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Final tally shows Trump lost popular vote by 2.8 million – but he BEAT Clinton by 3 million votes outside of California and New York
Clinton won California by 4.2 million votes and New York by 1.6 million, running up the score in places where she would have won no matter what
Outside of those two liberal states, Trump was 3 million votes ahead
California alone accounted for more than Clinton’s national popular-vote edge
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By David Martosko, Us Political Editor For Dailymail.com
PUBLISHED: 09:01 EST, 21 December 2016 | UPDATED: 14:17 EST, 21 December 2016
Final vote tallies from the November 8 election show that Democrat Hillary Clinton out-polled President-elect Donald Trump by 2.8 million votes while losing the contest by a wide margin in the all-important Electoral College.
Her upper hand with voters, however, came down to performances in New York and California that were far stronger than necessary.
Clinton won California by 4.2 million and took New York by more than 1.6 million. The combined 5.8 million-vote advantage in just those two states was more than twice the size of her overall edge nationwide.
When the dust settled, she lost the rest of the country by 3 million votes.
BIG WIN: Donald Trump won the presidency with broad support of a majority of states in the all-important Electoral College that actually selects America’s president and vice president
SMALL COMFORT: Hillary Clinton collected more votes than Trump but did it by running up the score in California and New York, two very liberal states that were virtually guaranteed to her
Trump tweeted, deleted and replaced a message Wednesday morning suggesting that the Electoral College system presents more difficult challenges than an election that relies only on raw vote totals.
‘Campaigning for votes under the Electoral College system is much more difficult, and different, than the popular vote,’ he wrote on Twitter at first.
That message disappeared almost immediately, and Trump replaced it 20 minutes later with a more aggressive tweet including a direct shot at Clinton.
‘Campaigning to win the Electoral College is much more difficult & sophisticated than the popular vote. Hillary focused on the wrong states!’ he wrote in the replacement tweet.
Trump wrote in a followup message that ‘I would have done even better in the election, if that is possible, if the winner was based on popular vote – but would campaign differently.’
Then he added: ‘I have not heard any of the pundits or commentators discussing the fact that I spent FAR LESS MONEY on the win than Hillary on the loss!’
Arizona protesters urged Trump to divest his business
SORE LOSERS: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Wednesday morning blasted liberals who insist Trump’s victory is illegitimate because more Americans voted for Clinton
BEFORE AND AFTER: Trump tweeted (top), deleted and then replaced (bottom) a message about raw vote totals and the Electoral College on Wednesday morning
Trump ended Election Night controlling 306 votes in the Electoral College, a number that slipped to 304 when presidential electors cast their ballots on Monday. Clinton had 232, but lost five turncoats for a total of 227.
Clinton would still have won California’s 55 electoral votes if her margin there had been far smaller. The same is true of New York’s 29 electoral votes.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Wednesday morning blasted liberals who insist Trump’s victory is illegitimate because more Americans voted for Clinton.
‘This is football season. A team can have more yards and lose the game. What matters is how many points you put on the board. The Electoral College is the points,’ he said on ‘Fox & Friends.’
‘Trump actually carried – in the 49 states outside of California, he had a 1.2 million vote majority. He got killed in California because he never campaigned there,’ Gingrich said.
‘The Democrats had two people running for the U.S. Senate the way California law works, no Republican running for the U.S. Senate. So we got beaten in the biggest state. It didn’t matter. That’s not how you pick the presidency. Trump’s now going to be president. She’s not going to be president. That’s called winning the game.’
He said some Democrats are ‘not going to get used to the idea’ of a President Trump ‘because he is, from their standpoint, horrifying. … They live in a delusional world. That’s why they lost the election: They decided to stay with the delusion.’
Donald J. Trump was confirmed as president-elect today by members of the Electoral College, winning at least 304 electoral votes. Texas put Trump over the top as it cast its vote after 5PM ET today. 304 is likely to be Trump’s final number, as the three states yet to vote – California, Nevada and Hawaii – were won by Hillary Clinton on Election Day. Should those electors all vote as pledged, Clinton will end up with 228 votes.
In the end, there wasn’t a lot of drama in the vote. There were 6 faithless electors, however, including 4 in Washington and two in Texas. While a small number, this is the highest number of faithless electors for president since the 19th century. There were attempts by electors in Colorado, Maine and Minnesota to cast faithless votes, but these were disallowed.
Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president at noon on January 20, 2017.
The Electoral College has officially cast enough votes to make Donald Trump president
Updated by Andrew Prokop Dec 19, 2016, 5:38pm EST
Donald Trump has topped the 270 electoral votes he needs to become president, dashing some liberals’ dreams of a last-minute Electoral College revolt that would block him from the office.
Indeed, the overwhelming majority of electors from states Trump won last month did in fact cast their electoral votes for him, as they were expected to, according to reports from the various state capitals that have been trickling in throughout the day.
Trump will end up with 304 electoral votes, well over the 270 he needs. Only two Trump electors defected from him, with one voting for John Kasich and the other for Ron Paul.
Hillary Clinton ended up losing more electors. Though not all the electoral votes from Clinton states have been counted yet, four of Washington state’s 12 Democratic electors refused to vote for her. Instead, three voted for former Secretary of State Colin Powell and one for Faith Spotted Eagle, an activist involved in protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Three other electors attempted to defect from Clinton in other states, but two were replaced by alternates, with the other changing his mind on a revote:
In Minnesota, Sanders-supporting Democratic elector Muhammad Abdurrahmanreportedly refused to cast a vote, so according to state law, he was replaced with an alternate who did vote for Clinton.
In Maine, Democratic elector David Bright voted for Bernie Sanders at first, but his vote was ruled out of order, and he switched it to Clinton during a revote.
In Colorado, Democratic elector Michael Baca attempted to cast his vote for John Kasich (as part of the failed scheme to convince Trump electors to back a moderate Republican), but he was dismissed and replaced by an alternate, who voted for Clinton.
Theoretically, legal challenges could be launched related to some of these electoral votes, since the constitutionality of state laws binding electors has never truly been tested in the courts. But at least for the time being, they’re set to count for Clinton.
Overall, though, these will all be irrelevant to the outcome, since Trump will end up with quite a bit more than the majority of electoral votes he needs to officially win the presidency.
The system worked as expected, but serious weaknesses remain
In any normal recent year, this would barely need to be clarified. For nearly two centuries, the Electoral College has been an anachronistic formality that exists primarily to ratify the results of votes cast by the citizens of various states.
But it has long been at least theoretically possible for electors to go rogue. Before Monday, nine electors in the past century had in fact done so, defying the results of their states. Usually, they did so as some sort of protest (though in one case, it seemingly happened by accident).
And it does seem that in a truly close Electoral College vote, our presidential election system might really be vulnerable to some mischief from electors. This outcome drives that home, with a number of faithless electors that’s a record for the modern era.
Still, as I’ve been writing for weeks, an outcome-changing elector revolt was incredibly unlikely to happen this year, for several reasons. Trump’s margin of victory in electoral votes was simply too big. Many states have laws “binding” electors to the results of the statewide vote. And the Trump-supporting electors are generally picked by the state Republican parties or are conservative activists, and are therefore unlikely to defy the will of the GOP.
Now, technically, the votes cast in state capitals all across the country still have to officially be counted by the new Congress on January 6, 2017. But since the vote totals are all made public today, that will be a formality — Donald Trump has won.
Donald Trump has topped the 270 electoral votes he needs to become president, dashing some liberals’ dreams of a last-minute Electoral College revolt that would block him from the office.
Indeed, the overwhelming majority of electors from states Trump won last month did in fact cast their electoral votes for him, as they were expected to, according to reports from the various state capitals that have been trickling in throughout the day.
Trump will end up with 304 electoral votes, well over the 270 he needs. Only two Trump electors defected from him, with one voting for John Kasich and the other for Ron Paul.
Hillary Clinton ended up losing more electors. Though not all the electoral votes from Clinton states have been counted yet, four of Washington state’s 12 Democratic electors refused to vote for her. Instead, three voted for former Secretary of State Colin Powell and one for Faith Spotted Eagle, an activist involved in protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Three other electors attempted to defect from Clinton in other states, but two were replaced by alternates, with the other changing his mind on a revote:
In Minnesota, Sanders-supporting Democratic elector Muhammad Abdurrahmanreportedly refused to cast a vote, so according to state law, he was replaced with an alternate who did vote for Clinton.
In Maine, Democratic elector David Bright voted for Bernie Sanders at first, but his vote was ruled out of order, and he switched it to Clinton during a revote.
In Colorado, Democratic elector Michael Baca attempted to cast his vote for John Kasich (as part of the failed scheme to convince Trump electors to back a moderate Republican), but he was dismissed and replaced by an alternate, who voted for Clinton.
Theoretically, legal challenges could be launched related to some of these electoral votes, since the constitutionality of state laws binding electors has never truly been tested in the courts. But at least for the time being, they’re set to count for Clinton.
Overall, though, these will all be irrelevant to the outcome, since Trump will end up with quite a bit more than the majority of electoral votes he needs to officially win the presidency.
Electoral College Deals Hillary Clinton, Big Media Final Embarrassment
Hillary Clinton conceding the the 2016 presidential race to Donald Trump in New York City on November 9, 2016. (Photo: Video Screenshot)
The Electoral College dealt Big Media and Democrat Hillary Clinton one more final embarrassment. With nearly all the Electoral College votes cast, the former secretary of state set a 104-year record for the candidate with the most faithless electors. If you fell for the Big Media hysteria, then you might be surprised to hear faithless electors are actually pretty common.
(UPDATE: Since this article was first written, Mrs. Clinton got another faithless elector in the state of Hawaii. Her total now stands at 5.)
For all the headlines focusing on one faithless elector in Texas who turned out to be a complete fraud, it would really surprise you to hear that Mrs. Clinton not only lost more electors than President-elect Donald J. Trump, but the most of any candidate in over 100 years.
In what was a shocking development to Big Media, 4 Democratic electors in Washington State voted for someone other than Mrs. Clinton. The total was 3 for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, while the remaining one voted for Faith Spotted Eagle. Mrs. Clinton only secured 8 of the state’s total 12 Electoral College votes. That wasn’t the end to her troubles, either.
Not since 1912–when 8 Republican electors defected and voted for Nicholas Murray Butler instead of Vice Presidential candidate James S. Sherman, who died before the election–has anyone lost more electors than Mrs. Clinton. Sherman was President William Howard Taft’s vice president and they were both running for re-election.
Not since 1896, when two parties, the Democratic Party and the People’s Party, ran William Jennings Bryan as their presidential candidate has a candidate lost as many electors in the Electoral College as Mrs. Clinton did in 2016.
And that was a very special circumstance. In Bryan, the two parties shared a presidential candidate. But they nominated different candidates for vice president. The Democratic Party nominated Arthur Sewall and the People’s Party nominated Thomas Watson. The People’s Party won 31 electoral votes but four of those electors voted with the Democratic ticket, supporting Bryan as president and Sewall as vice president.
In total, there have been 157 faithless electors since the founding of the Electoral College, of which 71 were the result of the candidate dying before the day electors cast their votes. Only 3 electors abstained rather than vote for their party’s nominee and 83 electoral votes were changed based on the elector’s personal choice.
It could’ve been even worse for Mrs. Clinton.
In Minnesota, the Electoral College per state rules replaced an elector who refused to vote for her. In Maine, which was set to split it’s electoral votes for the first time ever after President-elect Trump won the Second Congressional District, Democratic elector David Bright cast his first vote for Sen. Bernie Sanders. He switched his vote back on a second round of voting.
It’s a fitting end to a presidential election in which the media coverage was so divorced from reality PPD readers and millions of other Americans sometimes felt like they were in the Twilight Zone. Judging by the hysterical and factually inaccurate coverage of his transition, I don’t expect it will end.
Section 1. The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
The Congress may determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.
The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate; The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;–The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice…. The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President to the United States.
Section 3. No person shall be… elector of President and Vice President … who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Section 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.
Section 2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.
Section 3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.
Section 4. The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.
Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.
Section 1. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct:
A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.
Section 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.
Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.
Section 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.
Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. There upon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.
UNITED STATES CODE
The following provisions of law governing Presidential Elections are contained in Chapter 1 of Title 3, United States Code (62 Stat. 672, as amended):
§ 1. The electors of President and Vice President shall be appointed, in each State, on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, in every fourth year succeeding every election of a President and Vice President.
Failure to make choice on prescribed day
§ 2. Whenever any State has held an election for the purpose of choosing electors, and has failed to make a choice on the day prescribed by law, the electors may be appointed on a subsequent day in such a manner as the legislature of such State may direct.
Number of electors
§ 3. The number of electors shall be equal to the number of Senators and Representatives to which the several States are by law entitled at the time when the President and Vice President to be chosen come into office; except, that where no apportionment of Representatives has been made after any enumeration, at the time of choosing electors, the number of electors shall be according to the then existing apportionment of Senators and Representatives.
Vacancies in electoral college
§ 4. Each State may, by law, provide for the filling of any vacancies which may occur in its college of electors when such college meets to give its electoral vote.
Determination of controversy as to appointment of electors
§ 5. If any State shall have provided, by laws enacted prior to the day fixed for the appointment of the electors, for its final determination of any controversy or contest concerning the appointment of all or any of the electors of such State, by judicial or other methods or procedures, and such determination shall have been made at least six days before the time fixed for the meeting of the electors, such determination made pursuant to such law so existing on said day, and made at least six days prior to said time of meeting of the electors, shall be conclusive, and shall govern in the counting of the electoral votes as provided in the Constitution, and as hereinafter regulated, so far as the ascertainment of the electors appointed by such State is concerned.
Credentials of electors; transmission to archivist of the united states and to congress; public inspection
§ 6. It shall be the duty of the executive of each State, as soon as practicable after the conclusion of the appointment of the electors in such State by the final ascertainment, under and in pursuance of the laws of such State providing for such ascertainment, to communicate by registered mail under the seal of the State to the Archivist of the United States a certificate of such ascertainment of the electors appointed, setting forth the names of such electors and the canvass or other ascertainment under the laws of such State of the number of votes given or cast for each person for whose appointment any and all votes have been given or cast; and it shall also thereupon be the duty of the executive of each State to deliver to the electors of such State, on or before the day on which they are required by section 7 of this title to meet, six duplicate-originals of the same certificate under the seal of the State; and if there shall have been any final determination in a State in the manner provided for by law of a controversy or contest concerning the appointment of all or any of the electors of such State, it shall be the duty of the executive of such State, as soon as practicable after such determination, to communicate under the seal of the State to the Archivist of the United States a certificate of such determination in form and manner as the same shall have been made; and the certificate or certificates so received by the Archivist of the United States shall be preserved by him for one year and shall be a part of the public records of his office and shall be open to public inspection; and the Archivist of the United States at the first meeting of Congress thereafter shall transmit to the two Houses of Congress copies in full of each and every such certificate so received at the National Archives and Records Administration.
Meeting and vote of electors
§ 7. The electors of President and Vice President of each State shall meet and give their votes on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December next following their appointment at such place in each State as the legislature of such State shall direct.
Manner of voting
§ 8. The electors shall vote for President and Vice President, respectively, in the manner directed by the Constitution.
Certificates of votes for president and vice president
§ 9. The electors shall make and sign six certificates of all the votes given by them, each of which certificates shall contain two distinct lists, one of the votes for President and the other of the votes for Vice President, and shall annex to each of the certificates one of the lists of the electors which shall have been furnished to them by direction of the executive of the State.
Sealing and endorsing certificates
§ 10. The electors shall seal up the certificates so made by them, and certify upon each that the lists of all the votes of such State given for President, and of all the votes given for Vice President, are contained therein.
§ 11. The electors shall dispose of the certificates so made by them and the lists attached thereto in the following manner:
First. They shall forthwith forward by registered mail one of the same to the President of the Senate at the seat of government.
Second. Two of the same shall be delivered to the secretary of state of the State, one of which shall be held subject to the order of the President of the Senate, the other to be preserved by him for one year and shall be a part of the public records of his office and shall be open to public inspection.
Third. On the day thereafter they shall forward by registered mail two of such certificates and lists to the Archivist of the United States at the seat of government, one of which shall be held subject to the order of the President of the Senate. The other shall be preserved by the Archivist of the United States for one year and shall be a part of the public records of his office and shall be open to public inspection.
Fourth. They shall forthwith cause the other of the certificates and lists to be delivered to the judge of the district in which the electors shall have assembled.
Failure of certificates of electors to reach president of the senate or archivist of the United States; demand on state for certificate
§ 12. When no certificate of vote and list mentioned in sections 9 and 11 and of this title from any State shall have been received by the President of the Senate or by the Archivist of the United States by the fourth Wednesday in December, after the meeting of the electors shall have been held, the President of the Senate or, if he be absent from the seat of government, the Archivist of the United States shall request, by the most expeditious method available, the secretary of state of the State to send up the certificate and list lodged with him by the electors of such State; and it shall be his duty upon receipt of such request immediately to transmit same by registered mail to the President of the Senate at the seat of government.
Same; demand on district judge for certificate
§ 13. When no certificates of votes from any State shall have been received at the seat of government on the fourth Wednesday in December, after the meeting of the electors shall have been held, the President of the Senate or, if he be absent from the seat of government, the Archivist of the United States shall send a special messenger to the district judge in whose custody one certificate of votes from that State has been lodged, and such judge shall forthwith transmit that list by the hand of such messenger to the seat of government.
Forfeiture for messenger’s neglect of duty
§ 14. Every person who, having been appointed, pursuant to section 13 of this title, to deliver the certificates of the votes of the electors to the President of the Senate, and having accepted such appointment, shall neglect to perform the services required from him, shall forfeit the sum of $1,000.
Counting electoral votes in congress
§ 15. Congress shall be in session on the sixth day of January succeeding every meeting of the electors. The Senate and House of Representatives shall meet in the Hall of the House of Representatives at the hour of 1 o’clock in the afternoon on that day, and the President of the Senate shall be their presiding officer. Two tellers shall be previously appointed on the part of the Senate and two on the part of the House of Representatives, to whom shall be handed, as they are opened by the President of the Senate, all the certificates and papers purporting to be certificates of the electoral votes, which certificates and papers shall be opened, presented, and acted upon in the alphabetical order of the States, beginning with the letter A; and said tellers, having then read the same in the presence and hearing of the two Houses, shall make a list of the votes as they shall appear from the said certificates; and the votes having been ascertained and counted according to the rules in this subchapter provided, the result of the same shall be delivered to the President of the Senate, who shall thereupon announce the state of the vote, which announcement shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons, if any, elected President and Vice President of the United States, and, together with a list of the votes, be entered on the Journals of the two Houses. Upon such reading of any such certificate or paper, the President of the Senate shall call for objections, if any. Every objection shall be made in writing, and shall state clearly and concisely, and without argument, the ground thereof, and shall be signed by at least one Senator and one Member of the House of Representatives before the same shall be received. When all objections so made to any vote or paper from a State shall have been received and read, the Senate shall thereupon withdraw, and such objections shall be submitted to the Senate for its decision; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall, in like manner, submit such objections to the House of Representatives for its decision; and no electoral vote or votes from any State which shall have been regularly given by electors whose appointment has been lawfully certified to according to section 6 of this title from which but one return has been received shall be rejected, but the two Houses concurrently may reject the vote or votes when they agree that such vote or votes have not been so regularly given by electors whose appointment has been so certified. If more than one return or paper purporting to be a return from a State shall have been received by the President of the Senate, those votes, and those only, shall be counted which shall have been regularly given by the electors who are shown by the determination mentioned in section 5 of this title to have been appointed, if the determination in said section provided for shall have been made, or by such successors or substitutes, in case of a vacancy in the board of electors so ascertained, as have been appointed to fill such vacancy in the mode provided by the laws of the State; but in case there shall arise the question which of two or more of such State authorities determining what electors have been appointed, as mentioned in section 5 of this title, is the lawful tribunal of such State, the votes regularly given of those electors, and those only, of such State shall be counted whose title as electors the two Houses, acting separately, shall concurrently decide is supported by the decision of such State so authorized by its law; and in such case of more than one return or paper purporting to be a return from a State, if there shall have been no such determination of the question in the State aforesaid, then those votes, and those only, shall be counted which the two Houses shall concurrently decide were cast by lawful electors appointed in accordance with the laws of the State, unless the two Houses, acting separately, shall concurrently decide such votes not to be the lawful votes of the legally appointed electors of such State. But if the two Houses shall disagree in respect of the counting of such votes, then, and in that case, the votes of the electors whose appointment shall have been certified by the executive of the State, under the seal thereof, shall be counted. When the two Houses have voted, they shall immediately again meet, and the presiding officer shall then announce the decision of the questions submitted. No votes or papers from any other State shall be acted upon until the objections previously made to the votes or papers from any State shall have been finally disposed of.
Same; seats for officers and members of two houses in joint meeting
§ 16. At such joint meeting of the two Houses seats shall be provided as follows: For the President of the Senate, the Speaker’s chair; for the Speaker, immediately upon his left; the Senators, in the body of the Hall upon the right of the presiding officer; for the Representatives, in the body of the Hall not provided for the Senators; for the tellers, Secretary of the Senate, and Clerk of the House of Representatives, at the Clerk’s desk; for the other officers of the two Houses, in front of the Clerk’s desk and upon each side of the Speaker’s platform. Such joint meeting shall not be dissolved until the count of electoral votes shall be completed and the result declared; and no recess shall be taken unless a question shall have arisen in regard to counting any such votes, or otherwise under this subchapter, in which case it shall be competent for either House, acting separately, in the manner herein before provided, to direct a recess of such House not beyond the next calendar day, Sunday excepted, at the hour of 10 o’clock in the forenoon. But if the counting of the electoral votes and the declaration of the result shall not have been completed before the fifth calendar day next after such first meeting of the two Houses, no further or other recess shall be taken by either House.
Same; limit of debate in each house
§ 17. When the two Houses separate to decide upon an objection that may have been made to the counting of any electoral vote or votes from any State, or other question arising in the matter, each Senator and Representative may speak to such objection or question five minutes, and not more than once; but after such debate shall have lasted two hours it shall be the duty of the presiding officer of each House to put the main question without further debate.
Same; parliamentary procedure at joint meeting
§ 18. While the two Houses shall be in meeting as provided in this chapter, the President of the Senate shall have power to preserve order; and no debate shall be allowed and no question shall be put by the presiding officer except to either House on a motion to withdraw.
Vacancy in offices of both president and vice president; officers eligible to act
§ 19. (a) (1) If, by reason of death, resignation, removal from office, inability, or failure to qualify, there is neither a President nor Vice President to discharge the powers and duties of the office of President, then the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall, upon his resignation as Speaker and as Representative in Congress, act as President.
(2) The same rule shall apply in the case of the death, resignation, removal from office, or inability of an individual acting as President under this subsection.
(b) If, at the time when under subsection (a) of this section a Speaker is to begin the discharge of the powers and duties of the office of President, there is no Speaker, or the Speaker fails to qualify as Acting President, then the President pro tempore of the Senate shall, upon his resignation as President pro tempore and as Senator, act as President.
(c) An individual acting as President under subsection (a) or subsection (b) of this section shall continue to act until the expiration of the then current Presidential term, except that
(1) if his discharge of the powers and duties of the office is founded in whole or in part on the failure of both the President-elect and the Vice-President-elect to qualify, then he shall act only until a President or Vice President qualifies; and
(2) if his discharge of the powers and duties of the office is founded in whole or in part on the inability of the President or Vice President, then he shall act only until the removal of the disability of one of such individuals.
(d) (1) If, by reason of death, resignation, removal from office, inability, or failure to qualify, there is no President pro tempore to act as President under subsection (b) of this section, then the officer of the United States who is highest on the following list, and who is not under disability to discharge the powers and duties of the office of President shall act as President: Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Labor, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of Energy, Secretary of Education, Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
(2) An individual acting as President under this subsection shall continue so to do until the expiration of the then current Presidential term, but not after a qualified and prior-entitled individual is able to act, except that the removal of the disability of an individual higher on the list contained in paragraph (1) of this subsection or the ability to qualify on the part of an individual higher on such list shall not terminate his service.
(3) The taking of the oath of office by an individual specified in the list in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be held to constitute his resignation from the office by virtue of the holding of which he qualifies to act as President.
(e) Subsections (a), (b), and (d) of this section shall apply only to such officers as are eligible to the office of President under the Constitution. Subsection (d) of this section shall apply only to officers appointed, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, prior to the time of the death, resignation, removal from office, inability, or failure to qualify, of the President pro tempore, and only to officers not under impeachment by the House of Representatives at the time the powers and duties of the office of President devolve upon them.
(f) During the period that any individual acts as President under this section, his compensation shall be at the rate then provided by law in the case of the President.
Resignation or refusal of office
§ 20. The only evidence of a refusal to accept, or of a resignation of the office of President or Vice President, shall be an instrument in writing, declaring the same, and subscribed by the person refusing to accept or resigning, as the case may be, and delivered into the office of the Secretary of State.
§ 21. As used in this chapter the term –
(a) “State” includes the District of Columbia.
(b) “executives of each State” includes the Board of Commissioners * of the District of Columbia.
* The functions of the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia are now performed by the Mayor of the District of Columbia. (Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967, Section 401, 81 Stat. 948: Pub. L. 93-198, Sections 422 and 711, 87 Stat. 790, 818.)
Psychiatry Professors Ask Obama To COMMAND Trump To Submit To Mental Examination
A trio of psychiatrists has sent a letter to President Barack Obama advising him to command President-elect Donald Trump to submit to “a full medical and neuropsychiatric evaluation.” The psychiatrists want Obama to make Trump get his head examined because they believe Trump “cannot distinguish between fantasy and reality.”
Here is the full text of the apparently wholly serious letter:
“Dear President Obama,
We are writing to express our grave concern regarding the mental stability of our President-Elect. Professional standards do not permit us to venture a diagnosis for a public figure whom we have not evaluated personally. Nevertheless, his widely reported symptoms of mental instability — including grandiosity, impulsivity, hypersensitivity to slights or criticism, and an apparent inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality — lead us to question his fitness for the immense responsibilities of the office. We strongly recommend that, in preparation for assuming these responsibilities, he receive a full medical and neuropsychiatric evaluation by an impartial team of investigators.”
The authors of the letter are Nanette Gartrell, Dee Mosbacher and Judith Herman.
BookTV: Mark Updegrove, “Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency”
“Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency” — Mark Updegrove
“LBJ” with Mark Updegrove, Rob Reiner & Woody Harrelson
Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency
Published on May 11, 2012
Mark Updegrove, named “one of the country’s best historians” by CNN, is director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum. He discussed his book, “Indomitable Will,” which provides a portrait of LBJ through the stories and recollections of those who were with him everyday during his presidency. The session was moderated by Terri Garner, director of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library.
This footage has been provided by the Clinton School of Public Service. The Clinton School of Public Service is the only school in the nation to offer a Master’s Degree in public service. It is located on the grounds of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library. The Clinton School’s Distinguished Lecture Series are speakers whom speak at the Clinton School, and can be attended by the general public through reserving a seat. More about the Clinton School of Public Service can be found at the link below;
An Intimate View of the Indomitable LBJ
LBJ: The 36th President of the United States
36 Lyndon Johnson
PBS LBJ Part 1
Presidency of LBJ
LBJ Documentary “The Great Society”
LBJ: From Senate Majority Leader to President, 1958-1964
How LBJ Mastered the Senate: The Most Riveting Political Biography of Our Time (2002)
The Most Riveting Political Biography of Our Time: The Definitive Portrait of LBJ (2002)
How Did LBJ Make His Money? The Disturbing Story of His Political Rise and Corruption (1990)
The Open Mind: The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power, Part 1 of 3.
The Open Mind: The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power, Part 2 of 3.
The Open Mind: The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power, Part 3 of 3.
The Open Mind: Lyndon Johnson – ‘Master of the Senate’
The Open Mind: Lyndon Johnson – ‘Master of the Senate’ Part 2
The Open Mind: On History, Biography, Literature… and Robert Caro, Part 1 of 2
The Open Mind: On History, Biography, Literature… and Robert Caro, Part 2 of 2
How to Write a Great Biography: Authors Explain the Secrets to Success (1999)
Q&A: Robert Caro – Part 1
Published on May 7, 2012
Pulitzer prize winning author and historian Robert Caro discusses his newly released biography of Lyndon Johnson entitled “The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power.” This is his fourth book in the Johnson biographical series and Caro promises a fifth and final book in the future. The period covered in the book is from 1958 until early 1964.
Q&A: Robert Caro – Part 2
Robert Caro: Understanding Power (Full Length Version)
The Art of Political Power, with Robert Caro and William Hague
The book focuses on the extensive legislation passed during Johnson’s Presidency and includes photographs, transcripts from his telephone conversations, and previously unpublished documents.
The author is a Presidential historian who has written two additional non-fiction works based on the lives of American Presidents: Baptism by Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office in Times of Crisis (2009), and Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House (2006).
Updegrove was born outside Philadelphia in Abington, PA, on Aug. 25, 1961. He attended high school in Newtown, PA, at the George School, which honored him with its Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2015. He attended Guilford College in Greensboro, NC, and graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a Bachelor of Arts in economics in 1984.
Updegrove spent much of his early career in magazine publishing, including serving as manager of Time Magazine in Los Angeles; president of Time Canada, Time’s separate Canadian edition and operation; and, publisher of Newsweek.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Mark Updegrove at The Vietnam War Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library in 2016. Photo by Jay Godwin.
Under Updegrove’s direction, the library partnered with the Aspen Institute on Medicare and Medicaid Turn 50, in Washington, D.C, in April 2015, and in November 2015, partnered with WETA-TV, on In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of American Creativity, which aired on PBS, to mark the 50th anniversary of the creation of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Early in his tenure at the library, Updegrove oversaw the $11 million renovation of the library’s core exhibits on Lyndon Johnson and his administration, which opened in December 2012.
Updegrove’s December 2014 Politico article, What ‘Selma’ Gets Wrong, ignited a controversy over the portrayal of Lyndon Johnson as an obstructionist on voting rights in the film Selma, touching off a debate about the importance of accuracy in films based on historic events. In January 2015, Updegrove addressed the issue on CBS’ Face the Nation.
In 2013 and 2015, Updegrove taught The Johnson Years for Liberal Arts Honors students as an adjunct professor at The University of Texas at Austin. He has spoken extensively at numerous colleges and universities, museums, presidential libraries, and other public speaking forums.
Destiny of Democracy: The Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library (University of Texas Press, 2015)
The Years of Lyndon Johnson is a biography of Lyndon B. Johnson by the American writer Robert Caro. Four volumes have been published, running to more than 3,000 pages in total, detailing Johnson’s early life, education, and political career. A fifth volume will deal with the bulk of Johnson’s presidency. The series is published by Alfred A. Knopf.
In the second volume, Means of Ascent, Caro detailed Johnson’s life from the aftermath of Johnson’s first bid to his election to the U.S. Senate in 1948. Much of the book deals with Johnson’s bitterly contested Democraticprimary against Coke R. Stevenson in that year. The book was released on March 7, 1990.
In November 2011, Caro estimated that the fifth and final volume would require another two to three years to write. In March 2013, he affirmed a commitment to completing the series with a fifth volume. As of April 2014, he was continuing to research the book.
Themes of the series
Throughout the biography, Caro examines the acquisition and use of political power in American democracy, from the perspective both of those who wield it and those who are at its mercy. In an interview with Kurt Vonnegut and Daniel Stern, he once said: “I was never interested in writing biography just to show the life of a great man,” saying he wanted instead “to use biography as a means of illuminating the times and the great forces that shape the times—particularly political power.”
Caro’s books portray Johnson as alternating between scheming opportunist and visionaryprogressive. Caro argues, for example, that Johnson’s victory in the 1948 runoff for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate was achieved through extensive fraud and ballot stuffing, just as Johnson had lost his 1941 senate race because his opponent stuffed the ballot boxes more than Johnson. Caro also highlights some of Johnson’s campaign contributions, such as those from the Texas construction firm Brown & Root; in 1962 the company was acquired by another Texas firm, Halliburton, which became a major contractor in the Vietnam War. Despite these criticisms, Caro’s portrayal of Johnson also notes his struggles on behalf of progressive causes such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Influence of the series
Politicians in particular have responded most strongly to The Years of Lyndon Johnson:
Tom Daschle, a former Senate majority leader, once told the newspaper Roll Call after reading Master of the Senate that “I think the thing you learn from reading that magnificent book is that every day, this body makes history.”
Gordon Brown, a former British prime minister, said of the series: “It’s a wonderfully written set of books. The stories are quite breathtaking … These books challenge the view of history that politics is just about individual maneuvering. It’s about ideas and principled policy achievements. That’s what makes it one of the great political biographies.”
William Hague, a former British Conservative Party leader and foreign secretary, nominated Means of Ascent as the book he would most like to have with him on a desert island, in the BBC Radio 4 program Desert Island Discs. He later wrote: “I explained that it was the best political biography of any kind, that I had ever read. I said it conveyed more brilliantly than any other publication what it really feels like to be a politician … When a fourth volume finally completes the set, this will be nothing short of a magnificent history of 20th century America.”
Michael Howard, another former Conservative Party leader, encountered the series after swapping houses with Caro for a holiday. He said, “For Caro, writing a biography is writing a thriller—in Johnson’s case, a Western. You can’t stop turning the pages. He doesn’t like Johnson, but the facts are there so you can make your own judgments. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.”
Dear readers in the U.S., time is running out in 2016 to help Wikipedia. To protect our independence, we’ll never run ads. We’re sustained by donations averaging about $15. Only a tiny portion of our readers give. If everyone reading this right now gave $3, we could keep Wikipedia thriving for years to come. That’s right, the price of a cup of coffee is all we need. If Wikipedia is useful to you, please take one minute to keep it online and growing. Thank you.
After working for many years as a reporter, Caro wrote The Power Broker (1974), a biography of New York urban planner Robert Moses, which was chosen by the Modern Library as one of the hundred greatest nonfiction books of the twentieth century. He has since written four of a planned five volumes of The Years of Lyndon Johnson (1982, 1990, 2002, 2012), a biography of the former president.
Caro was born in New York City, the son of Cele (née Mendelow) and Benjamin Caro. He “grew up on Central Park West at 94th Street. His father, a businessman, spoke Yiddish as well as English, but he didn’t speak either very often. He was ‘very silent,’ Caro said, and became more so after Caro’s mother died, after a long illness, when he [Caro] was 12.” It was his mother’s deathbed wish that he should go to the Horace Mann School, an exclusive private school in the Riverdale section of The Bronx. As a student there, Caro translated an edition of his school newspaper into Russian and mailed 10,000 copies to students in the USSR. He graduated in 1953. He went on to Princeton University, where he majored in English. He became managing editor of The Daily Princetonian, second to R.W. Apple, Jr., later a prominent editor at The New York Times.
His writings, both in class and out, had been lengthy since his years at Horace Mann. A short story he wrote for The Princeton Tiger, the school’s humor magazine, took up almost an entire issue. His senior thesis on existentialism in Hemingway was so long, Caro claims, that the university’s English department subsequently established a maximum length for senior theses by its students. He graduated cum laude in 1957.
According to a 2012 New York Times Magazine profile, “Caro said he now thinks that Princeton, which he chose because of its parties, was one of his mistakes, and that he should have gone to Harvard. Princeton in the mid-1950s was hardly known for being hospitable towards the Jewish community, and though Caro says he did not personally suffer from anti-Semitism, he saw plenty of students who did.” He had a sports column in the Princetonian and also wrote for the Princeton Tiger humor magazine. He was a Carnegie Fellow at Columbia University and a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.
Caro began his professional career as a reporter with the New Brunswick Daily Home News (now merged into the Home News Tribune) in New Jersey. He took a brief leave to work for the Middlesex CountyDemocratic Party as a publicist. He left politics after an incident where he was accompanying the party chair to polling places on election day. A police officer reported to the party chair that some African-Americans Caro saw being loaded into a police van, under arrest, were poll watchers who “had been giving them some trouble.” Caro left politics right there. “I still think about it,” he recalled in the 2012 Times Magazine profile. “It wasn’t the roughness of the police that made such an impression. It was the—meekness isn’t the right word—the acceptance of those people of what was happening.”
“That was one of the transformational moments of my life,” Caro said years later. It led him to think about Moses for the first time. “I got in the car and drove home to Long Island, and I kept thinking to myself: ‘Everything you’ve been doing is baloney. You’ve been writing under the belief that power in a democracy comes from the ballot box. But here’s a guy who has never been elected to anything, who has enough power to turn the entire state around, and you don’t have the slightest idea how he got it.'”
They were talking one day about highways and where they got built…and here were these mathematical formulas about traffic density and population density and so on, and all of a sudden I said to myself: “This is completely wrong. This isn’t why highways get built. Highways get built because Robert Moses wants them built there. If you don’t find out and explain to people where Robert Moses gets his power, then everything else you do is going to be dishonest.”
To do so, Caro began work on a biography of Moses, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, also a study of Caro’s favorite theme: the acquisition and use of power. He expected it would take nine months to complete, but instead it took him until 1974. The work was based on extensive research and 522 interviews, including seven interviews with Moses himself, several with Michael Madigan (who worked for Moses for 35 years); and numerous interviews with Sidney Shapiro (Moses’s general manager for forty years); as well as interviews with men who worked for and knew Moses’s mentor, New York Governor Al Smith.
His wife Ina functioned as his research assistant. Her master’s thesis on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge stemmed from this work. At one point she sold the family home and took a teaching job so Robert would be financially able to finish the book.
The Power Broker is widely viewed  as a seminal work because it combined painstaking historical research with a smoothly flowing narrative writing style. The success of this approach was evident in his chapter on the construction of the Cross-Bronx Expressway, where Caro reported the controversy from all perspectives, including that of neighborhood residents. The result was a work of powerful literary as well as academic interest.
Following The Power Broker, Caro turned his attention to PresidentLyndon B. Johnson. Caro retraced Johnson’s life by temporarily moving to rural Texas and Washington, D.C., in order to better understand Johnson’s upbringing and to interview anyone who had known Johnson. The work, entitled The Years of Lyndon Johnson, was originally intended as a trilogy, but is projected to encompass five volumes:
In November 2011, Caro announced that the full project had expanded to five volumes with the fifth requiring another two to three years to write. It will cover Johnson and Vietnam, the Great Society and civil rights era, his decision not to run in 1968, and eventual retirement.
Caro’s books portray Johnson as a complex and contradictory character: at the same time a scheming opportunist and visionary progressive. Caro argues, for example, that Johnson’s victory in the 1948 runoff for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate was only achieved through extensive fraud and ballot box stuffing, though this is set in the practices of the time and in the context of Johnson’s previous defeat in his 1941 race for the Senate, the victim of exactly similar chicanery. Caro also highlighted some of Johnson’s campaign contributions, such as those from the Texas construction firm Brown and Root; in 1962 the company was acquired by another Texas firm, Halliburton, which became a major contractor in the Vietnam War. In addition, Caro argued that Johnson was awarded the Silver Star in World War II for political as well as military reasons, and that he later lied to journalists and the public about the circumstances for which it was awarded. Caro’s portrayal of Johnson also notes his struggles on behalf of progressive causes such as the Voting Rights Act, and his consummate skill in getting this enacted in spite of intense opposition from Southern Democrats.
Among sources close to the late president, Johnson’s widow Lady Bird Johnson “spoke to [Caro] several times and then abruptly stopped without giving a reason, and Bill Moyers, Johnson’s press secretary, has never consented to be interviewed, but most of Johnson’s closest friends, including John Connally and George Christian, Johnson’s last press secretary, who spoke to Caro practically on his deathbed, have gone on the record”.
Caro’s books have been published by Alfred A. Knopf, first under editor in chief Robert Gottlieb and then by Sonny Mehta, “who took over the Johnson project – enthusiastically – after Gottlieb’s departure in 1987.” Gottlieb, five years Caro’s senior, suggested the Johnson project to Caro in 1974 in preference to the planned follow-up to the Moses volume, a biography of Fiorello LaGuardia that was then abandoned. The ex-President had recently died and Caro had already decided, before meeting with Gottlieb on the subject, to undertake the Texan’s biography; he “wanted to write about power”. Gottlieb has continued as editor of Caro’s books since leaving Knopf and excerpted Volume 2 of the Johnson biography at The New Yorker when he was editor in chief there.
In October 2007, Caro was named a “Holtzbrinck Distinguished Visitor” at the American Academy in Berlin, Germany but then was unable to attend.
In 2010, he received the National Humanities Medal from President Obama, the highest award in the humanities given in the United States. Delivering remarks at the end of the ceremony, the President said, “I think about Robert Caro and reading The Power Broker back when I was 22 years old and just being mesmerized, and I’m sure it helped to shape how I think about politics.” In 2011, Robert Caro was the recipient of the 2011 BIO Award given each year by members of Biographers International “to a colleague who had made a major contribution in the advancement of the art and craft of real life depiction.”
1964 – The Society of Silurians Award for outstanding achievement in the field of Public Service History for a series entitled “Misery Acres”, exposing fraudulent real estate sales by mail
Caro has described his wife, Ina Caro, as “the whole team” on all five of his books. She sold their house and took a job teaching school to fund work on The Power Broker and is the only person other than himself who conducted research for his books.
Ina is the author of The Road from the Past: Traveling through History in France (1996), a book which Arthur Schlesinger Jr. called, at the presentation of her honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from The City University of New York in 2011, “the essential traveling companion… for all who love France and its history.”Newsweek reviewer Peter Prescott commented, “I’d rather go to France with Ina Caro than with Henry Adams or Henry James. The unique premise of her intelligent and discerning book is so startling that it’s a wonder no one has thought of it before.” Ina frequently writes about their travels through France in her Paris to the Past blog. In June 2011, W. W. Norton published her second book, Paris to the Past: Traveling through French History by Train (2011).
The Caros have a son, Chase, a disbarred lawyer, and three grandchildren. Chase Caro was sentenced to 2.5 to 7.5 years in prison by County Court Judge Susan Cacace after pleading guilty to grand larceny.[relevant?– discuss] Caro has a younger sibling, Michael, who is now a retired real estate manager.
On this Q&A, our guest was Pulitzer prize winning author Ted Morgan. His 19th book, “Valley of Death: The Tragedy at Dien Bien Phu That Led America Into the Vietnam War,” is the story of a 1954 battle where the French were defeated by the Vietnamese resistance forces, ending French rule in Indochina. That battle ultimately led to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.
Venona: A Real-Life Spy Thriller – Decoding Soviet Espionage in America (1999)
The Venona Secrets : FDR with Harry Hopkins, Alger Hiss, Jews, etc….
Glenn Beck-McCarthy and the Venona papers
Glenn Beck INTERVIEWS M. Stanton Evans :: American Hero Joe McCarthy – BLACKLISTED BY HISTORY!!
Joseph Raymond “Joe” McCarthy
Classic Educational Videos – Senator Joseph McCarthy American History Video
The Downfall of Joseph McCarthy (Compare to Donald Trump)
President Trump & Roy Marcus Cohn & McCarthy / FBI Hoover recommended Cohn to McCarthy
Published on Nov 9, 2016
Roy Marcus Cohn, Jewish, ( February 20, 1927 – August 2, 1986)
was an American attorney who became famous during Senator Joseph McCarthy’s investigations into Communist activity in the United States during the Second Red Scare. Cohn gained special prominence during the Army–McCarthy hearings. He was also a member of the U.S. Department of Justice’s prosecution team at the espionage trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.
Born to an observant Jewish family in The Bronx, New York City.
Cohn was the only child of Dora (née Marcus; 1892–1967) and
Judge Albert C. Cohn (1885–1959), who was influential in Democratic Party politics.
His great-uncle was Joshua Lionel Cowen, the founder and longtime owner of the Lionel Corporation, a manufacturer of toy trains.
The Rosenberg trial brought the 24-year-old Cohn to the attention of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director
J. Edgar Hoover,
who recommended him to Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy hired Cohn as his chief counsel, choosing him over Robert Kennedy, reportedly in part to avoid accusations of an anti-Semitic motivation for the investigations.
In 1952 Senator McCarthy made Roy Cohn the chief counsel to the Government Committee on Operations of the Senate. Cohn became famous for his aggressive style during the Army-McCarthy hearings. After McCarthy was censured in 1954, Cohn went into private practice. Over the next thirty years his clients included Donald Trump, Tony Salerno, and the Catholic Archdiocese of New York.
What Donald Trump Learned From Roy Cohn… (w/Guest: Jamie Weinstein)
Trump’s “Greatest Mentor” was Red-Baiting Aide to Joseph McCarthy and Attorney for NYC Mob Families
Published on Jul 5, 2016
http://democracynow.org – With the Republican National Convention opening in Cleveland in less than two weeks, the party’s presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, is facing a new wave of controversies, from Trump’s tweeting of an anti-Semitic image showing Hillary Clinton against a backdrop of cash and a Star of David to his joke about Mexico attacking the United States. We spend the hour with Trump biographer Wayne Barrett, author of “Trump: The Greatest Show on Earth: The Deals, the Downfall, the Reinvention.” Barrett has been reporting on Trump since the 1970s. We begin by talking about Trump’s close relationship with the late Roy Cohn, who once served as a top aide to the red-baiting Senator Joseph McCarthy.
M. Stanton Evans is the author of “Blacklisted by History”
Joseph McCarthy: Biography, McCarthyism, Facts, History, Legacy (2000)
Firing Line “Should the House Committee on Un-American Activities Be Abolished?”
William F. Buckley, Jr. on the Life of Senator Joe McCarthy (1999)
The Real American Joe McCarthy 2011
Joseph McCarthy Congressional Hearings
Tail Gunner Joe (1977) Full Movie Peter Boyle Senator Joseph McCarthy Ann Coulter Fox TV Treason
Random House Publishing Group, Nov 1, 2004 – History – 704 pages
In this landmark work, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Ted Morgan examines the McCarthyite strain in American politics, from its origins in the period that followed the Bolshevik Revolution to the present. Morgan argues that Senator Joseph McCarthy did not emerge in a vacuum—he was, rather, the most prominent in a long line of men who exploited the issue of Communism for political advantage.
In 1918, America invaded Russia in an attempt at regime change. Meanwhile, on the home front, the first of many congressional investigations of Communism was conducted. Anarchist bombs exploded from coast to coast, leading to the political repression of the Red Scare.
Soviet subversion and espionage in the United States began in 1920, under the cover of a trade mission. Franklin Delano Roosevelt granted the Soviets diplomatic recognition in 1933, which gave them an opportunity to expand their spy networks by using their embassy and consulates as espionage hubs. Simultaneously, the American Communist Party provided a recruitment pool for homegrown spies. Martin Dies, Jr., the first congressman to make his name as a Red hunter, developed solid information on Communist subversion through his Un-American Activities Committee. However, its hearings were marred by partisan attacks on the New Deal, presaging McCarthy.
The most pervasive period of Soviet espionage came during World War II, when Russia, as an ally of the United States, received military equipment financed under the policy of lend-lease. It was then that highly placed spies operated inside the U.S. government and in America’s nuclear facilities. Thanks to the Venona transcripts of KGB cable traffic, we now have a detailed account of wartime Soviet espionage, down to the marital problems of Soviet spies and the KGB’s abject efforts to capture deserting Soviet seamen on American soil.
During the Truman years, Soviet espionage was in disarray following the defections of Elizabeth Bentley and Igor Gouzenko. The American Communist Party was much diminished by a number of measures, including its expulsion from the labor unions, the prosecution of its leaders under the Smith Act, and the weeding out, under Truman’s loyalty program, of subversives in government. As Morgan persuasively establishes, by the time McCarthy exploited the Red issue in 1950, the battle against Communists had been all but won by the Truman administration.
In this bold narrative history, Ted Morgan analyzes the paradoxical culture of fear that seized a nation at the height of its power. Using Joseph McCarthy’s previously unavailable private papers and recently released transcripts of closed hearings of McCarthy’s investigations subcommittee, Morgan provides many new insights into the notorious Red hunter’s methods and motives.
Full of drama and intrigue, finely etched portraits, and political revelations, Reds brings to life a critical period in American history that has profound relevance to our own time.
Ted Morgan (born March 30, 1932) is a French–American biographer, journalist, and historian.
Morgan was born Comte St. Charles Armand Gabriel de Gramont in Geneva.
He is the son of Gabriel Antoine Armand, Comte de Gramont (1908–1943), a pilot in the French escadrille in England during World War II. Gramont is an old French noble family.
After his father’s death in a training flight, Morgan began to lead two parallel lives. He attended Yale University (where he was a member of Manuscript Society) and worked as a reporter. But he was still a member (albeit a reluctant one) of the French nobility. He was drafted into the French Army where he served for two years from 1955 to 1957, during the Algerian War, initially as a second lieutenant with a Senegalese regiment of Colonial Infantry and then as a propaganda officer. He subsequently wrote in frank detail of his brutalizing experiences while on active service in the bled (Algerian countryside) and of the atrocities committed by both sides during the Battle of Algiers.
Following his military service, Morgan returned to the United States and won the Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting in 1961 for what was described as “his moving account of the death of Leonard Warren on the Metropolitan Opera stage.” At the time, Morgan was still a French citizen writing under the name of “Sanche de Gramont”.
In the 1970s, Morgan stopped using the byline “Sanche de Gramont”. He became an American citizen in 1977, renouncing his titles of nobility. The name he adopted as a U.S. citizen, “Ted Morgan”, is an anagram of “de Gramont”. The new name was a conscious attempt to discard his aristocratic French past. He had settled on a “name that conformed with the language and cultural norms of American society, a name that telephone operators and desk clerks could hear without flinching” (On Becoming American, 1978). Morgan was featured in the CBS news program 60 Minutes in 1978. The segment explored Morgan’s reasons for embracing American culture and showed him eating dinner with his family in a fast food restaurant.
While studying at George Mason, Tucker attended a journalism program in Washington, D.C., where he became a volunteer at the Washington office of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.
In the late 1980s, he went to work for Ron Paul, as an assistant to editor Lew Rockwell, a co-founder of the Mises Institute, who produced political and investment newsletters on behalf of the former congressman. In 2008, when criticism arose about Paul newsletters from the late 1980s and early 1990s for rhetoric they contained regarding blacks and gays, Reason magazine asked Tucker about the controversy, and he declined to comment.
From 1997 to 2011 Tucker worked for the Mises Institute as editorial vice president and editor for the institute’s website, Mises.org. From 1999 to 2011 he also contributed scholarly efforts and humorous essays to LewRockwell.com.
In 2013, Tucker founded and became the CEO (under the title “Chief Liberty Officer”) of Liberty.me, a “social network and online publishing platform for the liberty minded”, which launched a successful Indiegogofundraising campaign in 2013 and began operation in 2014.
Henry Hazlitt: Giant For Liberty (with Llewellyn H. Rockwell and Murray N. Rothbard, 1994, Ludwig von Mises Institute, ISBN 978-0945466161): an annotated bibliography of the works of Henry Hazlitt. AFoundation for Economic Education review described the book, which “includes citations of a novel, works on literary criticism, treatises on economics and moral philosophy, several edited volumes, some 16 other books and many chapters in books, plus articles, commentaries, and reviews,” as “an apt eulogy of Henry Hazlitt.”
Sing Like a Catholic (2009, Church Music Association of America, ISBN 978-1607437222): essays on church music
Bourbon for Breakfast: Living Outside the Statist Quo (2010, Ludwig von Mises Institute, ISBN 978-1933550893)
It’s a Jetsons World: Private Miracles and Public Crimes (2011, Ludwig von Mises Institute, ISBN 978-1610161947)
Hack Your Shower Head: and 10 Other Ways to Get Big Government out of Your Home (2012, Laissez Faire Books, ISBN 978-1621290636)
A Beautiful Anarchy: How to Create Your Own Civilization in the Digital Age (2012, Laissez Faire Books, ISBN 978-1621290414): on the effects of small business regulation
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