A nice birthday gift if you can get it
And the hits just keep on coming, as those Top 40 jingles used to tell us.
We learned that President Clinton was given a wonderful birthday gift years ago:
According to the newly released WikiLeaks emails, Bill Clinton, the husband of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, received a birthday present from the Islamic country of Qatar in 2011 of $1 million.
"[Qatar] Would like to see WJC ‘for five minutes’ in NYC, to present $1 million check that Qatar promised for WJC’s birthday in 2011,” Ami Desai, director of foreign policy for the Clinton Foundation, wrote in 2012.
Let's assume that Qatar was just giving the former president a birthday gift. In other words, let's assume further that the wonderful people of Qatar just wanted to show their support for the former president and all of the wonderful things he did for the world.
Or maybe his assistance in bringing the World Cup?
My question is this: do we want former presidents getting birthday gifts of this size? More importantly, do we want an ex-president, married to the current secretary of state and future candidate for president, to be getting a gift like this? And shouldn't gifts like these be made public? Did President Obama know that such a gift was made? Did that check go into a joint account or some account that benefits Mrs. Clinton as well?
As with everything Clinton, it raises ethical questions and transparency issues. It reminds us again that the Clintons love to navigate in secret until they are caught.
It also raises the question of what Qatar was expecting from Mr. and Mrs. Clinton. Maybe nothing, but the secrecy of this gift makes me wonder.
For the record, I am not opposed to countries honoring our ex-presidents by naming schools or airports after them. I don't even mind if they make a contribution to a charity of the president's choice, such as to recognize the wonderful work that President and Mrs. Carter have done with Habitat for Humanity.
Again, this gift was made in secret, and that's wrong, because we are talking about a former president married to the secretary of state.
It stinks, like everything Clinton!