Sunday, November 30, 2008

Time to Pay the Piper, Bill!

Bill Clinton Deal Paved Way for Hillary as Secretary of State

A deal with Bill Clinton over his post-White House work helped clear the way for Hillary Rodham Clinton to join President-elect Barack Obama's national security team as secretary of state, reshaping a once-bitter rivalry into a high-profile strategic and diplomatic union.

Obama was to be joined by the New York senator at a Chicago news conference Monday, Democratic officials said, where he also planned to announce that Defense Secretary Robert Gates would remain in his job for a year or more and that retired Marine General James M. Jones would serve as national security adviser.

The officials requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly for the transition team.

To make it possible for his wife to become the top U.S. diplomat, the officials said, former President Clinton agreed:

· to disclose the names of every contributor to his foundation since its inception in 1997 and all contributors going forward.

· to refuse donations from foreign governments to the Clinton Global Initiative, his annual charitable conference.

· to cease holding CGI meetings overseas.

· to volunteer to step away from day-to-day management of the foundation while his wife is secretary of state.

· to submit his speaking schedule to review by the State Department and White House counsel.

· to submit any new sources of income to a similar ethical review.

Bill Clinton's business deals and global charitable endeavors had been expected to create problems for the former first lady's nomination. But in negotiations with the Obama transition team, the former president agreed to several measures designed to bring transparency to those activities.

"It's a big step," said Sen. Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who said he plans to vote to confirm Clinton.

The former president long had refused to disclose the identities of contributors to his foundation, saying many gave money on condition that they not be identified.

Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky is costing him dearly. Time to pay up, Bill!

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