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August 6th, 2009
06:46 AM ET

Critics: Pres. Clinton is overshadowing his wife

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Journalists Laura Ling speaks in front of Euna Lee, former Vice President Al Gore and former President Bill Clinton on August 5, 2009 in Burbank, California after being released by North Korean authorities."]

Laura Ling choked up with emotion when she described the moment she realized she would be freed from captivity in North Korea. “We were taken to a location, and when we walked in through the doors, we saw standing before us President Bill Clinton.”

He was a rescuing angel, who brought the two American journalists home safely. Some are even saying Mr. Clinton's visit may also pave the way to a nuclear-free North Korea. But it wasn’t long before “The Hillary Question” came up.

“Where is Hillary?” asked Rush Limbaugh on his radio show. “Is North Korea too important to send a girl?” Although Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Africa on a diplomacy tour, some say President Clinton’s mission trumps hers.

“Just as Hillary muscled her way back into the spotlight...she was blown off the radar screen again by an even more powerful envoy: the one she lives with,” wrote Maureen Dowd in the New York Times. This comes after questions just last month, that President Obama was overshadowing Secretary Clinton by meeting with world leaders himself, and by sending Vice President Joe Biden to Iraq.

Clinton supporters argue Hillary is in no way being overshadowed. “I don’t think Bill Clinton would overshadow Secretary Clinton,” says Clinton Defense Secretary William Cohen. “In fact if that were to be the case, I'm sure he would not have done it." Cohen says Mr. Clinton not only worked closely with President Obama to free the journalists, but he worked with his wife, the Secretary of State, too.

And besides, many analysts say, this was the kind of mission more suited to former Presidents. “The North Koreans wanted a high-level envoy and it was clear that it couldn't be somebody currently in government,” says Larry Sabato, who teaches political science at the University of Virginia. “So you know there were only several people imaginable; Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Bill Richardson, and the North Koreans got the top banana, which is what they wanted.“

Filed under: Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton • North Korea
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Wren

    Cals then I guess we should just forget the men who "by accident" crossed the Iran border. Let Iran deal with them and doll out "their justice"?.

    You are just too wise, I agree we have fled from the World courts too long and made ourselves exempt from all other countries and their laws and punishment.

    As for your poll, I would tell you to go on and do it, but I know the out come, when it comes to an "American" being held by another country or being tried and punished, they do not hold to it and will fight it, unless they are not of Aryan pure white linage, then we just have a racist poll. If I recall the men being held in Iran are white, so I am sure you will be all for getting them back no matter the cost.

    Roll on racism in America, no wonder we need months every year to show compassion and teach others a different and new side of how to see and understand things. Some people just can't evolve it seems.

    August 7, 2009 at 8:47 am |
  2. JEZEBEL58

    Wren I agree with all your comments.A lot of people thought the journalists were stupid but they were only doing their jobs.The calls to CNN were who paid for the "rescue",who cares who paid for the return of these two women.Of course the president was involved I guess because he did not have a press conference about it no one thought that he was involved.It was heartbreaking to see Euna Lee embracing her daughter and husband like that,everytime I see it I feel a chill-just imagine her thought of not seeing her daughter for twelve years.

    August 7, 2009 at 8:20 am |
  3. Cals

    Kiran said there was not a dry eye for anyone watching this story. CORRECTION – there is a large population out here who believes that these "reporters" broke the law and rightfully suffered some consequences. Lisa Ling illegally entered N. Korea, so now all of a sudden N. Korea was to just let her SISTER and colleague go without question? They are LUCKY that N. Korea showed mercy on them. Lisa Ling sounds quite self righteous considering what she did in that country. She's no hero. I don't believe this story is worthy of the airtime time that it is being given. Do a poll to see how many people really care about this story.

    August 7, 2009 at 7:36 am |
  4. Bernice

    Wrten, you talk a whole lot of "crap". I am a demo who just does not agree with your "out there" ideas! And again Wren, I have no racism all. I have alot of very close black friends and one of my favorite churches to attend is the Southern Baptists! What a loving group, they are! God even hated the acts of Man! As at this moment, so do I. But not for race, color, NO.....but, for thier actions!! I love my country! I love people period!

    I point out the two races because some think there is a problem because Bill was a white man! Who cared?? He saved two Asians!! Who cares, again. THEY ARE AMERICANS! They deserve the respect as such, no matter what color they are.

    This administration wishes to shred the Constitution! Wren, you are quite a laugh for us this morning! lol ... But no, I still hold no hate towards man, just the horrible acts in which the man does. I, again, hold no race issues, I have alot of friends black, white, it does not matter. Its really not the white man who cares anymore.

    I took civics, thank you, Wren. Now, your turn. Brush up on the Constitution...and educate yourselves! Don't quietly stand by and lose those rights! Fight to keep them!

    Why did it go to color? Because someone got upset because it was NOT the black man who saved the two gals!! What would it even matter! Bill did an excellent job regardless.

    Yes....You only really did add to the proof of gullable thoughts! We all agreed with that statement here this morning! Thanks for the good laugh there! AGAIN.....GR8 job BILL CLINTON! Welcome back home to you and to the two American ladies that you rescued! Two thumbs up, no matter what color that you are!

    August 7, 2009 at 5:41 am |
  5. CHUCK


    August 6, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  6. Wren

    How utterly and extremely interesting Bernice that you typed that so blank faced. Taking in account all your post on here that blatantly show your racist emotions.

    As for your hating no one, I do think you should reread your post before you have them put up. They more than drip with hate, anger and racism, they give insight to what awaits one in Hades.

    In this post here you went out of your way to point out the races of two Americans. Why was that? Does it matter they were (Asian)? No, but as someone racist you had to point that out and claim you weren't. All your post though are blatant racist post, they tell the reader your political preference also. That is of course if they can think for themselves and have not yet been gelded and told what, when and how to think by another.

    I am glad you can almost convince yourself of all you typed here. I though will take truth over lies every time. Your grasp of the Constitution and this country needs a load more brushing up on and your anger and hate needs a lot of help too. But do keep up the charade it adds to the proof of being gullible.

    I am surprised you were able to read my reply, as it must have chaffed but at least it was the truth. In the end it is great to have a President now that, alone with restoring the Constitution back to its original condition. No more made up lies and "screw the Constitution" like the prior man. Now that is wonderful Bernice.

    August 6, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  7. Bernice

    How interesting a thought that you took the time to share with us today, Wren. I have absolutely no hate in my heart for anyone, and what in the world would it matter the color of the man that saved the two wonderful American ladies? I have many friends, of many races and colors. Many, of which, are black in color. I am thrilled that Bill did everything that he did to save these two ladies(Asian). Who cares however?? They should all be equal in this country! They are Americans and deserve our being there for them! I, again, hold NO hate in my heart for ANYONE! I just love my country, and our wonderful constitution!

    August 6, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  8. Ik

    Bill Clinton obviously did a great job. President Obama, I'm pretty sure was fully aware of all proceedings. He should be given credit too.

    The most important step is to get North Korea back to the negotiating table. To get them to halt Uranium enrichment and cease making nuclear weapons....

    Good job Democrats... U guys are busy cleaning up the mess left by the Bush's and Republicans!

    August 6, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  9. Wren

    Ah Bernice, you are just too innocently cute in your misdirected hate. Yes Mr. Clinton deserves much thanks and gratitude.

    But seeing as he was going about by plans laid out by his Government, oh wait you do not want to hear that, my bad. He always wanted to 'sit and talk with Kim' but he never got the chance. Bush could have cared less what Kim did or was doing, hence here we are now with a very volatile, unhinged man making and firing nuclear weapons.

    Now anyone with an ounce or semblance of logical coherent knowledge knows that in a crisis such as this one, the President 'never' goes into said country causing and or holding hostages.

    It is well known and has been well shown in American history that someone not in the Oval office is sent to secure the release of those being held. You do not give the nut cases even more ammo than they already have.

    As for Rush, this man gets a free pass by one political party to trash a country and people. He will be the downfall of a once great party because he lacks respect, humanity and morals and something called common sense. If someone cannot even get their mind around the simple easy to grasp fact of why Mr. Clinton went instead of someone in Government office, they need to start picking up history books and head back to school and learn yet again the proper process and standards of just how our Government has worked in areas such as this and always will.

    Bernice just pretend Bill is still in office and maybe it will ease your hate a little bit, after all Bill is white, that will help you out bucket loads.

    August 6, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  10. Bernice

    This has not one thing (again) to do with the Republicans! This is ALL to be credited to Mr. Bill Clinton and an actor, who donated his plane at $200,000, just to save these ladies! Besides, it was the demos in power! Why didn't they go and get these two ladies? Could it be that they were not even welcomed there?? Bill was! Good job Bill Clinton! You deserve a metal for your achievements. And no, they did not want to deal with this administration! Can you blame them? Bill Clinton may just be able to do what this administration can not do! Bring NK to the talking table once again. Obama just does not have the power it would take as a man! Clinton, obviously does! He held himself as a man of class. It paid off for these two ladies. All credit goes to Bill!

    August 6, 2009 at 9:11 am |
  11. michael armstrong sr.

    Rush Limbaugh is a stoner thats lost to many brain cells doing drugs Mr.Clinton went to North Korea because his country asked him to because of his political connection with Kim John Ill

    August 6, 2009 at 8:37 am |
  12. Wren

    I never thought those of the Republican party were just that heartless, hateful and down right Godless.

    I have watch them hand over their party to a over weight, over zealous, anger riddled, hate filled man that's soul purpose is in the entertainment industry. He has already voiced his hopes that this country fails and goes down in flames (because his party did not win). He would rather see it ruined that be a man or human and support his country and President.

    I have noticed the most noise have come from the Republican States, parties and people that are no longer getting their way. How sad this country is that it fore goes the very people and country and stands by a party instead. To make matters worse they follow like gelded rams an over weight, out of date, prime candidate for anger management and therapy for the age old "the world does not bow to me alone and revolve around me" syndrome.

    Is no one in the Republican party just glad or a little happy that two American people are back home after being held prisoners by a foreign country? Must it be pointed out that this is not the first time an ex President has gone and done negotiations while another President holds office? Has this country and some of its political parties become so petty and childish. That the greater outcome and goal is over shadow with "my hero and electoral party did not do this deed and will not get the credit?". Does it matter who gets the credit, just as long as these two people are home, returned to their families?

    Is this going to happen when we get POW's back next and it is not by the wanted political party too? If this is the case there is no better action to show a lot of growing up that needs to be done before some people should be allowed to sit behind a microphone, typewriter, senate seat, congress seat or President seat.

    To begrudge the release and freedom of two people because of who was able to get them released is more than juvenile. Its inhuman, ungodly and uncalled for. Grow up and be thankful it was not someone in your life you cared about.

    August 6, 2009 at 8:06 am |
  13. Larry

    Leave it to the stupid Republicans to play politics with two young girls' lives.

    Bill Clinton went, brought them home-–end of story.

    Obviously they weren't interested in dealing with Hillary.

    August 6, 2009 at 7:47 am |