By James L. Walker, Jr., Author, Entrepreneur, Attorney and Adjunct Professor
Former President Bill Clinton is Super Man —for a day at least
Early this morning, we got word that the former two-term President assisted in the release of two jailed American journalists after speaking to North Korean leader Kim Jong II.
The Associated Press reported that Kim, very ill a year ago, issued a “special pardon” for the release of Laura Ling and Euna Lee.
The two were arrested March 17 near the China-North Korea border. Press reports also stated that North Korea accused Ling, 32, and Lee, 36, of sneaking into the country illegally and engaging in unspecified “hostile acts.”
They were sentenced to 12 years by the nation’s top court in June to hard labor and everyone from The View to Oprah Winfrey to human rights societies and journalism groups screamed foul and demanded their release.
AP reported that Lee, a South Korean-born U.S. citizen, is the mother of a 4-year-old and Ling, a California native, is the younger sister of Lisa Ling, a correspondent for CNN as well as “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “National Geographic Explorer.”
In my book, Bill Clinton has redeemed himself today for all of the bad sound bites and race-baiting he allegedly instigated during the Hilary Clinton-Barack Obama presidential race.
Simply put: Clinton is da man for 24 hours at least or until North Korea does something to upset the world order again!
But, before I give Clinton all the credit and Hi-Five him or give him the Obama fist-pound, it is important to note that Daniel Sneider, associate director of research at Stanford University’s Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, reminded the press that Clinton came in on the tail end of weeks of quiet negotiations between the State Department and North Korea’s representatives to the United Nations.
Whether Clinton flew in with a cape in the 9th hour, or flew in “unannounced” and merely sealed a deal already done, what’s interesting to me is Clinton is THE news of the day in this historic release of two women, who were ironically investigating the abuse and trafficking of women.
What’s even more interesting to me is whether the negotiation and charm of the former Governor of Arkansas means he and President Obama will start using their mutual rock star, global presence to broker healthcare, world peace and fix the financial markets, among other joint do-gooder-work.
Remember, the big question during the campaign was: “if Obama takes Hilary (now Secretary of State), he gets Bill?” And, “who wants Bill roving around at the White House?”
I said it! You Said it!
And, We ALL thought it!
From city barber shops to suburban tea parties, everyone bickered about what do you do with the hugely popular Bill Clinton?
But, today Bill Clinton showed why he is still The Comeback Kid, scoring a real coup for Team Obama given all the tension and outrage over North Korea’s nuclear program and refusal to cooperate with U.S. demands in the past.
To distance themselves and in obvious caution, Team Obama has issued very careful statements on Clinton’s success today.
For example, when news reports suggested that Clinton “courteously” carried a “verbal” message from the President, White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs was quick to tell that the AP, “that’s not true…”
He added, “While this solely private mission to secure the release of two Americans is on the ground, we will have no comment until the mission is complete?” “We do not want to jeopardize the success of Former President Clinton’s mission.”
Team Obama must now realize when they selected Hilary, they got her husband Slick Willie!
So use him, particularly worldwide.
A closing thought is: while there is room on the planet for both brilliant Ivy-league lawyers and Presidents to be in two different countries and two different time zones, can they make room for each other domestically, sharing the spotlight, managing egos and helping America get back on its feet!
James L. Walker,Jr., is an author, entrepreneur, attorney and adjunct professor. He is the owner of walkerandassoc.com and can be reached at www.jameslwalkeresq.com