In: Bill Clinton. Tina Brown's essay on the uses of former President Bill Clinton by the Obama administration was prophetic. Clinton just won a special pardon from Kim Jong-il for the two Current TV reporters. From Brown's post:
"Maybe he thinks there’s no stage big enough for both these two Mount Rushmore megastars and never will be. Despite surface cordiality and self-restraint for Hillary’s sake, the former president’s wounds from the harsh charge of racism on the campaign, a falsehood on which Obama created his 'post-racialism' campaign, remain deep, and they are not assuaged by the coolly minimal lip service a still mistrustful Obama pays to Bill’s presidential wisdom. 'Sure, he calls me every few weeks,' the former president told a person I know. 'But it feels as if, you know, he’s just checking a box.'"
Bill Clinton is the proto-alpha male, or as his doppelganger Daryl Hammond likes to call him "the biggest cat in the jungle." And the scars he bears from the campaign trail in 2008 (it's not personal, it's just politics) were still evident from the tree planting episode in April. From Page Six:
"A FEEL-good tree-planting event early Tuesday with President Obama and Bill Clinton featured some subtle digs with passive-aggressive humor the weapon of choice, The Post's Geoff Earle reports. Clinton started things off before the first sapling was planted near the muddy Anacostia River when clean-shoed Obama complained somebody had forgotten his boots. 'See? You're light on your feet,' Clinton quipped to the small crowd, which included Michelle Obama. Obama came back with, 'I think the president has pretty good shoveling skills,' which got a laugh from Clinton. Perhaps trying to nudge Clinton along, Obama looked at the hole Clinton had dug, then offered: 'Mr. President, I don't think you can do any better than that.' Clinton said goodbye but then started work on another hole. When a reporter asked why Clinton was planting twice as many trees as anyone else, the man who once mocked Obama's campaign as a 'fairy tale' responded: " 'Cause I got twice as much experience as everyone else.'"
Ouch. Classic alpha male passive aggressive competitiveness. Perhaps President Obama can come up with something more befitting -- though not show stealing -- of the still-young former President than special envoy to Haiti?
Out: The Ukraine. Gallup's survey of government approval ratings in 12 post-Soviet countries reveals that the Ukraine is the world's least popular government. From ForeignPolicy:
"For all the talk of Ukraine's political dysfunction, getting to the point where 96 percent of the people are eager to tell an interview they hate their government is actually fairly impressive."
And despite the possibility of a $1.7 billion natural gas loan, the fact that Russia has been salivating at the chance to bring it back into its sphere of influence does not augur well for the government of Viktor Yushchenko.
In: Peter Liguori. In March Fox announced that Peter ligouri at Fiox was out., and Peter Rice was In. Now this interesting tidbit. From DeadlineHollywoodDaily:
"This morning, at the out-of-the-way neighborhood restaurant Mayberry in Pacific Palisades, ABC Entertainment Group Prez Steve McPherson was having breakfast with Peter Liguori, the inexplicably fired chairman of entertainment at Fox Broadcasting. Interesting..."