Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Little of the Old In And Out

In: Bill Clinton. Sometimes, it seems, it can be more fun to be an ex-President who governed under proseprous -- if irrationally exhuberant --- times than a sitting one, presently in power, under a bad economy. Take, for example the so-so approval ratings of the current officeholder, Barack Obama. Take also the fact that last week a seat that had been in Democrat hands for decades slipped through this administration's fingers. His State of the Union -- hours away -- will be concillatory, humble.

Former President Bill Clinton, by contrast, is at present the go-to man on Haiti, garnering goodwill across the globe and, perhaps, auditioning for Secretary-General of the United Nations. His portfolio as "UN Envoy to Haiti" is nebulous, and his ability to improvise at muscular diplomacy is unfettered. From Reuters:

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton's philanthropic summit was the most popular venue for chief executives in 2009, with the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, tumbling to No. 4 from the top spot, a survey found on Monday.

Davos, due to start on Wednesday, suffered as executives at some of the world's most admired multinational companies chose to speak at U.S. forums during last year's recession, the study by public relations firm Weber Shandwick found.

The fifth Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), held every September in New York, narrowly edged out the Chief Executives Club of Boston in the 'Five-Star Conference' study with the Wall Street Journal's CEO Council coming in at No. 3.

Experts said Clinton had an unrivaled mix of power and celebrity that pushed his annual summit, which coincides with the United Nations General Assembly in New York, to the top of chief executives' speaking agendas.

"He's got a wonderful mix of both celebrity status and he is a former American president. And, at least for the moment, he is married to the Secretary of State," said Barbara Kellerman, a professor of public leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School.

It goes to show that the bad guys -- or, to be fair, the amoral ones -- always finish last.

Out: Markus Reinhardt. It wouldn't be Switzerland without a touch of international intrigue (we cannot wait for the Freemason conspiracy plots to get fleshed out on the blogs). From reuters:

The police commander heading security at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland was found dead Tuesday, local authorities said, adding that his death appeared to be suicide.

Markus Reinhardt, head of police in the Swiss canton of Graubuenden, was found dead in his hotel in Davos, police said in a statement on their website.

"All indications point to a suicide," the statement said.

WEF founder and executive founder Klaus Schwab said in a statement that the organisers appreciated Reinhardt's professionalism and kindness over years of co-operation.

"The Security Forces continue to have our full confidence and trust in their work," the statement said.

Reinhardt, 61, had headed the canton's police force since 1984.

What are the chances that the conspiracy-minded will not declare this as proof positive of the Illuminati? Oh, and Giuliani is "666."

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