Out of Africa

Aug 13, 2009 7:54am

For the second time this week, the nation’s top diplomat is being accused of making un-diplomatic remarks.


At a town hall in Abuja, Nigeria, a land of corrupt elections, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to push the message that embracing violence is never the answer, even after a disputed election.


But it was her mention of U.S. elections that caught people’s attention.


“Our democracy is still evolving,” the secretary of state told the crowd. “You know we’ve had all kinds of problems in some of our past elections as you might remember. In 2000, our presidential election came down to one state where the brother of the man running for president was the governor of the state, so we have our problems, too.”


And what says that “governor of the state,” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush?


“Governor Bush is declining to weigh in on these ill-advised comments,” a spokesman for former Bush said. “But wishes Secretary Clinton a safe and successful trip.”


A State Department official writes that much of the Secretary’s trip — 7 countries in 11 days — “has focused on good governance as a way for many of these nations to move forward, especially those blessed with natural resources like Nigeria is with oil, but the population doesn’t benefit.”


Explains the official, “so she was talking about the power of example that she invokes frequently (rather than the U.S. example of our power).  Despite the difficulties and divisiveness of the last few elections — including the prolonged 2000 election — our country comes together and respects the rule of law.  Not only is that NOT an indictment of anyone, it’s actually touting all the participants and the system and the peaceful transfer of power.  The reference to 2000 in particular was from the Nigerian perspective of anyone who looked at the relationship and thought anything of it.”


The official said that Clinton “offered herself up as living proof of losing a contest but doing what’s best for her country.”


You can read more on this HERE.


– jpt

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