Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 24, 2007
POLITICS: Those Unnamed Foreign Leaders Are Back!

And this time they're pissed. Assuming they exist, that is.

For all of his legendary political savvy, Bill Clinton just can't help himself from repeating one of the stupider mistakes of the Kerry '04 campaign (which is saying quite a bit): touting the support of (mostly) unnamed and unidentifiable "foreign leaders" who are allegedly supporting Hillary!:

Bill Clinton regularly touts his wife's bid for the White House by telling crowds that leaders around the globe are pulling for Hillary Clinton's election in 2008.

Yet none of the leaders the former President cited will back him up, the Daily News has found.

"Every African leader I talked to, every single one when I was there, without any prodding from me, said, 'For God sakes, I hope Hillary wins. We don't like disliking America here,'" Bill Clinton said at a fund-raiser for her last month.

"I called the outgoing French president, and he said, 'Oh, tell me Hillary's going to win. I'm so tired of disliking America,'" Bill Clinton told the crowd.

Bill Clinton also quoted the immediate past prime minister of Singapore as saying, "'Please tell me Hillary's going to win. We need America leading the world again.'"

This is at least a threefer for boneheadedness. First, Bill looks like a liar (perish the thought, I know) because nobody will admit to saying this to him. Granted, they should deny it in public, but with Bill one never knows either way, which is pretty much the point.

Second, it is a visible symptom of the Democrats' obsession with placing an absurdly high priority on making nice with foreign executives and diplomats, something most Americans rightly regard as at best a very minor foreign policy priority, and at worst a sign of giving away too much to people who manifestly have their own interests and not ours at heart. Shepherds should not be popular with wolves.

And third, it sounds hopelessly naive to suggest that the causes of anti-Americanism in foreign locales is simply the personalities and policies of individual leaders rather than fundamental conflicts of national interest and ideology. It's true that personalities can play a part - in the specific case of France, our relationship is already improving dramatically due to Chirac being replaced by Sarkozy, but underlying causes of tension between U.S. and French foriegn policies won't just go away.

Remember the First Rule of Democrats and Foreign Policy: They never learn. They never, ever, ever learn.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:53 PM | Politics 2008 | Comments (32) | TrackBack (0)

Whatever. I'll take this alleged lie over the mountains of lies, half-truths, etc. churned out by the current admin every day of the week.

Clearly our current foreign policy is fantastic.

Posted by: jim at September 24, 2007 1:14 PM

Jim, jim, jim.. willing to take more Clinton lies and pass them off as acceptable....
I guess I must have missed the glorious Clinton years, the years when Reno ran domestic policy and Allbright ran foreign policy!!!

Posted by: leslieray at September 24, 2007 3:24 PM

Hard to imagine a Republican calling the Dems on their lies. Sure, the Dems lie. For the Bushies, though, lying is pathological. Anyone who disagrees with this has not been paying attention or automatically disbelieves anything negative about Bush.

Posted by: Steve at September 24, 2007 3:52 PM

Look, it is the same song regardless of admin. Politics are all lies. Clinton's were foolish (can anyone here define "is"?), and in this case silly. Little JFKerry did the same during his run. Hillary needs to leash her boy. Bill is nothing, she is the show. Unless Hsugate explodes she has the nomination locked.

Posted by: abe at September 24, 2007 3:54 PM

Leslie, As Crank even admits there is no real way to know if this is the truth or not. Of course foreign leaders don't corroborate what he is saying as there is no upside in doing that. Maybe he is lying. Even on the chance that he is, as Steve points out, that the scale is so disproportionately shifted to this administration that this seems pathetic to even bring up.

Posted by: jim at September 24, 2007 3:57 PM

Steve you are a childish clown. Swap Clinton for Bush and you have the black helicopter crowd from 1998. Pathetic Bush derangement syndrome. News flash, Hillary will only increase the lies. But the NY Times will spin it so you enjoy swallowing them for breakfast. Grow up, embrace reality.

Posted by: abe at September 24, 2007 3:57 PM

I'm not going to get drawn into this debate yet again except to remind you guys of these two facts:

1. Your party will be nominating the Clintons to return to the Oval Office in 2008.

2. No Bushes will be on the ballot in 2008.

So saying both of them are bad? Not a win for you.

Posted by: The Crank at September 24, 2007 4:05 PM

So hard to keep up.
I remember lying was a bad thing under Clinton, was acceptable since January 2001, and now it's bad again (?).

This is as hard as knowing if Saddam was friend or foe. Friend during the Reagan Admin (when he gassed his own people), foe after the Kuwait insurgency, friend when Cheney's company was trading with him in the 90s, bad again after 9/11.

Can one get a scorecard/ calendar for these things, or is it just easier to say "It's OK if a Republican does it"?

Posted by: Robert at September 24, 2007 4:18 PM

There have been a number of world leaders that think I would make a GREAT President too. Alas, I can't afford the pay cut and it would interfere with my golf game.

Posted by: maddirishman at September 24, 2007 4:31 PM

I may be a childish clown, but I'll say this. Hillary is a problem for me and many other progressives, but I don't think she has a hankering for war like George W. did when he became president. And I can't imagine Hillary going after the wrong enemy following a terrorist attack. Once the president is desperate for war, get ready for the greatest lies of all time.

Posted by: steve at September 24, 2007 5:25 PM

It is fun to read the comments on this blog. I really never believed that BDS actually existed until I read some of the comments from the liberals. It is great entertainment!

If Hillary was not such a ridculous person to even think of having as our president, I'd be tempted to say let her have a go just to prove how lousy a job she would do. But this is a dangerous world and we can't afford any more years of the Clintons.

So please you liberals find a candidate who could actually lead the nation. No more Clintons, Gores, Edwards, or Kerrys! You must have someone who not as flaky as that bunch! I can't believe they are the best you can do. PLEASE!

Posted by: Lee at September 24, 2007 6:45 PM

Yeah, what we have now is terrific. Don't change a thing. Let him be President forever. Or king.

Posted by: jim at September 24, 2007 6:53 PM

Yeah, the world LOVES Bush and his ilk, you idiot!

I know you think that Bill's oral sex fiasco somehow trumps Bush's war crimes, but even you and your kind can't distort reality enough to suggest that world leaders, and the world in general, didn't like Clinton, and therefore America, when he was President...

Only makes sense, then, the same would hold true for his wife...

Posted by: Brillo at September 24, 2007 7:55 PM

Crank really attracts the top of the line lefty trolls. I gotta give him that.

Posted by: paul zummo at September 24, 2007 8:33 PM

Nothing like missing the forest for the trees.
"He's a LIAR"
"Well, then again, foreign leaders really shouldn't meddle with our elections - actually, I'd probably be more annoyed if they spoke out in agreement"

"absurdly high priority on making nice"
Yes. Since our current policy of storming off in a huff is working so well.

"They never learn. They never, ever, ever learn"
HAHAHAHAHA. Funny. Call me when our Secretary of State does something. Or we're not at the lowest level of world "like" ever. Or when, you know, Iraq's PM, the Pope, etc. will talk to Secretary Rice.

Posted by: Dave at September 25, 2007 6:10 AM

I love it. "Bush lied, Bush lied, Bush lied!" Waa.

Whenever I ask a liberal to tell me how Bush lied, the stammering becomes quite funny to listen to. Was he sadly--even terribly--mistaken? Sure. Just like the Clinton administration and every other Western political leader was on the same questions.

Posted by: alex at September 25, 2007 8:06 AM


You are talking to the wrong liberals if they can't tell you how Bush lied. True, some liberals are inarticulate and don't have any grasp of the facts and cannot defend themselves. If you think Buhs is a truth-teller than you are no better than the people who defend Bill Clinton. If you want to see how Bush lied, there are thousands of websites on that topic. Why don't you starty by Googling "Downing Street Memos"?

Posted by: steve at September 25, 2007 9:55 AM

The "Downing Street Memos"? Oh, please. Next you will be regaling us about depleted uranium and how the CIA is reading your brainwaves.

Posted by: The Crank at September 25, 2007 9:57 AM

Thart's it crank. Dismiss anything off-hand if it doesn't agree with your world view.

Here's my try as a SF Giants fan:
Standings? Please.
Next thing you know, you'll tell me someone from the NL West has more lifetime homers than Bonds.

How was that?

As for the Downing Street Memos, can you explain why the (liberal--ha ha) MSM dismissed them in less than 48 hours and chased WhiteWater for 8 years?

Posted by: Robert at September 25, 2007 11:57 AM

Robert, every effort by the left that I saw to make something of those memos involved basically taking them out of context and/or distorting or exaggerating their meaning. Even the MSM occasionally figures out when it is being had.

The media dropped Whitewater during the 1992 campaign after the initial NYT story; it was too busy reporting on a recession that was already over. What kept it alive was as new things started leaking out and then that abomination, the independent counsel, was appointed (I always agreed with Justice Scalia that the independent counsel was unconstitutional).

Posted by: The Crank at September 25, 2007 12:05 PM

Downing Street Memos equals the smoking gun that the decision was made well in advance that the US was going to war in Iraq while Bush misspoke, spun, fibbed, told a whopper, etc.* to the American public.

* like the MSM, I can't bring myself to say it like it is (i.e Bush lied to the American public).

Posted by: Robert at September 25, 2007 3:47 PM

That's your smoking gun?

Look, everybody on the planet knew that (1) what Bush was threatening meant war unless Saddam backed down big time and (2) Saddam wasn't in the habit of backing down big time. (Go read the archives of this or any other blog that was in business in late 02-early 03; heck, the removal of Saddam had been official U.S. policy since 1998). And obviously, a lot of military and diplomatic groundwork needed to be laid in the event that happened, and for the usual diplomatic purposes a public spectacle needed to be made of giving him every opportunity to say "uncle".


Posted by: The Crank at September 25, 2007 4:02 PM

Crank, I have to commend your patience in debunking the same tired talking points the Lefties have been bringing since the Intertubes was invented. Kudos.

Fact is, Jon Karry claimed world leaders were pulling for him to win also. It's a stupid thing to say, plays to an audience already in your hand and can't be proven. Plus it alienates anybody who A) couldn't give two shits what world leaders want anyway and 2) thinks it classless to brag about such a thing.

Stupid play from a pandering oaf.

Posted by: spongeworthy at September 25, 2007 4:14 PM


The Downing Street Memos did more than show that Bush was threatening war if Saddam did not back down or say uncle. They were written by an aide to Tony Blair after meeting with the Bush administration in mid-2002. Quoting from these memos, they show that "Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action."

What this means is that when Bush told us that military action was a last resort, he was full of it. It also shows that the administration was twisting the evidence on WMD's to make the case for war. From what I have read, these memos are the tip of the iceberg. If that memo was publicized in the run-up to war, what do you think the American people would have said?

Many, many investigative books have been published over the last few years about the administration's deception in the run-up to war. Have you read any of them? Granted, someone listening to clowns like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity might not even be aware of the deception. But, Crank, I think even the liberals and leftists who read your blog would say that you have a head on your shoulders. So why are you defending Bush on this score?

Posted by: steve at September 25, 2007 5:34 PM


You wrote "Many, many investigative books have been published over the last few years about the administration's deception in the run-up to war. Have you read any of them?"

I admit I have not. So in order to learn more, could give me a reading list? Some stipulations:

No MSM (CNN, MSBC, Time, Newsweek, NY Times, Washington Post, LA Times, etc), no liberal professors, no Think tanks run by ex-Clinton people, nothing by Sandy Berger, nothing by Richard Clarke, Also nothing by the biased British media (BBC, etc). OK?


Posted by: Lee at September 25, 2007 6:27 PM

While I am issuing challenges, how about this one!

Present your best case for Hillary for President. Granted I am conservative and no matter what you say I won't vote for her BUT make such a strong case that I am forced to say I won't vote for her just because her last name is Clinton.

Some sitpulations: Only make a case FOR Hillary not AGAINST anyone else. Don't say she is better than some one else, etc. Just why she would make a good president. If you really feel she is the best, this should be a snap.

Do you accept the challenge?

Posted by: Lee at September 25, 2007 7:43 PM


I do not support Hillary, so I have no argument to make, except that she will probably appoint people to the Supreme Court who will not trample on the Constitution. Moderate Democrats are more likely to appoint real people to the Court, not rightist ideologues. We don't need any more Alitos, Scalias, Thomases or Robertses. I make no bones about this: we need more William Brennans, Earl Warrens, William O. Douglases and Thurgood Marshalls. Even a Souter or John Paul Stevens will do. Some of these people, by the way, were appointed by Republicans. But I sure don't want some Texas cowboy who cannot articulate a coherent sentence to appoint people to the Supreme Court, that's for damned sure.

As for the reading list, you assume that any book written by anyone associated with what you regard as any "liberal" news organization is unreliable. That position is untenable. Is each and every book that exposes the Bush incompetence and duplicity a lie? Taking that position, I'm sure, makes it a hell of a lot easier to ignore what these writers are saying. Problem is, there is no conservative journalist that I know of who is willing to take a critical look at the Bush administration. If you want to live in a bubble and believe that George W. Bush is an honest man, that's your problem. Those of us who live in the real world do not share that kind of blind faith.

Posted by: Steve at September 25, 2007 9:50 PM

so I have no argument to make, except that she will probably appoint people to the Supreme Court who will not trample on the Constitution. Moderate Democrats are more likely to appoint real people to the Court, not rightist ideologues.

Again, kudos to Crank. Seriously, how do you attract these people?

Posted by: paul zummo at September 25, 2007 10:05 PM


Lecturing from a liberal? Wow that's a first!

So you don't have a book recomendation except from a liberal author? I did not specify a conservative, I just did not want a book from somone who already was biased.

You made the statement "Many, many investigative books have been published over the last few years about the administration's deception in the run-up to war." Now back it up!

Posted by: Lee at September 26, 2007 7:16 AM

There is no such thing as an unbiased author. The following books are thorough and well-written. Again, I am not aware of any investigative books by any conservatives that do not defer to George W. Bush.

"State of Denial" by Bob Woodward.

"The One Percent Doctrine" by Ron Suskind.

"Fiasco" by Thomas Ricks

"Hubris" by Michael Isikoff and David Corn

"State of War" by James Risen

"Against all enemies" by Richard Clarke

Posted by: steve at September 26, 2007 9:29 AM


Thanks for the list. While no one is completely unbiased, there is very biased and totally biased. I'll skip the Woodward book (I can't stand him) and the the Clarke book ( I can never figure out when he is telling the truth). The rest I'll got o my local library and take a look at.


Posted by: Lee at September 26, 2007 9:59 AM

So, if Saddam had just given us the WMDs he didn't have Bush wouldn't have started his war of choice.
Sounds reasonable.
In the bizarro world.

Posted by: Robert at September 28, 2007 12:07 AM
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