Secretary of State-designate and U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) (L) prepares to testify during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill January 13, 2009 in Washington, DC. Clinton was tapped by President-elect Barack Obama to lead the State Department after he defeated her in the Democatic primaries last year. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)more pics »Is there anything wrong with Hillary Clinton becoming the most powerful diplomat in the United States while her husband runs around and solicits money from the richest, most powerful people around the world?
Is Hillary Clinton a good choice for Secretary of State?
Apparently the Obama administration doesn't think so.
Hillary Clinton's Secretary of State confirmation couldn't be stopped Wednesday as she steamrolled into the prestigous cabinet position with a vote of 96-2. But that didn't stop a handful of Republicans from objection to her confirmation.
The lovefest surrounding the former presidential candidate's confirmation hearings hit a speedbump Tuesday when Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, prevented her confirmation by a vote of unanimous consent. Cornyn argued (correctly in my opinion) that there is a conflict of interest between Hillary Clinton becoming Secretary of State while her husband raises massive amounts of money for the Clinton Foundation.
It raises a valid question: Could foreign leaders and businessmen buy favors from the Secretary of State? Cornyn thinks so. In a letter he wrote to Hillary Clinton (and posted on his Web site), Cornyn says:
I remain deeply troubled that America’s foreign policy and your diplomatic mission will be encumbered by the sweeping global activities of the Clinton Foundation (the “Foundation”)—unless tighter foreign fundraising restrictions and transparency protocols are adopted by your husband’s organization. Cornyn explained that he knew Clinton would be confirmed, but wanted to raise the issue so more people knew about the potential for corruption.
Despite his objections, Cornyn did not cast one of the two votes against Clinton's confirmation. That distinction is held by Senators Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, and David Vitter, R-Louisiana. The two were unsatisfied with the agreement signed by former president Bill Clinton that limits his foreign fundraising and requires him to publish an annual list of donations to the Clinton Foundation.
Even so, Clinton became the 67th Secretary of State, following Condaleeza Rice, who remained in the key cabinet position for the entirety of George W. Bush's administration.