The New York Times provided questions to former President Bill Clinton before an interview with Nicholas Kristoff, the Wikileaks release of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta emails has revealed.
In an email sent to Podesta and several others, the Clinton Foundation’s Director of Foreign Policy Ami Desai requests feedback on answers to “questions they sent that are related to international issues”:
[A]s you may know, WJC is doing Q+A with Nick Kristof on Wednesday (at the Foursquare Conference). It’s supposed to be closed press, but. Below are the questions they sent that are related to international issues – namely Israelis/Palestinians, China (trade/Tibet/Taiwan), and Greece/Euro. Are there any WJC Admin accomplishments that we should equip him to be able to highlight? [I put some initial ideas in CAPS below; and we also have requested input from the State Department.] We’d welcome any feedback by Sunday. Thanks, Ami
A quick review of recent columns by Kristof reveals a lot of Clinton water-carrying with headlines like “Donald Trump, Groper in Chief” and “How to Cover a Charlatan Like Trump” and “When a Crackpot Run For President” where he makes the case that “journalistic efforts at fairness may risk normalizing Donald Trump.”
In the email, Desai reveals four questions on international issues that Kristof planned to ask Clinton. The first question is framed by crediting Clinton with coming within a “whisker from a Middle East peace deal.” Three of the questions are followed by proposed answers in all CAPS from the Clinton Foundation.
* At the very end of your presidency, it seemed that you came a whisker from a Middle East peace deal, and the Clinton parameters are still generally acknowledged to be the basis of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal if it comes. But will it ever come? Aren’t demographics and the growth of settlements making it harder to see a two -state solution emerging any time soon?
* For most of human history, China has been the dominant power in the world. We just happen to live in a relatively brief 300-year stretch when China was weak. But is China regaining its customary position as the dominant power in the world today, and should that worry us? Should we just get used to it? And given that China is our creditor, where do we find leverage to change Chinese behavior, whether on Tibet or Taiwan or human rights or trade?
1. REMINDER ABOUT GETTING CHINA INTO WTO; AND DEVELOPING APEC TO ENHANCE REGIONAL INFLUENCE; AND WJC ADMIN SUCCESS IN BUILDING-UP THE US ECONOMY AND IMPORTANCE OF HAVING DOMESTIC ECONOMIC STRENGTH
* Greece looks as if it’s headed for default, the Euro zone may be imploding, and the American economy is pretty much stagnant. If you were president today, what would you be doing right now?
1. REMINDER ABOUT BAILING OUT MEXICO AND HOW UNPOPULAR THAT WAS BUT ENDED UP BEING SUCCESSFUL – IMPORTANCE OF SOMETIMES HAVING TO MAKE UNPOPULAR DECISIONS
2. AND IMPORTANCE OF INVESTING IN JOB CREATION AS A WAY TO WORK OUT OF THIS CRISIS AND GIVE PEOPLE TOOLS THEY NEED TO LIFT THEMSELVES UP – MENTION WJC ADMIN ACCOMPLISHMENTS
* There are a lot of potential crises that give nightmares to international strategists. A nuclear Iran. A belligerent or collapsing North Korea. A revolution in Saudi Arabia. A naval clash with China. Cyber attack. So what keeps you awake at night? Which of these do you worry about most? Or is there another peril that we in the media haven’t adequately spotlighted?
1. REMIDER ABOUT WJC’S THREE CHALLENGES AND HOW WJC ADMIN HELPED ADDRESS EACH ONE, DIRECTLY AND INDIRECTLY: UNEQUALITY (IN INCOMES/OPPORTUNITY), INSTABILITY (DUE TO GLOBAL INTERCONNECTEDNESS, DISEASE AND HATE AND EVERYTHING CAN BE SPREAD ACROSS BORDERS EASILY), UNSUSTAINABILITY (DUE TO RESOURCE SCARCITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE)