What was in it for Hillary?

I remain puzzled as to why Hillary Clinton bothered. What was in it for her? And yet in a whistle stop between Saturday-it –must- be- Zurich for the Turkish-Armenian patch-up, Sunday stop-overs in London, Chequers and Phoenix Park and Tuesday in Moscow on Iranian sanctions, she spent the longest period in one place in Belfast yesterday. Yes, I understand the drive for peace gave a fresh focus to Irish America that Bill was able to exploit in 1992-3. Today she still wants to keep that in play. I know too that the Americans like to point to one international crisis centre, however minute, where they can claim their pressure succeeded. Even so, with Hillary it seemed at least partly personal, judging from the warmth of her comments and her body language which suggested she was actually enjoying herself, even all that damp huggy-kissy. What was in it for us is clearer. 20,000 jobs since 1994, she said. And what ‘s less well known, a cool $500m from the US Congress alone over 20 years. BTW it’s frustrating to be unable to find to decent round-up of the whole visit in pictures taking in Queen’s and the City Hall in the very expensive BBC website. BBC NI’s “the visit in pictures “ turned out to be 8 stills, pretty miserable for a broadcaster. Not even Newsline on iPlayer at the end of the day. This was a big deal event, just one down from a visit from a US President and called for more imagination and effort. BBCNI needs to put fresh energy into the local website which offers a pretty poor back story service to exiles and others wanting a decent look back.

  • Pete Baker

    “BBCNI needs to put fresh energy into the local website which offers a pretty poor back story service to exiles and others wanting a decent look back.”

    Or stop blocking others from doing that for them.

    What was in it for Hillary?

    Apart from the points you’ve made, Brian.

    Reclaiming the NI ‘story’ from the land of the cuckoo.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    The Irish lobby, the Kennedys and other clans, clearly yield some influence (nothing like as organised as the Jewish lobby) in American politics and particulalry so in the Democratic party and it cant do Obama (the good Offaly fellah) any harm to be sending staff off to areas of the globe formerly associated with violence and in which they can still claim to exert a peaceful influence – even if in Norn Iron it is mainly to ensure that everyone sticks to their alloted roles. It also of course good publicity for Obama to go with his new prize for peace.

    In Norn Iron Unionists always like to talk down the importance of Yankee involvment – clearly not enjoying the internationalising of the political settlement and Nationlaists like it for exactly the opposite reason.

  • jone

    Why does Brian Walker keep bitching about the BBC website – he sounds like Nevin banging on about his poxy ferry.

    Maybe he’s angling for some sort of cushy consultancy fee?

    And surely as a top media figure he knows by now that no BBC News output is availble on the iPlayer because of a whole mess of a rights issues?

  • kensei

    Why does she need some pure self interested motivation in any case? Isn’t it possible taht given her involvement as First Lady and then as a Senator, she might just have some personal interest and affection for the place?

    Are people allwoed that or must everyone be a bloody reptile?


    We got it the first time. You knowe in the big post on the fucking front page.

  • Jone, my colleagues and I provide our investigative services for free 🙂

    You’ll probably be please to know, if you’re a UK taxpayer, that you’re paying for a ‘poxy’ governing administration and public service – and you possibly wouldn’t recognize sleaze if it slapped you in the face 😉

  • joan

    she did it to give niall o’dowd a much-needed orgasm of course!

  • What was in it for Hilary Clinton?

    to show Pete Baker was completely and totally incorrect in all aspects of his continued reporting about her role and interest NI. This was the subject he initiated threads about for months and is now glaringly absent.

    joan “she did it to give niall o’dowd a much-needed orgasm of course! ”

    my isn’t that base of you? I’m not sure about the much needed bit (doesn’t bear thinging about) but what the opposite? It should be applicable for Pete Faker.

  • Pat da Baker

    A woman I talked to last night informed me that Pete Baker was so appalled and horrified by Clinton’s visit that he ripped off his own foreskin, shoved an old man’s walking stick up his anus and then ran down Magherafelt High Street wearing a Gerry Adams Halloween mask, a fake beard, massive spectacles, a manthong and brassiere while screaming ”I am the eggman, I am the walrus, CuckooCuckoo Coooo Chooooooooo.”

  • Patrick Egan

    not just peter faker –what about Niall Stanage and his irish Times rant that the clinton visit was a silly season story when broken by O’Dowd?

  • that’s just the Irish Thames minimizing the American’s input and contribution to the Peace Process since they initiated this work back when Bubba Clinton was asked would he appoint a Special Envoy to Ireland on his first cmapaign trail. The Old Lady of D’Olier St seeks to follow the unionist line in ignoring everything coming from WashDC as they only have eyes & ears for Westminster.

    How long had Stanage been living and working in Harlem that he’d know the political opinion of all those in WashDC relating to Ireland?

  • Brit

    “nothing like as organised as the Jewish lobby”

    Pssst have you forgetten that they now call it the zionist lobby – not so obvious!

    On a more serious note I would record that Jews make up 2% of the US population. Although they are “overrepresented” in the classes that wield political or economic power I dont see how such a tiny group (and one which is solidly Democrat and therefore not a group of floating voters as the Hispanics have increasingly become) could weild such great power.

    Of course the original emmigrants to what is now the USA from your island were predominantly Protestants although I dont think that there is any strong separate Ulster-Scots (or Scots-Irish as they have it in the US) identity in America on the lines of Irish or Italian Americans.

  • they now call it the zionist lobby

    maybe, if “they” be the Iranians or other holocaust-deniers; few others speak of Zionism

    “Although they are “overrepresented” in the classes that wield political or economic power I dont see how such a tiny could weild such great power.”

    Therefore you are truly clueless.

    and one which is solidly Democrat

    Mayor Bloomberg of NY – Jewish and Republican

    Then there’s this grouping in WashDC http://www.rjchq.org/

    and you’ve never heard of the links between the Jewish organizations and Christian fundamentalists which are feted by the US Republican party as their primary source of voters

  • Brit

    “Mayor Bloomberg of NY – Jewish and Republican” –

    You’ve got me there!

    Or perhaps we should look at the facts. Like this quote from a Guardian article in 2008:-

    “Jews are dependable about casting their ballots. They tend to be overwhelmingly Democrat, with 65% identifying themselves as Democratic or leaning Democratic, according to a June survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. A Gallup poll in April put Obama on 61% among Jewish voters to 32% for McCain.”

    Or this from Gallup


    Christian fundamentalists are not that big a group in the US and are now generally accepted as having declining political power. McCain was a decidedly non fundamentalist/evangelical and broad “church” Republican.

    Yes some evangelicals support Israel in a strange way and for their own crazy purposes but Jews are generally overwhelmingly Democrat and support for Israel is widespread in the US and is a totally normal position from left to right.

    But why let the truth get in the way of you ignorant prejudices.

  • Brit

    And if you think only Iranians or other holocaust-deniers speak of the Zionist lobby google those words or ask our friend Mr Stones…

    Far Right and Islamist anti-semitism are quite happy to use the J word it is usually “Left” antisemits who use the Z word. And no I am not calling Sammy an anti-semite before any suggests that I am.

  • Patrick Egan and MTW: Let me repeat,almost verbatim, a comment that I made on the Irish Central website when Niall O’Dowd absurdly claimed that Clinton’s visit was “a vindication” of his reporting…

    The story originally propagated by Niall O’Dowd was that Hillary Clinton would appoint herself the U.S. Special Envoy. (I have noted elsewhere — http://bit.ly/13EoZD — the unequivocal and confident manner in which that claim was made.)

    This claim was untrue.

    I have never stated, in any publication, that Secretary Clinton would not visit the North. My point was — and still is — that the suggestion she would appoint herself Special Envoy was nonsensical.

    Any readers wanting to verify this are welcome to read the original Irish Times article — http://bit.ly/RuWa9 — which I am more than happy to stand behind.

    All the best,


  • Like this quote from a Guardian article in 2008:-

    you foolishly assume that a British paper is able to quote the gospel of american democraphics and you quote them as indisputable facts !!!

    The figures you’ve given show Obama at 61% when placed alongside the overall US Electorate of the 52.9% which Obama got in the election don’t support your earlier posting about Jewish voters being soldily behind the democrats ie. it’s less than a ten point difference. They’re about as likely to be a democrat voter as most of the electorate.

    I can also counter by showing that NY, the state with the highest Jewish population, also voted 62.9% in favour of Democrat in the last GE. So the percent that you quote might be as relevant to the locale as the religion especially with such a small factor as the 2% of populaiton of Jews in USA.

    Similarly and conversely Florida which has the second largest Jewish population by state seems to have only voted Democrat by 51% in the last election which the Democrat won easily.

    There are plenty of Jewish Republican voters.

    Massachusetts, which like NY have a large Irish populaiton also voted heavily in favour of Obama (61.8%). Does this mean that Irish voters are decidedly Democratic. If so then someone should let Peter King know about this one.

    “Christian fundamentalists are not that big a group in the US…”

    You haven’t a clue

    “Yes some evangelicals support Israel in a strange way…”

    Nothing strange in it at all…. most Americans support Israel (unfortunately). Israel is the most heavily susidisised country by a foreign govnt (by a huge amount; Colombia comes next)

    I have no prejudices on this issue; merely pointing to the facts as they been ignored by your sweeping generalizations.

  • Niall, you’ll note in my reply to Patrick Egan that I was mentioning the unionist mentality of the Irish Thames report about “the silly season” and the lack gavity given to Hillary Clinton’s visit.

    “they only have eyes & ears for Westminster” is what I typed and it relates to your article about how you dismiss the importance of Ireland in America to being nothing but St Patrick’s Day drinks. I started my posting’s today about how Bill Clinton was forced into appointing a special envoy during his initial Pres campaign and this let to the Peace Process.

    I finish up by asking why would the Irish Thames place so much credence to your opinion on Irish America after, how long in NY?, as opposed to the decades that O’Dowd has been working on the issues.

    Never once today and I don’t think previously did I post about Hillary becoming special envoy to Ireland. My focus was on yours & Irish Thames dismissive article on Irish Americas.