While Bill was gallivanting to a photo-op in the Korean Peninsula, he crowded out his wife — you know, the Secretary of State — from the foreign-policy spotlight.
Hil is now in Kenya for a trade summit, but was forced to address a more pressing issue: the ongoing charade that is Kenya’s government.
Kenya was recently rated one of the most corrupt countries on earth — and #1 in the “Police Force Corruption” category. Quite an accomplishment for a nominal democracy. Really, Kenya is a lesson of how ludicrous democracy in Africa can be: a clique of politicians who fund ethnic violence after a botched election, then turn around to form a coalition government whose amicable operation is premised on politicians of all stripes being allowed to dip into the public coffers. A tribunal to prosecute those accused of fomenting the post-election violence (among them several government ministers) would likely destroy this happy arrangement. And so it’s not even being attempted.
So Mama Hillary was obliged to deliver the “good government” lines: “Clinton Lands as U.S. Breathes Fire,” as one hilarious headline read. But in what is becoming Hil’s new shtick, she was promptly told to shoo.
You will recall last month when India’s environment minister said his position was “clear and categorical” that India would not sign on to carbon-emissions targets. Climate change was one of the main purposes of the Clinton visit, and Madam Secretary stood there, dour-faced, as this tirade was delivered.
This time around it was Raila Odinga, Kenya’s prime minister (and a self-declared “cousin” of President Obama), who declared that Kenyans “did not need too much lecturing on governance issues.” This statement is obviously false, and the cavalier attitude of Kenyan politicians to misrule is unsavory. Clinton will have to respond directly and forcefully to it. But that’s the downside of her (and Obama’s) ongoing Talking Tour: She can lecture all she wants, but as for results? Perish the thought.
– Travis Kavulla is a former associate editor of National Review, and last year a Gates Scholar in African History.