The Clinton campaign is apparently smarting from the comment from Brian Feeney, an Irish author and former politician, that despite her campaign trail claims to have played a role in the peace talks of the 1990s, “The road to peace was carefully documented, and she wasn’t on it.” They’re offering witnesses for their defense, including Gerry Adams, president of Sinn Féin.
The North’s former first minister, David Trimble, made a similar assertion in the London Daily Telegraph last week, suggesting that Mrs. Clinton did little more than accompany former president Bill Clinton on visits. “She visited when things were happening, saw what was going on, she can certainly say it was part of her experience. I don’t want to rain on the thing for her; but being a cheerleader for something is slightly different from being a principal player,” he said.
Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams told The Irish Times that, although he admires all three remaining US presidential candidates and is not endorsing any of them, Mrs. Clinton is justified in claiming a role in the peace process. “David Trimble is reported as saying Senator Hillary Clinton played no part in the Irish peace process. That is not true. Senator Clinton played an important role in the peace process,” he said. “I met the senator on many occasions when she was First Lady, and subsequently when she became a senator for New York State. I always found her to be extremely well informed on the issues.”
Former SDLP leader John Hume has also come to Mrs. Clinton’s defense, expressing surprise that anyone should doubt the importance of her contribution.
“I can state from first-hand experience that she played a positive role for over a decade in helping to bring peace to Northern Ireland,” he said in a statement posted on Mrs. Clinton’s website.
“There is no doubt that the people of Northern Ireland think very positively of Hillary Clinton’s support for our peace process, due to her visits to Northern Ireland and her meetings with so many people. In private she made countless calls and contacts, speaking to leaders and opinion makers on all sides, urging them to keep moving forward.”
Of course, Gerry Adams is only a few steps away from being a Clinton campaign surrogate; he visited the White House five times (The Bush administration invited him to the White House for St. Patrick’s Day in 2006) and has spoken at the former president’s Clinton Global Initiative events.
The weirdest discovery of the morning? Gerry Adams has a MySpace page (could it possibly be a hoax?).