Madam Secretary

The Vitter v. Clinton show

The Vitter v. Clinton show

Jr. Louisiana Sen. David Vitter — best known for patronizing the services of the now-deceased D.C. Madam, as well as prostitutes closer to the Louisiana home he shares with his wife — decided to take on the role of attack chihuahua on the issue of the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative. He came prepared with two posterboards about the disclosures agreed to under the Memoradum of Understanding (MOU) between the transition group and the foundation…and virtually no substantive knowledge about the foundation or the MOU that he didn’t glean in a couple of cocktail-fueled conversations with Hillary detractors.

Vitter’s rather nit-picky and difficult-to-follow criticisms of the disclosure agreement — which Hillary Clinton pointed out was above and beyond anything legally required — seemingly came down to the fact that…oh, who are we kidding. Vitter doesn’t like Bill Clinton, he’s suspicious of the foundation, and he was trying to do something to get a little press coverage as the first person to hurl some mud at Hillary Clinton. It was a poor prologue to Sen. Lugar’s more thoughtful criticisms of what he termed the “perception problem” of taking (or continuing to take) foreign money for the programs that help poor countries buy HIV drugs. 

In addition, Hillary’s explanations of how the whole thing works was interrupted by Vitter, who asked committee Chairman John Kerry that her explanation of how the MOU will function and how the foundation works not come out of his question time. That was both the only time I’ve ever heard a senator (or a congressman) ask that a witness’s answer not come out of his allotted question time and one of very few times I’ve ever seen John Kerry express human emotion (severe annoyance and disbelief that Vitter would ask), which would seem to confirm that Vitter was far more interested in making the 6:00 news than getting any understanding of how anything is going to work when Hillary is confirmed as secretary of state.

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