A former foster child whom Secretary Clinton mentioned in the 2006 edition of her book It Takes a Village, credits Clinton in influencing him in this decision to attend law school, as reported in the Washington Post.
Jelani Freeman bounced through foster homes and group homes for much of his childhood, and when he beat the odds and graduated from college in 2002, he didn't even have anyone to attend the commencement ceremony and watch him cross the stage. After graduation, he interned in then-Senator Clinton's office through a program for former foster children. On Saturday, he graduated from Howard University's School of Law, and Freeman cites Clinton (a graduate of Yale Law School) as a positive influence:
"I sort of see this as a collective achievement," said Freeman, 29, who credits Clinton for his decision to go to law school. He had twice interned in her Senate office, and they had a talk about his career plans. "People say encouraging things to other people because it's the nice thing to do. But she was sincere. She helped me believe it."
It truly does take a village.
State Department via washingtonpost.com
This Saturday on page A8 of the Washington Post, Secretary Clinton appeared on a list of "wild-card contenders" for next Supreme Court justice.
Over at Slate, Emily Bazelon writes that Clinton would "be a rock star of a Supreme Court justice," adding "She's served as secretary of state long enough to make a graceful exit" and "The only knock on Clinton is that at 62, she won't necessarily serve for decades upon decades." (Well, given women's increasing life expectancies and Clinton's excellent health -- she bounced back swiftly from her broken elbow last summer -- Clinton could easily go on for another three-plus decades.)
Of course, the big question is: What does Clinton want? Would quitting her secretary-of-state post before it's even halfway through really be a "graceful exit"? And Clinton has made it quite clear she has other, private, interests for her post-SOS life: writing, possibly teaching, and definitely advocating for women and girls worldwide.
I'm not quite buying the "ambition for power" idea -- expressed over at the Daily Beast in February -- that "Given the Clintons ambition for power, most would agree that Hillary doesn’t see secretary of State as the final chapter in her career."
The Clintons are ambitious -- nothing wrong with that; ambitious people made America -- but ambitious doesn't necessarily mean power-hungry. It means eager to make a positive difference in the world, as Bill Clinton has done with his charitable activities such as the Clinton Global Initiative and his work as U.N. envoy to Haiti (a $1-per-year job). Hillary Clinton could easily follow a similar path, working with her husband or advancing her own signature issue of women and girls.
The family of a Dallas police officer who died in a Feb. 22, 2008, motorcycle accident during a motorcade for then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (seen above in Dallas on that day) has sued not just Secretary Clinton herself, but also her presidential campaign, the city of Dallas, and the manufacturer of the officer's helment.
How is Clinton personally at fault? There's a section of the original petition (Theresa A. Lozada, et al. v. City of Dallas, et al.) called "Clinton's Failures," and it says:
Defendant Clinton knew from her experience as First Lady and later as Senator/First Lady, that motorcade escorts require sufficient notice and advance coordination to be performed safely.… In spite of this knowledge Clinton and Clinton, Inc. [her campaign] failed to provide such advance notice and timing."
Fortunately for Clinton, the allegations against her probably won't "get too far," according to the Business Insider Law Review, which stated:
[W]e doubt the allegations against the current Secretary of State will get too far. Though we imagine advanced notice is good for anything requiring multiple vehicles moving at increased speeds, motorcades by their nature are often used in emergencies. That Clinton's failure to provide "adequate notice" would lead to the death of an officer would be considered "foreseeable" under a negligence standard is highly unlikely.
I feel bad for the family of the deceased officer, but it really seems to be stretching it to hold Clinton personally responsible. The petition says the officer did not have proper training for being in the motorcade, and if that's the case, then perhaps the entity that assigned him to a job he wasn't ready for bears some responsibility.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A 64-year-old Foreign Service officer has sued Secretary Clinton for age discrimination. Last November, the woman was offered -- and accepted -- a two-year position at the U.S. Embassy in Algiers, Algeria, which would have begun this past summer. Instead, the offer was rescinded when it was discovered that the woman would turn 65 during the middle of her term. The mandatory retirement age for Foreign Service officers is 65.
The woman has filed an age-discrimination lawsuit against Clinton, stating that the age limit is unconstitutional and based on old-fashioned stereotypes. What's particularly painful is that the woman didn't join the Foreign Service until age 54 because when she wanted to join earlier, there was a ban on married women!
Clinton, who's almost 62, will be turning 65 when she's still secretary of state, but the mandatory retirement age doesn't apply to political appointees. "Imagine if someone told Hillary Clinton she couldn't be secretary of state because she would turn 65 before her term is up," a lawyer representing the woman told the Washington Post.
If an adult is physically and mentally able to handle a position, age shouldn't matter. I would hope Clinton agrees. As more baby boomers enter their "senior years," my hunch is that these age barriers will come down.
Photo: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images
Judicial Watch, perhaps best known for its judicial harassment of the Clintons in the 90s, is at it again. Today, officially on behalf of Foreign Service Officer David C. Rodearmel, the organization filed a lawsuit claiming that Hillary Clinton is constitutionally ineligible to serve as Secretary of State -- as they telegraphed last month that they would.
The basis of the lawsuit is that, in effect, any senator who was serving when a Cabinet secretary position received a raise (as the secretary of state did in January 2008) cannot then assume that position.
Under the "Emoluments" or "Ineligibility" clause of the U.S. Constitution, no member of Congress can be appointed to a civilian position within the U.S. government if the "emoluments" of the position, such as the salary or benefits paid to whoever occupies the office, increased during the term for which the Senator or Representative was elected.
In order to get around this, as presidents have done since the days of William Howard Taft, Congress decreased the salary of the secretary of state by $4700 in mid-December -- to the salary Rice was making when Clinton started her second Senate term. Judicial Watch argues that even though Clinton won't benefit from the pay raise Rice received, she nonetheless was there when it happened and thus is technically ineligible.
They furthermore argue that forcing Rodearmel to serve under her would be forcing him to break his Foreign Service oath, by which he promised to uphold the Constitution. Apparently, some habits die hard, and suing the Clintons is one of them.
Madam Secretary is an obsessive blog about all things Hillary Clinton. From her policies to her pantsuits, Madam Secretary delivers up-to-the-minute news, analysis, and gossip about America's top diplomat.