Reading the beginning of Mary Beth Sheridan’s article in the Washington Post Thanksgiving morning, one might think serious critics of Bill and Hillary Clinton have voiced serious questions about possible conflicts inherent in their roles as former President and Global Initiative Head versus Obama’s Secretary of State.

One would be wrong.

After discussing how Bill and Hillary have gone to great lengths to avoid any conflicts between their spheres, here’s how Mary Beth Sheridan ominously introduces the idea that such avoidance may not have been successful:

Yet the real story is more complicated because, 10 months into her tenure, it is clear that their worlds and their interests cannot avoid intersecting. Hillary Clinton has put problems such as Northern Ireland, Haiti and Third World development near the top of the agenda at the State Department, and they are also part of the former president’s charitable mission. Bill Clinton secretly helped push the administration’s — and his wife’s — agenda with North Korea on a trip officially called a humanitarian mission.

For a select group of issues, the combined energies of the Clintons can be potent. Just days after Hillary Clinton appointed Declan Kelly the economic envoy to Northern Ireland, for instance, he turned to her husband for help.

Bill Clinton agreed to include a session on Northern Ireland at his annual philanthropic mega-event, which coincides with the U.N. General Assembly in September. Hundreds of business executives packed a ballroom to hear Clinton and Kelly make their investment pitch. The gathering was, Kelly told the crowd, "a massive assistance to me in my role." After the session, dozens of executives lined up to talk to Kelly, according to one official in attendance.

Read the next paragraph to find out who the author’s first source is about these complicating intersections:

The Clintons declined requests for interviews, but their aides emphasize that Secretary Clinton is carrying out the Obama administration’s foreign policy and say that their shared priorities are a coincidence. Some lawmakers, however, are wary of potential conflicts. Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation has received large contributions in recent years from governments such as Saudi Arabia’s, as well as Indian tycoons and prominent supporters of Israel — presenting what Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) called a "multimillion-dollar minefield of conflicts of interest." In response, the former president agreed to release the foundation’s donor list and allow ethics officials to review some foreign pledges; the first annual disclosure of contributions since Hillary Clinton was confirmed is weeks away.


Ms Sheridan, if you want your article to be taken seriously anywhere in America, if you want to pitch the idea that serious people think that Bill and Hillary Clinton have unresolved conflicts-of-interest between their two world-striding roles, you need to find someone other than diaper-wearing prostitute-frequenter and DC-Madame-phonebook-listee David Vitter.

No one’s gonna take your journamilism seriously, even if you do manage to squeeze in a hopeful quote from a spokesman for Senator Richard Lugar (who sounds like he thinks things between the couple are being handled just fine).

David Vitter doesn’t get to comment on ANYTHING without uproarious laughter. Mockery, pointing and laughing, even shunning.

Prostitutes, diapers, a madame’s little black book: If you’re trying to build a narrative about a serious story, look elsewhere for your hook.

Teddy Partridge

Teddy Partridge