Remember during the presidential primaries when all the talk was over how much Barack Obama and Bill Clinton hated each others guts?
Maybe they’re still a little salty about how things went down last year, but this year, the former president gave the current one a very nice birthday present.
Clinton voyaged to North Korea to negotiate the release of Laura Ling and Euna Lee, two journalists whom had been captured and sentenced to hard labor for spying on the Communist regime. After less than 24 hours on the ground, Clinton secured the freedom of the two women whom were facing 12 years in a labor camp.
The most important thing to occur here is the release of two innocents so they could be reunited with their families. North Korea feigns indifference as to how they are perceived by the outside world, but they couldn’t be more aware of their rogue nation status. This act wasn’t slightly motivated out of goodness, charity or mercy. It’s a pure public relations move, but one they badly need.
As for Bill Clinton, his rock star status in the Democratic Party was diminished somewhat by the rise of Barack Obama and his defeat of Hillary Clinton for the nomination. Everyone knows there was bad blood and hard feelings between the Obama and Clinton camps. Even with Hillary accepting the Secretary of State role, there were questions as to what role Bill would play in a Obama Administration.
Now we know. Bill Clinton still retains his global statesman stature and his role in freeing Ling and Lee only enhances it. There will be the critics who grumble and gripe over how the North Koreans will spin this event for their own purposes of propaganda, but those mumblings will sound awfully tinny and muted compared to the sight of Euna Lee sobbing with joy as her 4-year-old daughter embraced her with a loving hug.
One big step in repairing the relationship between two presidents, a feather in the cap of Secretary of State Clinton, a win for the Obama Administration and two families reunited.
As birthday presents go, Obama couldn’t ask for a more satisfying one.