Posts Tagged ‘Bernard-Henri Levy’

As a long-time fan of BHL, I was delighted to find this excellent account of three meetings with Hillary whom he has long admired for reasons he makes crystal clear.  I simply had to share this.  I rarely come across a true must-read on a Sunday, but this is not to be missed.

Bernard-Henri Levy: Th​ree encounters with Hillary Clinton

<April 25, 2015 | Op-ed — by Bernard-Henri Lévy

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 23: Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses the Women in the World Conference on April 23, 2015 in New York City. Clinton is in New York City after visiting Iowa and New Hampshire. Andrew Burton/Getty Images/AFP

July 2004. Boston.

A downtown restaurant to which Tina Brown has invited Hillary Rodham Clinton and a handful of notables, including Caroline Kennedy, filmmaker Michael Moore, and former U.S. Senator George McGovern.

What is immediately striking is Mrs. Clinton’s youthful appearance. Her bright laugh. Her blue eyes, a little too round, that gaze at you with curiosity. Sometimes that gaze is briefly clouded by a streak of stifled pain, obstinate and not wholly contained. Five years earlier, she was the most humiliated wife in America, a woman whose feelings, reactions, privacy, and bed linens were scrutinized by everyone. So she can talk national and international politics until she is blue in the face. She can sing the praises of John Kerry, whom her party has just nominated in an effort to deny George W. Bush a second term. She can expound on her notion of the role of the senator from New York, a role with which she pretends to be content. Still there persists an idea (of dubious political correctness) that it is impossible to push out of one’s head, one that I, at any rate, cannot resist the temptation of entering into the travel journal that I am writing for The Atlantic.

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The sound that comes out of me is something between a sigh and a gasp. Warning:  There  is nothing objective about the post below.  It is entirely personal.

Some of you will remember this post from March 31 of this year: CNN Video: Bernard-Henri Lévy Validates Hillary Clinton on Libya.   In short order after I posted it,  came the email notification that BHL was now following me on Twitter. (Yes, that one was a gasp.)  At that time, I was camping out in my hammock at CNN almost exclusively, and Eliot Spitzer,  who frequently had BHL as a guest,  still had his show there.  Since he lost his show, I have made a slow but steady migration to MSNBC where I have seen Spitzer once at least, and where,  during the day, and increasingly in prime time we get to see the brilliant, beautiful Karen Finney on various panels. I keep encouraging the prime time folks to bring her on and tweet thank you tweets when they (Rachel, Ed, and, more often, Lawrence) have her.  The truth is that I wish they would give her one of the two hours they devote to Chris Matthews.

So, when I turned on morning TV today, it was tuned to MSNBC and “Morning Joe,” not hosted by Joe this morning (so he is off the hook perhaps) but rather by Willie Geist.  Imagine my  shock, and awe to see this!  (This is where the sigh/gasp occurred.)

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I am flabbergasted!  They do not know who he is!  They bring on as a guest the guy who wrote the article about him in New York Magazine!   Heavens-to-Betsy!  They could have gotten the man himself!  He gladly would have hopped the pond at his own expense to make the appearance.

Of course this further argues for Karen to have her own show since she would never have done anything that stupid.  (I mean she would never do anything stupid at all!)  First of all, she knows who BHL is – I don’t have to ask her.  I know she knows.  Second, if she did not know how to contact him (he probably follows her on twitter and Facebook too), she would know how to find out.  Third, she would never have used a secondary source when she could have the primary live.

At the end of “Morning Joe” they always ask the question: “What did we learn today?”  The guest co-host this morning, former PA Governor Ed Rendell,  did not say that he found out who BHL is, because, like Spitzer, he probably knows the man personally.  Neither did Geist make this admission, but the fact that BHL was not a guest today betrays that ignorance.  Pitiful!

In conclusion: While it may ruffle some feathers,  (I see you there fuming,  MW,  but we did the right thing and avoided a massacre),  BHL rightly places the historical credit for the NATO action in Libya on Sarkozy and HRC.  As the year ends, I do not want to see the credit for the Libyan action shifted to Obama.    Upon declaring the No-Fly-Zone he began his address with the words. “I didn’t want to do this” while a tiny, determined HRC stood right beside him.

No, that will not fly with me or anyone who knows the facts about February and March 2011.   This issue of New York Magazine will stand as the accurate record.  I am thankful that Wallace-Wells did the research and wrote the article which I plan to acquire and preserve, but I wish MSNBC were a little smarter.


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I smiled to see them ranked as one.   I could argue pretty powerfully for why they should have ranked ahead of certain folks on the list.  Really? Obama and Cheney rank above them?  Well, it is what it is. These lists sometimes leave me scratching my head.  Nonetheless, they are in excellent company as one of my very favorite “global thinkers” (and Twitter follower) Bernard-Henri Lévy is number 22 (right behind Sarkozy).  I will give BHL a nice fat tag on this post.  I miss him.  Since CNN took Spitzer off, I never see BHL anymore.  He is a big fan of  HRC  and simply brilliant.  So 20, 21, 22 are all OK by me!

The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers

Foreign Policy presents a unique portrait of 2011’s global marketplace of ideas and the thinkers who make them.


The Clintons are nothing if not the ultimate survivors. Nearly two decades after they burst onto the national stage, they are still dominating it, with Hillary mounting an extraordinary comeback to the extent that she now polls as America’s most admired political figure, while Bill virtually runs a parallel United Nations from his Manhattan offices.

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Well, I know I am missing Richard Holbrooke right about now.  Despite an earlier cancellation of an upcoming trip to Pakistan, that trip is back on.  Mark Toner’s remarks at today’s press briefing update the plans.

This is a dangerous trip at this point, so I am putting the candles above the fold for those who wish to light one.  Gratefulness Candles for HRC.

Mark C. Toner
Acting Deputy Department Spokesman
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
May 16, 2011

 Mark, earlier today in Islamabad, Senator Kerry said that Secretary Clinton would soon be making an announcement that she would travel to Pakistan. How soon?

MR. TONER: Well —

QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

MR. TONER: Sure. I don’t have any specific details to announce. Obviously, we do that normally through a travel announcement. But the Secretary does plan to visit Pakistan in order to have an in-depth strategic discussion about our cooperation and to convey the U.S. Government’s views on the way forward of Pakistan. She’ll go when she can have those discussions in the right context and with the right preparation, and we’re engaged right now with the Pakistanis to lay that groundwork.

Just over the past 24 hours she spoke with senior Pakistani leaders, from President Zardari to Prime Minister Gillani, as well as General Kayani. And also, I understand that Special Representative Marc Grossman will be heading to Pakistan and he’ll also continue those discussions and, as I said, he’ll continue to lay the groundwork for the Secretary’s eventual visit.

QUESTION: So when is Grossman going?

MR. TONER: Grossman is supposed to leave this week. I don’t have a precise day. I’ll get those dates for you once we have them.

QUESTION: So there were three phone calls by the Secretary – Zardari, Gillan, and Kayani, right?

MR. TONER: Correct.

QUESTION: Mark, I believe you said the Secretary was scheduled to go at the end of May for the already-scheduled Strategic Dialogue Round Three in Islamabad. You’re saying eventually. Does that mean that that schedule is no longer firm?

MR. TONER: I don’t know specifically what – how that impacts those scheduled meetings. When I have more details, I’ll give them to you.

QUESTION: She’s not confirmed to go in late May, as was previously scheduled?

MR. TONER: My understanding is that we’re laying the groundwork for her visit and we’ll announce those dates when we have them, when we’re confident the groundwork has been laid.

QUESTION: Will she meet with Pakistani opposition figures?

MR. TONER: I’m not sure. Usually, she meets with a broad range of civil society and opposition figures. I don’t know what – I mean, again, her schedule is in – would be in flux. I don’t want to get into too much detail. We haven’t announced anything beyond her intent to go there.

QUESTION: So what did she tell Gillani, Kayani and Zardari?

MR. TONER: Well, you know we don’t get into the substance of those kinds of discussions, but I think we talked about the current state of play, where we’re at, but also she was – she talked about a way forward in the relationship. Obviously, as we’ve said here and from the White House and as well as Capitol Hill, that Usama bin Ladin’s whereabouts raised some concerns and questions, and we’re trying to move on to address those questions as well as move forward with the relationship, because we feel it’s in both our countries’ interests.


MR. TONER: Yeah. Go ahead, Matt, and then —

QUESTION: Well, I just – she didn’t tell them that she would be coming?

MR. TONER: She said she – yes, I’m sorry. She did say that she was – again, I mean, just to paraphrase what I just said initially, that she plans to visit to have an in-depth strategic discussion. But again, we want to make sure that those discussions can take place in the right context.

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Truth time: I have long had an intellectual crush on Lévy. He is an odd mix of philosopher-journalist, and his logic is always superbe! Speaking with Eliot Spitzer on CNN’s In The Arena tonight, he said that we should listen more to Mrs. Clinton. He said that she was right from the beginning and that he was witness to that. (Starts at 02:31.)

On the show tonight because he is the one who convinced Sarkozy to take up the free Libyan cause,  he said that he told the French President that there were French flags flying in Benghazi,  and if Sarkozy did nothing, there would be blood on the French flags.  What a dramatic image! Uncomplicated and  true.

That same Mrs. Clinton has come up in recent polls with her highest approval ratings to date.  According to Gallup, 40% among Republicans,  62% among Independents, and  92% among Democrats,   It seems to me that it might be time for the DNC to do what I long have said they would need to do and should do: get on their knees and beg her to run in 2012 for the top office which they wrongly prevented her from doing in 2008.  While they are kneeling, they should pray that she will say yes.  Side note: HRC is certain to have plans for domestic troubles about which she currently cannot speak.

Yes, I think it is high time for a woman to shatter that glass ceiling,  and the woman who has always been meant to do that is Hillary Rodham Clinton.  DNC, talk to her.

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