Are any voters in this year’s presidential election saying, “Well if Honduran death-squad enabler John Negroponte endorsed Hillary Clinton, I’m-With-Her!”? I somehow doubt it.
Is there even *one* undecided voter for whom a Hillary Clinton endorsement from unindicted war criminal and domestic-only traveler Henry Kissinger will tip the balance? “I couldn’t decide between her and Donald Trump, but if Nobel Peace Prize winner and Nixon late-night prayer-pal Henry the K is for her, I’m-With-Her!”
Is there a single voter out there who ponders to her/himself, “Well, I was on the fence a bit, but now that those brutal amoral assholes Kissinger and Negroponte are on board, I trust that Clinton will support enough political violence to make me happy?” Well, I’m sure there are a few, but they all write for the Washington Post op-ed pages.
DC’s a complicated place and I get that strange alliances are formed, but those don’t require wearing your giant sized “Henry Approved!” button.
There’s some controversy abroad in pundit-land whether the Official Campaign pursues these ridiculous endorsements or whether Republicans-for-Clinton pursue them or whether the endorsers have pursued the campaign.
The idea behind the new push is to make Republican voters more comfortable supporting Clinton by showing them examples of leaders in many realms who have chosen to disavow GOP nominee Donald Trump and back Clinton instead.
“Many realms,” Washington Post? Like that all-important War Crimes Voters realm? Those voters looking for leadership from the war criminals who, inexplicably, still walk free among us? Who are those voters? Can you find and interview one, please? Just one? Some regular Jose or Juanita who will say to a reporter, on the record, “It’s John Negroponte’s death-squad enabling that makes his endorsement of Hillary Clinton matter to me when I choose for whom I’ll vote.”
“I have personally known Hillary Clinton as First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State,” Negroponte said in a statement. “She will bring to the Presidency the skill, experience and wisdom that is needed in a President and Commander-in-Chief. Having myself served in numerous diplomatic and national security positions starting in 1960, I am convinced that Secretary Clinton has the leadership qualities that far and away qualify her best to be our next President.”
In the 1980s, he served as the U.S. ambassador to Honduras. In addition to (at best) covering for that country’s murderous autocrats, he also served the Reagan Administration by helping to turn Honduras into a staging area for American-trained death squads in places like El Salvador and Guatemala. (Remember, Eugene Hasenfus was flying out of a base in Honduras when he got shot down over Nicaragua, which is when the Iran-Contra criminal enterprise began to unravel.)
(There’s lots more at that link; Mr Pierce is rather a specialist in not letting this particular chapter of America overseas adventurism slip down the memory hole the GOP conveniently prepares for it quite regularly….)
Look, I understand a candidate can’t really help who might endorse. Just ask Donald Trump if he’d really rather *not* have David Duke’s unqualified support — or better yet, ask Reince Priebus. But bragging about an endorsement is something else entirely. People will support a candidate for their own reasons.
But we don’t know what the hell Hillary was thinking by calling attention to this endorsement. Negroponte’s support isn’t going to bring over that many Republicans, but Clinton’s bragging about it it will piss off — with good reason — plenty of progressives. In terms of how it’ll affect the general election overall, we imagine it won’t have any effect: Most Americans won’t recognize the name “Negroponte” at all, those who do will at most remember he was some foreign policy guy, and a significant portion will simply say “Dur-hurr, he has negro in his name!” And for those who are familiar with Negroponte’s career, a lot of us will just have to drink a double scotch and repeat to ourselves that Hillary doesn’t have to be perfect for us to vote for her. Yes, we understand she wants a big tent. But this guy stinks up the place something awful, and it’s a big goddamn disappointment to see Clinton seeing his endorsement as a coup (another thing he was fine with under Reagan). Just don’t appoint the bastard to anything, OK?
It’s the candidate’s reasons for trumpeting that support that worry me. And I’m not convinced there are *any* voters who were waiting for John Negroponte’s endorsement before making up their mind.
I’m even less convinced there’s a fence-sitting Kissinger bloc anticipating what he might do. Let it go, Madame Secretary. Just let this one go right by.
It won’t help — and it might hurt. Don’t go looking for trouble, okay?