26 March 2008 at 9:52:56 AM
"I use this every day in my private kitchen"
Remember reading recently about how HIllary Clnton's claims to have brought peace to Ireland were deemed *silly* by the Nobel Peace Prize Winner who actually DID that?
You may also remember that Barack Obama said that her *foreign policy experience* mainly involved drinking tea, which upset Clinton. Clinton, in fact, tried to tie that to her baloney Bosnia experience by saying that she didn't remember anyone offering her tea on the tarmac. Well, here's inflated resume item #2. First from the Telegraph UK
Hillary also said that she visited Northern Ireland more often than hubby Bill did. Well, that might be true, but checking through my own cuttings I found that her visits in fact did involve little more than having tea with carefully selected Protestant and Catholic women
Here's some more on the two visits she made to Ireland in the 1900's that involved tea.
In the first solo visit to the Province by a First Lady since Eleanor Roosevelt in 1942, Mrs Clinton steered clear of any overt political statements and stressed the contribution ordinary people could make to peace. Addressing more than 1,000 people at the University of Ulster, Mrs Clinton held up a teapot given to her by Joyce McCartan, a community worker who had lost 18 relatives in the Troubles, as a symbol of reconciliation.
Mrs Clinton had shared a cup of tea with Mrs McCartan and other women during President Clinton's visit to Northern Ireland two years ago. Mrs McCartan died two months later at the age of 66, and Mrs Clinton used the inaugural Joyce McCartan Lecture to stress that "kitchen table issues" could underpin peace.
It reminded her of Mrs McCartan's "ability to warm the heart and keep alive hopes for a better world despite tragedy after heartbreaking tragedy" and her belief that there was more to unite Roman Catholic and Protestant women than divide them. Mrs Clinton said she had no illusions about the difficulties in building a lasting settlement. She said: "There will be those who would rather smash the teapot than fill it with piping hot tea to have a conversation.
"But now, finally, we have men and women around a table. I hope that there's lots of tea. I hope they are talking about all of the difficult political issues but in quiet asides sharing some of what's in their hearts with one another."
During her visit, however, political issues were carefully avoided. Eleven young people were selected to take part in an "open discussion" with Mrs Clinton before 50 journalists and photographers, six Secret Service bodyguards and the Lord Mayor of Belfast. But contentious topics were off-limits.
As the First Lady departed for Chequers and dinner with Tony and Cherie Blair, one White House aide pointed out that in 1995, as Mrs Clinton was having tea with Mrs McCartan, the IRA's Docklands bomb was being prepared in South Armagh.
P.S. One more comment from Tony Harnden.
Who was instrumental? We could argue for eons over this. But it would seem fair to say for starters that a consensus might include: Bertie Ahern, Tony Blair, David Trimble, John Hume, Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, David Ervine, Gary McMichael, Ken Maginnis, John Taylor, Mark Durkan, Mo Mowlam, John Taylor, John de Chastelain, John Major, Jonathan Powell, Albert Reynolds not to mention the various heads of MI5 and their informants, members of the RUC, Garda Siochana and, yes, IRA Army Council members and loyalist paramilitary leaders.
On the American side? Bill Clinton, George Mitchell, Martha Pope, Nancy Soderberg, Tony Lake, Jim Steinberg, Bruce Morrison, Ted Kennedy, Jean Kennedy Smith, Senator Chris Dodd, Niall O’Dowd, Congressman Peter King, Bill Flynn and Madeleine Albright could all lay claim to have played a big part in what happened.
But Hillary Clinton? Give me a break. In her own book “Living History”, as Alex Massie points out, she made no claim to have played a significant role.
But now the Clinton campaign is really pushing the blarney boat out. On March 4th, Terry McAuliffe, her campaign chairman, has gone the further that I can see. “We would not have peace today had it not for Hillary's hard work in Northern Ireland," he said on CNN on March 4th. Well, that’s certainly news to those who were there at the time.
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