Hilary Clinton’s nomination was popular, but was it constitutional? Many conservative groups have wondered this. Bush recently signed an executive order to increase the salary of Secretary of state and other cabinet members. She has been in the Senate since 2001. In article 1 section 6 of the US Constitution it states that, “No Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time.” In regular language this is said to mean that a lawmaker cannot fill a seat if the salary for that seat has been raised during the lawmakers term in office. Judicial Watch said any official who has taken an oath to support the Constitution should not support this appointment.
There are lots of ways around the problem, suggests Jeffrey Toobin, the CNN legal analyst. He says congress can vote to reduce the salary, or she could just accept a lower salary. One more way is for them to ignore the problem on the idea of no one having the right or standing to sue and stop her from being Secretary of State.
Hilary Clinton declares that she will revitalize the mission of diplomacy in the American foreign policy. She suggests a “smart power” strategy in the Middle East. She has criticized the Bush administration accusing them of downgrading the role of arms control. Clinton as well as Obama contend that Bush’s administration relied too heavily on the military to carry out its mission on foreign policy. They relied too much on ideology and not enough on pragmatism.
A member of the Foreign Relations Committee, Republican Sen. Richard Lugar praised Clinton while raising concerns about the issue of her husband’s fundraising work. He suggests that the only way for her to avoid conflict of interest due to his charity, would be to forswear any new foreign contributions. The situation requires great care and transparency. Lugar made four suggestions for Clinton’s staff to improve transparency in her husband’s fundraising. He wants the foundation to immediately disclose their donations 50,000 and above, to alert the ethics committee when donations of this size is pledged, and to apply this to foreign businesses, also to disclose it annual donations of 50,000 or more. Clinton made it very clear that the Obama administration would only accept one proposal. The foundation would provide a clear picture of its annual donations.
On discussing the problem of peacemaking in the Middle East, she referred to her husband’s unsuccessful efforts, as well as many other presidents to strike a peace deal. She concludes that we should not give up on peace. She wants to address the security needs of Israel in addition to the political and economic aspirations of the Palestinians.
She believes that ending the war in Iraq is a priority. She thinks troops should be moved out of cities by June. This is in line with an agreement with Bush administration and the Iraqi government. The agreement is for all US troops to be gone by 2011, although Obama says it should be done more quickly.
Clinton is intending to bring more arms control experts back into the State Department, because she thinks arms control functions were degraded under Bush. Obama’s intent to engage Russia in more arms control talks and pursue international control of nuclear materials was praised by Lugar. He had a leading role in arms control issues in the Senate.