If people think that a Hillary Clinton Washington is going to be anything different than the "business as usual" style of governance, some recent developments suggest otherwise.
The Democratic National Convention recently announced the membership for its 15-person Platform Drafting Committee which is responsible for "developing and managing the process through . Under its new rules and, in an "…effort to make this the most representative and inclusive process in history…", the DNC Chairperson, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, elected to allocate three-quarters of the committee's seats to the presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders with each campaign being allowed to pick committee members based on its proportion of the current vote tally. As such, the Clinton campaign was allowed to pick six members, the Sanders campaign was allowed to pick five members and the DNC Chairperson was allowed to pick four members.
Here is the final list of members:
Rep. Elijah Cummings (Chair), Hon. Howard Berman, Paul Booth, Hon. Carol Browner, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, Rep. Barbara Lee, Bill McKibben, Deborah Parker, State Rep. Alicia Reece, Bonnie Schaefer, Ambassador Wendy Sherman, Neera Tanden, Dr. Cornel West, and James Zogby.
Here's what Ms. Wasserman-Schultz had to say about the final membership:
"We are delighted to bring together this talented group of Democrats. These individuals represent some of the best progressive thinking from across the nation. I am confident that the members of this committee will engage Americans in a substantive dialogue of ideas and solutions that will inform our Party Platform." (my bold)
Let's look in detail at two of the members selected by Hillary Clinton, names that you are most likely are not terribly familiar with, Wendy Sherman and Carol Browner. Wendy Sherman served as Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs under Secretary of State Warren Christopher between 1993 and 1996 during the Clinton Administration. She also served as the Counsellor for the State Department, again during the Clinton Administration, between 1997 and 2001 and was the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs at the U.S. State Department. She was also a leader of the U.S. negotiating team that recently successfully reached an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program for which she was awarded the National Security Medal by President Obama. Here is a screen capture of her bio page at her current employer, Albright Stonebridge Group that you will learn more about later:
Carol Browner was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993 as the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a position that she held until 2001. She was most recently serving as Assistant to Barack Obama and Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change. In the distant past, she also served as Legislative Director for Senator Al Gore and was also the Secretary of Florida's Department of Environmental Regulation between 1991 and 1993. Here is a screen capture of her bio page at Albright Stonebridge Group:
As we can see, both of these women have close ties to the Clinton I Administration. Now, let's look at what these two women have in common today. As you may have noticed in the two previous paragraphs, both women are on the staff of the Albright Stonebridge Group, a "government affairs" firm that was created through the 2009 merger of the Albright Group, a consulting company that was headed by Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State under Bill Clinton and the first female Secretary of State, and Stonebridge International, a defense contracting industry lobbying firm. Albright Stonebridge now touts itself as having, among others, the following abilities:
"We go beyond offering advice in government and regulatory affairs, to provide on-the-ground insights and nuanced understanding of each country’s unique political context and the underlying factors that drive policy. We equip clients with the knowledge to make the best informed judgments, and work in close collaboration to develop and implement effective strategies and tactics.
Because ASG speaks the language of government, and understands the underlying factors that can shape the decision making process, we can help craft the approach and messages most likely to achieve success.
In cases of unfair or improper government proceedings we can help determine the best course of action, pursue the most effective means of redress, and when appropriate create greater public transparency…"
Going back to Ms. Wasserman-Schultz's comment that "the members of this committee will engage Americans in a substantive dialogue of ideas and solutions" I think that we have a very good idea of which Americans will be engaged in the process of forming the Democratic Party platform; a select few that are the Democrat Party insiders will do most of the thinking for American voters and the remainder of voters and the general public (i.e. the unwashed masses) will be pretty much ignored.
…and, just in case you've forgotten Madeleine Albright's rather desperate attempt to get votes for Hillary Clinton, here's what she had to say during a February 2016 Clinton campaign stop in new Hampshire about the need for all American women to support Hillary Clinton's run for president:
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