John Podesta Joined Bill Clinton for N. Korea Trip

John Podesta, who headed up the Obama-Biden transition team (currently of Center for American Progress) was part of former President Bill Clinton's Korea delegation to free Current TV journalists Ling and Euna Lee. Chris Nelson, described as "a veteran Washington foreign-policy watcher who covers Asia policy" says Al Gore was not an acceptable candidate for mission:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "always wanted to send Al Gore," Nelson continued, noting the two detained journalists worked for Current TV, a media company connected to the former vice president. "And apparently that was OK with Hillary and Obama, [whose wish was to] just get this out of the goddamned way."

"But here's where it gets interesting," Nelson continued. "I do not know how it was delivered. But 10 days ago, North Korea sent the U.S. a list of acceptable names. And I am very authoritatively told that not on that list was Al Gore. And Bill was on the list."

A Senior U.S. official told a Chinese publication that the families of the detained journalists wanted Bill Clinton to go.

Here's another photo released by N. Korea of the meeting with Bill Clinton.[More...]

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  • Display: Sort:
    Of course they wouldn't accept (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by oldpro on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 02:17:42 AM EST
    Al Gore if they could get Bill Clinton.  Neither would I.

    The big dog still barks.

    Prez versus Veep? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Fabian on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 05:53:24 AM EST
    I think we can all say that there is a significant difference in rank there.  (Ignoring post governmental careers.)

    Well...not unlike Jimmy Carter, (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by oldpro on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 08:59:52 AM EST
    I'd say that Bill and Al have both had significant internationally successful post-governmental careers...though I suppose significance, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.  All citizens - and certainly Democrats - can rightly be proud of their accomplishments.  And they're not done yet!

    I'm proud of both (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Fabian on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 09:29:14 AM EST
    of both Gore's and Clinton's post governmental works.  I'm particularly fond of Gore, both because he didn't have the Prez prestige and because his causes are closer to my heart.

    I keep wondering why the Republicans don't have the same track record.  If even a single term, less popular ex-Prez like Carter can use the prestige and stature to get the support for his projects, why not Bush or Bush?


    I imagine (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Steve M on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 09:46:00 AM EST
    that Reagan would have had a rather significant role to play in Eastern Europe after he was out of office, if his health hadn't been so bad.

    Why not GWHB? (none / 0) (#11)
    by Fabian on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 10:35:04 AM EST
    two term Veep, one term Prez - plenty of life left in him, certainly no shortage of ambition!

    Different values is the answer (none / 0) (#12)
    by oldpro on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 10:36:20 AM EST
    to your question.

    Really.  It's that simple.


    It is the obvious answer. (none / 0) (#13)
    by Fabian on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 10:52:12 AM EST
    How can I do Good Things for people who really need it?

    May have different answers depending on what you think "good things" are and who really deserves them.



    Ahhhh...do you think (none / 0) (#14)
    by oldpro on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 12:23:47 PM EST
    need and deserve are the same thing, then?

    I am not a Republican! (none / 0) (#15)
    by Fabian on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 12:49:42 PM EST
    Is that enough answer for you? ;)

    Just wondering about the distinction (none / 0) (#16)
    by oldpro on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 05:28:48 PM EST
    since you used the word 'deserve.'

    I know many people who aren't Republicans but who are judgmental and/or selfish just the same.  I'm probably one of them!


    Of course (none / 0) (#8)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 09:26:59 AM EST
    Who do you want to play at your party, Mick Jagger or Huey Lewis?  I'll take Mick and Keith over Huey Lewis and a pony any day.

    Watching live coverage of Ling and Lee (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by caseyOR on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 08:30:39 AM EST
    arriving in California and reuniting with their families and Al Gore. It is very touching; I am getting a little misty eyed watching. Euna Lee has been holding her toddler daughter since she got off that plane.

    Bill Clinton stayed on the plane and let all the attention focus on the two women and their families. I can't wait to hear how the Clinton haters spin that.

    Clinton has now come off the plane. Big hug from Al Gore. And then hugs from all the family members. Gore has the biggest smile on his face.

    Laura Ling is reading a statement thanking everyone who helped to secure their release. She starts by describing being told that she and Lee were going to be moved to a camp, then the door opened and in walked Bill Clinton. She talks about their surprise and happiness upon learning that they were going home.

    Al is talking now. Welcomes Ling and Lee home; thanks Bill and his team; thanks Obama and administration members; thanks Hillary and her team at State. Thanks everyone who helped. Really gracious words about Bill.

    Clinton does not make any statement. Everyone leaves the hangar.

    Hours later, I'm watching CNN's (none / 0) (#7)
    by oldpro on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 09:12:33 AM EST
    truncated news report with the worst still photo of Bill Clinton I have ever seen.  Not subtle editorializing and they will hear from me.  Shame on them...and especially shameful in this instance.

    Thanks for the play by play.  Wish I'd seen it all.


    my epiphany (none / 0) (#2)
    by The Last Whimzy on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 03:44:04 AM EST
    kim jong il is a 2008 dem party primary troll.

    he asked for bill to undermine barack.

    that's his master plan.

    only real clinton haters will fall for it.

    many will.  many already have.

    what sad pathetic souls they are.

    so filled with insecurity.  so filled with the possibility that their candidate only won because he was.........