One of the more interesting exchanges during Thursday night’s PBS Democratic debate revolved around Hillary Clinton’s previous boast that former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said that she ran the State Department better than just about anyone. While discussing foreign policy, Bernie Sanders laid into Clinton’s embrace of the ex-Nixon staffer, pointing out that he would never take advice from the man due to him being “one of the most destructive secretaries of state” in U.S. history.
However, even before Sanders’ripped into Kissinger on Thursday night, Democrats and liberals were confused over Hillary mentioning the man’s endorsement of her term in glowing terms. This was a person who was behind the illegal bombings in Cambodia that brought about widespread genocide and propped up dictators like Pinochet. Why was she pointing to him as a solid reference — and her husband touting him on the campaign trail — considering progressives look at his as a war criminal?
Well, perhaps one reason, and something that can once again point to Hillary’s tone-deafness due to her fame and wealth, is that her family and Kissinger’s regularly share Christmas vacations together at a ritzy resort in Punta Cana. In a report by Mother Jones’ David Corn, a closer look is taken at the hobnobbing between the two former Secretaries of State, along with other celebrities and people in the media.
According to Corn, the Clintons and Kissingers, both close friends with now-deceased fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, have spent quite a bit of time together at de la Renta’s Dominican estate. Also, in 2014, Hillary wrote a positive review of Kissinger’s recently released book, describing the conservative warmonger as “surprisingly idealistic.”
Referencing articles published in the Wall Street Journal and Associated Press, Corn notes that it was public knowledge that Hillary and Henry, along with Barbara Walters, Charlie Rose and Anna Wintour, spent several Christmases at the resort. Oscar de la Renta, for his part, said he wanted to spend the holidays with his closest friends and gave them two rules — “There can be no conversation of any substance and nothing nice about anyone.”
Hillary’s friendship with Kissinger could be a detriment to her moving forward. Sure, many young voters don’t know about his record, but they’ve already flocked to Bernie’s side anyway. However, middle-aged and older Democrats, who Clinton is banking on, are well aware of Kissinger and most likely don’t hold a positive view of the man, especially as it relates to Vietnam.
With more debates scheduled, and the campaigns turning far more negative, you can bet Sanders’ camp is going to use this info to their advantage. Especially since Clinton’s strong suit is supposed to be foreign policy.
Image via Reuters