The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

31 May 2006

Send Bill to Turtle Bay

Late last year, Parag Khanna of the Brookings Institution argued in Harper's (January '06) that the next Secretary-General of the United Nations ought to be William Jefferson Clinton. Said I at the time:

I'm not saying I think this is a wonderful idea, but the more I think about it, the less I dislike it. I suspect I may be quite alone in this judgment, though.

It appears I'm no longer alone. The Los Angeles Times came out with an editorial supporting Clinton for the slot, which Patterico mocked, at least partially because it was in the Los Angeles Times.

Standing in Clinton's way is a gentlemen's agreement — not formally enshrined anywhere in UN rules — which says that the Secretary-General should not come from a permanent member of the Security Council. (Presumably this was a response to the extant UN rule which gives said Security Council members veto power over the General Assembly, which appoints the Secretary-General.)

Not standing in Clinton's way is Wizbang's Jay Tea, for a number of reasons, including these:

It should thoroughly scuttle Hillary's presidential campaign, and permanently sink her chances of ever becoming president.

On the slight chance that the United Nations can actually BE reformed and become relevant, someone like Bill Clinton just might be the kind of person who can do it. For whatever reason (and for me, the name "Faust" comes to mind), Bill Clinton has an enormous reservoir of good will. He has a head for bureaucracy and detail. And he has the kind of energy that such a Herculean task would require — Turtle Bay has always reminded me of the Augean Stables, for some reason.

[insert image of East River being rerouted through Secretariat building]

Faust indeed. Perhaps this is the case of the devil you know.

And, well, the UN can do worse, and very often has.

Posted at 9:23 AM to Political Science Fiction