Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hillary's Travels

Although I usually blog about things dead or forgotten, I can't help but delve into politics every once and a while. I have been following Hillary's travel schedule simply because (a) the Democratic National Convention (DNC) has been so cagey about the list of speakers for each day and (b) everyone planning to run in 2016 for both Republicans and Democrats is jockeying to speak at their respective conventions this year. We are told that Hillary Clinton has to miss the DNC this year because of an important Asian tour she has scheduled.

Here is her travel schedule as of Monday:
Clinton is scheduled to arrive in Beijing on Tuesday and hold talks with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. They will meet reporters together on Wednesday. Clinton will then travel to East Timor and Brunei, before she represents US President Barack Obama at an Asia-Pacific summit in Vladivostok, Russia, from Saturday to Sunday.

When I first read this I thought it might be plausible for Hillary to miss the convention because she might actually have work to do - or at least pretend to do. But then I came upon this tonight from Bloomberg News:

Clinton’s meeting today with Vice President Xi Jinping, the leading candidate to succeed Hu in a Communist Party leadership transition later this year, was canceled. She was told last night that Xi wouldn’t be able to meet today and had canceled other appointments as well, a U.S. State Department official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

Another article gives a more detailed account of when Clinton found out about the 'cancelation':

"We were informed after 11 p.m. [yesterday] that for unexpected scheduling reasons, the meeting isn't going to happen today," the official, who didn't wish to be named, said.[link

So are we really to believe that she is now off to East Timor? I simply can't believe that this ally of the United States with a population of 1,000,000 people is of such vital significance that she would allow other people to take the spotlight and leave her in their shadow for 2016. It would take her 757 about 14 hours to travel from Beijing to Charlotte.

 It is now 1:00 pm local time in Beijing. Given that her office says that she received notice of the cancellation last night she could already be in Charlotte right now. Indeed the DNC hasn't even released the list of speakers for Wednesday at the time of this post.

UPDATE: Hillary did hold a press conference in the morning on September 5th.  From Time magazine  a few minutes ago:

The urgent notice from the U.S. embassy in Beijing arrived in e-mail inboxes at 10:26 on Wednesday morning. The press conference with China’s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had been moved up suddenly to 10:30. That would be in four minutes’ time. Could members of the foreign press please proceed quickly to Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the edge of Tiananmen Square? The reason for the last-minute change of schedule appeared to be a no-show by the man widely expected to take over from President Hu Jintao in China’s upcoming once-a-decade leadership transition. Clinton’s scheduled talk this morning with Vice President Xi Jinping had been called off by the Chinese side, paving the way for an earlier press conference with the Chinese Foreign Minister.(link)

But by all accounts she left Beijing before I wrote this post last night. Her next stop apparently, Dili East Timor. I just saw tonight's schedule for the DNC. Bill Clinton is the scheduled key note speaker. But notice also the Vice President doesn't speak until the last day of the convention either.

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