On Tuesday, February 1, 2005, The Washington Post reported on former senator Jesse Helm's reactions to the possibility of ex-president William Jefferson Clinton as UN Secretary-General. Helms summed up his reaction in a fund raising letter to supporters:
I'm sure you might agree that putting a left-wing, undisciplined and ethically challenged former President of the United States into a position of such power would be a tragic mistake.
Do you like the sound of that? Are you one who is fretting over a possible nod to the sin-meister? What's so bad about Bill filling Kofi's shoes? Think about it; seriously, think about it. Clinton would be right at home in the midst of all the corruption and diplomatic immorality.
My initial reaction was abject horror but on reflection I thought:
Hey, this is a good way to encourage Americans to get out of the UN or even have it moved to the EU. After all he screwed up his presidential legacy, he's sure to offer a repeat performance at the UN.
This is not the first or even the second time the subject has come up. The February 19, 2003, issue of WorldNetDaily speculated on the possibility of ex-president Wm. Jefferson Clinton becoming Secretary-General. (WND reprised the subject in a 24 October 2004; see also a blogger's take on the hypothesis).
The WND story is based on a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review columnist report. According to the Tribune-Review columnist, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is "under pressure to resign before the end of his second term in 2006" …
[and] cited reports that Clinton had already lined up support for his candidacy for the secretary-general position from Germany, France, England, Ireland, New Zealand, a handful of African states, Morocco and Egypt. The Tribune-Review also reports Russia has made it known it would not object and added that China is also a big fan of the former president.
Wikipedia says ...
Rumours have recently (2 February 2005) surfaced that former U.S. President Bill Clinton and current Chilean President Ricardo Lagos have set their sights on becoming Secretary-General. However, it is generally considered to be Asia's turn to fill the post. No announcement has been made, but behind the scenes China is already pushing the candidacy of Thai Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai, who also seems to have U.S. support. If Clinton does emerge as a candidate, however, China would most likely shift its support.
In an unscientific poll conducted on 5 January 2005, The Doug Wright Show on KSL Radio Salt Lake City, Utah, asked its listeners, “Do you feel former President Bill Clinton should take over as Seceretary (sic) General of the United Nations?” The poll results were: 36% “yes” to 64% “no.”
If we knew he was going to spend most of his time in Europe I'd wager the results would be: 64% "yes" to 36% "no."