Bill Clinton's journey to secure the release of two American journalists held in North Korea was greeted with skepticism by John Bolton this morning. His success, however, has led to an outpouring of praise for the ex-President on Twitter--and even a kind word from the conservative National Review Online: "Bill Clinton succeeds!"
Here's the rundown of the first few hours of commentary:
Looking for a Loser
- John Bolton: "Bolton, one assumes, would have preferred a military confrontation to free Ling and Lee" (Steve Benen); also (Spencer Ackerman) in a satire of what might have happened if Clinton had followed Bolton's hardline approach.
- Hillary Clinton: Allahpundit says the media will dub it a victory for everyone "except Hillary." The Atlantic's own Mara Gay has a more extensive round-up of what this means for Hillary here.
- Al Gore: Eleanor Clift at Newsweek says that Gore may have been "overshadowed yet again by one or the other Clinton."
Everyone's a Winner
- The families of Laura Ling and Euna Lee distribute thanks all around--to Bill, Hillary, and Al Gore alike.
"We are so grateful to our government: President Obama, Secretary Clinton and the U.S. State Department for their dedication to and hard work on behalf of American citizens. We especially want to thank President Bill Clinton for taking on such an arduous mission and Vice President Al Gore for his tireless efforts to bring Laura and Euna home"
What Comes Next?
- North Korean Thaw: Steve Clemons writes an extensive post arguing that the release may "steady things in Northeast Asia for a bit."
- More Jailings?: Patrick Edaburn at The Moderate Voice thinks Clinton set a bad precedent for rewarding kidnappers because "we need to be careful not to set too much of a pattern."
- Clinton's Polished Legacy: bloggers on the right and left complimented Bill Clinton, from Townhall's half-nod to Josh Orton on MyDD."
Twitter commentary, naturally, came first. It was full of jubilance, and some affectionate jokes about Clinton:
The Explosively Happy
- PoRican Bill Clinton is the new patron saint for journalists
- msfour next up: Bill Clinton finds Osama bin Laden!
- janiehaddad: Next stop for Bill Clinton: swinging by and asking Iran to release the American hikers who accidentally crossed the border
The Sober and Curious
- CharlesMcNabb What did Bill Clinton do to change the minds of North Korea?
- josh_sternberg I love Billy Clinton as much as the next guy, but to think it was solely b/c of him that the journos were pardoned is a bit misguided.
- @Cody_K: That Clinton fella that pulled this off without invasion or bombs.,he's a Democrat, isn't he
The "What About the Other Clinton?" Crowd
- obiHyunKenobi Bill Clinton saves 2 journalists from N. Korea. Great news, but isn't it Hilary's job as sec. of state to do this BTW, where was Al Gore
- DaWayICIt Wondering if Bill Clinton undermined Hillary's authority with his last act of humanitarianism.... http://myloc.me/htcL
- frpeterpreble Interesting question: Did Pres Clinton upstage Sec. Clinton in N Korea?
The Predictably Jokey
- NinjaoftheNorth RT Bill Clinton just went to North Korea and managed to pick up two chicks. Hillary won't be happy about this...
- @jasonmauk Bill Clinton proves again he's a pro at picking up women.
- @elonjames If there's anything Clinton can do well, it's pick up women.
In the long run, Bolton's view that Clinton was giving tyrannical states an incentive to capture Americans may be borne out. For the moment, however, the overwhelming trend in opinion has crowned Clinton the man of the hour.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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