August 4th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Why did Bill Clinton succeed in N. Korea where U.S. govt failed?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Go figure. Bill Clinton waltzes into North Korea and wins the release of two journalists accused of entering North Korea illegally and engaging in hostile acts.

Bill Clinton met earlier today with N. Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

They were sentenced to 12-years at hard labor. Which in all likelihood they would never have survived.

The U.S. has been trying for weeks to win their release. From President Obama to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, all efforts have been rejected up to this point.

And then Bubba comes along and presto - the two women are free to go.

Makes you wonder what gives... The old expression is, "Beware of a stranger bearing gifts." And no one is any stranger than Kim Jong Il, the weird little dictator who runs North Korea and goes around threatening to blow up the world.

Nuclear tests, missile firings… he's a real day at the beach. And he refuses to even listen to the international community when they suggest he give up his nuclear weapons program in exchange for membership in the community of nations and things like food. North Korea has no food… But Kim could care less.

Recently this absurd regime had taken to calling our Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton names - things like: "She looks like a primary school girl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping." They called her a "funny lady unaware of the elementary etiquette of the international community."

Now Hillary's husband walks in and walks out with these two prisoners. Very, very strange... But the women, their families and the rest of us will take it. Way to go, President Clinton.

Here’s my question to you: What does it say that Bill Clinton succeeded in North Korea where the U.S. government failed?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Dolores writes:
The N. Korean government has just proven what has been said by a few qualified experts over the years: they are hungry for recognition and respect by the West. Sending the ex-president of the U.S. was the exact right thing to do! It was an uncanny choice; he is a step or two away from the harsh rhetoric needed by this administration but yet he is important enough to greatly impress N. Korea. Kudos to Bill Clinton and to the Obama administration for choosing him.

Linda writes:
The U.S. government hardly failed – let's remember that President Clinton's wife is our Secretary of State! The North Koreans are like small destructive toddlers; they just wanted a senior level (Mommy or Daddy) official to come visit their hell hole and diplomatically beg.

Cameron from San Francisco writes:
Yes, but what did we have to give back in return for this so-called "trade". Nobody trades something for nothing.

Carol writes:
Call me crazy, but I'm guessing that Bill Clinton, the Secretary of State, and President were collaborating on this. What it says about this administration is that they make a priority of getting things done, and don't worry so much about who gets credit. Bravo!

Rufus from California writes:
It says that Bill Clinton is the ultimate negotiator and deal maker. If I were rotting away in a Korean jail cell, I'd want Hillary's husband to negotiate my release. Bubba could literally sell you the shirt off your back, Jack. So, let's give props to President #42...he just earned himself the Nobel Peace Prize.

Linda from Connecticut writes:
The little Elvis-loving egomaniac that runs North Korea thinks Bill Clinton is important enough to be worthy of a little good press. Clinton is a charmer and we needed charms, not arms, to win this battle.

Filed under: Bill Clinton • North Korea
soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. David in Raleigh, NC

    North Korea did the deal with Clinton to embarrass the Obama administration and the United States Government.

    Same thing happens when Jessie Jackson went to our Arab enemies and negotiated with them during the Bush administration.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  2. Miguel E. from San Leandro, CA

    Bill Clinton was a great president. He got in trouble with his libido.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  3. Maria

    Not surprised. Clinton had rep for understanding foreign affairs Forgive the pun). Pres. Obama stated during his campaign that if something came up where he could use Pres. Clinton's talents he would not hesitate to call upon him.


    Maria Brunswick,MD

    August 4, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  4. Lou from Fayetteville, NC

    He has always been a talker and could talk wall paper off the wall. I thought he did a good job as President even though he had a little trouble with some other stuff. If anyone on this planet could get those young ladies back, he could. He just needs to find out what North Korea wants in exchange for freeing the ladies.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  5. john j. grimes Watertown, Ma.

    Jack, there is no such thing as "succeeding in North Korea" by anyone, including Bill Clinton. I assume that he wasn't insulted by what the maniacal leadership said about his wife. These zealots who lead North Korea can't even feed their citizens yet continue to incite with baseless threats. The world should simply ignore them.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  6. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    As often said, it's not the people of a nation other nation dislikes, it's the government. Clinton, although representing the U.S., isn't part of the government and the agenda of both side can be set aside and the principals can speak on a humanitarian level.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  7. Gigi

    It says that with all his faults he is still the most respected President in the last two decades.


    August 4, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  8. Pablo in Tejas

    It says a real President (Obama) knows a real President (Clinton) and how, and where, and when to use him.

    Arlington Tejas

    August 4, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  9. Kelby, In Houston, Texas

    The U.S. Government did not fail. This is still a government by The People for The People. One of the people went over to North Korea and brought back 2 of our people that were being held unjustly.
    I'm just happy they are coming home safe and sound.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  10. Susan

    It says to me that the rest of the world loves President Clinton as much as we do. Didn't take him long over there to get the job done.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  11. Cameron in SF, CA

    Yes, but what did we have to give back in return for this so-called "trade". Nobody trades something for nothing.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  12. Susan from Twin Falls Idaho

    He has proved himself as a sweet talker, what can I say?

    August 4, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  13. Jan Gray FLORIDA

    I can tell you, if Bill Clinton ran for President I would vote for him and
    so would 90% of americans. He would win by a land slide. When he
    was President we all had it pretty good.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  14. Ed - California

    This is the best news of the day. I'm happy for their families, such good news. As for your question. Do you honestly think Bill Clinton went there without the blessings of the Barrack Obama?

    August 4, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  15. Hubert Bertrand Oberlin La.

    it pays to be nice. I always loved the Clintons.He was never arrogant.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  16. Maximus

    It says that N Korea continues their deceit by playing games to embarrass and bring dishonor on leaders of nations not as crazy as themselves. I am sure it will play like they want it to to the masses at home.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  17. Dave in Saint Louis!

    The only thing Clinton did was legitimize a dictator who does not even give his citizens the right to basic electricity through out most parts of his repressed country! Naming his youngest son as successor just goes to show he wants his family to hold onto power forever. Great job President Carter…my bad I mean Clinton!

    August 4, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  18. Dolores Wolfe

    The N. Korea government has just proven what has been said by a few qualified experts over the years....they are hungry for recognition & respect by the west....& sending the ex-Pres. of the USA was the exact right thing to do! It was an uncanny choice....he is a step or two away from the harsh rhetoric needed by this Administration – but yet he is important enough to greatly impress N. Korea. Kudos to Bill Clinton & to the Obama administration for choosing him.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  19. Lisa in Shelton CT

    It says, Bill has still got it!

    I will await the scathing Repug media response with amusement.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  20. Barbara

    Well, Clinton probably agreed with Kim Jung Il that Hillary was stupid.

    Virginia Beach, VA

    August 4, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  21. Cheryl in South Carolina

    Charm, Jack. Bill Clinton has it in spades.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  22. Dennis North Carolina

    our two government are not talking to each other but Bill Clinton as a former president carries allot of weight on his side.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  23. pat in lexington

    It means that we Americans should be ever so grateful that we have former Presidents and others who can act on behalf of our country. Bill Clinton has the history and style that is called for in this particular situation. Why do you have to say that our government failed? Bill would not have gone if Barack hadn't said "Go."

    August 4, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  24. Karen Mickleson, CA

    Among many other more positive things, it says that one good narcissist deserves another.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  25. Joe in MO

    Did the government fail? I doubt Bill Clinton would say that. If at first you don't succeed, try another way. Bill Clinton was the other way.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  26. Frank Horner, Philadelphia

    Diplomacy, Something that was lacking during the Bush years. Perhaps this will lead to a lessening of tension between our countries.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  27. Terry, Chandler AZ

    Lets face facts Jack, Bill Clinton is well liked and trusted. He has a gift, the ability to display sincere empathy and confidence. Afterall, he talked his wife into forgiving him.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  28. Melissa

    Because the Clintons are just incredibly good diplomats. Wish we had Bill back in office. Of course, the Clintons seem to be best right where they are... as diplomats.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  29. Caryn Carter

    Regarding Bill Clinton and the pardoning of those journalists: I think that Clinton had obviously planned this trip and intervention in N. Korea, with a deal to release the journalists before he even went over there. The question now is what did N. Korea get out of the deal? Did they just want to see Clinton in person? Did they want money or goods? Or did they want good publicity?

    August 4, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  30. Lucy

    It says that Bill Clinton is a smooth-talking southerner (Arkansas is considered part of the South, right???) with genuine charm. He just knows what to say.
    Lucy, SF CA

    August 4, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  31. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    I believe Bill Clinton will do great! He is a charming, brilliant man! Clinton has a calm, clear head unlike the GOPers whose first idea is always to NUKE or bomb our enemies!

    Bravo Mr. Clinton!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  32. Gregory Miami Beach, FL.

    It was already a well known assumption that those women were only going to get out of North Korea when we sent a well known emissary there to play to Kim Jong Il's ego. There was no way that the goverment could possibly play a part in such an act officially and be made a laughing stock in the eyes of the world. It was handled the way it should have been considering the circumstances. Now that our people are out of there, please will everyone please stay away from North Koreas borders so we can proceed to diplomatically wrestle Nucear missles from away from this lunatic without any further complications! It is a setback in the very serious negotiations when we have to stop getting sanctions against them because we don't want to offend the egomonster Kim Jong and get our people hurt or used as political leverage.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  33. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    Bill Clinton went there with the blessing of the Obama administration. He's an unofficial member of the admin. (by marriage) and his success is our government's success. It's a win-win. For once HE had to clean up after his WIFE!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  34. Jay in Texas

    It says that Bill Clinton is keeping his promise to help the new administration in any way he can and that Bill Clinton is an excellent negotiator. It also proves that talking with our enemies is better than completely shutting them out and imposing sanctions on them.
    Brownwood, Texas

    August 4, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  35. Alex in Seattle

    It only appears that Bill waltzed in and presto they were released. Like Hillary said during the campaign, "When you get her you get a twofer." I'm very sure the state department worked very hard to lay the groundwork for the two women's release. Although N. Korea seriously dissed Secretary of State Clinton, her work led to them being gracious to former President Clinton. Bill apologized for the women's actions so all sides saved face.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  36. Chuck in warren, Ohio

    Bill Clinton still commands respect. North Korea needs all the help they can get.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  37. Hobie Burgess Lake Elsinore Ca.

    The "Lord Marbury" method of international politics... If you need to solve a touchy situation, a suitcase full of cash works everytime.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  38. Jeff in Glen Carbon IL

    It says that we didn't really fail. Bill unoffically did official business as long as neither side discusses what we gave them in return.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  39. Kari

    Dear Jack:

    I believe former President, Bill Clinton will probably succeed
    in N. Korea, because the tension is some what removed!
    By letting FORMER President try to "negotiate," was a
    good idea, rather than having our President, try to force an
    issue. Especially, when USA is trying to get a "favor," from
    N. Korea by releasing our journalist. That is how THEY
    view it I am sure. They wanted attention, not a lecture!
    Bill Clinton is a good negotiator, but without all the excess
    authoritarian additives. He is cool as a cucumber, funny,
    and very good listener. N. Korea would be foolish NOT to
    negotiate with him, whatever he might "offer." Good move
    by the Obama peeps1

    K. Tacoma,WA

    August 4, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  40. Steve

    It's apparent that the Government, with the help of former President Clinton, were very successful!! We must not rush to a conclusion on an effort which took weeks but was brought to public view just hours ago was the sole result of Bill Clinton. But more importantly, why this question at all. We have the Government working in tandem to free two Americans and that mission was accomplished. Because a former Government employee served as an envoy to advance the diplomatic efforts of this country is really irrelevant and in-material.

    Clifton, VA

    August 4, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  41. Ken Fleet

    Jack, you know that Bill walked in and told the Great Leader he was sure the govt. regretted calling Hillary names. Releasing the women is their way of apology!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  42. Tim in Texas

    Come on, Jack. The administration knew that it had only one chance to send in one person to gain the release of these women, and you know that it was negotiated before Clinton went. It was the choice of the administration to send him, and it was a great choice. Remember, Bill Clinton was very close to normalizing relations with North Korea when Bush took office and blew the whole thing. Barack and Hillary did exactly the right thing sending him in.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  43. Gigi

    Maybe he didn't call him a weird little dictator. If your nice to me I'll be nicer to you might just be the message he is sending to Washington. We should try it...it just might work. Works for me.


    August 4, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  44. Ted Beaverton, OR

    Gee, There are three other ex-presidents President Obama could have sent.... Or are they too low on the diplomacy list? Like the waiter always says...excellent choice, sir.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  45. Nia

    All I have to say is Bill Clinton ROCKS!!!!!
    I knew that once he got involved, it was only a matter of time before the journalists were released. If anyone was capable of getting them pardoned, I KNEW that it would be Bill Clinton.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  46. david doherty

    Does it really madder what it means, thank god he suceeded, maybe now people will stop referring too him and his little indicretion like it makes up his whole being and recognize him as he truly is, a great man. I just hope this doesn't cause any problems at home.

    Dave from NH.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  47. Glenis

    What is says Jack, is that the man in charge knows how to manage the team including those on the bench!! Send in the special team to get the game back in play!! simple. Bill is the special team

    August 4, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  48. Theresa

    Because he had a relationship with them while he was president and he's a great diplomat...not to mention he could talk the knickers off a nun. After 8 long years of cowboy diplomacy, I'm so thankful to have adults running the country again.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  49. Nakisha Charlotte,NC

    What does it mean when former Pres. Bill Clinton can come into a country that said they were going to bomb America, and get American prisoners out? It means that Bill Clinton can never lose. No matter what controversy or scandal has been thrown his way, Bill Clinton has always been the best President we ever had. When a dictator, who won't even feed his own people, likes you and gives you flowers, you're big.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  50. Janet

    It says that Obama is a smart politician to utilize Bill Clinton in this way; and that Clinton is a great humanitarian. Would John Bolton rather that the two journalists be left in North Korea to do hard labor? Already the naysayers have started. No matter what the Obama administration does they can't win with some people!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  51. Remo, Beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    Bill "Knows how to be a President", Obama well, he thinks he can.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  52. jeff amiers

    Jack...my question is who gets to pay the $5-10 million it probably cost for us to send over Bill Clinton not to mention all of the time involved by other government people to try and get these two people out of N. Korea? The idea that we spend this kind of money to help people who were crazy enough to be around the border of N. Korea is insane...we just get to voluntarily give up our tax money for this??? If this was put to a vote by the American people, no way this spend would get approved but yet there we go spending money foolishly and on top of it, N. Korea gets to use these two people as pawns for publicity and they did it perfectly...we are stupid but we spend money like pros.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  53. JC in Georgia

    Ordinarily I would try to use logic to answer your question, but this is Kim Jong Il we're talking about....a wack-job when he's at his healthy best....and he's not healthy and hasn't seen "best" in years. So who can predict anything that might happen with this wild-eyed head case? My logic says "Bill got lucky". My gut says, "who can say?"

    August 4, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  54. Samantha Curran, Arroyo Grande, CA

    Bill's got charm to spare, and is one of our finest natural politicians. And don't forget how well the country did under his watch.

    Jack, we should send Bill out to explain Health Care Reform at the Town Hall meetings. He will out-talk and out-charm all those corporate-hired thugs who are disrupting the meetings and trying to defeat health care reform. Bill would have the entire country sold on Health Care Reform in a heartbeat!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  55. Birddog in Mississippi

    Jack, the administration didn't fail, it succeded. Do you think that Bill went in without the knowledge of his wife or the president? Duh. They planned this and made a really wise decision to use the best person to get the job done. That is exactly what a good administration does. Happy Birthday to our American born president, Barack Obama. And kudos to him, Hillary and Bill! Rock on democrats, show them how diplomacy works.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  56. jon hart, canada

    I wouldn't say the U.S government 'failed'. Bill Clinton did not go over to North Korea representing Bill Clinton; he went over representing the U.S government. Hillary Clinton is the Secretary of States, and he is a former president and formidable diplomat. Asking wether the U.S goverment failed is a little presumptious.

    This whole issue and the lack of it in the media up until now, obviously had something to do with the diplomatic effort on the part of the Obama team to reach a release agreement. Media coverage is playing into the hands of the terrorist regimes. The exact same approach is probably in the beginning stages in regards to the 3 captured tourists in Iran. This obama adminstration is smartly playing its diplomatic hand close to it's chest. Thier approach is quick clean and positive.

    It may be hard for the mainstream media to adjust to reporting on smart diplomacy. For the past 8 years they have been able to indulge in foreign diplomacy stories that can be summed up with words such as: stupidity, disaster, travesty, ignorance, funny. Foreign diplomacy and foriegn affairs should not be like watching a sitcom.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  57. Ruby Coria LA., CA.

    Hi Jack, I think we should send Bill every where!, Hillary sets the ground work, & Bill will finish the job. Good going to all who where involved! Bill's next stop.. Afghanistan. Go Bill*

    August 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  58. Edwina Marshall

    I'm not convinced that our government failed. I think it was wise for our government utilized his skills were used in gaining the freedom of these young women. That's what I like about President Obama, maybe it is not politcally correct to acknowledge it publically, but it is wise to use whoever to bring these young women home!!!!!!
    Edwina Marshall

    August 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  59. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    There was no further use in keeping the reporters hostage.
    Getting a former US president to come and apologize to the Dear Leader provided North Korea with a supreme propaganda opurtunity for North Korea.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  60. romina cordoba

    Bill Clinton was representing the USA goverment, remember he is the last democratic party president.But we know the critics from the right will start soon.Romi Cordoba.Wisconsin

    August 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  61. Ellen,

    Former President Clinton, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and President OBama worked together to come up with the desired result.
    All three put the best interest of the United States first and at the same time helped free the journalist. Congratulations to all three for a job well done.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  62. Sherri-Illinois

    Behind the scenes wheeling & dealing by the Obama Administration and President Clinton, its not for the public to know because it may threaten any future situations such as this, that may arise!. Kudos to President Clinton & President Obama!. (With help from Hillary, of course)..

    August 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  63. Mark...in Houston

    Gosh, could it possibly be that President Clinton is about 100% sharper at what he's capable of doing than the name calling, hate mongers give him credit for? President Obama sent the best person to get the job done....it worked....What is so strange about that?

    However I personally hope there was some secret deal made. An exchange of the two journalists for Bush and Cheney would be great.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  64. Deborah, Los Angeles

    It's amazing what can happen when ADULTS are put in charge. No fanfare or showing their hands in advance, being respectful and clear, and not sacrificing the lives of those held by inflaming the situation with rhetoric and/or bombing the cr@p out of anyone. Bravo to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama for getting it done.

    The wingnuts are gonna have a NEW derangement syndrome with THIS one!!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  65. Annie, Atlanta

    That he's well respected internationally, deservingly so. Way to go President Clinton!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  66. Matt, San Diego, CA

    I think it means that Clinton ought to swap places with Hillary.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  67. Rick St Augustine Fla

    Clinton was liked & admired in the World....I wonder if bush or a republican could have got the girls out???....Better question is...would have they even tried????

    August 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  68. Ethan from Florida

    Bill Clinton succeeded in his two terms as President of the United States of America. I'm glad that he succeeded getting these two pardoned and safe from any horrors they might witness. At least they're safe, thank God.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  69. David

    Simply this, Jack: He's the man

    August 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  70. Judith Stanley

    I say re-elect Bill Clinton!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  71. Mark

    Kim Jong Il just didn't want to deal with female diplomats

    August 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  72. Frank from Peterborough

    The North Korean Regime is like the GOP in America they don't like or respect women and especially women who are in a position of authority.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  73. David Segal - West Palm Beach, Fl.

    I've always said that the wrong Clinton ran in the Democratic Primary. Boy, would things be different now....this from a Republican. I rest my case.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  74. Dwayne

    Well thank god its over maybe there is a lesson to be learn here is your life worth the the news story ..in another country ? i am shure when these women get back they wont be doing that again and i think bill did a good job in there freedom !!!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  75. paul coke

    We don't know the details of their release, but, the bottom line is they are released and hooray for Bill Clinton and what he brought to the table.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  76. Aaron

    The sax can sooth anyone!!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  77. Dave (Port Washington, NY)

    Much like when Jesse Jackson saved those hostages some ten or so years ago, President Clinton used that thing conservatives love to laugh about. DIPLOMACY!

    I'm sure if Bush was still president (groan), or if McCain won (groan again), their diplomacy would be, "work hard labor for the good of America's interests."

    August 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  78. Mike, from Florida

    It says that Bill Clinton is still the best diplomat the United States has to offer, whether or not he is in an official position or not. Send the best, and that we did. Why Hillary is Secretary of State and not Bill, I have no idea...

    August 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  79. Chris (Christine) Loechl

    Jack, I think the road was well-prepared for President Clinton by the Obama administration. I'm sure there was a lot of back-channel diplomacy on this, and I salute both President Obama and President Clinton-as well as the Secretary of State.

    Chris in Marietta, GA

    August 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  80. Chris

    The reason why Fmr Pres Clinton succeeded because he is a smooth talker and got things done while in/out of office and a Democrat. Ever try dealing with a Republican(s). All you hear from them is hell no. Republicans are not known for being .diplomats

    August 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  81. Don Howard

    Jack....I assume there was groundwork prior to President Clinton's visit. But it says what we knew along about Clinton and what we forgot about him over the past 8 disaster years. He is a leader. This is why the man has founded the Clinton School of Public Service.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  82. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    I don't think anything could surprise me when it comes to North Korea. If Kim Jong Il announced he was stepping down to live out his remaining years among a troop of northland gorillas I don't think I'd be any more than mildly surprised. The guy is a total looney tune, which is what makes him so dangerous. I am curious what Bill Clinton had to give up as consideration.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  83. Gita Foster

    Jack-What makes you think that the US gov't was not involved in getting the journalists released? Just because Bill Clinton went over there to get them does not mean there was not a lot of negotiating by the gov't to set this up.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  84. Manny

    How is this Jack? Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  85. Linda B., Ga.

    I think this trip has been in the making between Pres. Obama and Former Pres. Clinton. You just don’t get on a plane and fly over to N. Korea, before ALL your eggs are neatly placed, in the basket. It will be wonderful IF these two individuals are released to Pres. Clinton. Perhaps they will watch where they step/tread, in the future, we aren’t talking about little children. It's good news that they are being pardoned...

    August 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  86. Sharon Wright

    He succeeded because behind closed doors he told Kim that he totally agreed with him on the subject of Hillary. Sorry, just couldn't help myself. LOL

    August 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  87. Jeffery, Toledo, Ohio

    Let me put it to you this way, Jack–I'm just glad that this whole incident didn't happen during the Bush years–'nuf said.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  88. Paulette from Dallas,PA

    It says that Bill Clinton still has a lot of clout. He's a very skillful negotiator and extremely charismatic. Way to go Bill!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  89. Sharon G.

    Bill Clinton is a hero. Duh!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  90. Faye Clowdis

    Jack,it tells you something about Bill he is a respected man still !!! We all know that he is the man.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  91. Tom


    Why do you assume that Clinton didn't go on behalf of the US Govt? Do you really think that Bubba just decided to hop on a plane and go all the way over to North Korea without this having already been set up by Hilary or the White House? Not a chance. Too much loss of face if he "failed".


    From San Jose, CA

    August 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  92. Jonathan

    Jack, I don't think the US governmet fail. President Clinton is a valuable asset to the government that we are lucky to have. Why should we leave him out of things if he can help?

    August 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  93. Mark Sangerman

    Hi Jack,
    I can't help but believe that you are as certain as I am that President Clinton was dispatched as an actor in this whole mess. He wins an Oscar for dealing on the world stage – Best Actor award to Pres. Clinton, Best Director to President Obama.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  94. Bee Kay

    Because they got respect from Clinton coming to North Korea and they also got something in return, maybe money or some kind of deal with South Korea or the US, can't you see the big smile on Kim's face in those pictures?

    August 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  95. Sean Albert

    When you want something done right you got to do it yourself.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  96. Jamal, St. Petersburg, FL

    Well Jack, Bill has had a history negotiating with North Korea when he was president, and he was good at it. Becuase of him, they began to open up, sure Bush made them retract into their shell, but no suprise there. Who better to negotiate than he, who has made progress in the past. I can't knock the us gov't, they tried, and I won't say they failed, but they didn't succeed either. Just send the guy who has gotten the job done in the past.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  97. Wayne

    Jack, who failed? It appears Kim Jong ll wanted a photo op with a rock star. So Bill Clinton was sent. Mission accomplished.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  98. Tom in San Francisco

    The US Government did NOT fail. Bill Clinton was sent there by his wife, the Secretary of State, and by the President of the United States to represent the US Government. This is an example of the US Governent succeeding, not failing.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  99. A. Kidder

    Kim Jong Il is only allowing their release to embarass Pres. Obama by releasing them to that disgrace of a former president Clinton, instead of the people actually in power right now.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  100. Joe Sephus

    . . . It means only one thing: That Bill Clinton is still the man, Jack.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  101. Terry, Chandler AZ

    It makes a statement not only about Bill Clinton, but demonstrating that the U.S. is sincere about negotiating. Perhaps we have shown that sincere words speak louder than threats.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  102. Pat Immel

    President Clinton was able to succeed because he was going over there as essentially a private citizen. He is free to do and say things that our current administration cannot. Kudos to President Clinton!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  103. Murray

    I can't help wondering if Bill Clinton's success with North Korea diminishes Hillary as Secretary of State.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  104. donna bernard

    Bill has that certain unnamed 'something' that makes him acceptable to even our enemies – he is one of a kind, and like him or not personally, he can open doors internationally that no one else can, just by his presence. I hope we use him in more situations like this – he is a Statesman who is able to express his own humanity and accept others and perhaps this is the key to his success – he always sees the person behind the title. I am so glad the girls will be coming home – then we'll find out what really happened at that border.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  105. Michael Bonahan

    Looks like President Clinton has pulled off a miracle. Imagine the implications had his mission failed. It proves that direct communication trumps George Bush diplomacy every time.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  106. Bonita Rose Houston, Texas

    Bill ROCKS!! He has what it takes, no matter what the challenge!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  107. Francys

    I think it shows how amazing President Clinton was as a president. Ten years out of office and he is still needed. His peace talks and "let's work together" mentality has made this possible. President Obama was smart to use Clinton for this; he is known world-wide as a great humanitarian. They made the right decision! Thanks President Clinton!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  108. David Richards

    You're giving Bill Clinton too much credit. As I understand from other sources this deal has been in the works for several weeks both by the US government and NGO's. Bill Clinton was chosen as the envoy at the last minute. He had nothing to do with getting the journalists released.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  109. roy baker

    Jack , remember what rush limbaugh use to call him! SLICK WILLY! he's one smooth talking son of a gun! also it seems the Democratic president's are the only ones to go to these God forsaken places! there just more compassionate!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  110. chuck

    The fact that President Clinton succeeded in
    this matter is a clear signal that proper diplomacy
    does work. Policies like those of the destructive
    Bush years failed. Bush was always like Zeus
    hurling thunderbolts. That does not work.

    Houston, Texas

    August 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  111. Dave from Canada

    President Clinton asked and was invited, the US government and some of it's citizens try to get in without permission and get locked up or locked out.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  112. Lyle

    I think it's clear. They don't value women, wanted a way to "embarrass" Secretary of State Clinton, so got her husband in there to succeed where it would appear she could not. More than that it reflects how deeply entrenched they are in an old and dying way of seeing and regarding women...and the value they bring. They think they made a statement? Just that they are writhing in pain with the changing world, and can only shoot wooden bullets. Nowhere in the US for their tactics to land and stick.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  113. Charlotte Wilkerson

    Because he is highly favored. He is the MAN, and I love him. PEACE

    August 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  114. Alex in Albany, GA

    It tells me what I knew all along. Bill Clinton is The Man..

    August 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  115. Bob

    It looks like Obama picked the wrong Clinton to be Sec. of State. The former President would be great as long as he behaved himself.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  116. Renee

    Jack, the administration had everything to do with it. This strategy had been discussed, I'm sure, for quite some time. Pres. Clinton went under the authorization of the administration. This was a planned event. Please don't think that the Obama administration is not a part of the release of the women.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  117. Claire, Melbourne, FL

    Hello Jack,

    Not strange at all – Kim Jong Il wanted to meet personally with someone high up in our govt.

    Now you know former Pres. Clinton still has lots of clout around the world. Unlike that weasel Bush and all his enablers in the Republican party who desecrated our country and the world economy.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  118. Maria

    Dear Jack; I am so proud of what President Clinton has accomplished; however, I am furious at the two journalists. Don't they know that they put our country at risk going to places where nothing but trouble can be found? They do it for money and/or fame (a book deal?) Though I am sorry for the families, I blame these two women for the trouble they put us through.
    Maria in Beaumont, California

    August 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  119. Lynn from PA

    It is very obvious, Bill Clinton has the skills and chrisima that no other President has ever had. He can sit down and discuss issues, razzle dazzle with his great personality and ability to charm the pants off of anyone. We need more Presidents and politiicans who can stand up and be heard. Bill, loved you before and you can still go out and get the job done. You are and will always be my President.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  120. Mrs. Pier Frost


    This has nothing to do with Bill Clinton as a superior negotiator. It's all about sexism. And I say this not as a feminist. I work in the IT field and must sometimes have my male partner negotiate with recalcitrant IT personnel who only believe technical solutions when they hear it from a male voice – even when I've just told the same solution. After years in the field, I no longer take this as personal. Just the way it is. I'm sure Hillary, especially coming from a law background, sees it the same way.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  121. J.B Freund

    it shows how wonderful it is to finally have a president (Obama) whose ego doesn't have to be assuaged in order to do what is best for the people of this country. Mayber Clinton will be seen as showing up Obama by going to N. Korea, but the bottom line is - Obama doesn't care. Clinton's trip resulted in good for the American people and that is what this should be all about.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  122. Evan S. in Winston-Salem, NC

    I, personally, do not believe that the U.S. Government failed in this instance. That is, if you consider the State Department to be the a part of the government. Hillary knew what she was doing all along and decided to send in WJC to get the job done. The rest of the Obama Administration did nothing. I think this speaks for itself.

    Evan S.
    Winston-Salem, NC

    August 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  123. April Roberts

    Because sometimes words work better than threats. Bill Clinton has proven once again that diplomacy can works.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  124. Gary in Whittier, CA

    Two important points Jack. First, the US Government did not fail. Certainly Mr. Clinton is representing the US. Kim just wants a little love and attention. Second, today is not the day to be slamming N. Korea. These are delicate times and they call for editing our comments until the plane has left the ground.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  125. el

    Hi Jack

    President Clinton succeeded because he can charm the skin off a snake. I mean come on, he knows how to talk, just look back at his speeches.
    It really didn't matter WHO got Ling & Lee pardoned, the fact is, Kim jong Il makes it seem like he did the right thing. Either way, I will settle for him looking like a human with feelings, for one day. I will go back to hating him when Ling and Lee come home!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  126. Kevin Pritchard

    The Government did not fail. The Government, with the help of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, sent Former President Bill Clinton who negotiated the hostages' release. How is that a failure? Just like shooting the pirates in the head, President Barack Obama has shown he knows how to get things done. I don't see any problem there. After eight years of lies and failure it is nice to see a 100% success rate from our current President without starting a war.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  127. seeksense

    This is certainly a job done by the Obama administration with the cooperation of Clinton.
    Barack And Bill "YOU ROCK"!

    Palm Bay, FL

    August 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  128. Ron from SF

    From their perspecitive, it says that we sent in the King to pay respect. They don't care that he's an ex president, heck the majority of people in Korea will react, wow, they got Bill Clinton to go and bow before the great leader. The fact that he's an ex-president is lost on all. I for one, don't care and am only glad those women got out. Like you said, they wouldn't have survived.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  129. Phyllis B.

    Fantastic, way to go Bill, I am so happy it was successful. My prayers and thoughts have been with these 2 ladies every since I heard about their capture.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  130. Carolyn

    Bill Clinton has the ability to appear sincere. Obama does not. Obama does not have the ability to think things out; he's in too much of a hurry to "complete" his "missions". I hope Obama gives credit where credit is due and learns from this event.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  131. Aaron

    The former president deserves credit but its unfair to say that the government failed. First of all, his wife is in the cabinet and secondly he has been president before so once a president, always a president. I believe he works hand in glove with the government, he did not just fly over there by himself.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  132. Marilyn - Florida

    Bill Clinton is the greatest world leader IN THE WORLD. He is more well respected, more sought after than any political leader of our, or any, time. Our greatest President. He works from a position of intelligence and street smarts too. And that always gets the job done. If there were a position of "President of the World" ... Bill Clinton would be unanimously selected for life. Very glad he is OURS!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  133. Casey

    3 words why the government failed and Clinton succeeded:

    Kim Jong Il

    August 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  134. Chris

    Jack, maybe if Cowboy George had sent Clinton to North Korea years ago we would not have the issues with nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula...just a thought.

    Chris – Spring Texas

    August 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  135. Mr Dean n Seattle

    Jack It says when all else fails send in the Big Gun . we all know how much the world loved Bill then George W screwed it all up so why shouldn't Obama send in the big Gun. we should all thank Bill, for all he has done for this country.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  136. Kathleen Summers

    Bless those ladies and their families! We did what we needed to do and were successful! Does it matter how it happened as along as it did not compromise our principles and ethics?

    August 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  137. S

    It says that President Bill Clinton is still the master...he is the teacher and the rest of the politicians are still learning from him...he is a superb humanitarian, diplomat, negotiator, communicator, and amazing former President who is still devoted to improving the lives of the American people and people all over the world...his critics are so petty in his shadow...what a positive team Bill and Hillary Clinton make...Hillary is in Africa today...

    August 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  138. cam

    As much as I like Bubba I do not believe he flew to N.Korea and secured the prisoners in such short order.
    The work was likely done by some hard working grunts that we will never hear of.
    No matter how the release came about it is fantastic and even Clinton haters must be wearing a smile on this day!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  139. Dr. Thomas G. Lisack

    I do not think the U.S. government failed. Former President Clinton represented our government. For diplomatic and political reasons it would have been next to impossible for President Obama to make such a trip. Clinton was the best alternative – giving the Koreans what they want: an opportunity to be taken seriously on an international level. Make not mistake, the U.S. government succeeded here. An enemy dictator got political capital and, most important, two innocent young Americans gained their freedom.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  140. Rufus in Twentynine Palms, CA

    It says that Bill Clinton is the ultimate negotiator and deal maker. If I were rotting away in a Korean jail cell, I'd want Hillary's husband to negotiate my release. Bubba could literally sell you the shirt off your back Jack. So, let's give props to President #42...he just earned himself the Nobel Peace Prize.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  141. Bonnie

    Cause he is wonderful!!! Let those nay-sayers that plagued Bill Clinton all those years, stand up a salute!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  142. Mark R.

    Aretha Franklin said it best, "RESPECT."

    August 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  143. Russell, Bethel Alaska

    I wouldn't be so quick to say that Former President Clinton wasn't in some way acting in coordination with the US Government. That being said, I think what did the trick was a high level meeting with a foreign government leader with absolutely no prerequisites. I think it was part of someone's campaign if I remember correctly. Funny that it worked in this situation when the so called experts said the idea was ridiculous. I wonder what else we could get done if we actually sent our leaders to negotiate things face to face.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  144. Tony Fernandez

    Again more evidence of need for a third term for Mr. Clinton to solve this any all the other issues pressing us.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  145. ccarrie crotty

    jack I don't see why you say the Govt has failed...I see it as an over all effort by the govt. choosing the best person to go...do you think Bill went on his own without consulting the President or his wife?
    I think everyone played a hand

    August 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  146. Lucy

    Really? "US govt failed"
    Great reporting....
    This is great news. Not only are these two women released but this latest action shows that negotiating and diplomacy is not a waste of time.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  147. Gloria

    Bill Clinton succeeded because this was a "team" effort. It is naive to think the administration, Hillary and many others have developed this strategy.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  148. Mary, ca

    This is proving a very good leadership from the WH with president Obama

    August 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  149. Judy Pearson

    Upon hearing Clinton was attempting to broker this deal, i thought...If anyone can pull this off- it is Bill Clinton. He's a very smart, shrewd
    politician. I also think Hillary might elicited his help..I know i would have.
    Clinton shines in this area..hes' a peacemaker.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  150. kenechee

    Korea, North and South should be united. If Truman had not entered the Korean war North Korea would have taken over South Korea. Korea would have become a communist country. Today, like China, and the former Soviet Union, we would have a unified Korea that would probably be capitalistic, united and prosperous. The Korean war dead, from both North and South, China, and the USA, and other countries, would have been able to live out their lives. Political ideology arises out of a common experience of wanting a better life, but also changes and is dictated by that want.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  151. Dave

    Idiotic question. This was obviously pre-arranged. Kim Jong must have wanted a photo op with the former President to make himself seem important. Do you think we the people are stupid enough to actually think that Bill Clinton just flew there and is such a master of negotiation that he won the day? Give me a break!

    Dave in Nevada

    August 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  152. John Taylor

    It is not that the administration failed, Clinton was simply the prize offered in exchange for the release.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  153. Dave

    It proves that the "sabre rattling" rhetoric of the past only sows seeds of dissention, Jack.

    World peace is possible, with a little good will.

    American arrogance, both home and abroad must stop, yesterday.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  154. shad

    It is easy for kids in a family to see a stay home mom as the provider because she cooks dinner, however Papa works to put bread on the table. May be Pres Clinton is Mama while Obama is Daddy.
    Bottomline is family unit works together.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  155. Paul

    Does CNN really think That Bill Clinton doesn't represent the U.S. government?This is the type of diplomacy that gets things done".Keep your friends close butyour enemies closer".Not talking is ridiculous!!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  156. Carol Hillson

    Call me crazy, but I'm guessing that Bill Clinton, the Secretary of State, and President were collaborating on this. What it says about this Administration, is that they make a priority of getting things done, and don't worry so much about who gets credit. Bravo!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  157. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    It means that he had more in his bag to barter with than the President and Hillary had and it means that we are willing to negotiate with terrorists and they know it. Good for the families and the people that were captured.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  158. Baptiste

    Jack, after all is Bill Clinton, not the one but the most respectful President.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  159. Fred

    I can't believe any intelligent person could think Bill Clinton did this all on his own. Obviously there have been all kinds of behind-the-scenes negotiations by people either currently in government or formerly in government: People like Bill Richardson, Al Gore, and whos know who in our state department. To say our government failed is total nonsense.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  160. Frances Edens

    Because he got the deal done before he left. He was tied to the work they did in the world. Most of all Bill is BIl, long may he live.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  161. Nick in Toronto

    We forget that Bill Clinton's administration had wide ranging deals with North Korea. Bill Clinton is something of a known quantity within the North Korean government (he sent Madeline Albright and negotiated nuclear deals with the DPRK). With the failure of the current administration in regard to negotiations, turning to a President with experience dealing with the DPRK in the end turned out to be a smart move.

    Also, though it's fun to call the government of the DPRK crazy, unpredictable and irresponsible, it seems to me that they know exactly what they're doing. They shun the world community to keep their citizens in the dark; most don't know a man has landed on the moon. THey build weapons not only as a deterrent to US forces in South Korea, but to subsequently trade them for food and energy in order to keep the populace at subsitence level and the military in fighting condition. Their methods may be distasteful, but looking into the situation one quickly realizes that their antics are clearly only aimed at keeping their communist regime in power.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  162. Yvonne K.

    Experience diplomat, tactful, courteous, warm ingratiating smile and personality. Has a knack of knowing how to make a request and not a demand or offend the other person's ego.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  163. Ann Perry Garland Tx

    A Man for Pres. Bill Clinton.He got what it takes.He no what to say and do and he works good with people.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  164. Lois

    It shows that North Korean authorities are male Chavanist pigs. They down female Hillary Clinton and then make a deal with maleBill Clinton. Good for Bill Clinton! Good luck to these two ladies

    August 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  165. Randal from Ohio

    Well, Jack, if you can't get a beer, you can still get a Bubba. Kim Jong may be ill, but not ill enough to miss an opportunity to force the U.S. to go big in order to get these two young women back. "I made them send Bill, and that's better than the beer."

    August 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  166. Dwight M Lee

    What it says is: the U.S. Government succeeded by using Bill Clinton as an unofficial ambassador and negotiator – can you possibly suggest that this was separate from the government? Don’t be silly – Bill Clinton did this as a rep of the U.S. Gov’t, official or unofficial. Hillary was not far removed from the process either. Like ‘em or not – the Clinton’s know what they are doing – and have a plan at all times.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  167. alex


    the premise of your question is wrong. This is not the success of Bill Clinton alone but of Bill Clinton acting on behalf of the Obama Administration. I have no doubt that the White House has been working at this solution for a while. The last – most vital – ingredient was the presence of the former President in Pyongyang to satisfy the North Koreans and give them face. Diplomacy today takes all tools. Bravo to the administration for the work they have done and to President Obama for being willing to let Bill Clinton take the credit for this diplomatic coup.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  168. Kathleen

    Bill succeeded because he is Bill, that's why we wanted Hillary, we wanted our country to be successful. We appreciate Obama but he can't get the job done like Hillary and Bill. I hope everyone has to wallow in their sorrow for not voting for Hillary

    August 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  169. Dee McDonald

    Bill has helped undermine Hillary Clinton's ability to project power and compentence in her position around the world. This makes the U.S. Government look weak, and unable to get things done within the Obama Administration.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  170. Scott from Clemson, SC

    It proves that diplomacy works. Kim-Jong Il is a ruthless, although in failing health, dictator who wants nuclear power and wants to basically rule the world. President Clinton reached him. We can handle things peacefully just as well as we can handle them with force, and the vast majority of people in the WORLD would rather handle foreign issues this way than they have been handled the last 8 years by Bush who wanted to show everybody how big his muscles were.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  171. Ken, Long Beach, CA

    I'm not convinced that the government actually failed on this. Silence speaks volumes and I really think Obama and Bill had a discussion prior to this and everything was arranged with N. Korea before Clinton's plan even left the ground. Regardles of the critics, this is not a failure by any measure. When events like this happen its a win for our nation, no matter who goes over and talks with these people.
    I say send Bill to Iran now and get the hikers back home.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  172. Barb, Skokey

    Jack, Kim Jong Ill is grinning like a child who just met santa claus. I
    think it means he likes Bill Clinton.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  173. Maurice Ruffin

    Pres. Clinton could give the appearance of speaking on behalf of our nation without doing so. Good for the reporters' families and, unfortunately, good for the NK leadership.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  174. Mark H. Spencer

    I applaud the Obama administration for thinking outside of the box on this North Korean standoff. I feel as proud for what former President Clinton accomplished as when the Navy Seals extracted the captain of the ship being held hostage from the Somali pirates. This is another example of how Obama utilizes the entire pool of expertise at his disposal.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |

    i have one thing to say about BILL Clinton is he is the man and he can get the job done. he is the most intelligent man and should be the president for ever.when bill was in the white house,we had a wonerful country . way to go bill i would vote for bill again again and again

    August 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  176. Louise, Long Island

    Pres. Clinton could not have acted alone nor could he have gone to N. Korea without some government sanction. The reason Bill succeeded is that Kim Jong Il is a knuckle-dragging neanderthal and can only function with someone who he perceives to be his equal. And that would never include dealing with a woman. Al Gore must have known he would never have succeeded, nor did he even bother trying, so we know why he lost his presidential bid. I just don't know how Bill was able to shake hands with anyone in the N. Korean regime knowing how they maligned his wife. Thank heavens he compartmentalized his emotions for the greater good. Thank you Mr. Clinton; you are my hero again.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  177. Murray

    Indeed, Bill Clinton was working on behalf of the USG and succeeded. He was able to deliver an appropriate message where the USG does not have direct relations. What's most important is that the two journalists will be freed.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  178. LindainCT

    What in heavens name is so hard to figure out here?The little Elvis loving egomaniac that runs North Korea thinks Bill Clinton is important enough to be worthy of a little good press .Clinton is a charmer and we needed charms not arms to win this battle.
    Why aren;t we simply happy to hear this good news?If you have to slam Clinton when he does a good thing I think a switch to decaf is in order .He did well if that bothers you perhaps the problem is the guy you see in the mirror.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  179. Jane (Minnesota)

    I wish the normal diplomatic channels had worked; but with the Lone Rangers running the White House from 2001 – 2008 it's going to take a while trust to be restored. I'm grateful they were released & the US did not have to promise them anything we'd have to print more money for.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  180. @Dawn

    Jack, if you believe for one second that the US government was not a party to this plan then I have a bridge in NY to sell you. This was all part of the US government's plot to secure the release of these two journalists and President Clinton was the tool used to achieve success. To that end it was not a US Government failure but rather a US government success.

    Dawn in Georgia

    August 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  181. Anita Dunbar

    Clinton's success in negotiating the release of the the two women means that the world respects him as a leader of this country. It has been obvious in the past and again today that these other countries respect him more than you and other name-calling "journalists'. You have a lot of audacity calling him Bubba like he is a southern joke. It's typical that you have to focus on something negative instead of this wonderful news. How about getting off the air and letting us enjoy some positive spins instead?


    August 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  182. Joan

    What do you mean by saying the government failed? I would bet you anything that Hillary had a lot to do with President Clinton going to North Korea. President Clinton was a GREAT poresident. Way to go Bill! I am sure President Obama had a lot to do with President Clinton going to North Korea.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  183. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    It means that once again North Korea got the recognition they wanted and who knows what else was promised under the table. The Obama administration got a "private citizen" to make their deal so they wouldn't appear "weak" and also allows a cushion of "plausible deniability" so they can appear to have "won" this showdown somehow. Fact remains that the administration "caved" to North Korea and they will continue to pay the price for their weakness in the future.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  184. carol troop

    Bubba is only the icing on a very complex cake. This release, if it happens, is no doubt the culmination of months of hard work by the entire administration. Dont neglect the flour, eggs and sugar (especially sugar) and then baking and cooling needed before that cake can be iced.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  185. Loretta

    Bill Clinton is the consummate politician. Whatever Bill wants, Bill gets. You can't help but like the guy. What I did notice is how well Kim Jong-il looks. The last time I saw him on TV, he looked emaciated, old and like he's on death's doorstep. Today he looked youthful, healthy and even taller. Could be this was one of his "doubles"?

    August 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  186. Rodney Noel

    Way to go Bubba!!! God bless you President Clinton for your effort.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  187. conor-San Diego, CA

    It tells you that Mr. Clinton is still wildly respected in the world today. Also he actually met face-to-face with the government instead of just sending them greeting cards.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  188. Debra, NC

    Do you actually think that President Obama and the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton didn't know and plan this trip? This was planned and went precisely how they wanted.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  189. Sue

    Jack, it is wonderful that President Clinton achieved this pardon. However, do you think it is wise to discuss so much of this until the girls are officially home?

    August 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  190. Bill W

    Strong arm politics just don't succeed in this case, NKorea has shown on many occasions they don;t care if their citizens are hungry, What matters is how they are seen on the outside. Strong, powerful and a country that must be respected. ( I'm not saying this is my view, but i beleive they also respect "some of our leaders", not bush, not obama, not woman messengers or secretaries,,they respect former president clinton, this is why he was successful)....

    August 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  191. ron


    No mystery here. Kim is an ego maniac. Bill stroked his ego... Bingo mission accomplilshed. Coudn't do that with normal dimplomatic chanels–too many complications.

    I want Bill with me when I go car shopping again and I don't have a clunker to trade in


    August 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  192. Jake Damstra

    To think that the U.S. government failed where Bill Clinton succeeded is just plain naief. Off course the U.S. government was involved, which is clear from the fact the two sides were talking for several weeks now. This is a masterpiece by Obama and I congratulate him AND the two young ladies and their families on their release. This is absolute genius !!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  193. Blanca D.

    That "little weird man" from N. Korea was just waiting for his 15 minutes of fame. This obviously shows his insecurity. I read that he loves Hollywood and everything 'celebrity'. Clinton was a status symbol for him and he was trying to convince his people that he has power by getting someone like him to go and negociate. This was a done deal from the beginning. I am happy these girls are finally coming home to their loved ones and all their new friends around the world!!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  194. John Compton


    It simply means that we need to eliminate the term limitation for the US presidency. Without term limits "Bubba" would still be in the White House, Obama would probably be serving to some capacity in his cabinet and Texas would not be wondering what happened to their village idiot!!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  195. Sue

    Former President Bill Clinton's successful meeting with N. Korean officials may be an indication that he is following in Former President Jimmy Carter's role as a respected world leader and negotiator. Kudos to the American government for allowing President Clinton to intercede in freeing the journalists.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  196. Carla Chadick

    It says that Mr. Clinton remains a valuable asset to the U.S. Good for you, Mr. President!
    Carla in Delray Beach, Florida

    August 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  197. Frances Edens

    He most likely had deal done before he left U.S. and also Bill is Bill.
    Long may he live.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  198. Marilyn - Florida

    Looking at Lil'Kim, I'd say rockstar Bill Clinton was doing a "make a wish" come true and agreeing to photo ops with this man who is near death. In exchange, we get the journalists released. Good deal!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  199. Bill from Bay Shore NY

    It says that Mr. Obama has no street cred with those that he wants to have dialogue with. Believe that the world is watching as Mr. Obama flip flops on domestic like a flounder on a hot summer's deck. What's to trust with the kind of history that Obama and the congressional band of thieves have on domestic issues. Hell the American people are trusting this government less and less (if that's possible) so why should the North Koreans, the Iranians or anyone else jump on board with these guys. Seems to me we're in for a long four years – beginning to remind me of the good old Carter days.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  200. Rainy

    Jack, Bill Clinton couldn't go over to N Korea without the permission without the US Govt's permission. It is obvious that they negotiated the release of these two journalists before he got there.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  201. Nick Alexander

    In this case, President Clinton is a government emissary working on behalf of the Obama administration; where he has 'succeeded', the government has 'succeeded'; where he has 'failed', the government has 'failed'.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  202. Bob S. Racine, WI

    I think it shows that Bill Clinton is even a greater president than previous thought. Here's the real question Jack, Will George Bush be doing anything like this is 8 years? I doubt it!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  203. Dee in Florida

    Maybe Bill Clinton was successful because the North Korean leader wanted to make a statement.

    And that statement was that Kim Jong-il is going to do things HIS way and no other.

    Every time I hear about some hassle or confrontation with North Korea I always get the feeling that Kim is just playing a game (albeit a potentially deadly one) and that if we took a little more to the table we could totally resolve our differences and North Korea would become a part of the world community.

    Why should WE take more to the table? Why not? A little more give on our part might save a lot of trouble in the future.

    And we might also try that with Cuba.

    The area I think we are wasting our time in negotiation is the middle East. The only thing that will ease that area will be when the PEOPLE get enough and revolt.

    But I think North Korea is ready to participate in a global economy, if given the chance.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  204. Nancy, Tennessee

    It says that Bill Clinton can still talk and make you believe what he has to say. He's a pragmatic thinker and he can lay down the facts in a logical order. He has the capability to convince Kim Jong Il and anyone else that it is in their best interest to think along the same lines that he lays out. He's still the best! Way to go Bill!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  205. Gabby

    Trying to understand the mind of little Kim is like trying to make sense of insanity. It would seem to say he sees Clinton as a legitimate leader, that will give him some legitimacy in the world opinion. I'm sure it makes him a hero in his own mind that he was able to get this former President to come to North Korea on his terms.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  206. Fred E Gaffron

    Proves he should still be President. I thought he was awesome as President and now here he is again. I'm 65 and he is the best we have had in my lifetime. Middle of the road beats left and right

    August 4, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  207. Tim

    It wasn't that Bill succeeded where the government failed. Bill was acting on behalf of the administration. Kim Jung Il needed to stabilize his fragile regime domestically to ensure a smooth transition of power. Negotiating with the Swiss Ambassador or even MADAM Secretary Clinton wasn't prestigious enough for Kim. Obama certainly wasn't going to dignify Kim with direct negotiations, so he got the next best thing. All is happy...Kim gets his photo-ops, the women come home, Obama ends the crisis and Clinton walks away looking great like he always does.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  208. Scott Brown

    The US Govt did not fail, the republicans would have destroyed Obama by suggesting that he was a weak president by negotiating with a communist country, The political environment would not have allowed Obama to try and negotiate their release.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  209. Lisa B in Yucca Valley, CA

    1. Kim is a sexist
    2. He believes that having an ex president of Clinton's stature, build's Kims stature in the world and with his people.
    3. Kim suffers from an over blown sense of self.
    Kudo's to Clinton, and Kudo's to Obama and Hillary, that they do not feel threatened by the intervention of Bill. Very good move, politically speaking!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  210. Sandra in Temecula, CA

    It shows the N. Koreans have more respect for Clinton and think Obama is Naive and doesn't know what he is doing.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  211. Timothy

    It is as plain as the nose on Bills' face........He came bearing gifts.
    A sizable contribution to the dictator's treasury would be my guess.
    Why else would he turn around on a dime so quickly?

    Evansville, IN

    August 4, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  212. Bob M

    Clinton Success.

    Simple Bill.

    It's that Clinton wasn't the one who who put N. Korea on the axis of evil list and triggerred then into bulding nukes and long range missiles.

    Obama has been in only six months so he's a relatively unknown and can't be too soft on N. Korea with what the've done in the last two years.

    So who you going to trust?– the man who treated you right, broke the ice, and kept his word.

    Besides that, the N. Koreans are essentially giving the sleeves out their vest, giving a little and getting a lot of good will.

    So let's get on to the big stuff, nukes and ICBMs and bringing these guys into the 20th century or even the 21st century. (that will take some time.)

    August 4, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  213. Yeshiembet Gemaneh

    There is a say, "Cases will be judged on the way presented," Mr. Clinton succeeded he must have used persuasive statements. I think this is a lesson for the future every country protects its boundaries and better to be careful not to make blunder errors.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  214. Tim Omaggio

    I don't think you asked the right question this time. Obviously the U.S. Government is involved and President Clinton was chosen as the best emissary for us, because of his international reputation which clearly extends to North Korea. We should use our past presidents whenever we can to make progress. Presidents Carter and George H.W. Bush have also been effective. Should there be an opportunity to use President George W. Bush, we should do that too.
    This is a good news story. Let's not spin it negatively.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  215. Paula

    Hey Jack,
    Kim just wanted a seat at the table with the "big dog", and he got it!

    The pictures shown are the first time I have seen Kim with anything resembling a smile on his face! ...And Bill Clinton put it there!

    During the previous administration, arrogance, exclusion, and ethno-centrism dominated our diplomatic policies - to our great shame.

    Most of us are aware of the Asian cultures' tradition of allowing their enemies to "save face". Clinton's respectful treatment of N Korea and Kim are shining examples of true diplomacy. I can only hope we see much more of this type of diplomacy in the future.

    Des Moines, Wa

    August 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  216. Trisha

    Bill Clinton is doing now, the same as he did when he was in office. Taking care of America's business. His personal life aside, he was the best President we have had in my lifetime. I wish he would run again! President Obama is too arrogant both internationally and here at home. Faking the "good ole' boy" demeanor is insulting to those of us who watch him, he is a Chicago politician. Enough said.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  217. Nick

    Dear America,
    The world loves the Clintons, all over the world they are admired. George W.? oooh hell no ! Obama has 8 years of internation Bush screw ups to fix, Bill is a proven leader and well respected and was the right man for the right job ! WAY TA GO BILL!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  218. jim Blevins

    Certainly, the US government was behind this approach. After Bush all but forced a nuclear war, it is great to have a President that will deal with other countries in a manner that works.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    August 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  219. Betsy

    It says that the Democrates actually can work together. Amazing. Congrats to all. Now if the dems n congress could just unite on health care!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  220. George

    Now the question is, how many more people will need to be rounded up by North Korea and threatened with hard labor before they get another big name to visit for photo opps that they can use to their advantage ? Isn't this rewarding bad behavior ?

    August 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  221. Lai

    The question is why is Bill Clinton the only former President that can negotiate with N.Korea? He's a smart politician, a good diplomat and has a remarkable post -office reputation, especially internationally. I think we should give him credit for taking out the time to negotiate on behalf of Laura and Euna, he didn't have to do that. We can talk all we want but no one can ever understand the joy in the hearts of these women and their families...I am very proud of Bill Clinton.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  222. Jan-Oregon

    Bill Clinton stature played a very important role releasing these girls. Good job Bill Clinton!!!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  223. Rosemary T.

    I see it quite differently. The North Koreans settled for a non-government official - albeit a prominent one - when they might have held out till they got a real one, e.g. Secretary Clinton. They missed an opportunity to use an Obama official and settled for second best. Meanwhile Sec. Hillary Clinton kept her cool, and the result was to everyone's satisfaction. Good on all of them. The U.S., I mean.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  224. Robert Prescott


    Truth is we will never know what makes the "Dear Leader" click so trying to figure out why President Clinton succeeded where the government did not is an exercise in futility. My guess is that "Mommy" (Secretary Clinton) wouldn't give in to the pouting child, and then "Dad" (President Clinton) comes in and gets played by the petulent brat. I don't mean this as criticism of the former President. He's bringing home the two reporters and for this I am greatly pleased and proud. But this is just the way we have to deal with the North Korean lunatic and that President Clinton pulled it off is all good. Way to go Mr. Clinton!


    August 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  225. Lai

    The question is why is Bill Clinton the only former President that can negotiate with N.Korea? He’s a smart politician, a good diplomat and has a remarkable post -office reputation, especially internationally. I think we should give him credit for taking out the time to negotiate on behalf of Laura and Euna, he didn’t have to do that. We can talk all we want but no one can ever understand the joy in the hearts of these women and their families…I am very proud of Bill Clinton.

    Phoenix, Arizona.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  226. John T. Lucas

    Mr. Cafferty:

    The release of the two women prisoners in N. Korea tells us much about the situation and the "Dear Leader" but even more about one of the most charming, skillful, intelligent, and savvy Presidents in American history. He has always seemed to know exactly what the right words and moves are and has a nearly preternatural grasp of foreign affairs. I like President Obama but "Bubba" is Obama with a great deal more substance. For many reasons, including his work in Africa, I hope that President Clinton wins the Nobel Peace Prize in the near future. He may have faults but he is a great man.

    John Lucas
    Victoria BC

    August 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  227. Julie Rejman ("Rayman")

    Isn't "failed" too strong of a word, Jack? The relationship between North Korea and the US has simply been too hostile in recent months to allow anyone in the current White House to go to North Korea...the conversations would have always come back to the recent firing of nuclear weapons and the women would have stayed in North Korea indefinitely.

    Bill Clinton was the PERFECT person to get negotiate their release. North Korea was STAR STRUCK and Bill is obviously a wonderfully warm, yet firm, man. He is married to the Secretary of State. Do you honestly think the government had nothing to do with this?

    Whatever it was, I am so proud of and grateful for Bill Clinton! Go Bubba!!!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  228. Shane

    I think it would be pretty naive of us to really believe that the White House had nothing to do with Bill Clinton going to North Korea, no matter what Gibbs says. Nobody, not even former presidents, wake up in the morning and says "hey I think I'll fly over to a rogue nation, with a crazy dictator, that threatens to build and test nuclear weapons, so that I can interfere with complex humanitarian negotiations," especially when your wife is the Secretary of State. I think as the days go on we're gonna find out that the White House or the State Department (Hillary) decided that little Kim Jong "Mentally" Il might feel important if we sent over the former President. Yay for Bill for getting them home, but let's not kid ourselves about the role the US government played.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  229. c gay

    Kudos' for former Pres. Clinton and Pres. Obama! Finally North Korea has gotten what its wanted for years; and without direct contact from the Obama Administration. The ultimate goal for ALL should be to get communication started so that North Korea will get in line with other nations. Rather than find fault, celebrate the release of these young women and look forward to positive communication between this country and the world in the future. We can't afford nor should we want another war!!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  230. AB--Michigan

    What else can you say except that Bill Clinton is the real deal. I have
    always believe that this man has a big heart in helping Americans.
    Now, Kim Jong Il is going " Me and Bill Clinton are buds ".Who knows
    next time, Kim is going to volunteer to give up his nuclear ambitions
    with some strings attach of course. North Korea is starving it's people
    and they can use a lot of help from other countries like the United

    August 4, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  231. Perrin Peterson

    President Clinton was successful in gaining pardons for the two journalists because Kim Jong Il really, really, really likes Elvis too!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  232. Muin Ahmed VA

    Bill Clinton set policies that effectively changed lives of many minorities here and also around the world. i think thats why he is considered to be an effective negotiator.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  233. Tina Tx

    Clinton will go down as the best of the best in working with North Korea in getting the 2 women back. He maybe a slug but he still has grace.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  234. Nick Alexander (Middlebury, Vermont)

    In this case, President Clinton is a government emissary working on behalf of the Obama administration; where he has ’succeeded’, the government has ’succeeded’; where he has ‘failed’, the government has ‘failed’.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  235. Tony L........Oregon

    Hey Jack, it's all about respect. President Clinton was very well respected during his tenure in the White House by the foreign leaders. This proves it. Between Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, it's nice to know that we have some very intelligent and respected leaders that can step up to the plate when needed!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  236. anderson n carolina

    Jack, Obviously Clintin was our ace in the hole.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  237. Sue Parker

    Former Pres. Bill Clinton could charm the hair off a poodle.
    What........ you expected him to come home "defeated".
    Pleeeeese.......He IS the Man!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  238. JoyfromTN

    It says that The Administration will use the talent available to them to accomplish needed goals. As I recall, Obama said this during the elections. And, it doesn't mean the work that was done by the State Department preceding his visit was nil.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  239. Terry in Virginia

    Bill Clinton is one of the best ambassadors and negotiators we've ever had. Congratulations.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  240. Ralph Nelson

    Because he can charm the underwear off a pig. He always puts the people first, the United States first, and asks the world to join us in creating a better world. That's why people love him and he is and was the greatest President in my lifetime (1960 up). Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  241. John M.

    Jack, i never doubted whether or not our government could rescue the two jounaliist from the clutches of North Korean's leader Kim Jong-il. the question we have to ask ourselves is, what did the U.S. lose or gain in the exchane. after all how do you nagotiate with a tyrant?

    August 4, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  242. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    The two journalists worked for Al Gore's Current TV. I guess Bill and Al are friends again. Who cares how they got released. They're coming home. Now the question is who's going to get the kids in Iran released? Parents, please keep your kids here for awhile.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  243. Fran, Michigan

    President Clinton is now a private citizen of the U.S., yet he still has clout around the world and is a master at negotiating with foreign dignitaries. Kudos to President Clinton!!!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  244. Mark Manz


    Its because Bill has what it takes to this day to be a leader, world wide the man is liked.

    Obama and all the ones after Bill Clinton were just puppets and do whats best for there party (reps and dems) Clinton was a President for the people and all the people.

    I truly think he did what was best for the people and the world, no uncalled for wars, or bailouts and taxe hikes.

    I say Bill Clinton 2012 maybe Dems and Reps watching this man can get a clue and do like he did... whats best for us and get off there partys puppet strings.

    oh yea there was the matter of the "affiar" but I would love to see the Republicans touch that after this year of there lets say being caught with there pants down, then preaching family values.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  245. george

    It just means one thing. That it is a lot easier to get something positive done if you do not enter with guns drawn, but try to convince the right wingers of our country. There are still a lot of people in this country who is unwilling to turn loose of old biases, and allow our country to move.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  246. Mary

    First of all, Bill Clinton, Al Gore etc. should be commended for their courage in going over there, especially now that Kim Jong Il, aways erratic, is cornered by his own mortality. Bill Clinton can really connect with and charm "difficult" people. He is really the "king" of schmooz and that is what was needed in this situation. Leaders of places like N. Korea and Iran really just want recognition, attention etc.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  247. Paula in Seattle

    I said it many times during the Bush Administration:

    Talking to everyone is Diplomacy. Talking only to our friends is a Frat Party.

    Of course, what else could we expect from the Frat Boy -in-Chief?!?

    Way to go, Bill!!


    August 4, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  248. Gary H. Boyd

    World politics is like a giant chess game and on the board Bill Clinton is the knight whose ability to move over and around an opponent is well known. Since the Administrations direct approach had failed to gain the release of the two journalists, Clinton's ability to bob and weave were the perfect tactic to accomplish the task. Checkmate.

    Gary H. Boyd, Scottsdale, Arizona

    August 4, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  249. Mellie in Phoenix

    I don't think Bill Clinton really succeeded. Wasn't this release pre-arranged and this photo op between Clinton and Jong Il just the price the US had to pay to get the journalists freed? Sure, it's nice that the US now has a dialogue with N Korea, but really, do you think Clinton would have gone if there was any chance those journalists wouldn't be freed?

    August 4, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  250. Nico

    It shows that N. Korea is willing to talk as long as it is a man and not a women. What do you expect from a cry baby like Kim Jong.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  251. BiscuitMKE from Milwaukee, WI

    The primary reason for President Clinton's success is that Kim Jong Il "desparately" wanted a visit from Bill Clinton (more than any other American political leader). No one else could have "pulled this off!" The White House needs to be commended for sending Mr. Cool Clinton. Excellent!!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  252. Gloria

    This move on the part of Pres. Obama, Sec. of State Hilary Clinton,
    & fmr. Pres. Bill Clinton was absolutely clever. How great is talking?
    This could be the start of real sanity from N. Korea.
    Congrats to all involved and to our country.


    August 4, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  253. Gail AL.

    Charm, Charm, Charm, That;s Bill. The U.S. government doesn't have any. Oh, to be back in the ninety's again, everything was going good, people had money, jobs, and the U.S. was growing in leaps and bounds. Now we are in debt leaps and bounds, thanks to Obama. I only hope and pray he is a one term President. I don't think Bill would de to old in 2012.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  254. Mike, Germantown, md

    By appearing gracious to the world when they receive what appears to be a high level delegation from the US, they signal, yet again, their need to be recognized as "major" players on the world stage. At the same time, by receiving the husband of the "schoolgirl" they publicly scolded recently, they provide both a snub and instruction on how they wish to be treated.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  255. Rithia

    Keeping the issues separate is the key.
    New Clear (spelling intended via Bush) is a separate issue,
    Release of the journalists is based on humanitarian issue and should not be seen as related to the Office of The President. Have no doubt, having former President Clinton to go is ideal. Al Gore was too close to the issue to be the one to go and probaly not seen as a top gun in their eyes. President Obama, in conference with the Secretary of State Clinton, what a great plan to have the former President to go. President Clinton is a team player.
    Regardless, they are coming home!!!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  256. Jeff Crocket New Britain, CT

    The North Koreans are playing with us once again!! They made an empty deal with Jimmy Carter too!!!!
    They will continue to advance their missile program and really threaten us soon as we snooze over Clinton's visit!!!

    Business as usual!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  257. Mary, ca

    The premise of your question is wrong,. You should know better Jack, the president and clinton discussed this for months, But there is one thing this ill guy, just did it's make fun at Bill's wife and that is not funny

    August 4, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  258. Donald in CA

    The US government didnt fail. This is the way it works. Just be glad the reporters are coming home.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  259. denise

    it probably just reflects the fact that Kim Jong II is a male chauvanist pig who used the opportunity to show up the female secretary of state...by using her own husband!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:46 pm |

    It means that our President has someone to help, while he is busy trying to get the other big messes straightened out. We are lucky that our President isn't afraid to ask a good friend to help him out. The Clinton's are going to help anytime they can, very good people, unlike the Republicans always running my party down.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  261. Sam Vicino

    There is no telling how much President Clinton could have accomplished as President if he did not have to defend himself and Hillary from the right wing attack dogs during his eight years as President. Just look at his foundation that has helped millions around the world and it does not surprise me that he was successful in his trip to North Korea. Congratulations to all that were apart of this wonderfal day.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  262. Cindy

    cindy from Lahaina, HI
    Makes me wonder what Bill Clinton was able to offer the North Korean President. But we are happy the journalists will be on their way home. I think the North Korean regime wanted to show that they will deal with whom they like to the embarassment of the US gov't.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  263. Chris

    It means that ol'Bill is still on his game. Aside from right wing'ers he fairly taxed, the world recognizes that he remains one of the best presidents the US have had...
    I'd vote for him if he runs again !

    August 4, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  264. Richard Brooklyn, NY

    Sorry, but this has nothing to do with Bill Clinton personally. Any living president would have done fine for this purpose.
    And that is an actual President of the United States went to North Korean soil for the first time in history. This alone is a propaganda victory for Il Jong and his regime.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  265. Trevor

    "...where the U.S. government has failed?" Are you kidding... Its former President Bill Clinton. How can you distinguish anything the Clintons do from the US government.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  266. John K.

    Some say it should have been the Secretary Of State that should have gotten the job done. But let's face it folks....Bill is Bill...and Hilary is Hilary. If Barbara or Laura Bush had been Secretary Of State.....either George 1 or 2 would have been more effective....ok....scratch that....maybe the 'ol man would have.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  267. John Ippolito

    Because the Clintons are real people with real passion and are real politicians. They aren't elitists, they aren't smug and they tell it like it is. I am proud to be a Republican Clintonista. Clinton/Clinton 2012!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  268. Glenn in California

    Jack, who cares why Bill Clinton succeeded?

    Slick Willie got the job done, regardless of the reasons or motives Kim Jong Il has, and trust me, he had 'em. Maybe he wants the current administration to look bad or maybe he just sees this an a good PR opportunity for himself. Regardless, the journalists are now out. Case closed. Git 'R Done!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  269. herold aubourg/boston/ma

    united we stand together we fall. So what he is part of the team. Tell jong, thank you.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  270. Kelly

    Very common approach for countries without official ties to use "unofficial" and "private" individuals to help bring diplomacy and negotiations back to life. In this case, President Clinton was a person that both sides could feel comfortable with in that role.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  271. donna bernard

    I left a blog earlier praising Bill – but folks, this was a government sponsored deal – he went to China on an air force plane. Barack and Hillary and a handful of other wise people built this deal and Bill pulled if off for them. As for the two-for-one, how lucky we are!!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  272. shot paw

    Bill Clinton was the greatest Prez we have ever had in recent modern times.......Slick Willie...Bubba....call him what you want (it does tend to make the guys doing the name calling seem a little more important doesnt it) but that boy knows his stuff....

    He could sell an eskimo a bag of ice..........or a desert dweller a bag of sand.....this guy has it going on.......

    Too bad you cant have a prez serve indefinite terms....he would still be prez.......

    August 4, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  273. Gageslake

    This was a naive article. This was not a deal done by Bill Clinton. Like almost all such diplomatic events, it will have been arranged in advance (Clinton is not so foolish as to walk into such a public event with the possibility of failure). NK wanted visibility and Kim needed a boost; we wanted the reporters back. We couldn't send Obama or Hillary Clinton since that would involve the US as such and thus provide too much to NK. So we give a photo opp with a highly visible world figure who has a convenient connection by marriage to the administration and NK gives us the reporters. This not a matter of Bill Clinton succeeding but the State Dept and the WH engineering a solution in which Bill Clinton played a role (in the form of a clever walk-on).

    August 4, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  274. Ruben Bocanegra

    President Clinton is a well respected international leader. I have travel for several countries in Europe and all I hear is positive things about Mr Clinton's presidency. I'm so happy for the journalists and their families.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  275. Sean from Hartsdale, NY

    I think it's because their dear leader has a weird obsession with famous people. And as much as I love him, Bill definately has an reality-tv-esque nature abouth him.

    Sean from Hartsdale, NY

    August 4, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  276. Jane - WI

    This was pre-arranged. There is no way that Bill Clinton went to N Korea if there was a chance he'd be embarassed if he came away with no deal. What did we have to give up to get these women back?

    August 4, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  277. Tracy, Los Angeles

    It says to me there was a great deal more going on behind-the-scenes to help facilitate the release of the journalists. Bill Clinton did no just "waltz" into North Korea, take a couple of photos, and win the pardon; many, many people were involved in this - President Clinton is merely the public face of their successful efforts. And thank God. These American citizens need to come home safely, which looks to be what is now taking place. High marks to all involved.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  278. Gavin from California

    I’m so glad we have this educated politicians in the White House now starting from the President to his advisers and especially the respect we have now around the world to get things done in a non violent manner. I remember a time, not so long ago, where this kind of thing happens either we go to war or just simply do not do anything

    August 4, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  279. Eric

    Bill Clinton was asked to serve his country and meet with one of the world's craziest dictators. His sole mission bring back the two american jouornalist – success. Enough said!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  280. Brian from Folsom, CA

    Because when we, (U.S.A.) communicate from a position of humility, tensions and posturing tend to dissolve. Only slick Willy could have pulled this off. I love it.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  281. Little Rock, AR

    Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  282. Bev

    Bill, Hill, and Obama – WHAT A TEAM!!!Couldn't be prouder of my country at this moment – diplomacy works. We haven't seen this for eight long years!!!

    Springfield, Missouri

    August 4, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  283. ZKWC

    People – he didn't preside over the largest budget surplus in my lifetime, nor did he preside over the longest peace time in my life, just because he happened to "be there." It was because he is BILL! He is the best President I have ever known. And you have to admit he can talk.

    I wish we could elect him again.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  284. SHIRLEY

    I knew that President Clinton was the man for the job!!!! He is such a likeable man. I'm so happy for the journalists' families. When journalists are going into these foreign countries please do what you're suppose to do. Don't get into trouble when you're out of the U.S.A. Happy home coming to them all!!!!

    Coldwater, MS

    August 4, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  285. Helen

    He is a very diplomatic man. I always believe if anyone could get those 2 ladies back, it would have to be Mr. Clinton. He still deserves my respect always. Thank you Mr. Clinton

    August 4, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  286. Michael - Boulder, CO

    It's simple. North Korea needs to be handled personally, not from 10,000 miles away. Since the beginning, talking heads have said somebody important will have to go in person. Pres. Clinton is near the top of the "important" list.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  287. Jim McCall - Chattanooga, TN

    Jack: President Clinton is a "Master" of diplomacy. However, the real negotiations were planned, finalized and approved by the current (Obama) administration before the president's plane landed in North Korea.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  288. Ryan

    Bill Clinton is the man. That's why. Great job Bill.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  289. Joyce

    Just look at the picture. Kim Jong II looks like he's been given the silver platter and Bill Clinton looks like he can't wait to get out of there. I wonder what was promised.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  290. Linda from Iowa

    I don't know the answer to your question.
    I am just thankful that those girls are going to be released.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  291. Eric

    History has shown that diplomatic envoys that are not directly tied to the US Govt. have had many accomplishments. The country has something to celebrate, politics suck anyway.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  292. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    North Korea's loves attention, but they're not exactly with the times. They probably thought Bill Clinton was still the sitting President.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  293. Al Izaguirre

    President Clinton succeeded in walking out of North Korea with the 2 journalists because he provided Kim Jung with a highly touted photo op. At the end of the day, a small price to pay for their release.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  294. Vickie

    Who said the government failed? Did it ever occur to anyone this was a way to get around the US gov. recognizing the leader of North Korea as being a sane person!

    August 4, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  295. MikeM

    In a word, face. A visit from a former U.S. president? That says "we're important" like little else. Thus, North Korea's leader feels vindicated. He's important, after all. So now he can release the hostages.

    August 4, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  296. Elizabeth

    Bill Clinton succeeded because he is a brilliant politician and diplomat and he is internationally held in very high regard. Unlike here at home, where his personal failings overshadowed his political achievments. It also helped that he is no longer President of our country, as such he was no threat to the North Korean regime.

    August 4, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  297. Doug

    Bill Clinton succeeded because he gave that pint sized putz what he really wanted....attention.

    August 4, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  298. Bill

    Anyone who thinks the Obama administration was not behind this needs to have their head examined. Give credit where credit is due. At least they got it done!

    August 4, 2009 at 5:00 pm |