U.N. Spokesman Richard Grenell Resigns
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
By: Stewart Stogel
Richard Grenell, the longtime communications director and de facto press secretary for four U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations, tells Newsmax he will conclude his eight-year U.N. term Sept. 29.
Grenell plans to return to his California home to become a senior vice president and communications director at DaVita, a healthcare company based in El Segundo.
But Newsmax also has learned that Grenell is on a short list for consideration as the next State Department spokesman if Sen. John McCain is elected president in November.
Should Grenell return to D.C., he would follow in the footsteps of his predecessor, Jamie Rubin, who also was press spokesman at the U.S./U.N. mission before accompanying his boss, Madeleine K. Albright, to Washington for the second term of the Clinton administration.
Grenell’s resignation comes on the heels of the recent departure of his chief deputy, Ben Chang, who left the U.N. for a White House posting. Next in line for the exit is said to be Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, who is expected to soon depart for the private sector.
That would leave Deputy Ambassador Alex Wolff, a career diplomat, to guide the U.S. operation until a new administration takes office in January.
The shifts take place with several high-profile issues confronting the White House, including the Iran nuclear standoff, the Russian invasion of Georgia, and the Israeli-Palestinian situation.
Grenell, one of the longest-serving press spokesmen at the U.S./U.N. mission, had what many consider a thankless job. He came to the U.N. in mid-2001 after stints working for San Diego Mayor Susan Golding and New York Gov. George Pataki.
He was forced to defend the eventually discredited speech on alleged Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that then-Secretary of State Colin Powell made to the U.N. Security Council in February 2003.
He also led a quiet campaign that the Bush administration orchestrated to marginalize former U.N. chief Kofi Annan, whom the State Department considered a Clinton appointee. Annan had stated that Albright was influential in his decision to run for the U.N.’s top post in 1996.
Grenell also worked overtime trying to salvage the doomed nomination of John Bolton to the U.N. post. Eventually, Bolton withdrew his name under intense pressure from Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joe Biden, D-Del.
The colorful Grenell, long a fixture at many press gatherings in New York City, insists that his public life is far from over.
“Stay tuned,” the coy official said, with a boyish grin.
who doesn’t love camille paglia? below are some excerpts from her latest salon blog.
…Conservative though she may be, I felt that Palin represented an explosion of a brand new style of muscular American feminism. At her startling debut on that day, she was combining male and female qualities in ways that I have never seen before. And she was somehow able to seem simultaneously reassuringly traditional and gung-ho futurist. In terms of redefining the persona for female authority and leadership, Palin has made the biggest step forward in feminism since Madonna channeled the dominatrix persona of high-glam Marlene Dietrich and rammed pro-sex, pro-beauty feminism down the throats of the prissy, victim-mongering, philistine feminist establishment.
…As a dissident feminist, I have been arguing since my arrival on the scene nearly 20 years ago that young American women aspiring to political power should be studying military history rather than taking women’s studies courses, with their rote agenda of never-ending grievances. I have repeatedly said that the politician who came closest in my view to the persona of the first woman president was Sen. Dianne Feinstein, whose steady nerves in crisis were demonstrated when she came to national attention after the mayor and a gay supervisor were murdered in their City Hall offices in San Francisco. Hillary Clinton, with her schizophrenic alteration of personae, has never seemed presidential to me — and certainly not in her bland and overpraised farewell speech at the Democratic convention (which skittered from slow, pompous condescension to trademark stridency to unseemly haste).
…Over the Labor Day weekend, with most of the big enchiladas of the major media on vacation, the vacuum was filled with a hallucinatory hurricane in the leftist blogosphere, which unleashed a grotesquely lurid series of allegations, fantasies, half-truths and outright lies about Palin. What a tacky low in American politics — which has already caused a backlash that could damage Obama’s campaign. When liberals come off as childish, raving loonies, the right wing gains. I am still waiting for substantive evidence that Sarah Palin is a dangerous extremist. I am perfectly willing to be convinced, but right now, she seems to be merely an optimistic pragmatist like Ronald Reagan, someone who pays lip service to religious piety without being in the least wedded to it. I don’t see her arrival as portending the end of civil liberties or life as we know it.
…It is certainly premature to predict how the Palin saga will go. I may not agree a jot with her about basic principles, but I have immensely enjoyed Palin’s boffo performances at her debut and at the Republican convention, where she astonishingly dealt with multiple technical malfunctions without missing a beat. A feminism that cannot admire the bravura under high pressure of the first woman governor of a frontier state isn’t worth a warm bucket of spit.
within the first few minutes of palin’s speech my phone started to light up with text messages. i could instantly tell that my liberal friends (and there are many) were nervous. palin the future president and next vice-presient of the united states had something to say. the messages started with simple admitions like “she’s doing well”. as the humored filled speech unfolded my text messages increased. “she’s doing well” became “wow”. the evening ended with scared muses and hostile phrases like “we still have 2 more months” and “but how many hockey moms could there actually be in america”. the liberals were scared.
how could one speech completely change their mind and make them go from laughing at palin to fearing her? palin was confident, funny, real and 100% american. their whiplash over the last 48 hours was made more evident by the media’s simplicity and their group think about palin. wolff blitzer’s bias came out like i’ve never seen…..he and cnn gambled that palin was going down so they piled on her all day over the last several days. they questioned the “vetting process” and her qualifications – they decided she wasn’t up to the job. they reported on each other reporting about the rumors. it was a media circus made for cnn television. as US Weekly stories became worthy of political commentating, the frenzy about palin’s pro-life stance became straight-faced diatribes that questioned her parental skills. grown feminists were asking if a woman with young children should be able to be VP. it was totally out of hand and the liberals were living in their own world as wolff kept talking. was this the party of hillary? nope, it was the new democratic party of obama where the radical left is in control.
enter palin – the hockey mom and beauty queen knows what to do when her enemies are distracted by their own frenzy. she clearly knows how to take the pressure. but the media actually helped palin out. they lowered expectations for themselves and their viewers and forced a “crisis” for mccain. reading the graphics on cnn and msnbc earlier this morning led viewers to believe there was a crisis. my liberal friends were ecstatic: “she’s a joke” one said. liberals and their media friends had decided that palin wasn’t qualified to be a mom let alone the next VP. the media fed itself – every outlet trying to pile on even more – with little individual reporting. reporters told me that palin would be out by friday.
but palin came on strong and proved that small town american values are not hokey. she showed that her sound judgement and real world experience had more in common with regular people than obama’s radical left. she gave voice to the parents of special needs children, economically struggling families, women who work because they have to, career women who choose to work, parents who don’t miss their children’s sporting events and rural america. she demonstrated that her appeal should not be underestimated as it was over the last couple of days. she proved you can be simple and strong, loving and ready to fight, a woman and a proud republican. as the east coast media elites and their liberal friends try and dismiss her as unqualified, palin proved she understands america more than obama. she is proud of her country even as she tries to improve it. and at the end of the day, she proved that her selection not only energized the base of the republican voters but extended a hand to the independents too.
the same reporter who first told me that “she’d be toast by friday” told me after tonight’s speech that obama must be wishing that mccain had picked pawlenty.
what a country!
i can’t keep up with the facebook messages, text mesages and emails that i keep receiving from my liberal friends. their messages aren’t the typical partisan banter that i usually get….their screaming and indignation has reached a level that i haven’t seen in my lifetime.
my journalists friends have also reached a new high with their inability to keep their outrage from showing. i’ve exchanged phone calls or emails over the last 24 hours with reporters from cnn, abc, cbs, ap, the new york times, the la times, the washington post, politico and several bloggers and in every instance the reporter is annoyed with the selection of palin for vice president.
the liberal and media frenzy that i am experiencing comforts me. my political experience tells me that we are on to something. we aren’t there yet but we have totally struck a powerful nerve. liberals and their media friends can’t believe we did what we just did. palin has completely overturned the east coast expectation game. it is a typical move by the maverick mccain of 2000 and it has given great excitement to the convention.
the messages from the liberals prove that they are really upset with the selection of palin mainly because they weren’t the ones to actually put a woman on the ticket this year. their outrage stems from their belief that they “own women” and they are the only heir to female issues….their screams echo forth as if to say “women aren’t republicans”. it is the same miscalculation and elitist attitude the liberals have about black people and gays. but while the liberals play their same-game with women, palin has the opportunity to shift the democratic paradigm the same way that reagan did with blue collar voters.
in 2008, women can’t be taken for granted. palin has a chance to show american women that conservatives can CHOOSE to run a family and a state. she is a sitting governor that upset the political crowd in alaska just 2 years ago. she is an experienced reformer – you just haven’t heard of her. but that says more about you than her.
the media hyperventilating continues as well. their outrage is not only based in their hope for an obama presidency but in the fact that mccain didn’t play their game. the one word that i hear from all reporters about the mccain selection is “vetting”. journalists’ egos prohibit them from seeing that they aren’t part of the vetting process – we don’t think that you have to sit down with tom brokaw several times before you are ready….you don’t have to go toe to toe with the new york times to be prepared. journalists have an important role to communicate candidates’ positions and ask tough questions about those positions but we don’t need their collective sign off. besides, doesn’t “change” mean new?
i am amazed with the number of cnn commentators that have actually pointed to obama’s “vetting” as his 20 month campaign with them. this is more about the media’s lack of connections to palin than her qualifications. the group think that the media is doing on palin’s selection is sad. the smear attacks and lazy reporting has turned gossip media into cnn specials. joy behar on the view was barley able to speak she was so flustered that there was a female politician that wasn’t a democrat that she hadn’t heard of….and the US Weekly stories are so outrageous that someone should start a boycott of janice minn and jann wenner’s rag. palin isn’t the wife of a former president (i.e. hillary) or the daughter of a politician (i.e. pelosi), she arrived on this stage because of her own hard work.
the backlash against the media for their treatment of palin will come. i am already getting messages from independents and apolitical female friends outraged at how she is being treated. i can’t wait to hear her speech tonight……