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Are Both Bill Clinton and Kim Jong Il?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Their official non-official portrait stares out at us from the front page of the Washington Post. Former President Bill Clinton looks grim, even a bit queasy, as he sits next to North Korea’s “Dear Leader,” Kim Jong Il. Both look unwell. Kim is said to have had a stroke last summer. Bill Clinton is on the mend, we all hope, from heart surgery.

The ex-President looks uncomfortable, as if he knows he flew half-way round the world for this phony photo shoot. Kim Jong Il wanted to capture Clinton for “a thin slice of legitimacy that has long eluded him,” the Post says. Well, has this given it to him?

Bill Clinton was there to convey the U.S. apology. He was the unofficial envoy of an administration that has been busying itself since it came to office making apologies around the world.

This time, however, the Obama administration was not apologizing for the George W. Bush administration’s misdeeds. Or the George H.W. Bush administration. Or even the George Washington administration.

This time, Bill Clinton was apologizing for two American journalists who supposedly violated North Korean laws by their reporting for Al Gore’s TV network. Until these unfortunate young women got nabbed by Pyongyang, nobody even knew Al Gore had a TV network.

Now this Clinton trip is historic. Bill Clinton got to apologize for Al Gore. That’s a nice turnabout.

The North Koreans were offered Planet Gore himself. The ex-VEEP was primed and ready to go to the Worker’s Paradise, but not even the hermit kingdom wanted Al Gore. Kim Jong Il rejected Al Gore out of hand. Good grief! I hate to think there’s something in this world that I actually agree with Kim Jong Il about.

But on second thought, we’re both wrong. Kim Jong Il should have let Al Gore come ahead. Gore could have made much of the environmental advances of North Korea. After all, as this satellite photo clearly shows, North Korea is saving massively on electrical energy. The night sky shows North Korea virtually all dark.

They’re not at all like their naughty cousins south of the 38th Parallel. Those South Koreans don’t have a Dear Leader to keep them in the dark. Look at all those lights in the South blazing away, and I’ll bet those lights aren’t even Gore-approved Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs.

So, Kim Jong Il missed a big opportunity by not telling Al Gore to pack his pj’s, hop on a private jet, and come over for a little noodle at Panmunjom. Who knows, maybe Gore could have nominated Kim for a Nobel Peace Prize for his energy-saving ways.

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