President Bush concluded meetings with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore yesterday, by signing the tersely titled “Strategic Framework Agreement Between the United States of America and the Republic of Singapore for a Closer Cooperation Partnership in Defense and Security.” In a joint statement the two hereditary dictators described the Agreement as “a natural step in the expansion of bilateral ties.”
It was born out of a shared desire to address common threats such as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), which called for even closer cooperation between the United States and Singapore. The Agreement recognizes Singapore’s role as a Major Security Cooperation Partner and will expand the scope of current cooperation in areas such as counterterrorism, counter-proliferation, joint military exercises and training, policy dialogues, and defense technology.
And just to show how important this “strong U.S.-Singapore partnership” really is, President Bush also took the time yesterday to nominate a new ambassador to Singapore, with unparalleled experience in the areas of counterterrorism, counter-proliferation, joint military exercises and training, policy dialogues, and defense technology… former King County Republican Party chair Patricia Herbold.
Looking at Pat’s resume, it is hard to imagine another person more qualified to serve as ambassador to a strategic partner in the fight against terrorism and WMDs. In addition to a two-year stint as chair of the KCRP, she has also been active in the Bellevue Senior Coed Softball League.
Previously Pat has served as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Clermont County, Ohio, City Councilmember and Mayor of Montgomery, Ohio and was Vice President and General Counsel for Bank One in Dayton, Ohio. Since moving to Washington State she has given her support as a Board Member to the Seattle Art Museum, Long Live the Kings (salmon recovery program), Performing Arts Center Eastside, Downtown Bellevue Tomorrow and other worthwhile causes.
And oh yeah… she’s also served on the steering and/or finance committees for President Bush and ex-Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn… not that this could possibly have had anything to do with her nomination.
Oh… according to the Seattle Times, maybe this “plum ambassadorship” did have something to do with money after all…
The Herbolds are both important GOP fund-raisers. Patricia Herbold is one of the founding members of The Club for Growth, a powerful national business coalition that supports changes in Social Security. That group collected more than $20 million for Republicans in 2004.
Herbold’s own record is substantial. She has given more than $100,000 to GOP candidates and the state party since 1998, including $25,000 to the joint state victory committee last September.
She contributed more than $61,000 to individual candidates, including Bush. And she gave $17,000 to GOP committees in other states. She was on Bush’s finance committee in 2000.
Robert Herbold has given nearly $20,000 since 1997; he also has been an active fund-raiser.
Ah well… I guess being a major contributor and fundraiser for one authoritarian leader might make you qualified to be ambassador to another.