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Bill Shaheen: Brokering Middle East Peace?

The Post's Anne E. Kornblut filed this dispatch for The Fix:

If Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) is elected president, will she make Bill Shaheen her special envoy to the Middle East?

Doubtful. Nevertheless, Shaheen said that in exchange for his recent endorsement of Clinton's campaign -- a major "get" in New Hampshire politics -- he asked Clinton to send him over to negotiate with the Israelis and Palestinians if she wins the White House.

"I think I've got something to offer," Shaheen said in a phone interview on Monday, after he was quoted in a New Hampshire blog as saying the senator had promised him a slot on the peace team.

In the interview, he said it wasn't exactly a quid pro quo. "It wasn't a promise promise," he said, "I told her I feel strongly about it." Clinton, he said, told him: "I'm sure it's going to be a huge process."

Shaheen, the husband of former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen and a second-generation Lebanese American, said he had worked alongside former President Jimmy Carter as an elections monitor in the Palestinian territories.

Does he agree with Carter's controversial characterization of the Israeli occupation as amounting to "apartheid"?

No, Shaheen said. His description of the Middle East: "I think there are people who are not being treated very nicely. They want their own freedom."

Wise words from a would-be diplomat.

-- Anne E. Kornblut

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 26, 2007; 6:30 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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