Hillary Clinton

Belfast; Well we now know at least one job Hillary Clinton would like to have after she leaves office.

Here is what she said to a room full of attendees at the American Ireland Fund luncheon in her honor held at the spectacular Titanic Quarter museum here.

“So my offer to you is, as I leave this current position and become a private citizen again, I want to continue working with you.

"I want to support you in what you are doing.  And I hope that we’ll have a chance to really come to grips with some of the serious remaining problems that are still plaguing the fulfillment of our aspirations for the people of Northern Ireland.

“Of course I look forward to coming back and having some time just to relax and spend a few hours talking with friends and thinking about things besides public life.

“But I’m very serious about this offer and very serious to the Ireland Funds that I want to remain involved as a friend, an advocate, and a cheerleader for what you have already achieved.”

That last sentence is especially compelling. As far as I know, it is the first time that Hillary has specifically committed to doing work for any group, voluntary or otherwise after she quits office.

What an opportunity for the Ireland Funds to have the best known name in America pulling for their cause!

Hillary has made an offer the organization can hardly refuse however it plays out and what role she might have.

Chairman Loretta Brennan Glucksman and CEO Kieran McLoughlin have done a remarkable job positioning the Fund for the 21st Century but they hardly expected the ‘put me to work for you’ offer by one of America’s most prodigious fundraisers and famous people.

It was a remarkable end to a spectacular trip by Clinton to Ireland, one which I was delighted to tag along on.

Earlier I had witnessed a sad but touching moment when two of the great architects of the historic Good Friday agreement, David Trimble and John Hume met with Secretary Clinton in a private room.

John Hume is not well these days and wife Pat continues to play an heroic role in being by her husband’s side. David Trimble looks hale and hearty but his role in the Good Friday Agreement shortened his political career.

It was great to see their work acknowledged one last time by the Secretary of State.

Other heroes of the peace process were also present, the extraordinary Ian Paisley, still hale and hearty, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and of course the two Northern Ireland overlords, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness.

The great and the good turned out to  say farewell to Mrs Clinton, but as both Robinson and McGuinness noted, there is every chance they will greet her soon again perhaps in a very different capacity.

Witnessing Hillary in Belfast one last time and listening to her impassioned words about the Irish peace process I have no doubt that her involvement was one of the touchstones of her political life.

It was a fortunate wind that blew the Clintons into Northern ireland on that November/December week in 1995 which seems so long ago now.

But all these years later the fire continues to burn and Hillary wants to continue to kindle the flames. It is an opportunity not to be missed I’d say.