She did not seem to be in the Lower House anymore in her place. It was not so much the question whether Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert (VVD) would leave, but when.
Her departure, however, could not come at a worse time. Earlier this week, Han ten Broeke stepped up because of a relationship in 2013 with a younger group member who accused him of cross-border sexual behavior. Now that Hennis is leaving to become UN ambassador to Iraq, the VVD party is losing the two most experienced forces.
When she arrived at the Binnenhof eight years ago, Hennis was immediately a striking appearance, with her blond hair and tiger print boots above the knee. The cheerful flap-out, who betrays every emotion with her facial expressions, quickly became popular. Prime Minister Rutte loved her. Soon she was considered one of his confidants and as his potential successor – as party leader and possibly as prime minister.
Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert was born on April 7, 1973 in Heerlen. Her father was a tax specialist, her mother was the director of a primary school. Before joining the Lower House in 2010, she worked for six years as a Member of Parliament in Brussels in the European Parliament. There she once got a standing ovation because she had managed to prevent the US from having access to the bank details of European citizens. Until 2004 she was the political assistant of an Amsterdam alderman and before that subsidiary advisor at KPMG.
As a member of parliament, Hennis was pretty open-hearted. Her furious tweet after receiving a letter against abortion with a plastic fetus from the Auxiliary Bishop of Roermond, she explained further by saying that she herself had had several miscarriages. The sender of the letter did not realize how painful that was for her, she meant to say. But the story got an annoying continuation when the editor of the Katholiek Nieuwsblad turned directly to Hennis in an open letter: 'You may never have become a mother, but as a member of parliament you now have the opportunity to bring tens of thousands of children to the world. . That could be a great comfort to you. "The editor-in-chief came under heavy fire and Hennis tweeted that she had learned a" hard lesson ":" Never give a little bit of a private prize to explain a reaction – hard abused !! "
First woman on Defense
Years later Hennis was nominated as the first female minister of defense. It was astonished, especially because she did not have any managerial experience. What followed a typical Hennis reaction: "For every minister, there are always people who hope you stumble. For that it does not matter if you have a little one or not. "
As a minister, Hennis became a lot more cautious, and she paid more attention than ever to her words. Especially in complicated subjects she cramped and spoke in jargon. It took a while before she resembled who she was before she came into the cabinet – and before she had belied the criticism surrounding her appointment.
Although she eventually found her turn, she could not serve as a minister for the full term. In October 2017 she resigned due to the report of the Dutch Safety Board on the death of two Dutch soldiers in Mali in the summer of 2016. The cause was a mortar grenade that exploded prematurely. A third soldier was seriously injured. The conclusions in the report were devastating: Defense had prioritized the progress of missions over the safety of its own soldiers. Hennis took political responsibility and resigned before the House of Representatives could have forced her to do so. She chose the neat route: she answered all critical questions from the parliament for five hours.
After her ministry, she returned to the Chamber. She did not get a new post in the Rutte III cabinet, even though she was the new minister of foreign affairs for her resignation. Rutte did not dare, with her departure so fresh in the memory, not at all, that's how it sounded in The Hague. That was still the case when fellow party Halbe Zijlstra, who got the job, had to resign after a few months because of his lie about his presence in the dachshund of the Russian president Putin. Hennis' lightning career in the VVD seemed to have stalled. Since then, her name has been constantly associated with outstanding vacancies, such as the mayorship in Amsterdam. Now it is clear that Hennis still chooses a continuation of her foreign adventures.