Preview of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s CFR speech
Tomorrow Secretary Clinton will be giving a major foreign policy address at the Council on Foreign Relations and Laura Rozen has a preview:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will tell the Council on Foreign Relations Wednesday that the Obama administration’s diplomatic engagement and international leadership are advancing U.S. national security and achieving concrete results, from tough international sanctions on Iran to strengthening the nonproliferation regime to relaunched Middle East peace talks, officials tell POLITICO.
The speech “will affirm that America has the unique reach, resources and resolve to mobilize the coalitions needed to solve problems on a global scale,” an official told POLITICO’s Playbook. “And she will offer examples from the past year and a half — from sanctions on Iran to reset with Russia to renewed alliances in Europe and Asia — that demonstrate how this model of global leadership is producing results and advancing American interests.”
Describing a “global architecture of cooperation,” the speech will “show how all the different things Clinton is doing are in fact connected and part of an overall conception of U.S. leadership and a way to advance U.S. interests and values,” another senior administration official told POLITICO.
Clinton’s speech comes as President Barack Obama is focusing more intently on the economic crisis and domestic issues and the White House is turning to Clinton to take a larger role not only in managing the administration’s foreign policy portfolio but in explaining it and taking note of its successes to American audiences.
“One of Clinton’s political strengths is she doesn’t overpromise,” the official said. “She doesn’t sell a version of a perfect world. And we have to come to grips with how hard these things are. When she says there is progress, it has the ring of credibility.”
I agree with the highlighted portions above. She is refreshingly frank and honest when discussing foreign policy and she understands the importance of not viewing everything through rose-colored glasses. Some of the administration’s critics get annoyed with this, particularly when she admits that yes, in fact, the US has made some mistakes and is working to rectify them. But the fact is, how can we have any credibility on the world stage if our attitude is simply “do as we say not as we do?” And after 8 years of Bush’s total lack of diplomacy, torture, lies and essentially treating many of our allies like dirt for not signing onto all our escapades (think France and Germany not signing onto the Iraq War and the right’s backlash against them), Secretary Clinton had her work cut out for her.
Of course, it helps that her approval rating is higher than anyone else’s in this administration. That is important because she will be the one taking the administration’s foreign policy agenda directly to the people. Hopefully we will see more of her on the Sunday talk shows because I don’t want to see a) Rahm Emanuel, b) Robert Gibbs or c) David Axelrod discussing foreign policy. They are terrible messengers of ANY message.