Reaction to SOS Hillary Clinton’s FoPo Speech Yesterday at the CFR
I haven’t had a chance to look at all the articles but it is clear that the speech has been lauded and given high marks by commentators, foreign policy wonks and the media (’bout time!). If you didn’t yet get a chance to watch her speech, check out my post below (it has the video).
I wanted to highlight this article from the WaPo:
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton declared Wednesday that “a new American moment” has arrived in international relations, “a moment when our global leadership is essential, even if we must often lead in new ways.”
In a lengthy speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in which she defended the Obama administration’s foreign policy approach, Clinton said that “this is a moment that must be seized – through hard work and bold decisions – to lay the foundations for lasting American leadership for decades to come.”
Critics have said that the administration’s diplomacy has yielded little on such difficult issues as Israeli-Palestinian peace and Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, but Clinton argued the opposite, saying that substantial progress has been made on those fronts through “classic shoe-leather diplomacy.” She urged patience, saying that the fruits of the administration’s labors will not be apparent for some time.
The speech in many ways marks Clinton’s emergence as a foreign policy leader at a time when President Obama is consumed with the lagging domestic economy and November’s midterm elections. Clinton will travel to the Middle East next week to foster direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians, and in Wednesday’s speech she spoke confidently about the administration’s agenda and the United States’ role in the world.
More than a year ago, in the same venue, Clinton spoke of “tilting the balance away from a multi-polar world and toward a multi-partner world” and emphasized the administration’s willingness to engage with its adversaries. On Wednesday, her tone was subtly different, focused much more on the importance of the nation’s role in managing problems.
“This is no argument for America to go it alone – far from it,” Clinton said. “The world looks to us because America has the reach and resolve to mobilize the shared effort needed to solve problems on a global scale – in defense of our own interests, but also as a force for progress. In this we have no rival.”
She added: “For the United States, global leadership is both a responsibility and an unparalleled opportunity.”
Clinton said the administration has put into practice the ideas she laid out a year ago and has begun to build what she called “a new global architecture” of alliances and interests. As a prime example, she pointed to the administration’s successful drive to win U.N. Security Council sanctions against Iran, which have been further strengthened by individual actions of major powers. She said the administration won over skeptics of new sanctions by emphasizing its interest in dialogue with Iran and renewing its own nuclear disarmament efforts.
That’s what leadership looks and sounds like.
I hope she takes this message directly to the American people. I know most are focused almost exclusively on domestic issues, but as Secretary Clinton notes, our economic situation and foreign policy are intimately related, for better or worse.