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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Statescraft

September 25, 2010

The Christian Science Monitor has a cover-story about the State Department under Hillary Clinton and it’s a good read. Here are some excerpts:

…For most of the young Africans in the hall, especially the women, it was a thrill to be so intimately addressed by Clinton.

Clinton’s speech that early August afternoon was a small affair among the hundreds of talks she has given, the thousands of miles traveled, and dozens of fraught issues addressed as secretary of State – from crafting a “reset” with Russia to addressing China’s military rise with East Asian allies. But there she was, expounding on the role she sees development playing in US foreign policy, with special emphasis on a favorite theme – women.

In that sense, it offered a glimpse into how this reluctant chief diplomat with the unique curriculum vitae – former first lady and senator from New York, and onetime chief political rival of the president she serves – culls from personal narrative in her approach to shaping US foreign policy.

It is Hillary Clinton the politician who returns to villages in Africa she last visited as first lady and addresses people by their first names. It is Hillary Clinton the woman and mother who takes alleged mass rapes in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a personal affront. And it is Hillary Clinton, the once-assumed and later vanquished future president, who opened the formal return to Middle East peace talks in Washington this month by urging the Israeli and Palestinian people to rise above “the disappointments of the past” to become “champions” for peace.

Seventeen months into a job she resisted accepting, Hillary Rodham Clinton is seen by many longtime analysts as making a quiet mark on US statecraft through hard work and by reaching down into the well of personal experience.

They see her patiently rebuilding America’s image in the world and expanding US diplomatic reach by securing more resources for the State Department from former colleagues in the US Congress. While some still question her creative vision and negotiating skills – a hallmark of successful secretaries of State – others laud her for embarking on a redefinition of American foreign policy that gives new weight to diplomacy and development alongside defense…

Definitely go read the whole article at the link above because I only highlighted the very beginning of it. There are also some great photos of her travel.

What I like about the article is not only is it a largely positive profile of Secretary Clinton, but more importantly, it is a substantive profile that recognizes the hard work she has been doing not only in the public eye, but perhaps more importantly, behind the scenes. There are always going to be naysayers but for the most part this article focuses on the more subtle aspects of statescraft.

As I said in a previous post, Secretary Clinton is a work horse, not a show horse and the media needs to stop focusing so much on trying to define the relationship between Secretary Clinton and Obama and on such nonsense as hair clips, but instead focus on the difficult task of promoting U.S. foreign policy at a time when much of the world had turned their back on us (as a result of the Bush years). There is no magic wand and those that want instant results aren’t being realistic, but there is no doubt that Secretary Clinton has done more to promote the diplomatic interests of the US than any other Secretary of State in recent memory- and she has done it by reaching out to average citizens in places like Pakistan, India, the Democratic Republic of Congo, China etc. She seems to fundamentally understand that the wheels of the world are not moved solely by the rich and the powerful but rather by everyday men and women who work, hope and struggle to improve their situation and lot in life.

Here are a few of the photos from the article:

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. HillaryFan permalink
    September 25, 2010 3:07 pm

    Wow, thanks for highlighting this Stacy, I had no idea they had done this major profile/cover story of her. You are on fire today! Your post below, now this. I honestly really appreciate how hard you work to keep this site updated daily and I also really like reading your commentary.

    On another note, I was wondering what folks here (the Hillary fans, not the people like AmericanPatriot or whatever name he is this week) think about the online campaign to draft Hillary to run in 2012? I would LOVE Hillary to be at the top of the ticket in 2012 but I can’t help but wonder, is this what SHE wants? In a way it seems like it could just feed into the right wing rumors about her challenging Obama which plays into the smears about her being willing to do almost anything for power or her being disloyal, etc. I don’t think she is any of those things but will some of the Clinton haters possibly use it against HER? That I wouldn’t want.

    I just wish I knew what her plans were and what SHE wanted. I wouldn’t want a big movement for her to run in 2012 if she is totally opposed to it and finds it a big huge distraction or if it puts undue pressure on her. If she said she wanted to run in 2012 or 2016 then I’d drop everything right now and work endlessly for that. But I just don’t have a feel for what she wants.

    Anyway, sorry for being so wordy but I have seen that around the net and was just wondering what some other folks here thought.

  2. Thain permalink
    September 25, 2010 3:50 pm

    Thanks for the heads up about this article. I sort of forget about the CSM but whenever I remember to check it out I always like it- they are pretty balanced.

    In response to HillaryFan- I don’t know what to think about the draft Hillary petition but I agree with some of the concerns you raised. I also wish I knew what Hillary was thinking/planning.

  3. Tovah permalink
    September 25, 2010 4:39 pm

    Thanks for highlighting this. It’s a really good article.

    Did you see this? Dick Morris is back. That is if he ever really went away:

    @HillaryFan- I haven’t seen the draft Hillary 2012 petition you and Thain are referring to- I’ve seen a lot of talk in the blogosphere about people wanting her to run. I’d love her to run but as people have said here many times it seems like unless this is coming from the Clintons themselves it could end up doing more harm than good. It just seems totally unrealistic to think that Hillary or the DNC would just toss Obama to the side it’s just not how these things work. No matter how much I disagree with some of his policies he’s the incumbent and he has the bully pulpit and the idea that the democrats would just toss that away, even if I would like that just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. It could tear the party apart and people would probably end up resenting her for it and that could end up working for the GOP. Or is that the point of all this? Is the right pushing this idea to divide the democratic vote? After 2008 I became totally disgusted with the Democratic party but I try not to let that get in the way of common sense.

    Also, if Bill and Hillary want are seriously interested in taking back the WH in 2012, why has Bill Clinton been giving Obama advice on how to win in 2012 (in addition to advice to dems in general)?

    I personally would love to see Biden and Hillary switch places so that she is the incumbent in 2016- that’s about the only thing that would get me excited to vote Democrat in 2012- not because I’m excited about Obama’s lame policies but in the hopes that he would win to set up Hillary for 2016 and no, she won’t be too old.

  4. PYW permalink
    September 25, 2010 5:58 pm

    This is a great article. Kudos to CSM!

    • Vcal permalink
      September 25, 2010 6:43 pm

      I went to BORDERS to get my copy of CSM and they didn´t have it! Do you know where can I get 1?

      • September 25, 2010 6:52 pm

        Did they carry CSM at all and just not have the Sept 27th issue? It might not hit news stands until Tuesday. If they don’t carry it at all call your local Barnes & Noble

  5. Craig permalink
    September 25, 2010 7:52 pm

    That’s a great article. It doesn’t have all the pointless gossip and innuendo some of articles have- anything in Politico for example. Except stuff by Laura Rozen who is very balanced.

  6. Vcal permalink
    September 25, 2010 8:46 pm


    Borders doesn’t carry this magazine, I’ll look x it at B&N on tuesday, thank you!

  7. Tovah permalink
    September 26, 2010 11:49 am

    Hey Stacy. Photo bomb today? No pressure 😉

  8. March 2, 2011 11:30 am

    Sales of digital cameras seem to be exploding. This is not surprising as the quality of images from digital cameras improves and they become more affordable. In addition, consumers are becoming more comfortable with the idea of digital photography.

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