Secretary of State designee Hillary Clinton at today’s hearings.
I suppose I could link to a major news source for coverage of Hillary Clinton’s confirmation hearings, and I have scanned a few. Plus, I’ve caught a few minutes of MSNBC’s video; not even the most low-life Hillary-hater could have been unimpressed by the secretary of state designee’s poise and her in-depth knowledge of every policy issue.
But news sources, especially the Oba-media, can’t match the skills of Georgetown University law professor Heidi Li Feldman who knows Sen. Clinton well enough to hit both the personal and professional highlights of her remarks in today’s exchanges.
Here’s Heidi’s take verbatim:
Hillary Rodham Clinton's confirmation hearings: In the middle of troubled times, a strong, deeply intelligent voice
"It is not unique for spouses of government officials to work."
--Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State designee, 2009 January 13, 2:47 p.m. eastern
Amid all the other comments, answers, and statements - many of which speak to more specific and presently pressing matters - made by Hillary Rodham Clinton during today's confirmation hearings, this is the one I will smile about whenever I recall it. Senator Clinton is referring to herself as a government official and to Bill Clinton as her spouse.
The spouse is the husband of the Secretary of State designee; the government official is a woman, his wife, on the verge of becoming Secretary of State.
In the world I dream of there would be no reason to parse this statement, to underscore or even care about which spouse is the husband, which the wife, or even whether the spouses were of the same sex or opposite ones.
But we do not yet inhabit that world. So, I will be smiling at Senator Clinton's comment for many days to come.
Senator Clinton spoke on many issues, and all she said will receive coverage from the usual media outlets. Three points jumped out at me, all in continuity with the foreign policy positions and outlook Senator Clinton articulated during her run for the Presidency, and now with new importance given Senator Clinton's pending service as Secretary of State:
- the central importance of leading foreign affairs from state, not from the defense department;
- the crucial importance of adding massive resources to the civilian face of American diplomacy, the state department;
- the vital role of ensuring that foreign policy be used to empower women and girls in all the countries with which the United States interacts.
I close this post with a fitting factoid, from The Chicago Tribune.
As her appearance was being broadcast nationwide on C-SPAN, Clinton debuted in her new role at a time when her public image is soaring. A new Gallup poll Tuesday showed 65 percent of Americans saying they have a favorable opinion of Clinton, the highest such rating in nearly 10 years.
I’ll add one more thought to Heidi’s post: That 65-percent favorable opinion of Hillary Clinton should tell the Hillary-haters on both the left and the right that they’ve lost – big time. As Maya Angelou once wrote of Clinton:
“You may write me down in history
“With your bitter, twisted lies,
“You may tread me in the very dirt
“But still, like dust, I'll rise.