Friday, May 1, 2009

Hillary’s First 100 Days: A Smart, Dedicated, Hard-working Secretary of State


In today’s NY Times, Mark Landler offers a (mostly) professional journalist’s account of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s transition from presidential candidate to secretary of state. Landler gives credit where it’s due in reporting Secretary Clinton’s mastery of her new job, and he does not fail to note the rock star status she’s accorded in many nations throughout the world.

But it’s not quite clear how one should take Landler’s repeated references to a respectful, but not exactly warm relationship between Clinton and Obama. Many of us would argue that Secretary Clinton is wisely maintaining a degree of caution in her workplace relationship with President Obama, who has been known to shaft a few people who trusted him too much, e.g., Alice Palmer.

(By the way, have today’s pundits and reporters never previously witnessed a candidate accepting an appointment by a former opponent? Their obsessive focus on this aspect of Hillary Clinton’s performance as SoS is really getting tiresome.)

Landler also avoids making over-the-top snarky comments about former President Bill Clinton’s influence in his wife’s new job as the nation’s top diplomat. And you have to love Hillary’s description of Bill’s role at the White House: “He’s always value added,” she said.

Here’s an excerpt from Landler’s article:

In this, the latest mutation in a career of many changes, Mrs. Clinton’s days have become a whirl of diplomatic talks, White House meetings, and foreign travel: 74,000 miles and 22 countries as of last Sunday, when she returned from Iraq and Lebanon.

By all accounts, Mrs. Clinton has worked hard to be a good soldier in an administration run by the man she spent much of last year trying to defeat. She and President Obama have developed a respectful rapport, several officials said, and she has emerged as an influential voice in the great policy debates of the day, notably Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Go here for the entire article.

Cross-posted at the Widdershins.


  1. Virginia,
    Thanks for always keeping Hillary at the forefront. I've been consumed with some education issues so can only stop by for my Hillary fix.
    I've enjoyed getting to know the Widdershins!

  2. Hi teacherconfidential,

    It's great to hear from you! And I'm glad you enjoy the Widdershins, a feisty left-leaning blog that invited me to guest post there. All the writers there are Hillary loyalists.