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Could Hillary be a great Secretary of State?

Not until the last stage of the Democratic primaries did I consider Hillary Clinton to be a strong woman.  Previously, she always seemed someone who had ridden her husband’s coattails to success.  Could anyone else so charismatically challenged have leapfrogged over so many politicians who had already won elective office to her party’s nod for the Senate seat vacated by Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s retirement in 2000?

And yet, watching her fight for her party’s presidential nomination eight years later when the media, which had so promoted her in the past and which had regularly run interference for her, had written her off and encouraged her to quit, I saw a new woman emerge, feisty, determined, tenacious.

If she brings those qualities to the State Department, she could succeed where the incumbent Secretary has failed.  Much as I admire Condoleezza Rice, clearly one of the most intelligent women in America, she has yielded to her department’s permanent bureaucracy all too often these past four years.

I just don’t see Mrs. Clinton giving in to those arrogant apparatchiks.  Indeed, I see her standing up to them should they try to thwart her initiatives as she stood up to the media (and the man who tapped her for the State Depament) in the final months of the primary campaign.

Let’s just hope those initiatives reflect her rhetoric in that stage of the campaign.  Commentary‘s Abe Greenwald seems to think they will, complimenting perhaps the “bold Bush policy” with “better PR.”

While our nation had many good Secretaries of State (and at least three great ones, Acheson, Dulles and Shultz) during the Cold War, for the passed two decades, we’ve had only mediocrities and incompetents.  But, HIllary lacks one thing which made otherwise qualified individuals mediocre at State, she is her own person, or at least, has been, since the media abandoned her last spring (or maybe even earlier).

This is not to say that I dismiss her ethical lapses, but just to say it’s entirely possible she could succeed at State.

But, as I say that, note I say “possible” and that I title this post with a question.



  1. It is fascinating, maddening, and reassuring all at once that Obama, Hillary and his other designates are basically adopting the very Bush policies on Iraq, Guantanamo, terrorism, and torture that they so treacherously and treasonously tried to undermine for political gain. They (and the FISA court this week) have just vindicated Bush, and they damn well know it, which is why they are attempting, being the slime that they are, to do it as quietly as possible.

    That said, will she be a great SoS? I doubt it. I’m sure you’re right that she will be less susceptible to manipulation at State, but the problem is her boss agrees with the careerists at state that America is the problem, not the solution, while I feel certain that she, like her husband, will use her position to glorify herself at the expense of America and our allies.

    They may have quietly adopted Bush’s policies on the war on terror, but there are a great many dangers in the world on which they have not. China and Taiwan, Russia and its former satellites, Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, Syria, etc… I am deeply troubled that our enemies will see the Obama presidency as their cue to move, and I have very little confidence in him or Hillary to handle any of it well.

    Comment by American Elephant — January 16, 2009 @ 11:47 pm - January 16, 2009

  2. I saw a new woman emerge, feisty, determined, tenacious

    And yet still power-hungry (able to cry only for herself), sleazy and dishonest.

    If she brings those qualities to the State Department…

    Then she’ll have a chance to be our most power-hungry, self-absorbed, sleazy and dishonest Secretary of State. Whether that amounts to a “success” depends on other factors in your view of the world. The French will probably like her.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 17, 2009 @ 10:30 am - January 17, 2009

  3. Can someone remind me just what are Mrs. Clinton’s qualifications to be Sec. of State? Tea with Sonia Ghandi?

    Comment by Tarquin — January 17, 2009 @ 10:45 am - January 17, 2009

  4. Kissing the Arafats

    Comment by American Elephant — January 17, 2009 @ 2:51 pm - January 17, 2009

  5. She fancies herself as a “strong woman”, but I’m sure she’d have no problem grabbing her ankles to ensure that the world “loves us” again.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 18, 2009 @ 5:38 am - January 18, 2009

  6. I gained a little respect for her when she was campaigning. However, once she played the good little soldier and did what she was told, I lost that respect. Now, I don’t think she’ll do especially well as Secretary of State. She plays the game just like all the rest. Another bozo among so many bozos.

    Comment by Rosalie — January 18, 2009 @ 10:39 am - January 18, 2009

  7. I think she will nag the Axil of Evil into submission. Can you imagine her as President? I think people would kill themselves like they did in the recent movie “The Happening” so they would not have to listen to her nagging.

    Comment by LCRWashington — January 18, 2009 @ 11:06 am - January 18, 2009

  8. “Not until the last stage of the Democratic primaries did I consider Hillary Clinton to be a strong woman. …”

    Holy crap! I’ve felt exactly that way since then too. My friends and family roll their eyes whenever I state any support or admiration for Hillary. Sorry (weird that I feel I have to apologize for feeling this way) but she seemed, well, Presidential.

    Yeah, she supports cradle-to-the-grave nannyism and believes we don’t need no stinkin’ Second Amendment, but, during the campaign? She came across as straightforward, strong, willing to compromise where necessary … Presidential. And she even smiled occasionally! Yikes.

    Because of her liberal extremism I wouldn’t want her in charge of the entire country (though she is and would be less extreme than the eventual winner), but State? I wish her only the best.

    Comment by DoorHold — January 19, 2009 @ 4:08 pm - January 19, 2009

  9. […] Shortly before Hillary Clinton took office as the nation’s sixty-seventh Secretary of State, I asked, “Could Hillary be a great Secretary of State?“ […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » When Will Hillary Resign? — July 15, 2009 @ 6:30 pm - July 15, 2009

  10. […] of 2008 for the Democratic presidential nomination, I wondered last January if she could become a great Secretary of State.  But, yet, in the nearly eight months since she has taken office as the nation’s top […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Are the Keystone Cops Running U.S. Foreign Policy? — September 14, 2009 @ 9:30 am - September 14, 2009

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