During the early days of the 2008 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, I was quietly rooting for Barack Obama. I then knew little about the freshman Senator from Illinois, but had been impressed with his presence and his gift with (scripted) words. Only as we started learning about his background did I start to reconsider my opinion of the candidate.
Not jut that, I had at that point, attributed Mrs. Clinton’s success to her choice in husband and always thought she got a free pass from the media. While I had initially seen her as a hyper-partisan Democrat, I did acknowledge she had impressed many of her Republican colleagues in the Senate by her ability to reach across party lines. But, at the outset of the 2008 campaign, I wondered if she had anything besides ambition, to borrow an expression from Shakespeare, to prick the sides of her intent.
That said, during the course of the 2008 campaign when the media turned on her and she kept fighting, I became impressed with her tenacity. I had never previously thought that the expression “strong woman” could apply to the then-New York Senator. Yet, when I watched her pressing in, even as the media wrote her off, I could not help but admire her determination and fortitude.
Now, to be sure, I don’t always agree with the Secretary of State, but when I see her name in a headline, I no longer assume I’ll be disagreeing with her. So today, when I read about her press conference with the new British Foreign Minister, I was not surprised to find myself on the same page as she on Iran:
Iran will continue to defy demands to prove its nuclear program is peaceful unless it is hit with a new round of U.N. sanctions, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday.
Speaking at a news conference with new British Foreign Secretary William Hague, Clinton said negotiators from Germany and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council were making progress every day on a draft sanctions resolution.
She said Iran’s intransigence on the nuclear issue is the strongest argument for a fourth round of sanctions. “We believe that the case is being made perhaps most effectively by the Iranians themselves,” she said.
Mrs. Clinton sounds as hawkish as she often did while serving on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Now, I do hope the sanctions she and her British counterpart are discussing have teeth. But, at least someone in this Administration, rhetorically at least, understands that the problem with Iran is that nation’s belligerence and not our attitude toward it.