Archive for December, 2009

December: You’re the present ‘neath my Christmas tree. (Neil Sedaka)

Our Calendar Girl is a gift to our country and the world. Aside from God and Hillary herself, I guess the person who deserves the most credit for her service is Bill Clinton, who almost a year ago, agreed to subject the Clinton Foundation to strict oversight and to restrict both its fund raising and his own activities within the foundation in order for Hillary to pass White House vetting for her position as Secretary of State.   (Reminder: Last chance to make a donation for a 2009 tax deduction is today.  Just thought I would mention it.)  Hers was perhaps the strictest vetting of all. And what was Bill Clinton’s “reward” for his sacrifices? His pretty little wife spends most of the year on some other side of the globe from him. Well, he is proud of her, and so it was sweet to see that December began with them together in New York City at the 100th Anniversary of the New York Amsterdam News. Really, how cute are they?

Early December was dominated by the unrolling of the Obama Administration’s long-awaited policy on Afghanistan. The “War Council” as they came to be known, traveled together with the President from D.C. to West Point where the speech unveiling the policy was delivered.

Over the next week Secretaries Gates and Clinton, along with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Adm. Mullen, spent some time on Capitol Hill testifying before the House Foreign Affairs, the Senate Armed Services (Hillary’s old committee), and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (which had confirmed Hillary as SOS about 11 months earlier). The subject, of course, was the new Afghanistan policy.

Immediately after the last round of testimony, she was off to Brussels to solicit assistance from our NATO partners. She did very well, of course. How can you say “no” to her?

See what I mean about how she uses color? No trouble finding her in this photo!

There was another flurry of TV interviews recorded while she was in Brussels, of course. So we all tried to keep track of her appearances.

When she returned stateside, she kicked off a series of holiday parties she was to go on to host by inviting the 2009 Kennedy Center Honorees to a dinner at the State Department. One of the honorees was Dave Brubeck, so it was very good news that Bill Clinton not only accompanied his gorgeous wife to Foggy Bottom, but evidently was quite the jovial co-host! She wore that gown. You cannot let anyone who looks like this go anywhere unaccompanied. It would be criminal.

There are two pictures of her in this position. Occasionally I see her do something that causes me to wonder if that elbow still bothers her,  even though it looks like it healed perfectly.

The Kennedy Center Honors aired this past Wednesday.

She remained planted on U.S. soil (for once!) to initiate her Diplomacy Briefing Series one morning.  And then it was home to New York to speak at the American Pakistan Foundation’s Inaugural Gala.

Mid-December saw the usual interviews and bi-laterals, as she continued to reach out to a world that had been treated rather coldly by the previous administration. But the seminal event for mid-December was her speech at Georgetown University outlining the administration’s Human Rights Agenda for the 21st Century. It was a prodigious speech, typically thorough, well-organized, and masterfully delivered.

At that point something strange happened. With a packed week scheduled, her week was suddenly cleared,  and she was off to the Copenhagen COP15 that seemed to be stalled in the process of seeking agreements among the participants. Poor countries opposed the rich ones, and the African countries staged a walkout for a time. Evidently, the administration felt Hillary could rescue the situation. So duty called, and she answered.  The New York Times called Hillary’s intervention “the charm offensive.”  It is not hard to see why!  As we end this year and this review of 2009, she has (once again)  topped the USA Today/Gallup Poll as the Most Admired Woman of 2009.

And so as this blog entry becomes an installment in its own archive,   2009 ends with the beautiful girl who dropped the ball in Times Square to ring  it in having  kept up the charm & brains offensive through the entire year.  She was adorable last year on that below freezing night.  It is no surprise  that  she blew away the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to become “Secretary of Awesome.”  Watching her this year was fun.  I am looking forward to 2010 with Hillary Rodham Clinton in the spotlight.

Happy New Year, Secretary Clinton, President Clinton, and all readers of this blog.  I wish everyone a Happy and Healthy 2010!!!

Here are the archives for December 2009 on this blog. (Reminder: Again there are several pages.  You can navigate to the next page by clicking on “Older Posts” at the bottom of the page.)

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November: I’ll give thanks that you belong to me. (Neil Sedaka)

Well, that “Calendar Girl” line is so appropriate since I have said so often here how thankful I am that I am on earth at the same time as Hillary Clinton. Then if I get really selfish, yes, I am also thankful that in this global village we occupy, she is ours! Another thing for which I am eternally grateful is that she and I and all of you are on earth at the same time as all of this cool technology.

Moving on to November 2009: When we left her on October 31, she was in Israel where she carried out her duty of reaffirming the administration shift in policy regarding a freeze on West Bank settlement that President Obama established in September at UNGA meeting with both Netanyahu and Abbas. I am not putting pictures of her with Bibi here because as cute as she looked, he always looks so smug around her, like he has her under his thumb,or his heel. From there, she moved on to Morocco where she attended the Forum for the Future.

She touched down very briefly back in the U.S. to meet with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle whom she would see again in just a few days in Germany.

And then a brief trip to New York to give the keynote speech at the commissioning of the USS New York (where, shallow comment alert, she looked stunningly beautiful).

She was in the air again the next day, Berlin-bound for the very festive, much anticipated Fall of the Wall +20. Where she met up with Guido Westerwelle again and his partner (and flirted outrageously with both – another art of hers that I could watch all day).

Accepted the Freedom’s Challenge Award on our behalf.

She met up with Angela Merkel with whom she is always uncannily color coordinated. Those two knock me out. Female leadership in spades there!

She shared a stage with Guido again.

And spoke at the big celebration of the Twentieth Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

Another thing I love about Hillary is that she always has a way of using color to help us pick her out in a crowd.   She uses color in her diplomacy, we noticed over the year, wearing flag colors in honor of various countries. You see her with the flags, and it is very clear. She also uses color to help us find her. 😉

While in Berlin, she made a flurry of appearances on the Sunday morning and other news circuits here in the U.S. as well as in Germany. The interviews are in the archives here.

From Berlin, she was off to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Singapore.

But she seemed to have a hard time staying on the ground in November and took a side trip to the Philippines before returning to Singapore. She gave a townterview at the University of Santo Tomas and was greeted like a rock star.

And she visited the American cemetery outside Manila.

Then it was time to return to Singapore and APEC.

At this second leg of APEC, President Obama caught up with her in Singapore.

From there she was off to Shanghai where, in the rain, she spoke at the site of the U.S. Pavilion at the Shanghai 2010 World Expo. Hillary in the rain. She was in the rain in Berlin, too. Always beautiful under an umbrella.

After this, she was off on her second visit to Beijing as SOS to meet up with the President again.

She left Beijing for a visit to Afghanistan where she landed in this absolutely exquisite coat. You know, she is so gorgeous, and when she wears something like this, it has to attract attention. I am sure the simple fact that she was in Afghanistan would have been reason enough  to put her on the front page of the New York Times. But I think it was for sheer aesthetic reasons that they gave the picture a four-column spread.



Dressed as the Afghan flag, she met with counterparts from many countries at the Foreign Ministry. She also met with troops, spoke to them and held a photo op which they seemed to have loved. She also spoke at the Embassy, of course, dressed in her signature American blue.

Finally, after nearly a month of spending time in the air, she touched American soil again She attended a cabinet meeting on a Monday. Despite the grueling month of travel, she looked beautiful if maybe a little tired.

*Added later*  When I looked at this page again I realized that I really needed to add more about the second picture below.  It totally grabbed my heart from the first moment I saw it knowing how tired she must have been,  and even the President made special mention of  “people who don’t know what time zone they’re  in.”  She has a look on her face that simply grabs me.  But I also realized, close and intimate as this photo is, that she is not really wearing any make-up.  Just a little eyeliner and lipstick.  I do not even see mascara. To look like that, after a month of travel,  without even powder (that I can see – I can even see the impression of the nose piece of her glasses),  is phenomenal!   She really is a natural beauty!   A heartbreaker!

This was followed by the very hyped (but not very secure) premiere Obama White House State Dinner for Prime Minister Singh.

Hillary, with Joe Biden,  hosted a luncheon reception at the State Department in the afternoon.

We did not see pictures of Hillary at the State dinner, but a fleeting glance on news video indicated that she might be wearing the gown that is a hands-down favorite of Hillary followers the world over, the midnight blue number that she wore at the Intrepid dinner the year before. One picture at White House Flickr confirmed that this was indeed her choice. She could wear this every day and we would never get tired of it. Just stunning!

During the Thanksgiving break, the Hillary followers began officially to suffer (as they are now, which is why I am putting many pictures the past few posts) from Hillary-Withdrawal-Syndrome (HWS), so you will notice some extraneous posts in the archives for that period.

When Thanksgiving was over, she finished out the month of November meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, whom she will be visiting in mid-January, and by delivering an address marking International AIDS Day.

Among other bright spots from November, the Secretary of Style was featured in Vogue (OK, it was the December issue, but we got the e-advanced and the hard copy in November).

October and November were hugely busy months for the Secretary.  But as we shall see tomorrow,  she entered December energetically ready to take on still more challenging tasks.

Here are the archives for November 2009 on this blog.

(N.B. Once again there are several pages of these archives.  You can move to the next page  by clicking on “Older Posts” at the bottom of each page.)

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October: Romeo and Juliet on Halloween (Neil Sedaka)

Well, the Calendar Girl had a very busy month of October, so she could not be with her Romeo on Halloween. Actually, yours truly saw Bill Clinton at a campaign event the day after Hillary’s birthday.   He whispered something to my Congressman.   Congressman Pascrell visibly paled.  I could not tell what Pascrell said.  He had turned away from me toward Bill.   But I could see Bill and read his lips when he said, “No. She’s safe.” I knew then that she was already wheels-down in Pakistan, a trip I dreaded for her, and I also knew that something bad had happened, and we would not know until the next day. It was the terrible market bombing in Peshawar timed to coincide with her arrival.

She began the month of October on home ground meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister of Viet Nam, to me, an amazing thing.

And was welcomed at a huge speaking event with Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, at The George Washington University, televised on CNN, and moderated by Christiane Amapour.

Before leaving on a trip to Europe, she stepped into the fray on late night TV between Conan O’Brien and Hon. Corey Booker, Mayor of Newark, N.J. Soon after landing in Zurich, she applied those same conflict resolution skills to salvaging the Turkey-Armenia accord.

From there it was on to the U.K. and meetings with close allies P.M. Gordon Brown and F.M. David Miliband.

She went both to Ireland and to Northern Ireland where she addressed the Stormont Assembly.

Then it was on to Russia where she held town halls at universities and spoke on a radio show.

She was not home long, before rumors began to fly about the Pakistan trip, an ETA was not being released by State, but press sources in India and Pakistan were speculating. I believe she actually left on this trip on her birthday.  She met with P.M. Gilani and F.M. Qureshi.

From Pakistan, she moved on to Abu Dhabi where she met briefly with Mahmod Abbas.

Before ending the month of October in Israel.  Here she is pictured with Ehud Barak.

So October ends with Hillary a year older and every bit as beautful as when the month began despite the heavy travel schedule and the tensions she was dealing with.

Here are the archives for October 2009 at this blog.

(N.B.  Because it was a very busy month, the archives are several pages long.  You can navigate to the next page by clicking “Older Posts” at the bottom.)

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September: Light the candles at your Sweet Sixteen (Neil Sedaka)

Well the song departs from reality here because September is not her birthday month, but there was plenty of cause to celebrate in September 2009. She spent a LOT of September in New York (giving Bill Clinton and her Tri-State area fans reason to rejoice).

She visited an elementary school in Manhattan.

Welcomed the replica of Henry Hudson’s Half Moon on the 400th Anniversary of the original’s arrival in New York harbor.

Along with Mayor Mike Bloomberg greeted very tall Dutch royalty.

As we all know, Hillary has a penchant for acronyms and intitializations. The two BIG ones in September were UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) which floods New York annually with world leaders – of which she is one.

And CGI (Clinton Global Initiative) where she actually had a rare chance to share the stage with Bill and they appeared to be doing a little square dancing.

Here she is at UNGA with Ambassador Susan Rice.

One morning she rang the opening bell at the NY Stock Exchange.

During UNGA, she also acted as President of the Security Council for a day where she and her fellow members derived enormous pleasure from her being addressed as Madame President, which they did with great frequency. You will have to go to the archives to see that video.

Oh! One last thing. In addition to being our calendar girl for the past week plus, in September she was also a pretty cover girl.

Here are the archives for September 2009 at this blog.  There are five pages.

Page one

Page two

Page three

Page four

Page five

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August: When you’re on the beach you steal the show. Neil Sedaka

Those who follow the Secretary of State’s activities and the press coverage of them know two things about August: she spent an extended amount of time traveling through Africa, and, thanks to Jonathan Van Meter’s article in the December Vogue, she was on the beach.

On the way home we land in Cape Verde to refuel and stay the night. We check into an all-inclusive resort that feels like a Sandals. The next morning, I am up at the crack of dawn. I wander down a long path to the ocean and take a swim. I am the only person in sight. On my way back, I see Clinton in the distance with just one security guy, heading toward the ocean. She, too, is going for a swim. It is a bittersweet moment: Hillary Clinton is doing something purely for pleasure, for herself, but she is doing it alone, in a place designed for couples.

I would have felt very bad about that last sentence if I had not gone back into the archives and remembered that she did get some vacation time with her husband in Bermuda just before the arrival of Hurricane Bill (yep).

But it was the Africa trip followed by the death of Ted Kennedy that dominated the August news here. She went to some dangerous places, and she talked tough to some dangerous characters. She saw, as she put it, the best and the worst of humanity, and there were times on this trip when I was genuinely worried for her safety, but the media here seemed to want to focus on her brief blow-up at a student’s question in Congo and her dancing in Nairobi, and while I personally thought BOTH of those items were cute and newsworthy, the more serious items were not covered. Almost nothing came out of Angola despite her statement that she hoped Americans could see the beauty of that country from the press coverage. Well there was hardly any!

Yesterday, the firecracker line was an odd coincidence here. Today, when I knew I would be reposting about the Africa trip, I was met, upon booting up this morning, with this Huffington Post article by Georgianne Nienaber in my newsfeed. Could a Hillary Clinton AVATAR Save Congo?. She states:

So, what would happen if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made good on her expressions of solidarity with the Congolese, and actually used her power to do something? She cried real tears and expressed sincere outrage when she met with women victims of rape and HIV/AIDS at Heal Africa while visiting the DRC as part of her seven-nation trip to Africa in August. Perhaps she needs to spend three months in a Congolese village, preferably one near the border with Rwanda. The transformation from cultural observer to participant in hell might cause her to dash aboard her State Department Boeing 757 and use it like Avatar Jake Scully used his magnificent Toruk bird of prey to establish authority and leadership.

And this:

Would SOS Hillary sacrifice her role in the cautious Obama administration to actually affect some good? Clinton has more power than anyone at this point in history to do so. Certainly Obama is as ineffectual in world matters as he is at home.

*Big sigh* Well Hillary Clinton is not President of the World. Leadership must arise locally, and Nienaber does point out that Hillary is probably being very cautious in finding the right NGOs to assist. But it seems that she is ending out the year 2009 very differently from the way she ended 2008. Defeated in the primaries, she was content to settle back in the Senate before being tapped for State. Now, I am hearing and reading remarks that appear to indicate she has huge power that she is somehow for some reason not using to full potential. This causes me to wonder. Since she is not the President of the United States, either, I am ending the year saying what I said all along: the guy they elected in 2008 is an empty suit, the man who wasn’t there, and nature abhors a vacuum, so Hillary seems to be the one people think should naturally fill that space. Twice in two days I have seen a Hillary 2012 campaign video and a Hillary 2012 tee-shirt on Facebook.

She was never under the burqa that Tina Brown wrote about last Spring, but someone who was in the crowd on May 31, 2008 after her South Dakota victory when so many expected, encouraged her to concede said she was like a racehorse that night. Maybe it’s time to give the pretty little filly her head.

Here are the archives on this blog for August 2009.

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July: Like a firecracker all aglow (Neil Sedaka)

Wow! You cannot make this stuff up! The line above IS the next one in the song Calendar Girl that I am using for the year in review. First reports about yesterday’s Delta/Northwest airlines incident also referred to a firecracker.

What was odd about July 2009 was that Hillary Clinton WAS a firecracker (or more like a blonde bombshell) on her second voyage to Asia as SOS visiting India and Thailand.

Was showered with flowers in India.

She wore this beautiful pantsuit that stacyx loves.

And she appeared on Meet the Press for the first time as SOS.

All while the media spread the ridiculous “Hillary Toils in the Shadows” toxic meme,  and women of various ages and sexual orientations regularly remarked on her hotness.

Here are the hot archives of July on this blog. It was a very hot month!

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I hope everyone had a beautiful Christmas. Thank you, dear readers, for being so supportive. I know our Hillary has many, many loyal supporters and admirers. Happy Holidays to one and all!
Merry Christmas to Hillary

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June: They’ll let me take you to the Junior Prom (Neil Sedaka)

What a month! She made her first official visit to Canada to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Boundary Waters Treaty. Canadians LOVED her red pantsuit. Oh, Canada!

Amidst the contested election in Iran, the coup in Honduras, and the President’s much touted speech in Egypt (to which she rushed after attending the OAS meeting),

Hillary slipped in the garage on a rainy day and broke her elbow badly enough to require surgery. Contrary to what was widely reported, she did not miss work. She had surgery on a Friday and was back to issuing statements on Sunday. She wore a cast for awhile and looked adorable with her personalized sling bearing the seal of the Secretary of State.

Here are the archives from this blog for June 2009.

Merry Christmas to all,  and especially to our girl!!!

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May: Maybe if I ask your dad and mom (Neil Sedaka)

In May of 2009, the Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State of the United States, made a busy round of appearances at commencements. She addressed graduates of New York University at Yankee Stadium, and of Barnard College, Columbia University in New York, and also paid a surprise visit to her alma mater,  Yale Law,  in New Haven, Connecticut. She picked up two honorary Doctor of Laws degrees, one from NY and the other from Yale. (She did not speak at Yale.)

Her speeches at the NYU and Barnard commencements foreshadowed her later release of a video explaining what she dubbed 21st Century Statecraft encouraging citizen-diplomats to use social networking sites to reach out globally and create bonds around the world. (She could never have foreseen the role millions of “tweeters” around the world would play in forwarding vital information coming out of Iran back to the streets of Tehran using Twitter during the election protests the following month.)

Also in May, she held a flurry of bilaterals as she hosted various foreign ministers and other dignitaries.  She was out in front of the cameras a great deal, both in stills, and in videos of speeches she made.

It was a busy month for a very energetic and upbeat Hillary Clinton.  We loved every minute of coverage she received and rejoiced at every honor and award.

Here is the archive of May 2009 on this blog. Note:  There are two pages to this archive.  When you reach the bottom, click on “older posts” to see the rest of May 2009.

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Return of Sean Goldman

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
December 24, 2009

I am thrilled that 9-year-old Sean Goldman was reunited with his father David Goldman earlier today in Rio de Janeiro and that they are flying home to New Jersey. I want to thank everyone who helped bring this long process to a successful conclusion, including a number of members of Congress and many concerned parties both here and in Brazil. We also appreciate the assistance and cooperation of the Government of Brazil in upholding its obligations under the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. I offer my warmest wishes for father and son as they celebrate their first holiday season together in five years.

They are currently in flight. I know that Hillary appreciates David Goldman’s perseverance in working to get Sean home. It’s a quality she, too, possesses.

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