Archive for May, 2010


05-31-2010_Memorial_Day 05-31-2010_Memorial_Day2 05-31-2010_Memorial_Day3 4660810289_88915151c7 4661430596_fef4410d85 4661432434_d605673e5c 4672172840_7fa80a3a52

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One of the things we have seen over Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State is her effect on the men around her. We have become accustomed to seeing her in group shots as the one bright little spot in a sea of dark suits. Usually she is front and center as well as the center of attention. On a one-on-one basis, she is able to charm men of all ages. I know that if we asked her if she considers this part of “smart power” she would laugh and probably say “WHAT?” (It is my personal ambition to make her laugh at some point.) But I do think she knows the effect she has. ONE of the guys below has the rights. The rest have probably wished they did. All of these pictures are from 2009. There will be a 2010 collection as well. There are simply too many pictures like this for one upload.

So on a holiday afternoon, here is a Hillary-fix. I present your Secretary of State doing her part to achieve world peace.

OK, in response to the request from discourseinc#minor, here is the Veep apparently studying some Secretarial Anatomy.  Yikes!

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It might grow on me with time, and I shudder whenever the Clintons are the subject of portrayals, but in a nutshell I think this movie was more a Blair movie than a Clinton movie. I may change my mind after watching it again, but in the end I thought the Blairs were more colorfully written, more filled-out characters than the Clintons. I find it hard to believe that Hillary was written rather blandly since no matter what your attitude might be about her, bland is not an adjective you would choose to describe her.

Perhaps this focus on the Blairs is to be expected since the writer, Peter Morgan,  has written about them before, and used the same actors, Michael Sheen and Helen McCrory, but the facts of the lives somehow do not calculate that Cherie Blair comes off a more interesting character than our former First Lady who went on to serve in the Senate and is now the most entertaining Secretary of State ever- packing public appearances into her travels, flirting her way around the world in pantsuits of every color.

I have every sympathy for Hope Davis who did her best with a character that was written rather low-key. Perhaps the most dramatic of her scenes was cut. She was glad that it was, and so am I since I have no desire to see a portrayal that is imagined, fictional, on the topic of one of the most hurtful experiences in Hillary Clinton’s life. It is not Davis’s fault that Morgan completely missed one of the most endearing qualities about Hillary Clinton, her sense of humor. None of that is in there. He keeps her deadly serious, maybe a little sarcastic and sharp, must mostly a victim painted narrowly and in beige. Hillary has a lot more steel in her than what Morgan put in this script, and a lot more fun. The way she enjoys being SOS I find it hard to believe that she would not be out for fun visiting London.

As for the former POTUS, I found that character rather humorless and rough around the edges. I thought Dennis Quaid was miscast. It is interesting to me that he decided to take the part because of the writing, according to Lynn Elber’s article. Perhaps the most wrongheaded turn one can take is to try to write about true events between real people when you were not in the room, or worse, when you do not really know the people. Morgan may be familiar with the Blairs, but I think he missed on the Clintons.

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When she is in a pensive state or listening, something she does singularly well, Hillary Clinton occasionally rests her chin on her hand.  It is exceptionally fetching, as I am sure you will agree.

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First and foremost, there is the U.S. – India Strategic Dialogue right after the holiday weekend. Here are some details from a press briefing yesterday. Emphasis is mine.

Briefing on U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue

Robert O. Blake, Jr.
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs
Washington, DC

May 28, 2010

Let me just briefly describe the schedule. Most of the delegations will be arriving on June 2nd – I’m sorry, on June 1st. On June 2nd, we will have both private sector and government activities. The U.S.-India Business Council will be hosting its 35th annual meeting. Our – Mr. Summers, Larry Summers, will be addressing that, as will our Secretary of Education. And then on the government-to-government level, Under Secretary Burns – Bill Burns, our Under Secretary of Political Affairs – and his counterpart, Foreign Secretary Rao, will oversee a very wide-ranging foreign policy dialogue that will cover Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Middle East, probably China, and many other topics.
On June 3rd, we will have the main strategic dialogue chaired by the Secretary and her counterpart, External Affairs Minister Krishna. I think what’s notable about this is that it’ll be the first time that our two governments are going to have really a whole-of-government conversation about not so much what we’ve accomplished, but to look ahead about what we can accomplish, and particularly look ahead to the President’s visit sometime this fall to India.


We will have, really, two sessions. We’ll have a plenary session that will cover a lot of the – all the bilateral issues that we’re working on – counterterrorism, export controls and high technology, economics and finance, infrastructure, education, energy, climate change. And the purpose of that is really, again, to look broadly at the relationships to try to break down some of these stovepipes that we’ve seen and think creatively and strategically about the new opportunities before us in this relationship.
Then over lunch, the Secretary and External Affairs Minister Krishna will have a discussion on both the global issues that I mentioned, but again come back to some of the important regional issues, particularly Afghanistan and Pakistan, that I discussed earlier.
Later in the day, there will be a reception that the Secretary will host to honor the Indian delegation, but also to include many of the members of the Indian diaspora and other people who contribute so much to our relations. We’re very proud of the 2.5 million Indian Americans who are there, who really do provide a unique bridge for the United States with our friends in India. We’re also very proud of the hundred thousand-plus Indian students that are here studying in the United States, the largest single group of foreign students. And again, we think that this education bill that’s now pending in the Indian parliament will help to broaden even further the education cooperation in that area.

According to this article, the President will also attend this reception, and that will be unusual.    Obama to attend Clinton’s reception for Krishna

Next Sunday, our Hillary will be traveling to Latin America and the Caribbean again according to this press release.

Secretary Clinton Travel to Latin America and the Caribbean

Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
May 28, 2010

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will travel to Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Barbados from June 6-10 to participate in the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) and consult with our regional partners on issues of shared interest.

On June 6-8 in Peru, Secretary Clinton will participate in the General Assembly of the Organization of American States General Assembly, the Western Hemisphere’s premier multilateral organization. The Secretary will travel to Ecuador on June 8 and then on to Colombia and she will meet with government leaders in both countries. In Barbados on June 9, the Secretary will meet with leaders of Caribbean nations to discuss issues of mutual interest.

So I guess she will be home again on the 9th or 10th, a Wednesday night or Thursday. Well, not exactly home, but back in D.C.

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If there are people who find the silence deafening, there are some reasons why we are not hearing from Hillary Clinton on the subject of the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

First and foremost, she is not POTUS.  People should not complain about her not doing something they failed to hire her to do.  In 2007 and 2008, Hillary told us of many things she would do if we hired her.  I, personally, voted to hire her,  but she did not get the job!

Second, she has been a little busy lately:

  • The Japanese decided NOT to press us to move the Futenma base thanks to her.

  • She managed to get a U.S.A. Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo built, staffed, opened.

  • She has been trying to convince China to support a strong North Korea sanction.
  • She has been supporting our ally, South Korea.

  • She spent the better part of a week getting Hamid Karzai back under our tent and away from the Taliban.
  • For the past month, she has been the leader of the U.S. delegation to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference.

This conference ended about a half hour ago, and her meeting this morning with Ambassador Rice had everything to do with her position as chief of that delegation since that Treaty hit some rough spots, and we still have no news of whether the final draft was approved.  Read about that here.

UN nuclear conference gets last-minute draft statement

**UPDATE** The State Department just posted the highlights of the adopted treaty document.

Now directly prior to attending the opening of that conference, she appeared on Meet the Press and she did speak about offshore drilling then.   You can see her remarks on video at that link.  However, since that appearance she has been a bit busy doing the job she DID get, and doing it very well.

So if she’s silent on the Gulf disaster (in fairness, her State Department has conferred with Cuba about this,  and I am certain the subject came up during President Calderon’s visit, also) so what?  What do people expect her to say?  The guy who got the job should be acting on that.  Speeches and comments are one thing.  Actions speak best.

CORRECTION:  She did address the spill in her press availablitity yesterday with Sri Lankan External Minister Peiris.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, thank you. So many eyes today on the oil spill, and we know there have been some offers of assistance from other countries. From where you stand, from your perspective, do you want more offers of assistance? And are you disappointed that more hasn’t been accepted by the United States and the oil company, as so many people in the United States are clamoring for more booms, et cetera? And also, what message do you have to America’s neighbors who may experience the ill effects of the spill? 

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Charley, the United States Government is working every second of every minute to mitigate the effects of this terrible oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. We are very grateful for the generous offers of assistance that we’ve received from 17 countries and the European Union, including the European Maritime Safety Agency, the environment unit of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the United Nations Environment Program, and the International Maritime Organization.
Countries from all over the world have offered general assistance and then some have made very specific offers, including experts in various aspects of oil spill impacts, research, and technical expertise and equipment, including booms, dispersants, oil pumps and skimmers. And we are very thankful for all of these efforts. The U.S. Coast Guard, which is the lead agency in the U.S. Government’s response efforts, continues to monitor developments, evaluate specific needs, assess offers of assistance, and determine our response.
While no offers of direct material assistance have been required by the United States Government thus far, we have accepted and are grateful for assistance in the form of notification regarding the spill sent by the International Maritime Organization to its member states and coordination of EU offers of assistance. And BP has accepted boom and skimmers offered by the governments of Mexico and Norway in coordination with the Unified Area Command. We are in very close, constant communication with other countries that border the Gulf.
This is just a terrible environmental disaster and we are working very hard with all of our partners to try to contain it, prevent further damage. But because of the extraordinary nature of this particular disaster, it is taking some time to fully bring to bear all of the material that is needed. But as the President said yesterday, this is the highest priority from the President on down to every federal government representative that is in the Gulf trying to work to mitigate the impact. But we are, as I said in the beginning, very grateful for the concern and the offers from our partners and friends around the world.

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I simply had to share these.   She is so decorative.  I love her sitting there unbuttoned and relaxed in front of all those specialized minds.  She can be that relaxed because she was yesterday as she always is, thoroughly prepared.  She looks so tiny sitting up there.  I also like the picture where she is standing with her hand on the back of the chair – also a relaxed pose but with her usual superb posture.

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