Posts Tagged ‘Angela Merkel’

Hillary harks back to her Girl Scout days and a song many of us can remember having sung in rounds: “Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver and the other gold.”

Reminding us that in the days following 9/11 NATO invoked Article V of the Washington Treaty, an attack on one is an attack on all, she launches a review of U.S.-European relations since the end of World War II, through the Cold War, and including deteriorating relations during the George W. Bush administration.

Upon assuming the post of secretary of state, she recalls, she made phone calls to European leaders letting them know we remain tight friends.  Her first opportunity to reinforce that message face-to-face came with her attendance at the April 2009 G-20 summit in London.

Playing Catch-up With Mme. Secretary 2: London


She formed an especially good working relationship with then UK Foreign Minister David Miliband, but allows that she also had a good rapport with then Shadow Foreign Minister, William Hague who now holds the post.  She dubs Hague “the David Beckham of toasting.”


Prime Minister Cameron Meets With U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Playing Catch-up With Mme. Secretary 3: Germany, France, Czech Republic

She also singles out former French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, as one with whom she had an especially good rapport.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R

If your eyes welled up at times when reading the previous chapter about Pakistan, Hillary evokes smiles and laughter with her description of Former French president, Nicholas Sarkozy.  Revealing that often his interpreters had trouble keeping pace with him and that he asked her why all the other diplomats were unforgivably old, gray, and male,  she revisits that simply charming “Cinderella” moment when she lost her shoe on the steps of the Élyseé Palace.  (Posts here are not necessarily deep and analytical – as you may know.)

Hillary Clinton Loses Her Shoe And Looks Adorable Doing It!


She speaks of her strong admiration for German Chancellor Angela Merkel with whom she apparently shares a “color memo” phenomenon so uncanny that on a state visit in June 2011 Angela brought her a framed German front page where readers were challenged to guess which was which sans benefit of visible heads.

Slideshow: Hillary Clinton at Chancellor Angela Merkel’s State Visit Today

Video: Secretary Clinton at the State Luncheon in honor of German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Merkel Meets With Barack Obama

Hillary provides a pretty extensive retrospective on NATO, its post Cold War expansion in eastern Europe, and its contributions to operations in Afghanistan and in Libya.  She is very passionate on the subject of NATO calling it one the most successful military alliances in history (and the European Union one of the most successful political ones).  She contrasts 75% of the sorties over Libya striking 90% of the targets with the situation a decade before when the U.S. was responsible for hitting 90% of targets in Kosovo.   Her attestations on pages 231 and 232 are presidential (to the surprise of no one here).   A thing to behold.

Madeleine Albright was known for her brooch-diplomacy. Some of her foreign counterparts came to see her brooches as a mood-coding system.  Hillary, who is, after all, a self-described hair icon,  relates an amusing exchange when she was in Bulgaria (NATO member since 2004) in February 2012.  Prime Minister Boyko Borissov seemed edgy.  He finally confessed that he had heard that when her hair was pulled back it indicated a bad mood.  She reassured him that she was not engaging in hair diplomacy but that it “takes her a little longer” to get her look together.

Secretary Clinton with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov

Turkey has been in NATO since 1952, is strategically very important, but following the G.W. Bush administration the Turkish people took a dim view of the U.S.  Hillary’s first visit there as secretary of state was in March 2009.  She made it a point on that trip to take advantage of mass media.

Hillary Clinton’s Interviews in Turkey

On pages 234-235 she explains the term Islamist Party.  It is an important read.  She discusses [now outgoing] Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan at length and states her concerns regarding his “Zero Problems with Neighbors” policy, which, on first take, can appear very positive.  Hillary cites the real and potential pitfalls of such a policy, especially when Iran is one of your neighbors. [Reports are that Erdogan will continue calling the shots, so it is unlikely that this policy will be abandoned.]

Ahmet Davutoglu came into the picture early as a close advisor to Erdogan but soon became the Turkish foreign minister with whom she collaborated over nearly her entire term.  (Ali Babacan was the foreign minister she encountered on her first trip there.)  Only three months after that trip, Davutoglu arrived at the State Department as foreign minister and a long working relationship commenced.

(As I returned to the first draft of this post to edit it, Davutoglu was named the new prime minister of Turkey.  Congratulations, Mr. Prime Minister and the best of luck to you in your new post!)

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu shakes hands with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before taking part in meetings in Istanbul on June 7, 2012.  AFP PHOTO / POOL / Saul LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu shakes hands with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before taking part in meetings in Istanbul on June 7, 2012. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sh Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ahmet Davutoglu


Hillary Clinton’s Bilaterals Today

Concerns remain.  Dissent is not easily tolerated.  Religious freedom is an issue.  Hillary  hosted Patriarch Bartholomew at a dinner in his honor early in her tenure at State.

Hillary Hosts The Patriarch

He, in turn, received her at the Patriarchy in 2011.  She has known him for a long time and has enormous respect for his opinion.   There is a beautiful slideshow at the link below.  Hillary mentions seized church property that has not been returned.  The photos provide an idea of the nature of what the government is holding.

Hillary Clinton Visits the Patriarchy in Istanbul

In chapter 9, we saw Hillary negotiate the re-opening of the supply lines from Pakistan into Afghanistan.  She never makes a big deal of that, but it was a testament to her diplomatic skills.  Without those lines open, important supplies could not get to the troops,  and they were closed for many months.

Another of her major accomplishments was one which she was never intended to handle and which she describes blow-by-blow.   She had traveled to Zurich simply to witness the signing of the Turkey-Armenia Accord.  It was to be a quick stop on the way to London.  A formality.  At the last minute  Armenian Foreign Minister Nalbandian balked about a speech Davutoglu was planning to make.   Hillary took it upon herself to fetch him and, using two cell phones,  negotiate an agreement for the parties to go ahead with the signing.  She operated mostly  in her SUV.  It was a very dramatic day.  She saved it, and at the event stepped aside for her Swiss counterpart,  Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, who was the host, to orchestrate the formalities.  I remember her giving Micheline a little wink of encouragement.  In typical Hillary fashion, she did not care to boast or take credit for this.  She only cared that the work got done.

OK! Now it is a done deal! Hillary helped negotiate the agreement

Turkey-Armenia Accord Salvaged and Signed – Hillary Helps Make History!

Video: Signing of the Armenia Turkey Protocols

How Hillary Saved The Day


She departed for the trip to the Balkans that she speaks of on the day of her wedding anniversary 2010.

The Balkans: A Family Affair

There were several notable stops and events on this trip, but she refers specifically to this town hall.

Hillary Clinton’s Town Hall at National Theater Sarajevo

And then there was Kosovo where there was a huge reception in Pristina.  She stood beneath the enormous statue of Bill Clinton, and then discovered a store named for her (so Bill wouldn’t be lonely).

Hillary in Clinton Country (Kosovo, That Is!)

No matter where she traveled as secretary of state, Hillary always made sure to hold a meet-and-greet at the embassy or consulate that had hosted her to thank them for all of the work they had done to make her visit go smoothly.  As it happened, her final stop as secretary of state was especially significant because it was at the Consulate General of Belfast.  Peace in Northern Ireland had been a high priority of the Clinton administration and hard work on both sides of the Atlantic and both sides of the Irish Sea had brought that troubled land closer to that goal than it ever had been before.

Video: Hillary Clinton with Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness

Hillary Clinton at The Ireland Funds Luncheon

Hillary Clinton with Staff and Families of Consulate General Belfast

Her remarks in the bilaterals at the link below contain references to the March 2009 attacks in Antrim and Armagh that she speaks about in this chapter.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Hillary Clinton’s Statement of Northern Ireland Decommissioning

She mentions, as well, her address to the Northern Ireland Assembly in October 2009.

Address of Secretary Clinton to Full Session of the Northern Ireland Assembly

The passages I bolded in the background briefing [in the link below] reflect,  I think,  what is so typical of the Hillary Clinton so many of us know and love,  the Hillary who works tirelessly in the background and declines credit for the good she does.   I am very certain that her intervention was integral in attaining this latest ascension up the tall ladder of unity in Northern Ireland.  But Hillary Clinton will always deflect the praise and aim the limelight on others with whom she has labored to reach an accord.  That is simply who she is and how she operates.  It is also very much a quality of character so many of us accept and admire about her.  I,  for one, am very mindful of the role she has long been playing in this peace process.   I know the devolution will succeed,  and there will be a final and lasting peace.  When it does, I and many, will forever remember the key role she played in the process, even as she disclaims it.

Secretary Clinton on Northern Ireland

This European chapter has been somewhat active re: updates prior to publication.  In the latest news, may this peacemaker rest in peace.

Former Ireland prime minister Reynolds dies aged 81


Statement by President Clinton on the Passing of Albert Reynolds

Statement August 21, 2014

I am saddened by the passing of former Prime Minister of Ireland Albert Reynolds, who worked hard and risked much as Taoiseach to advance the Northern Ireland peace process.  His leadership alongside British Prime Minister John Major was instrumental in laying the foundation for the Good Friday Agreement, and our world owes him a profound debt of gratitude.  I will always be grateful for his encouragement, advice, and support in the peace process.  I join with his wife, Kathleen, his children, his many friends, and the people of Ireland in mourning his loss.




Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction


Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>


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How can you not love this story?  The header alone makes me smile.  The story refers to a study out of Europe  which showed that women made longer, more effective political speeches when they saw Hillary’s face.

Just Seeing Hillary Clinton’s Face Improves Women’s Public Speaking

A new study finds women give longer and more confident political speeches when they are exposed to images of female role models.

By Shaunacy Ferro Posted 04.19.2013 at 11:00 am

Encouraging Hillary

Encouraging Hillary Lawrence Jackson

What do women in politics need? Strong female role models.

A new paper in the May issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology suggests that even just seeing images of female role models can help women speak publicly and perform as leaders.


… scientists asked 149 students from a Swiss university (81 women, 68 men) to give a persuasive political speech against increasing student fees, within the context of a virtual reality program that put them in front of an audience of six men and six women. For some participants, the back wall of the virtual room featured a hanging picture of Hillary Clinton. For others, it showed a portrait of Bill Clinton or Angela Merkel, and for some the wall remained blank.

The researchers timed and videotaped the speech, then asked the students to evaluate their performance. A separate group of people unaware of the experimental conditions watched the speeches and rated them based on fluency and body language.

Virtual Politics

Virtual Politics:  Latu et al.

Both the people watching the speeches and those giving them perceived longer speeches as being more positive. When there was no role model in view, men spoke longer than women. The same held true for speaking under the withering gaze of Big Bill.

Female role models eliminated the gender gap, though. Women gave longer speeches and evaluated themselves more positively when they were primed with with images Hillary Clinton and Angela Merkel than when they saw Bill Clinton or weren’t primed at all. The outside observers also rated their speeches higher.

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Stunning that with all those “pop” names on the list, nowhere do I see Catherine Ashton’s name!  Have I missed it, or is she somehow simply not on the list?  The list becomes something of a joke when Lady Gaga (# 14) outranks Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (#82) , and Catherine Ashton is left off completely.  Before the “Little Monsters” jump all over me:  Regardless of how many of you she can reach with a single tweet (that may or may not be earth-shattering – more likely not), I fail to see  how being a Tweet Star (the reason given by Moira Forbes for this ranking) makes Gaga more powerful than the first woman elected president of an African nation or how Cathy Ashton somehow does not qualify at all.

I love to see Hillary Clinton honored, but when the list is this unbalanced and disorganized it loses its gravitas and becomes just another pop item.

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 11: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C) speaks during a meeting of the Quartet on the Middle East Peace while flanked by US envoy for Middle East Peace David Hale (R), and EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton (L), during the G8 Foreign Ministers meeting, on April 11, 2012 in Washington, DC. Secretary Clinton hosted this years G8 Foreign Ministers conference at the Blair House. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
8/22/2012 @ 11:32AM |

The Most Powerful Women In Politics, 2012

For the second year running, three of the top five women on FORBES list of the world’s 100 most powerful women are politicians. In the list as a whole, 19 politicians hold court, including eight heads of state. It wasn’t a U.S. election year, which explains the exit of the Tea Party candidates who wielded considerable power in 2011, but overall more than half of the political returnees from last year’s list shot considerably up the rankings.

What does this say about the changing dynamic of women in politics around the world? In the words of former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, alittle something like this: “People say there are not enough qualified women, that’s one of the biggest bullshit things I’ve ever heard.”

Read more >>>>

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Mme. Secretary began her day in Bonn at the Afghanistan conference. We see her being greeted by German FM Westerwelle and Afghanistan’s FM Rassoul. She was met by a host of familiar dignitaries including German Chancellor Merkel, Spanish FM Jimenez, Ban Ki-Moon, and, of course, Hamid Karzai. In the course of the day she held bilaterals with Merkel and Karzai and met with women civil society leaders from Afghanistan. Then it was wheels up for Vilnius where she was greeted by Lithuanian FM Azubalis.

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The Secretary of State grabs headlines even as she catches a few rays and waves.   We begin today’s review with her latest position on the Forbes list.  This is from ABC News.

The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women by Forbes

August 24, 2011

This year’s No. 1 in the ranking, German Chancellor Angela Merkel–recognized as the “undisputed” leader of the EU–is key to curing what ails the euro zone. As the Arab spring turns into the autocrats’ summer, No. 2-ranked U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton provides encouragement to dissidents….
Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Late-breaking and contributed by Rachel Spencer, a regular here, is Greta Van Susteren’s pick for most powerful woman in the world.  Now you know who it has to be, right?  This was in Forbes.

Greta Van Susteren Names Hillary Clinton “Most Powerful Woman In The World”

Meghan Casserly, Forbes Staff

…when she joined me in our own newsroom at 60 Fifth Avenue this month for a video (on the very day our list was finalized), I decided to ask her: Who do you think is the most powerful woman in the world?

Hillary Clinton

I naively anticipated a long pause as Greta stopped to think about her answer. I sat back in my chair, recrossed my legs—and was cut off by the no-nonsense host. Clearly I don’t watch enough On The Record to know that she’s not shy with her opinions—and she knows her stuff.

Well, right now I suppose the most powerful woman is Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton,” Van Susteren responded without missing a beat (my legs were still trying to re-cross themselves, it was that fast).  “She’s different than most Secretaries of State.  I’ve traveled with her a couple of times, and when she lands in a country it might as well be the President of the United States… The whole world knows her.”

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The “Run, Hillary, Run” campaign continues with this from the New York Daily News.   This has a poll.  You can go to the site and vote (Did I add enough links for ya?)  🙂

Hillary Clinton in 2012: If no Republican can beat Barack Obama, let’s settle for a Democrat who can

S.E. Cupp

Wednesday, August 24th 2011, 4:00 AM

Nearly a year ago in this very column space, I wondered if we wouldn’t have been better off with Hillary Clinton than Barack Obama, and suggested – half-jokingly – that she could beat him in 2012 if she wanted to.

Well, with Obama presiding over staggering unemployment, unfathomable debt, another potential recession and the first credit downgrade in U.S. history, I’m convinced now that the answer to that question is yes.

Incidentally, I’m also finding less and less humor in the idea that Hillary should run.

And,  we have this from The Atlantic.  It is about Romney, and I post it, really only for what is quoted below: the reference to “Hillary Clinton’s last presidential election.  What?  What does that mean?  What is the implication of the word “last” there?   Is there another presidential campaign in the offing?  Or is that just wishful thinking?

Mitt Romney Is 2012’s Hillary Clinton

Elspeth Reeve

…NBC News’ First Read says Romney’s strategy for protecting his frontrunnerhood has had mixed results–and it looks a bit like Hillary Clinton’s last presidential election. That didn’t work out so well for her.

Read the article>>>>

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In case you cannot see the gift Dr. Merkel presented to Secretary Clinton at today’s luncheon at the State Department, it is a framed newspaper page with a picture of the two of them side by side in pantsuits but without showing their heads. The question was, “Which is which?” Mme. Secretary thoroughly enjoyed it!

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Remarks at State Luncheon in Honor of German Chancellor Angela Merkel


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Benjamin Franklin Room
Washington, DC
June 7, 2011

Good afternoon. Please be seated and welcome to the State Department, to the Benjamin Franklin Room. Vice President Biden and Dr. Biden and I are delighted to be hosting this luncheon for a very special guest.

Chancellor Merkel is someone who has proven to be an extraordinary leader, not only on behalf of her country but on the world stage on so many issues that matter greatly to the United States and all those who love and cherish freedom and peace and opportunity for all.

She is receiving, as you may have heard, the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama today, and that is a recognition as our nation’s highest civilian honor. She has ensured during her time in public life on behalf of Germany that her country is a force for all of the values that we hold so dear together, and our alliance is extraordinary shape. And as we live through these very quickly changing times, it is very good to have a partner at the helm of Germany who is working with us to resolve a lot of the issues and solve the problems that we face together.

I first met the Chancellor a long time ago, back in the 1990s. She was not yet Chancellor, I was not yet Secretary, and we actually were on a television show, an interview show, together in Berlin. And she was introduced to me as a young woman who will go far. (Laughter.) And that certainly proved to be true.

When she was addressing, two years ago, the joint session of Congress, she made such an indelible point of talking about the transition she had lived through and exemplified in her own country – tearing down a wall made of barbed wire and concrete, and now in the 21st century having to tear down the walls in our minds, walls of short-sighted self-interest and walls between the present and the future.

Well, we have a leader for both the present and the future with us today. And it is my pleasure to introduce another leader who I’ve known even longer than I’ve known the Chancellor, and that is our wonderful Vice President, Joe Biden. (Applause.)

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Public Schedule for June 7, 2011

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
June 7, 2011


9:00 a.m.
Secretary Clinton attends the arrival ceremony in honor of the State Visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at the White House.

10:15 a.m. Secretary Clinton participates in President Obama’s bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at the White House.

12:30 p.m. Secretary Clinton, Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden host a State Luncheon in honor of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at the Department of State.
Watch live on www.state.gov.

2:25 p.m. Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, at the Department of State.

3:15 p.m. Secretary Clinton meets with Administrator Shah, Counselor Mills and the senior development team, at the Department of State.

3:45 p.m. Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, at the Department of State.

6:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton attends the State Dinner hosted by President Obama and the First Lady in honor of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at the White House.

PM Secretary Clinton departs for foreign travel accompanied by Counselor Mills.
For more information, click here.

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Secretary Clinton to Travel to London and Paris

Press Statement

Mark C. Toner
Acting Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 18, 2011

Secretary of State Clinton will accompany President Obama to London on May 24 for the first part of his state visit to the United Kingdom. This trip is a sign of the strength of the special relationship between our two countries, and of the United States’ enduring commitment to our allies and partners in Europe. Secretary Clinton will also meet with Foreign Secretary Hague while in London.

Secretary Clinton will then travel to Paris, France, to preside over the 50th Anniversary of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Ministerial Council Meeting, May 25-26. Events will include the OECD’s 50th Anniversary Commemoration, at which the Secretary will deliver the opening address in the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan; several signing and adoption ceremonies; and a plenary session on “A New Paradigm for Development.” The Commemoration will be live-streamed at www.oecd.org/oecdweek.

Secretary Clinton will also deliver keynote remarks in support of the launch of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education. The Global Partnership will bring together companies, non-governmental organizations, and governments to develop innovative programs to deliver education to women and girls. The event will be live-streamed on Thursday, May 26 at 8:00 am (EST) at www.unesco.org.

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These pictures only capture part of this long day, believe it or not, and there are 70 of them.  They are in no particular order or grouping.  We see Mme. Secretary once again celebrating Twin Day with Chancellor Merkel (I believe that every time they have met, they have matched).  We also see her with a series of Foreign Ministers, including Guido Westerwelle (Germany), William Jefferson Hague, (UK), Trinidad Jimenez (Spain), Kevin Rudd (Australia), as well as with NATO Secretary General Rasmussen, and many others. I am always impressed by the way she puts out such a friendly, smiling, happy face for us.  She wins friends for us everywhere she goes.

Thank you, Mme. Secretary for working so tirelessly for us.

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