Posts Tagged ‘Michael R. Gordon’

Hillary Clinton resigned as Secretary of State and departed Foggy Bottom with her husband and daughter on Friday.


To be sure, the 2016 drums had been beating long before she wrapped up her tenure at State, but by yesterday they were deafening.  Two Super PACs had formed,  the website  of one, “Ready For Hillary,” went live and also went viral at the many Hillaryland Facebook groups, and speculation ramped up all over the media aided by the fact that HRC seemed to have granted a marathon of interviews at the State Department prior to vacating the seventh floor aka “heaven.”

Now I have stated here many times and will once more today that this blogger will not be part of any pressure group to exact further service from the woman who, in 2008,  stated that she brought a lifetime of service to her primary race that year.  Anyone who has been following her term as SOS here or on other blogs certainly must be aware of the personal sacrifices she has made these past four years in additional service to her country.  It is her decision to make, and she has clearly stated many times that she has been too busy dealing with global events to give that option any consideration.  She needs and deserves time to rest, recuperate from her recent health issues, and reflect upon what she wants to do next.  Just in case, though, your head is in the clouds in the firm belief that she will reach out and grab the brass ring that so clearly seems meant for her,  there are some indications that perhaps things have not changed so much from 2008, and the road might not be as clear as you think it is for her.

Two articles from the New York Times caught my attention, not in a good way.  The first two questions in this one slapped me right back into 2008 for two reasons with the first two questions.

Interview With Hillary Clinton

By and
Published: February 2, 2013

Question 1:

Q: President Clinton said that one of his greatest regrets was not doing more to stop genocide in Rwanda. We have a situation in Syria where more than 60,000 Syrians have been killed. [U.N. envoy Lakhdar] Brahimi has been making no headway diplomatically. The conflict is beginning to spread regionally with Iran’s intervention with its Quds Forces, its arms supplies, Hezbollah’s participation and now the Israeli strike on the convoy in Syria. Looking back, can you say that the United States has done everything it could have to stem the killing in Syria? And when you look back on this episode in the book you are going to write, do you think that you might regret that the United States wasn’t able to do more in your years here?

Read her answer here>>>

Question 2:

Q: If one looks back at how the Clinton administration handled the Kosovo crisis, it became clear that Russia would not support a new Security Council resolution authorizing intervention to protect the Kosovars. So the United States elected not to seek a new resolution and instead justified intervention on the basis of international law. Why have you and the Obama administration taken the position that a stronger stance on Syria requires a new Security Council resolution, which means the formal endorsement of the Russian government, when that has always appeared to be a highly unlikely proposition?

Read her answer here>>>

What’s that?  President Clinton?  Wow!  If that doesn’t smack of the 2008 debates, nothing does, and if you think for a minute that this purposeful confounding of Billary will stop now that she has been Secretary of State, dream on.  It was used against her in primary debates by her own party in 2008 and will –  actually has –  arisen again a mere day after she stepped aside at State.

In addition, the implication in that second question that she somehow, as SOS, had the power to force the President’s hand is unreasonable and unfair.  Will the morass in Syria move forward with her as one of her huge “failures” as Secretary of State?  Well, Gordon and Landler put it out there for any future opponent to use.

Backstage Glimpses of Clinton as Dogged Diplomat, Win or Lose

Patrik Stollarz/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton behind President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan during a meeting in Germany in 2011.

By and
Published: February 2, 2013

In the above NYT article, the same two journalists, in a review of her tenure as SOS disguised as a behind-the-scenes glimpse,  provide the following yardstick.

As she leaves the State Department, the simplest yardstick for measuring Mrs. Clinton’s legacy has been her tireless travels: 112 countries, nearly a million miles, 401 days on the road. Historians will point to how she expanded the State Department’s agenda to embrace issues like gender violence and the use of social media in diplomacy.

Yes, it is simple, isn’t it?  Too simple.  In all fairness, Gordon and Landler are not the only pundits citing these stats, but it is irresponsible on the part of all who use them not to analyze the reasons behind all these miles and countries.  They break down, really, into two major types of travel.  Outreach trips where she toured regions that required her attention in diplomatic, personal, friendship-building ways and trips involving summits, conferences, and meetings, the latter breaking down into long-planned, regular summits like NATO and ASEAN, and emergency meetings like the two trips in one week in March 2011 to deal with the situation in Libya,  oHillary Clinton, Nicolas Sarkozyr the three-day whirlwind in the Middle East in September 2010.U.S. Secretary of State Clinton waves upon her arrival for a meeting Palestinian President Abbas in Ramallah  Can we please dispel the notion that our top diplomat from 2009 to 2013 was in some kind of competition to tack on the miles and countries?    Furthermore,  the authors mention her initiatives for women and girls and her use of social nets in diplomacy while ignoring her singular most challenging undertaking, her QDDR (Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review) which overhauled and streamlined both the State Department and USAID and enhanced interagency communication and cooperation.    So if you thought that her legacy at the State Department would slide her right into a 2016 nomination, just take a look at some of these reviews for what has been left out.  In four years, these are what folks will be quoting, and some of them are thin indeed compared to the actual work put in.

Then on the very parochial domestic scene for the future of the Democratic Party, we have those who cry out that “Yes, she will do this for her country and her party.” (As if her party has ever treated her particularly well.)   There is this.

Can Hillary Clinton make Texas turn blue?


Can Hillary Clinton make Texas turn blue?

2:50 PM on 02/01/2013

FILE: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives at NATO headquarters ahead of a two-day NATO foreign ministers in Brussels in this file photo from December 4, 2012. (Photo by Yves Herman/Reuters)FILE: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives at NATO headquarters ahead of a two-day NATO foreign ministers in Brussels in this file photo from December 4, 2012. (Photo by Yves Herman/Reuters)

Is Hillary Clinton  the game-changing Democrat who can finally realize the liberal dream of turning Texas blue?

A new survey by the left-leaning Public Policy Polling indicates that the answer is yes. The retiring secretary of state could make the Lone Star State competitive in 2016, should she decide to run for president.

In hypothetical matchups, she’d beat GOP heavyweight Florida Sen. Marco Rubio 46% to 45% and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie 45% to 43%. She would even handily beat the state’s governor, Rick Perry, 50% to 42%, according to PPP’s numbers.Pretty impressive for a state that hasn’t voted Democratic since 1976, when Jimmy Carter won Texas in the first presidential election after the GOP disaster of Watergate.

Read more >>>>

Unless you have amnesia, you do well to consider the source on this one.  It is not Hillary Clinton’s “job” to turn those two states blue just because some people think she can.

It will never be easy for Hillary Clinton.   Nothing ever has been, and no one knows that better than she.  Aside from the hurdles that have been part of her track from the day she wrote to NASA as a schoolgirl, she herself puts pressures on her own performance that are stringent, so a 2016 run, no matter how easy you might think it will be, will not be a cakewalk.

It, of course, is her decision alone to make.  She has much to consider.  Even if her health had not been challenged toward the end of her tenure, she would still have needed a good long rest as she had been saying for almost a full year before she stepped down.  She certainly deserves that rest and recuperation, and perhaps a bit of quiet so she can nap before the din demanding that she take on that fight for that office from age 67 when the campaigning would begin through the age of 78 presuming she won two terms.

Can we ratchet this down a few notches?  Give a girl a break!

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