Posts Tagged ‘Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review’

Super-efficient and never one to waste a moment’s opportunity,  Hillary Clinton took advantage of her visit to Capitol  Hill today by promoting recommendations resulting from her self-initiated Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR).  She began the day early at a breakfast with congressional leaders for the primary reason of encouraging a rapid ratification of the New START treaty, but according to Matthew Lee at AP, she made the trip worth her while by introducing the revisions recommended in the QDDR.

Clinton seeks revamp of State, USAID

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to reorganize the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development to better coordinate American diplomacy and foreign aid.

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You have got to love the way Mme. Secretary manages to weave her causes and issues into a cloth and presents complex, seemingly unrelated subjects as parts of a whole and overarching vision. She went in there today with two shoes, and before she left, she let both of them drop.

As I have said before, watch the progress on START, but also watch what happens with the QDDR. This is her gift to the State Department … her legacy. She will always be remembered for instituting this quadrennial review.

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It always amazes me, and I suppose it should not,  that when Hillary Clinton’s supporters and fans feel she has been too long under the toxic cloak of the Obama administration and start agitating for her to resign, they do not seem to realize that of all her responsibilities and initiatives there is one that singularly ties her to the post until its completion.  I refer, as I have so frequently in so many venues to her Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review  – dubbed The QDDR – initials that tumble from her lips at the speed of a bullet.

I say I should not be amazed that so few know not only about the QDDR but also the extent to which Mme.  Secretary is invested in it because at the time she announced it many of us Hillary bloggers fell into the trap of distraction that had been carefully set to divert our attention from this historical and ambitious effort.  While I should have been posting the text of certain presentations here, I was busy over at The Department of Homegirl Security battling the “Vampire Tales” as I had dubbed the toxic memes that would not die.  This post illustrates what we were battling as well as any:  The Heart of the Mean Season.

So, in my carelessness as a scribe and zeal as a defender,  I dedicated too much of my energy to argumentation, and posted here just one video of an important pair.  Had I done a better job here, more Hillary supporters might have known what I knew.  Oh negligent and gullible me!  (Note to self:  Never again let Dick Morris or Tina Brown distract you from what Hillary Clinton is actually doing.)

So to make up for past failings,  here is a quick review of the QDDR effort, the reason Hillary Clinton cannot resign her post just yet.

Many will recognize this picture,  few will know the context.

Wearing one of those adorable expressions only Hillary Clinton can make, and with the Elbow of State encased in the official Sling of State,  she appears to be having a friendly chat with her State Department employees.  The truth is that she was embarking on an extensive tour of every bureau and agency in the department and at USAID in order to tighten efficiency and better coordinate efforts among them where responsibilities overlap.  She commenced this monumental (and historical) process in a high-wire act worthy of  The Flying Wallendas,  by presenting and explaining the initiative to the State Department and USAID personnel in two face-to-face town hall meetings over a three day period.  Anyone whose department has ever been under review can appreciate the predisposition of the folks filing into the town hall meetings.

The idea came to her based on her tenure on the Senate Armed Services Committee.  The Department of Defense presented a Quadrennial Defense Review every four years to keep that sprawling department in check and well-coordinated.  Our innovative SOS  decided that if such a review keeps the Pentagon streamlined and efficient, it might be a good idea to establish a similar tradition at State, a department that had been allowed to grow unchecked from the days of Jefferson into the 21st century.  It was a truly historical, courageous, and brilliant decision.  It was her decision.  Any other effort on her part, from winning back the trust of the Chinese, to reaching out to the Muslim world, from brokering peace in the Middle East to encouraging friendship and trust between India and Pakistan might be interpreted, on the larger scale as assignments, a carrying out of Obama administration policy.  This one thing.  This one endeavor  was entirely of her own making.  It was and is the single signature enterprise by which one very spectacular and accomplished Secretary of State, the Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton,  intends to leave her mark forever upon the department she leads like no other before her.

One thing Hillary says about herself and everyone knows about her is that she is not big on quitting.  Well, our government posts are not filled by Presidents or Secretaries for Life (as in some countries).  There is turnover.  There is transition.  One day Hillary will walk away from State, and perhaps there will not yet be a Palestinian State or (God forbid) a ratified Start Treaty.  Those are administration initiatives,  not hers,  and will be carried forward.  But there will be an established tradition of quadrennial review at the State Department and USAID of diplomatic and development efforts.  Hillary will make sure of that.  When that is established, and not a single New York Minute before, she will consider herself free to go.

Now, to atone for my negligence, here are the videos of those two dramatic and excellently presented town hall meetings (I did post the State Department one on July 10, 2009, but should have given it much more fanfare and should have posted the text.)  This is Hillary’s signature work at State, and it is outstanding.
At the State Department:

Read the text here.

Read the text here.

For a preview into some of what the QDDR will yield, see this Washinton Post article by Carlos Lozada.

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