Back in 2008, a mere two weeks after the presidential election, Huffington Post blogger Matt Littman, in a piece titled What Makes a Great Secretary of State?, cheered openly for Hillary Clinton to take her current position:
At a time when the world is yearning to see America return to the forefront of global leadership, Secretary Clinton can lead the charge. She already may be a historic figure, embraced by the world community, but in this role, she would add significant international achievements to her legend.
That was 2008. And three years later, we see just how brilliant Clinton’s foreign policy leadership has been. She has been an amazing force in front of the cameras and behind the scenes. From the uprisings in Northern Africa, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Israeli-Palestine conflict, and the perpetually perplexing negotiations with North Korea, her vision is making a big difference.
Whatever differences Obama and Clinton have, they have buried them for the good of diplomacy and national security. And we have all benefited from their partnership. So its easy to see why TIME Magazine (above) put her on their current cover. She has used her power in a very smart way, and this has only elevated her throughout the world.
Though Clinton wants to step down from her post in November 2012, I hope she stays another four years. She is already one of the best U.S. Secretaries of State in history.
I am pleasantly surprised at how well President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have worked together. Like everyone in this country, I remember the bitterness of the 2008 primaries and caucuses
. Obama’s coalition politics versus Clinton’s identity politics. But the two have placed their differences aside for the good of the country, and the world.
To be sure, there are serious problems with our engagement in Pakistan, and there are still question marks regarding Iran and North Korea. Moreover, most U.S. citizens want an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But overall, the Obama-Clinton partnership has produced some good foreign policy results.
No one can tell me that their measured approach didn’t impact the uprisings taking place in the Middle East right now. Listening to the endless political spin and commentary on cable and network news, you hear reporters and pundits calling for the Obama Administration to “get mad” and to “take a side immediately”. But the calm demeanor and cautious diplomacy angle is winning the day.
Simply put, Team Obama-Clinton is making waves. There will always be some heavy lifting to do on international issues. Always. And there still could be a crisis that might actually test their skills like never before. But I see nothing wrong with reflecting on what some (mistakenly) said would never happen: that two former rivals would have a productive relationship and shine together on the world stage.