Obama and Clinton: Work it Out

Although it's impossible to write anything on this subject without re-igniting the bonfire of primary cliches, any democrat concerned with foreign policy must be attentive to the relationship between the President and Secretary of State.  And it appears to me that something is amiss, particularly from the Oval Office side of things.  I, like many who supported Obama over Clinton for President, voiced enthusiastic support for Clinton's appointment as Secretary of State, despite recognizing that Obama would be losing a key player in the Senate on domestic issues such as health care reform.  

Some of us thought the trade-off worth it due to her proximity to the Northern Ireland process that resulted in the Good Friday agreement.  A historical breakthrough that has proven a stable and productive framework, it represents a signal post-war foreign policy triumphs.  Some thought this would be particularly helpful, together with her established credibility with both Israeli and Palestinian constituencies, in moving things along here (I write from Jerusalem at the moment).  When Obama added George Mitchell to the team, things looked even stronger.  Personally, I thought HRC's appointment a fabulous idea because of her signature "Women's Rights are Human Rights" moment in Beijing.  Clinton as Secretary of State is in an unprecedented position to address the situation of women and girls around the world, an end in itself but also crucial for processes of liberalization and democratization we should be supporting.  

Yet as the health care debate is heating up, the trade-off is looking bad.  For unless HRC is fulfilling a quiet coordinated role on foreign policy, Obama seems to have relegated one of his most talented players to a bench role.  As in the general election campaign, with an ability she had already demonstrated in the Senate, HRC has been a "loyal soldier" and impeccable "team player." But maybe a little too much of one.

Now a piece by Gregor Peter Schmitz, Washington correspondent of Der Spiegel, indicates that Clinton may be trying to assert herself, only to be stymied by her boss.  In a recent speech to The Council on Foreign Relations, six months into her tenure as Secretary of State, Clinton presented her vision, a comprehensive foreign policy framework for the Obama administration she serves.  According to Schmitz:

Speaking for 34 minutes, Clinton covered a broad swath of terrain, from Iran, to the fight against weapons of mass destruction, dialogue with the Arab world, more development aid and "smart power." America should use its power decisively, but also sensibly, in conjunction with its partners, Clinton explained. "We need a new mindset about how America will use its power," she said.

It was a comprehensive foreign policy manifesto, perfectly delivered. The president couldn't have done it better.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/worl d/0,1518,636565,00.html

Unfortunately, few of us even knew it was happening.  Clinton was upstaged by three factors:

A cursory flick through the cable channels during her speech showed live images of a press conference about the murder of the parents of 17 children. Other networks were reporting on the confirmation hearings at the Senate for Sonia Sotomayor, Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court. Even worse, there was President Obama, who was appearing before cameras at almost the exact same time. He had decided that now was the perfect time to talk about his plans for health care reform, surrounded by nurses in the Rose Garden of the White House.

Now, one of these was no one's fault, one Clinton's, and one (the most worrying) was Obama's.  A sensational murder is too much temptation for our sensationalist news media culture.  Clinton herself erred in speaking during the Sotomayor hearings.  They were almost over.  She had already waited six months.  This seems like a blunder from her side.  But the question is whether Obama tried to block her.  According to Schmitz:

The president's speech was announced at short notice. Something like that needs be agreed upon beforehand, complained one Washington insider. Or maybe it was completely deliberate.

If Obama did not intend to employ Clinton's talents at the State Department, he would have done better to leave her in the Senate where she would have been effective either as a central advocate for his health care proposals or to give him cover from the left flank.  Given Kennedy's health, she likely would have filled an invaluable role.  Whether intentionally or not, Obama has taken a key ally out of this fight and is now hobbling a potentially effective Secretary of State who already has international standing.  It's time for them to work this out.

Tags: clinton, foreign policy, obama (all tags)



Isn't putting up competing noise

the way to give a speech full of trial balloons etc. or to give dog-whistle signals?  It strikes me this is the way to get things read into "the record"  without paying a price for them politically.  I'm not going to say "brilliant" but I'm just going to say, "there must have been an aspect that either ran afoul of stated policy or a policy change he didn't want to take too much heat for."  It strikes me that this speech wouldn't have been made at that particular time if Sec. Clinton wasn't on board.

by AZphilosopher 2009-07-18 11:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Isn't putting up competing noise

Your view would make a great deal of sense if it was just one of may such speeches.  The piece from Der Spiegel suggests a different context.  

by Strummerson 2009-07-18 11:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Clinton: Work it Out

" her established credibility with both Israeli and Palestinian constituencies"

It was remarkable the manner in which Clinton went from being an antiPalestinian, proAIPAC lackey, to being a honest, reality-based SOS who understands and supports the Obama Middle East initiative. Once the health care debate is over, we will undoubtedly be hearing more about that initiative, which runs right through Jerusalem.

by MainStreet 2009-07-19 06:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Clinton: Work it Out

Your chronology is a bit off.  HRC's credibility with Palestinians precedes her tenure in the Senate.  She was viewed as much more pro-Palestinian that President Clinton.  Some Israelis still are suspicious of her for standing next to Suha Arafat when the latter accused Israel of poisoning Palestinian well water.

by Strummerson 2009-07-19 06:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Clinton: Work it Out

That was the 1990s Clinton before she ran for the Senate in NY state. There was a transformation at that time apparently to appeal to the strong Jewish community in NYC. Since becoming SOS, she has actually been called a "traitor" by some right wing proZionist commentators and organizations. I haven't looked at the Zionist Organization of America site in some time, but I can predict what I would find there regarding the new Clinton if I did.

by MainStreet 2009-07-19 06:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Clinton: Work it Out

Right.  But even though politically motivated, her shifts have set her up as credible with moderates on both sides.  An unanticipated asset.  And I don't doubt that she is sincere about a two state solution that addresses both populations' concerns and interests.

by Strummerson 2009-07-19 06:51AM | 0 recs
I Worked it Out

"Now a piece by Gregor Peter Schmitz, Washington correspondent of Der Spiegel, indicates that Clinton may be trying to assert herself, only to be stymied by her boss."

Gregor Peter Schmitz, Washington correspondent of Der Spiegel?

How do you say "OH NOES!" in German???

by QTG 2009-07-19 06:30AM | 0 recs
Your point is?

A major internationally read journal automatically lacks credibility because it's German?

Or is it that anything that raises a question about the administration, even by a supporter such as myself, must be immediately mocked?  

Try to avoid the cliches I mentioned in the diary.  I recommend reading the piece I linked to and judging it on its merits.

by Strummerson 2009-07-19 06:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Judging it on its merits

 is exactly what I did. It has no merit. It's a lonely article by a no-name German pundit looking to get his words in ink. For all you or I know, he's their equivalent of a PUMA. Absent corroboration from a known and reliable source, this diary falls into the rumor mongering category, when judged on its merits.

by QTG 2009-07-19 06:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Judging it on its merits

It's a lonely article by a no-name German pundit looking to get his words in ink.

Nope.  Not a no name.  Also, he quotes Tina Brown who is definitely not a no name as already accusing Obama of under-employing Clinton.  Not sure why you think he is lonely or why you think being a German correspondent is an automatic strike against him.

As far as rumor-mongering, I'd like to know what rumor this diary is selling in your view.  There are various observations here that point to the possibility that Obama is not putting Clinton's talents into play, which is a mistake in my view.

Your response is little more than partisan knee-jerk hackery, which I expected to come from the PUMA corners first.  Mirror meet mirror, pot kettle black.

But given that you have all but labeled me a "concern troll" for wanting Obama to use Clinton's strengths and for using a German publication, which has generally been supportive to enthusiastic of Obama (making your suggestion of PUMAism the only true rumor mongering here), why are you feeding me?

by Strummerson 2009-07-19 07:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Judging it on its merits

 Rumor has it that Obama is disrespecting Hillary. You were right when you said you were reigniting the Primary Wars. Then you stopped being right. The 1 rating was uncalled for, but not a surprise.

by QTG 2009-07-19 07:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Judging it on its merits

The 1 rating is not from me.  You should read a little more carefully.  And I am not reigniting the primary wars, rather you are by taking such a simple-minded knee-jerk attitude.  I simply noted that a diary such as this invites abuses.

And this diary is not about respect, it's about how the administration is functioning and about wanting it to function optimally.

Now I suggest you leave it to the grown-ups to discuss this.

by Strummerson 2009-07-19 07:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Judging it on its merits

The one rating was from a PUMA, which was my point precisely. You have rekindled the flame-wars. That is what I accused you of, and Tex made my case for me. You should read more carefully.

And if you can't take criticism, you aren't a grown-up, so don't make that claim.

When Hillary complains that the President is disrespecting her, I'll give it some thought. If I take seriously every criticism of Obama, especially the ones which are premature and immature, I'll be doing nothing else for the next 7 years.

by QTG 2009-07-19 09:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Judging it on its merits

Your position has been duly noted.

Anything else?

by Strummerson 2009-07-19 09:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Anything Else?

 Yeah. When do you think Obama will start respecting Hillary and realize that there is no way his inexperienced ass is going to get Health Care done, at least as long as he spends more time trying to impress everyone with his macho post-partisan old-boys-club plans to elevate himself to the top of a cult of personality - and pony up a little bit of birth certificate while he's at it!

by QTG 2009-07-19 11:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Anything Else?

I never suggested he doesn't respect her.  And she doesn't have anything to do with health care.  

Up and down this thread, of all those who are interested in the questions I raise and those who disagree, only you are playing these passe games.  You are free to continue.  But I am bored with this, have been for over a year now.

But thanks for playing, I guess.

by Strummerson 2009-07-19 11:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Anything Else?

 The important thing to realize is that both you, I, and the others have exactly the same effect on the ultimate outcome.

by QTG 2009-07-19 02:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Judging it on its merits


The 1 rating should have been a 2, not a 1.  I don't know what happened, but while I disagree with you quite a bit, I meant to mojo you comment, not troll rate it.

I've changed the rating now, and I don't know why it showed up as a 1.  But I will 100% agree, your knee-jerk reactions are simply uncalled for and characteristic of why I mostly disagree with you.

by TxDem08 2009-07-20 06:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Judging it on its merits


Also forgot to add though, that your no-name German journalist comment is completely off base and w/out merit.  A simple Google will show a good deal of journalistic work conducted.  Just b/c you haven't heard of them, doesn't make 'em a hack.

I mojo'd your comment, not b/c I agreed w/ it, but b/c you mostly had a valid point.

by TxDem08 2009-07-20 07:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Compare and Contrast

A most excellent take on the Clinton/Obama relationship lost out to this POS diary. Go figure.

http://www.mydd.com/story/2009/7/16/3115 /15498

by QTG 2009-07-20 07:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Compare and Contrast

Yes, if not for this diary, surely more people would have seen the one Charles wrote.  Oh wait, what's that, Charles' diary was on the front page?  Never mind.

by Steve M 2009-07-20 07:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Compare and Contrast

Which made me wonder why the diarist thought this one necessary. The only possible answer is the one I supplied.

Most interesting is the relative lack of attention the better diary received. I can only conclude that 'serious' discussion will always lose out to a good old Obama-bashing.

by QTG 2009-07-20 07:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Compare and Contrast

Only one "POS" commenter here is re-prosecuting the primary wars.  Take a little responsibility.  No one here is bashing Obama.  Nor does Obama require mccarthyist hatchet men, little less cut-rate ones like yourself.

BTW, here's an alternative explanation: The diarist did not see the Lemos diary.

by Strummerson 2009-07-20 07:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Compare and Contrast

Now that you've seen it, what do you think?

by QTG 2009-07-20 08:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Compare and Contrast

I think Charles's diary a credible answer to the question my diary sought to explore, as credible as some of the substantive responses to this diary.  Your "POS" antics only got in the way.  The rest of the discussion here made a great deal of sense.

by Strummerson 2009-07-20 08:19AM | 0 recs

one good thing came out of my presence here: you got to read a good diary on the subject.

by QTG 2009-07-20 08:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Well

You could have simply referred me and others to that diary in your first comment and the whole tenor of this thread would have been different.  But something tells me you were enjoying it as is.

by Strummerson 2009-07-20 09:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Well

I fail to see how it is incumbent upon me to do your due diligence for you. Your title, "Obama and Clinton: Work it Out" is provocative, and if you are to be believed, has nothing to do with the content of your diary - since you claim the diary is not about some discord between them.

I didn't ruin your diary, or even damage it. You did that yourself. If there were something I could do to smooth things over, you know, to 'work it out' between us, I would. But that would imply that there has been some animosity in or relationship. I've only tried to be constructive.

by QTG 2009-07-20 10:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Well

"I fail to see how it is incumbent upon me to do your due diligence for you."

I fail to see where I asked you to do this for me.

"Your title, "Obama and Clinton: Work it Out" is provocative, and if you are to be believed, has nothing to do with the content of your diary - since you claim the diary is not about some discord between them."

Well, actually, if you cared to pay attention instead of living inside year-and-a-half old cliches, you would note it's actually about an effective division of labor, not some imagined personal drama.  That's simply the interpretation you thrust upon it due to your limitations.  Again, you are the ONLY one here who responded in this manner.  You refuse to look at that.  I consider this a total abrogation of responsibility.

"I didn't ruin your diary, or even damage it. You did that yourself."  

Where did I accuse you of this or contend that my diary is in any sense ruined.  I pointed out that you unnecessarily injected a lack of civility into the comments thread.  I stand by that.

"I've only tried to be constructive."

Okay.  I believe you, I guess.  But that makes this whole thing just sad.  You accused me of not being able to handle criticism.  But up and down this thread I acknowledge both in a comment or two and through ratings a great deal of substantive criticism.  Yours was by and large not substantive and not constructive.  Still didn't ruin the diary.  Nor do I care if it did.  I have written many and consider some more successful than others.  But in case you are capable of handling criticism, your participation here, despite your intentions, was more distracting and uncivil than constructive.  I suggest you look at WashStateBlue's comment here or PsychoDrew's or JJE's or almost any other that also casts doubt on the appearance of a problem in the division of roles in the administration, and even criticism of sources, for an idea of how to be constructive, if that's actually what you are shooting for.  Good luck in figuring that out.

by Strummerson 2009-07-20 10:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Well

I agreed with the others you mentioned who smacked the diary down for it's failed premise, but did not mojo them because of the obvious animosity you reserve for me. My posts held the jist of what they said, and did so first. So your gripe is with my style, not my substance.

by QTG 2009-07-20 12:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Well

Style and substance and both count.  To be constructive, one must be both substantive and use a civil style.

In fact, they did not "smack down" the diary, they offered differing perspectives.  Look, if you want to understand this, I think you can.  But I'm unconvinced you actually want to.  None of the others used the fact that the correspondent is German (not substantive) nor asserted anything unfounded about my motives (which is also not substantive).  None of the others felt compelled to call it a "POS" diary, which lacks substance and is the style of a shmuck.

So look, if you want to continue being a disruptive shmuck as opposed to laying out constructive arguments in a civil manner that is your prerogative.  But don't come and tell me you have been trying to be constructive or blame anyone else for injecting animosity.  I don't know you.  I don't care.  If you respond like a shmuck as you have done here, I will point that out.  If you respond in a constructive manner, I will respond in kind.  I really don't care how good or bad you think this or any other diary I write is.  Why would I?  But if you really want to be constructive, you have a hell of a lot of work learning how to do this.

I'm done.  You can have the last word.  Maybe you'll surprise me and it will take some responsibility.  I'm betting on self-righteous pronouncement, but who knows.  You obviously do care on some level, or you wouldn't be continuing.  

by Strummerson 2009-07-20 12:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Well

I see you're upset with me. I'm not upset with you. Just your crappy diary. Nothing personal.

by QTG 2009-07-20 01:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Compare and Contrast

My unsolcitated advice:

Ignore the QTG as if he or she is a troll because they are functionally acting as one.

Here's the reality, ther eis a subset of posters who come to this blog to attack any questioning of the administration. Whether it is Qtg, nfa or borednow among several others. This is what they do: they come to a diary and keep attacking, attacking attacking.

What have I realized in the last few weeks? it is not worth debating them. Most of their positions are bogus. overtime, what's interesting is that every criticism made of President Obama has slowly been borne out. From the criticism over President Obama's gay rights failures (that Charles Lemos tries to defend) to the stimulus (which several people including myself kept saying at the time was not big enough according to economists who we can trust) to healthcare (that President Obama needs to put skin in the game) - what has happened? The critics have been proven correct. Look, just today, he is now going to start putting skin in the healthcare game. My problem is that he seems to be surrounded by too manypeople who want him to play the 90s clintonesque triangulation game when our country is contextually in a different place. He should have been in the game weeks ago rather than waiting for near failure (but that's another diary).

My point? Criticism is important so don't let others hijack your diary. That's QTG's thesis here- to bullshit you into submission.

I have no idea whether you are right here. I tend to think that one article is not enough to draw your conclusions. I think a lot more evidence is needed for such a judgment. I think Presidetn obama and Sec CLinton are both strong personalities. that this is the danger of too such strong personalities working together. There will occassional be some butting of heads.

However, what I also think is that you are talking to QTG, a person for whom there will never be enough evidence because to prove any criticism of President Obama valid.  it is not about evidence, arguments, policies, positions, laws, or anything else that may matter to the average person. It is about one thing. and only that thing: protect obama at all cost. Therefore the operative tools are denial, obfuscation, Rovian tactics of up is down, down is up and a multitude of other bad faith debate tactics that is a sophist's wet dream. What is it not is a real conersation to discern whether your criticism is valid or not.

Once you realize that , you will realize arguing with the protect obama at all cost brigade is a waste of your time.

by bruh3 2009-07-20 08:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Compare and Contrast

bruh epitomizes the new and growing majority of MyDD participants during this phase of the sites evolution. I don't see that as good or bad, and I have nothing against him or the diarist (or anyone else here) personally. I think I've made the point I intended, and nothing I've said was intended to offend.

That being said, implying a Clinton vs Obama angle on a topic will always make it more popular. I think the tactic is beneath contempt, but that's just me.

by QTG 2009-07-20 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Compare and Contrast

Yeah, whatever. I have been here since about 2004. But yeah I am new opposed to you who showed up last year as far as I can tell.

by bruh3 2009-07-20 09:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Compare and Contrast

Your assumption that it was a tactic in this case is baseless and unfounded.  It calls into question your disavowal of animus, personal or otherwise.  I don't actually think you made the point that you think you did.  Excluding yourself, the discussion was civil and substantive.  The only thing here that is beneath contempt is your own behavior.

by Strummerson 2009-07-20 09:21AM | 0 recs
The lion's share of the comments

in this diary are by you.  If you don't think this diary should be getting so much attention, I recommend you stop giving it so much attention.

by JJE 2009-07-20 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Compare and Contrast

Now I troll rated you.  Go figure...

by TxDem08 2009-07-20 02:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Judging it on its merits

Quoting you from March 08:

"In a desperation move to attempt to regain momentum the Obama campaign is exposing exactly what Chicago politics is famous for.  Forsaking his "politics of change", Senator Obama's campaign is now in an attempt to shield attention from their candidates looming real-estate/money-laundering/extortion scandal ties, is now willing to destroy and shatter the DEM party in order to throw the kitchen sink in the rehabed but heaterless apartment buildings at Senator Clinton."

You protestations to the contrary, you DO NOT agree with me, you are and remain a PUMA, and I thank you for your original and intentional 1 rating, which proved my point. No Take Backs!

by QTG 2009-07-20 07:11AM | 0 recs
March08 seems to be thick in the primary

wars. We can randomly pick any blogger then and find how divisive we were back then. It is not a fair example of what a PUMA measures up to.

TxDem08 is/was surely a Clintonista but not a PUMA by any measure.

by louisprandtl 2009-07-20 09:04AM | 0 recs
Re: March08 seems to be thick in the primary

Why does this even matter? Are suppose to take loyalty oaths each time we voice a criticism?

for example, it is interesting to watch QTG want to label everyone who dissents as a Clinton support.

In the primaries, I was an Edwards supporter, but when Edwards dropped out, I said Iw ould support either CLinton or Obama.

The truth is I was attacked by both sides. Indeed, Jerome Armstrong banned me under my prior name bruh2 because I found his use of race against President Obama unacceptable when the incident occured with President Obama's former preacher.

Yet, according to QTG I am also part of this grand anti-President obama force infilltrating this site, again despite the fact I have been here since before I even knew who Obama was.

The chief problem here is that we even have to bring up this history. Why does it matter that I defended President Obama to the point of being banned? Why do I need to say that in order to level criticism? Why does anyone have to defend themselves against hte like of QTG who has never met a criticism against President Obama that they find to be valid.

Hell, even the diary on healthcare about how some people view healthcare through the light of how poor people make get something that the wealthy think they do not deserve was reconfigured by QTG into a "you are against President obama" debate. This is the level of absurdity that occurs with this sort of exchange where we have to each prove our loyalities. Hell even J Orton, who worked for President Obama, was attacked as hating Obama because he disagreed over DADT.

by bruh3 2009-07-20 09:24AM | 0 recs
I do remember us being on the

opposite side of the fence during primaries. Now even Justin Ruben of MoveOn.org is talking about an independent progressive movement to "keep the Democrats and President Obama to stick to liberal approach on issues from climate change to healthcare"...

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story .php?storyId=106677816

by louisprandtl 2009-07-20 04:28PM | 0 recs
Re: I do remember us being on the

Well my focus is both the same and different. i want a strong liberal counterweight to the crazy right so that we can move the coutry back to a sane middle rather ethan the crazy right that we have been going down for the last 4 decades. It is hard to even have a real conversation about where this country until we regain some sense of real pramaticism which is not based on triangulating off of that crazy right. so I am all for a stronger left, not because i will agree with everything they say but because I absolutely think without it the Democrats will want to lean right out of knee jerk response to the last 40 years.

by bruh3 2009-07-20 08:55PM | 0 recs
Re: As someone once said

"One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present."

by QTG 2009-07-21 07:41AM | 0 recs
As an old saying goes...

"The orange that is too hard squeezed yields a bitter juice"

by louisprandtl 2009-07-21 01:33PM | 0 recs
Re: As someone once said
Glad to see you're coming around and finally seeing the light.  But here is some more knowledge for you to digest.
I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.
by TxDem08 2009-07-22 07:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Judging it on its merits

Now this is hysterical.  You want to take a post from March of '08 for your supposed defense?  Not only are you self-aggrandizing, but you're too wrapped up in yourself to see that everyone else thinks you have seriously flipped your lid on this one.

As far as the rating was concerned, it was indeed a mistake, and don't know understand how it was a 1 rating.  However, I have no qualms or problems rating comments that I think are trollish, and when I do will absolutely tell you, as I have for you POS crap comment.  I don't agree with most of what you say, and have already told you that.  I think your a knee-jerk, ultra-reactionary who freaks out when they even sense a slight at themselves, and can't stand being wrong and will piss into the wind just to prove to themselves they can.

But please...keep up your hysteria and paranoia.  There are actually some independent and critical thinkers who can actually discuss topics and even...gasp...agree with some comments from someone they disagree with.  Sacre bleu!

by TxDem08 2009-07-20 03:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Judging it on its merits

QTG default position is ape throwing poo when  ever they think President Obama is even remotely or tangentially (as they see it) being threatened. The fact you are raising a concern you have with the hopes of seeing improvement rather than for the purpose of taking down the administration is too complex a position. There are only those wanting to destroy or save the administration. Criticism = destroy. The truth is I am not even sure where I stand on this issue, but I do defend the ability to have open discussions about it without being attacked as if the mere debate is going to destroy rather than help.

by bruh3 2009-07-19 09:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Judging it on its merits

I think they have differences, but that she supports his policies cause he won, she's a team player. He had his own guy in mind for ambassador to Japan, for one thing. I expect she was recommending the one with the most experience and knowledge, the one she would want in her  philosophy of proven competence, and Barack wanted someone with a certain sensibility to a past he wants to stay active in, and she had no problem accepting his pick, cause he had his reasons.

I think she probably told him that vetting in the state department shouldn't be so intrusive, since they aren't high profile jobs that would reflect on him if some, for example, sexual scandal came to light, but mainly because the state hires professionals who expect their work record should be sufficient to show excellence, which ought to be enough. I expect he stuck with his intrusive questions because that's what he believed he promised to those who voted for him.

I suppose that she was unable to fill spots because no one wants to answer a bunch of personal questions about past love lives and whatever, and that she took that to him to request a more human scale vetting, and that with these results he'll come to see this service as public service that should have a bit of respect for the professionals who have exemplary pubic records, and what their private lives out of government computers.

They're on the same team, but they not the same person and each is well able to defend their choices, and Hillary is well able to accede to the guy who got the job.  

They both have jobs, both want them done well.  

by anna shane 2009-07-19 09:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Your point is?

I read the whole article and it was not sourced at all.  It was analysis of the public speech with one comment from Tina Brown and a fair amount of speculation.

To allege such an organized effort to undercut, I would expect sourced material or at least cribbing off of another journalist's work.

This is the main shortcoming of a German newspaper doing this sort of work.  No one is going to leak to a foreign correspondent because that is a very easy cover for a possible intelligence agent.  If it was the Post or the Times and they got an undersecretary to leak, that would be different.

I will still go with a more parsimonious explanation:  they wanted it in the record and they didn't want to pay a price for it.

by AZphilosopher 2009-07-20 01:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Your point is?

yes, you raised a question about Obama, you must be mocked.

by Teacher1956 2009-07-20 08:49PM | 0 recs
I'm not sure this is anything but jigged up

controvery, this was such a running story during the nomination, how would two big egos work together.

I would not put it past this pundit to just be using the back story to create this.

I already saw a couple of people comment in the press that Obama's speech stepped on SOS Clintons speech, this guy could just be riffting off of that.

Besides, I am not sure SOS Clinton gets a lot of press ANYWAY on this.

Where as the Health Care Wars are front and center, because we have a political fight between the right and the rest of us, which is the kind of thing that the News industry LOVES to cover.

It's expensive to have multiple correspondents spread out all over the world.

So much easier to have some bonehead politician, or some paid spokesman for a think-tank or advocacy group come on and yak to Chris Matthews or Wolf Blitzer.  Cheap way to fill up the hours,
and we can stick to the easily digestable talking points.

Foriegn policy is complex, most Americans couldn't point to where these places are on a map.

Health Care propaganda is easy to digest and regurgitate.  Just look at MyDD, we have fake liberals like BJJ just spewing the right wing talking points even here...Why bother to think, when you can have AEI or CATO do it for you?

Americans are incredibly provincial, we care little about Foriegn Policy, up to the point where someone attacks us THEN suddenly we are interested.

Face facts, had their been a HUGE international catstrophe with thousands dead on that day Michael Jackson died, what story you think would have dominated the US news?

by WashStateBlue 2009-07-19 08:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Clinton: Work it Out

much ado...

by lori 2009-07-19 08:47AM | 0 recs
All media speculation

It seems like to me.  This article cites Tina Brown (who I feel is the poor man's Maureen Dowd), the Daily News, and "the media" who have apparently counted up the ambassadorships and overseas trips.  The only quote from anyone who might know something is from a "Washington insider."  Para. 13 is unattributed and seems like the closest thing to a leak from inside state.  I don't think the evidence is sufficient support the conclusion, but it's something to keep an eye on.

by JJE 2009-07-19 11:36AM | 0 recs
Re: All media speculation

Less a conclusion than a question.  Perhaps I overstated it to open the question.  I guess I want to see HRC do her thing and think we'll be the better for it.  But as WSB notes above, SoS isn't always a visible role.  But particularly given the trade off of losing her for Health Care in the Senate, I want her to be able to affect things and play a serious role.

by Strummerson 2009-07-19 11:53AM | 0 recs
Tina Brown

I would've said "the poor man's Arianna Huffington", or even "Cokie Roberts wannabe".

I've always found her singularly unimpressive.

by BlueinColorado 2009-07-20 10:30AM | 0 recs
Clinton lover here

and I don't buy any of it. It is in the best interests of the Repugs and those that like to stir up controversy (media) and Pumas to state that there is friction between Hillary and Obama. I simply don't buy it. He's too smart and she's too smart. SHE would not have accepted SoS without assurances of a major "in" role, HE would not have offered if he did not agree to this. It's not like SHE had to take this - could have easily remained happy and independent with a big role in the Senate. HE did not have to offer it, could have given it to someone else that wanted it. They are working TOGETHER with each other. The ONLY purpose served by stirring it up is for Fox news, Repugs and the media that want to build a wedge somewhere in the democratic party.

by nikkid 2009-07-19 02:20PM | 0 recs
I think this is a DC media manufactured

fantasy. They want more drama, political theater rather than report on wonkish healthcare debate or real issues that affect real people...

by louisprandtl 2009-07-19 02:41PM | 0 recs
Bat shit crazy Clintonista here.

I think what we are seeing is Hillary the work horse.  She was a celebrity when she arrived in the Senate and she put her nose to the grind and went to work.  That's what earned her the respect of her colleagues.  She's doing the same thing at State.  Her performance will shape her legacy, not the number of Meet the Press appearances.  She knows that.

by psychodrew 2009-07-19 05:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Clinton

For those who may have missed Charles Lemos's most excellent take on the Clinton/Obama relationship, I recommend it:

http://www.mydd.com/story/2009/7/16/3115 /15498

by QTG 2009-07-20 03:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Clinton: Work it Out

I don't remember most of our previous secretary of state's speeches getting huge coverage.  They got noticed and talked about when they went interesting places, or were involved in tough negotiations.  Clinton gets more than that kind of attention already.  She seems to be doing great and to be focusing on her current work.  She knew there would be some trade off when she accepted the position.

by Renie 2009-07-20 03:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama and Clinton: Work it Out

If Obama did not intend to employ Clinton's talents at the State Department, he would have done better to leave her in the Senate where she would have been effective either as a central advocate for his health care proposals or to give him cover from the left flank.

I may be he wanted her out of the senate so she couldn't oppose his health-care plan.  It sucks, it is a giant give away to the health insurance companies and even if she has never been an advocate of single payer, even she would have to speak up about how completely undo-able his plan is, particularly with the congress and senate adding bits and pieces.

by Teacher1956 2009-07-20 08:58PM | 0 recs
Hee hee

A PUMA never changes its spots.

by JJE 2009-07-21 05:52AM | 0 recs
All Puma's have pyschic powers..

even if she has never been an advocate of single payer, even she would have to speak up about how completely undo-able his plan is, particularly with the congress and senate adding bits and pieces.

Amazing how they are so good at predicting what WOULD have happened, but were so shitty at predicting what actually DID happen.

by WashStateBlue 2009-07-21 10:00AM | 0 recs

It sucks, it is a giant give away to the health insurance companies and even if she has never been an advocate of single payer, even she would have to speak up about how completely undo-able his plan is, particularly with the congress and senate adding bits and pieces.

this is so fucking pathetic it would be mean to insert a Sarah Palin reference.

Aw hell...

you know who Hillary Clinton thinks has a sucky healhcare plan?

Sarah Palin.

by DTOzone 2009-07-29 06:32PM | 0 recs


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