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Monday, July 6, 2009

Amber Alert for Hillary Clinton

Week-by-week, world event-by-world event, the public humiliation of Hillary Clinton is taking place right before our eyes. Actually, not before our eyes. Hillary has gone missing.

There was a time when United States Secretaries of State were front and center in foreign policy making and implementation. Our first Secretary of State was Thomas Jefferson, and other historical luminaries included John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, William Jennings Bryant, and George C. Marshall.

In more modern times, names such as Henry Kissinger, Cyrus Vance, James Baker, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, and Condolezza Rice loom large in our psyche and history.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton? Who? Possibly the most marginalized Secretary of State in modern times.

Barack Obama has not permitted Hillary to participate in a central manner in any of the major diplomatic events, including the upcoming Moscow summit from which Hillary will be notably absent. Obama doesn't act alone in foreign affairs, but he certainly doesn't act through Hillary.

If the federal government were, say, the City of Chicago, Hillary's status would rate about as high as the Director of the Department of Tourism. Sometimes seen, occasionally heard, but almost never consulted. Sure, Hillary is nice enough, but, being nice enough only gets you so far.

It didn't always appear that it would turn out this way. When Hillary was appointed, with great fanfare, it seemed that she would take a leading role. But the fox was out-foxed.

The treatment of Hillary Clinton by Obama to date amounts to a slow drain of Hillary's political persona. The fearsome tiger now is a pussycat. She missed the Iran crisis because of a broken elbow. Now admittedly, I've never broken my elbow, so maybe I am misinformed. But there doesn't appear to be a reason why Hillary couldn't have talked on the phone with foreign ministers, and done all the other things a Secretary of State does.

If Hillary's loss in the primaries was a body blow, being Secretary of State is like being bled by leeches. Hillary seems to know her political persona is being bled dry, but she feels no physical pain.

And Hillary clearly is not having fun. Has anyone seen Hillary laugh in the last five months? Oh, how I long for that cackle. Hillary can't even bring herself to fake it anymore.

Want a good measure of how bad it is for Hillary? Click on the screen shot (above right) from a Google News search for "Hillary Clinton" taken on July 5, 2009, covering the prior month. Nothing of substance, although I did learn that Chelsea is getting married (Congrats! That should keep Mom busy) and Bill is appearing at a fundraiser.

Sarah Palin gets more hits than Hillary even though the search was for "Hillary Clinton."

I wonder how the Hillary supporters at PUMA and the folks at Hillary's Village feel, watching Hillary wither on Obama's vine.

UPDATE: Similar thoughts from Tina Brown at Daily Beast:

It’s time for Barack Obama to let Hillary Clinton take off her burqa....

It becomes clearer by the day how brilliantly Obama checkmated both Clintons by putting Hillary in the topmost Cabinet job. Secretary Clinton can’t be seen to differ from the president without sabotaging her own power. And ex-President Clinton has been uncharacteristically disciplined about not threatening the careful political equilibrium his wife is trying to maintain....

You could say that Obama is lucky to have such a great foreign-policy wife. Those who voted for Hillary wonder how long she'll be content with an office wifehood of the Saudi variety.

Recent Posts:
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  1. What if Hillary were to do a Bobby Kennedy in 2012?

    RFK was Attorney General, and when President Johnson's popularity started to slip, Kennedy turned on him and then ran for President against him in the 1968 primaries.

    Anyone telling you today that the Democrats wouldn't run a serious primary challenge against Obama in 2012 -which I have heard often- clearly has no idea what they're talking about. And they need to keep an eye on the Clintons.

    And Hill's recent hiring of Sid Blumenthal is interesting, to say the least- he's about as loyal a Clintonite Rottweiler as one could imagine... brought on right as Obama's poll numbers begin to slip. Hmmm.

    Barack Obama's personality defects and misguided decision-making are the kinds of things that one's political opponents tend to take notice -and full advantage of.

    You can be sure that the Clintons have- and have planned accordingly.


  2. I agree, the Clintons are planning. Obama tucked her at State to get her (an enemy) out of his hair, knowing he would disallow her any power and prestige. In private, their discussions about the insults from the WH and Obama must have any ears nearby continuously blistering. Oh to be a fly on the wall! She's laying low and biding her time. I'm no Hillary fan but this would be a great thing.

  3. Of all the reasons to be concerned about Obama's agenda, I'm concerned about his foreign policy most because it will be the most difficult to undo.

  4. I would feel much safer with Clinton running foreign policy than him. Something is off about him, nothing he's done has made any sense. But he sets the agenda and she has to parrot it. I agree that she is laying low. Wouldn't be surprised to hear more leaks about his mishandling of foreign affairs as time goes on.

  5. This is definitely a thought-provoking piece and I've been thinking the same thing for quite awhile. When there's no chatter from State about Honduras, you just know all is not well in the cabinet.

    How about this -- Sotomayor's nomination tanks; Obama nominates Hillary for the Supreme Court. She's set for life, he takes her out of another run for the White House, he puts some nobody in at State so he can continue to micromanage foreign affairs, poorly.

    And we're all out of luck.

  6. I would expect, as mentioned above, a 'leak' campaign. Lord knows, Obama is handing her a lot of material. Whatever she has in mind, she needs to get in gear because she is fading fast. The public has a short attention span and out of sight = out of mind.

    Side note: a broken elbow is no big deal.

  7. Hillary's not missing ... she's just planning her run for the Presidency in 2012 ... just as she did when running for President in 2008 while she was suppose to be Senator from the Blue State of New York.

  8. it's worse:

    hillary will meet very puclicly with zelaya in DC.

  9. http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9994B3O0&show_article=1

    WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. officials say Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to meet ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya this week. It would be the highest-level contact the Obama administration has had with Zelaya since he was deposed last week.

  10. Makes perfect sense. Hillary will be the fall gal for our sellout of Honduras.

  11. I have the feeling she'll be the "fall gal" for any foreign policy gaffes made by the foreign policy "expert" Barack Obama.

  12. But (splutter) but (splutter) if she resigns her post to run against Dear Leader, doesn't that make her a (gasp) quitter?

  13. I too have noticed the invisibility of Hillary Clinton and wondering "where is she"? It appears she is just a figurehead; Obama wants to do everything himself. I wouldn't be surprised if Hillary resigns before the end of Obama's first (and hopefully last) term.

  14. Sorry Guys.. Hillary is over. She sold her soul to the devil, oops I mean BO for her campaign debt to be paid. BO has control of the Clinton's and there will be no getting out from under for either of them. She never should have went along with him when she conceded the party nomination to BO. I feel bad for her.

  15. Funny... I Search for Hillary Clinton now (one day later) and she's in the top-four news stories. Then, finally a "news" story about Sarah Palin that's actually a blog. In fact, 9 of the top ten stories in my search were directly about Hillary Clinton. I noticed the picture you use for this blog cuts off after only the top 6 stories... presumably because the next four were all clinton stories?

    But I'm not surprised you would use a little photoshop to prove your point.

  16. @Reign2020 - No need for paranoia. That's a full page screen shot. Sorry you don't like the results. Google constantly refreshes, so now that Hillary has been designated as the person to meet Zelaya (and I saw that Obama has appointed her to a commission on U.S.-Russian relations), she may be back at Google News. But it doesn't change the fact that Hillary has been marginalized and not allowed to operate with the status of most if not all prior Secretaries of State.

  17. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the secretary of state is supposed to handle foreign relations. That seems to be exactly what Clinton is doing. She commented on the issue in Iran, is meeting with Zelaya. You mentioned the U.S.-Russia commission. Since Obama has been president she's travelled over 70,000 miles meeting leaders of various countries. It seems to me that she's doing her job.

    Maybe the reason she's not in the news too much is that Obama (and the media!) is more focused on domestic issues then he is on foreign affairs. When big foreign issues come up, Hillary is always in the news in someway responding to them. Does she sometimes get overrun by Obama? maybe... but didn't Bush do the same thing to Powell and Rice? It seems to me that it was the president who was always in the news. He created the axis of evil, he named the freedom fries, he declared mission accomplished in Iraq. The Secretary of state was always there, and occasionally you would hear about them, but it was always the president in the spotlight. I don't see why the Obama administration is supposed to change that fact.

  18. Hillary co-opted by the Big O? Oh, how the mighty have fallen!!! Do Ya think that the cold calculating one has been had by the mighty O? Is she being frozen out slowly? Are leeches draining her political willpower? These are questions that inquiring minds just want to know!

  19. I am an outsider who is not partisan with either side of politics in the USA. Under the Bush Regime, the SOS especially Condalezza Rice had a very prominent role when it came to foreign affairs, yet Bush was also vocal when required.

    Compare the situation with the Iran coup d'etat (it was a coup there is no doubt about that ) and the non-coup d'etat in the Honduras. Clinton has not been allowed to say much about Iran, and the speeches from the White House have lacked the moral strength and courage that was notable from all past presidents (with the exception of Carter).

    Considering the nature of the Honduras situation it is not appropriate that there should be a meeting between the deposed president and the SOS. Did the SOS meet with the deposed President of Thailand? If not then I rest my case about whether or not it is appropriate. This scheduled meeting is a meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign state. c.f. the statement about not meddling in Iran where Ahmadinejad actually lost the election for president and he seized power with the help of Khamenei and the Guardian Council via the false declaration of the election result.

    (you do not have to like Mousavi to see that the people in Iran voted for a change from Ahmanutjob)

    What is really wrong here is that Obummer intends to continue negotiations with Iran and with the Nutjob and Khamenei (who is also a cultist Ahmadi 12th Imam nutjob). If Obummer really understood about the beliefs concerning the 12th Imam then he should have the insight to see that dealing with these nut cases is not going to yield a satisfactory result. Even if Mousavi was to continue with the building of a nuclear reactor, I think that he and the reformers are sufficiently grounded that they would not be seeking world domination due to the "return of the 12th Imam" which is the goal of Nutjob and Khamenei.

    The world leaders should be taking a tough stand against what is happening in Iran, and that includes my own country. We need to be a lot tougher with them and stop the whimpering.

    Clinton has not been doing a good job as SOS. She is out of her depth. On the other hand I do think that she would be a lot tougher as President than the current incumbent who has no clear idea about anything.

  20. I a glad to see that others see what I see, rather than blaming Clinton for every anti-Israeli position Obama has her reveal. I said from the start that he gave her the position to sideline her & hoodwink his detractors who, like me, & some here, would vastly prefer she really be running our foreign policy. How Clinton can remain so doggedly loyal to a party that treated her like dirt (Dean!) is beyond me.