Archive for the ‘WordPress Political Bloggers alliance’ Category

Hillary in Japan… follow her photo journey…

In Asia Tour, foreign policy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, news, Politics, WordPress Political Bloggers alliance, WordPress Political Blogs on February 17, 2009 at 11:20 pm

Madame Secretary renewing old friendships, as with the Empress of Japan whom she met years ago when First Lady of the United States.



Empress Michiko of Japan greeted visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo with a hug and a peck on each cheek, an unusually warm welcome in Japanese culture. Clinton started her first foreign tour as U.S. Secretary in Japan, but her warm reception was due to her past role as First Lady.

To start the day, Clinton participated in a purification rite and welcoming ceremony at a Shinto shrine to the father of modern Japan, Emperor Meiji. She said its message of ‘balance and harmony’ would set the tone for the Obama administration’s foreign policy, especially in tough economic times.

Hillary Clinton visits Meiji Shrine

In the several public appearances she made today, Hillary repeatedly stressed the importance of America’s relationship with Japan. She also announced that Taro Aso would be going to Washington next week, making him the first foreign leader to visit and meet with Obama since the new president took office .



U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) is welcomed by Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso prior to their talks at Aso’s official residence in Tokyo February 17, 2009. Clinton is visiting Japan, Indonesia, South Korea and China this week on her first foreign trip as U.S. Secretary of State.


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton enters a town-hall meeting with students from Tokyo University in Tokyo February 17, 2009.


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at a town-hall meeting to  students from Tokyo University in Tokyo February 17, 2009


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Japan’s Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone attend at their joint news conference at the Iikura Guest House in Tokyo February 17, 2009.


“The First Lady of the Press”, Helen Thomas…

In fabulous women, First Lady of the Press Corp, Helen Thomas, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, news, Politics, United States, Washington, WordPress Political Bloggers alliance, WordPress Political Blogs on February 10, 2009 at 2:04 pm

A legend in political reporting, Helen Thomas has covered every president since John F. Kennedy, earning the nickname “First Lady of the Press.” Now in her 80s, the venerable journalist Helen Thomas (born August 4, 1920) is an American news service reporter, a Hearst Newspapers columnist, and member of the White House Press Corps. She served for fifty-seven years as a correspondent and, later, White House bureau chief for United Press International (UPI). Thomas has covered every president since John F. Kennedy.

She was the first female officer of the National Press Club,

the first female member and president of the White House Correspondents Association, and

the first female member of the Gridiron Club.

She has written four books; her latest is Watchdogs of Democracy?: The Waning Washington Press Corps and How It Has Failed the Public. Thomas joined United Press International in 1943 and reported on women’s topics for their radio wire service. Later in the decade she wrote their “Names in the News” column, and after 1955 she covered federal agencies such as the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Thomas served as president of the Women’s National Press Club from 1959–60.


I say all this because it was noted, Helen Thomas visited my Blog, “Pumas Unleashed” yesterday. And I did say just the other day, whenever there is a woman who is first in her accomplishments, I will definitely find a place for her at our site dedicated to the new Madame Secretary, Hillary R. Clinton. It must of been fate, because there you were and I am honored to note your accomplishments and your career full of firsts.

Early life and career

Thomas was born in Winchester, Kentucky, to Lebanese Christian immigrants[1] from Tripoli, Lebanon, which at the time was part of Syria.[2] She was reared in Detroit, Michigan and attended Wayne University (now Wayne State University), graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1942. Thomas’ first job in journalism was as a copygirl for the now-defunct Washington Daily News, but shortly after she was promoted to cub reporter she was laid off as part of massive cutbacks at the paper.

Presidential correspondent

In November 1960, Thomas began covering then President-elect John F. Kennedy, following him to the White House in January 1961 as a UPI correspondent. Thomas became known as the “Sitting Buddha“, and it was during Kennedy’s administration that she began the tradition of ending all presidential press conferences with a signature “Thank you, Mr. President”.

Thomas was the only female print journalist to travel with President Richard Nixon to China during his historic trip in 1972. She has traveled around the world several times with Presidents Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush,

Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, and has covered every Economic Summit since 1975, working up to the position of UPI’s White House Bureau Chief, a post she would hold for over twenty-five years. While serving as White House Bureau Chief, she authored a regular column for UPI, “Backstairs at the White House,” which provided an insider’s view of various presidential administrations.

Traditionally, Thomas sat in the front row and asked the first question during White House press conferences, but according to Thomas in a 2006 Daily Show interview, this ended because she no longer represents a wire service. During the Bush administration, Thomas had been moved to the back row during press conferences, although she still sat in the front row during press briefings. She was called upon at briefings on a daily basis but no longer ended Presidential news conferences saying “Thank you, Mr. President”. When asked why she was seated in the back row, she said, “Because they don’t like me… I ask too many questions.”[5]

On March 21, 2006, Thomas was called upon directly by President Bush for the first time in three years. Thomas asked Bush about the war in Iraq: If you want to read the response you can go HERE

I will try to keep up with Helen on “Pumas Unleashed” for her latest take on the new President. I have the feeling it’s going to be a ‘wild and bumpy ride’, Helen. I think your up for it and there may be time for another book from you… the evolution of the presidency as seen from the front and the back rows of the press corp!

Secretary Clinton and Excellency Bernard Koucher

In Afghanistan, economy, foreign policy, French Minister Koucher, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, news, Politics, Washington, WordPress Political Bloggers alliance, WordPress Political Blogs on February 6, 2009 at 11:51 pm

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more about “Secretary Clinton and Excellency Bern…“, posted with vodpod

The United States and France Pledge Continued Transatlantic Alliance
February 05, 2009
Hillary Rodham Clinton Secretary of State:

Remarks With French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner After Their Meeting
Treaty Room, Washington, DC

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon.




SECRETARY CLINTON: We’ll do the translation. I was delighted to welcome Foreign Minister Kouchner here today. We’ve had a very useful and productive discussion on a wide range of topics, first over a private lunch, and then with our various aides.

I just want to reiterate that the United States is committed to our transatlantic alliance. This is an alliance that is one of the oldest and closest that the United States has in the world. We appreciate France’s leadership, especially during its recent EU presidency. And I want to publicly thank President Sarkozy for his leadership working with the United States to achieve a ceasefire in Georgia. And I thank you as well, Mr. Minister, for the very broad-based efforts that France has undertaken to address the global financial challenges. Our alliance is rooted in common values, and we have put that alliance to work in support of security, justice, and opportunity.

We discussed a number of the difficult situations that confront us in the world. We will continue to coordinate closely in the Middle East and cooperate on Gaza, humanitarian aid, and the never-ending pursuit of a just and secure peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

You know, the United States is also very proud and grateful to have France as a coalition partner in our efforts to strengthen the Afghan people’s efforts to build a better future. The minister is very familiar with Afghanistan, and we spoke of his longstanding work in that country, going back many years, on behalf of the people. And I was particularly impressed with his description of the hospital that the French have built in Kabul, which is now being run by the Afghan people themselves.

We’ll continue to work closely as we close the Guantanamo detention center. And on behalf of our mutual concerns regarding Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, we’re going to use smart diplomacy together to engage the international community. And we will do so, including Russia as a cooperative partner, because we intend to forge a more constructive relationship.

So, Mr. Minister, there is much ahead of us on global financial reform, on making sure that we forge an even closer working relationship. And I, on a personal level, look forward to working with you and advancing our shared objectives of liberty, peace, and prosperity around the world.

FOREIGN MINISTER KOUCHNER: (Via interpreter.) Madame Secretary, I am very happy and honored to see you here today, to see you again here today in your new position, which, of course, makes the two of you – the two of us colleagues.

Of course, we saluted the election of President Obama, and although we are not always a hundred percent in agreement, our friendship, friendship between our two countries, is a very sound friendship. It’s an old friendship and it’s a friendship that has a lot of future to it.

(In English.) So we talk about a lot of subjects. We were (inaudible) the world with some consideration, but mainly on Middle East – pardon. (Laughter.)

So on Middle East, we are really very anxious about the situation of the people of Gaza, and we were in agreement together with Madame Secretary of State to make pressure on both side to open the crossing. The Gaza people, they need so-called humanitarian assistance. And we’ll do it together another time, even if this is difficult, because we are facing – all of us – the electoral process in Israel and the idea – very important idea of Abu Mazen, the president of the PLO, the Palestinian Authority, to set up – to try to set up a government of national unity. And we are, of course, supporting Abu Mazen, and we must strengthen him, but it will take some times.

Meanwhile, we must access to the people – we must accede to the people – sorry. For the rest, we were at complete agreement to support the Egyptian initiative, and you know that some talks are now – have been developed in Cairo in between the Hamas delegation, the PLO delegation, and we are waiting for the result of that with a very great support to the Egyptian. And there is a meeting in the – I think the – yes, the 2nd day of February, yes, in Cairo, and I hope we’ll get better support to Gaza people before this date.

We were talking about Afghanistan. We are talking about Darfur. We are talking about Guantanamo, and thank you for having closed this – I don’t know how to use – prison of Guantanamo. And with our friends of the European Union, we accept the idea of having a common position, if it is possible, European position, because you know that with Schengen, if one country accept one of the prisoner, he would be able to travel all – in all the places, in 22 countries – or 24 countries in Europe.

Afghanistan, it is a burden for us, but we need to succeed. We have to succeed in Afghanistan in offering support to the democratic elected government and to develop the access to the people. Afghanization is the word. For that, we need to secure the places, and with Madame Clinton we were talking a lot about that.

No, I know that I have to speak French. (Via interpreter) I’ll answer questions in French.

Full Text

Hillary official swearing in ceremony…

In Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, news, official announcement, Rise Hillary Rise, WordPress Political Bloggers alliance, WordPress Political Blogs on February 2, 2009 at 8:21 pm


Hillary’s official statement:

Thank you all very much. Thank you. It is an overwhelming honor to be sworn in to assume this position on behalf of our country. I thank my dear friend, Vice President Biden, and I thank President Obama for investing the trust and confidence in me during a particularly challenging time in our nation’s history. I look out and see so many friends and colleagues. I particularly want to thank the Speaker and the Majority Leader, Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid for being here and for providing the leadership that you both are doing in the Congress.

I also want to thank my colleagues in government and my former partners in the Congress. I am very grateful to all the members of the House who are here today, and particularly those with whom I served over eight wonderful years who represent New York. And I’m very grateful to all of you.

And to my friends in the Senate,  I see the faces of people with whom I have shared so much, and I am deeply grateful to each and every one of you. But I have to single out the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee who, after all, presided over my confirmation, for which I am very grateful,  Senator Kerry. (Laughter and Applause.)

And I look forward to working with all of you, particularly the appropriators – (laughter) – who are here this afternoon. We have a lot of work to do and it is such important work that lies ahead. I also want to thank two wonderful friends of mine, governors, Governor Corzine from New Jersey, and Governor O’Malley from Maryland who are here. (Applause.)

And I am particularly honored to have four of my predecessors with us today. I have sought their advice and their counsel and I have to publicly thank each and every one of them.

With us today, Secretary Kissinger and  Secretary Baker and  Secretary Eagleburger and, of course, my dear friend and fellow Wellesley alum Secretary Albright. (Applause.)  And I also want to thank Secretary Rice and Secretary Powell and Secretary Shultz, with whom I had a wonderful visit just last week when he came to the seventh floor, and Secretary Haig – all of the former secretaries of state who have been so generous with their time. And I think I can predict I will be asking for advice as we move forward.

Because this ceremony takes place at a real hinge of history time, there is so much that lies ahead in terms of challenges, but also opportunities. When I came into this building for the first time a week or so ago now, I told the assembled State Department employees, and then repeated it again at USAID, that we are all on the same team, and it is America’s team.   And we have, in the leadership of President Obama, someone who wants us to reach out to the world, to do so without illusions, understanding that the difficulties we face will not be wished away, but meeting them forthrightly and smartly, and that we want to seize the opportunities that exist as well.

I talked in my confirmation hearings about smart power. Well, smart power relies on smart people, and we have an abundance of them in this building and at USAID.  But I’ve also told my teammates in the State family that we’re going to have to be smarter about how we do what we must for our country. There are many ways that we can improve on what we do on a daily basis. And I want to work with my friends in Congress on behalf of our Administration to really look for those efficiencies and those changes that will make what we do more effective, more cost-effective, so that we can be out there around the world delivering America’s message, certainly doing all we must to protect and defend our security, but also advancing our interests and furthering our values.

So for me, this has been an amazing personal journey. As Joe laughingly referenced, neither one of us thought that we would be standing here together, doing what we are now doing together.   Life has a funny way of unfolding and politics is even stranger. So we are joined in this incredible mission on behalf of our President and our country.  And it’s one where it’s not only those of us holding positions, whether elected or appointed, must perform to the very best of our ability. We’re asking everyone in our country to think about how each of you can make a contribution so that we ensure that America’s future is even brighter than our storied past.

I’m excited by seeing so many familiar faces. There are friends in this audience who have known me my entire life.   And there is the next generation,  you know,  my niece and my two nephews who are here.  I get up every morning thinking about what I must do to make this world of ours safer and more prosperous and to make our country all that it can be.   As difficult as the times are, I am an optimist. I believe that we can do what we set our minds to do.   And so it is the power of our ideals and the intelligence and dedication of our people.

I could not be standing here before you today without all of you,  but in particular,  the three people who stand with me on this stage.   It’s literally true I wouldn’t be here without my mother. (Laughter.)   And so I – (applause) – I’m especially delighted that she can be with me.    And to my daughter, who I am just bursting with maternal pride over,   but who I look to also for advice and,  frankly, for some cultural cues that I might otherwise miss. (Laughter.)

And finally, to my husband, who understands so well the awesome responsibilities resting on the shoulders of President Obama and Vice President Biden and all of us who serve with them. I am so grateful to him for a lifetime of all kinds of experiences – (laughter) – which have given me a – (applause) – which have given me an extraordinary richness that I am absolutely beholden to and grateful for.

So now, let me thank Gladys and her crackerjack protocol operation that put this together.   We had to schedule it around two schedules that were hard to mesh:   Vice President Biden and Chelsea Clinton. (Laughter.)   When we finally got a time when both of them could be in the same place,   we rushed to fill it. (Laughter.) So if you’re wondering why you didn’t get an invitation until Thursday,   Friday,   Saturday or Sunday,   it’s because we just had to make sure that we had the main people here.

But I do want to greet all of you individually,  and obviously,  my family wants to say hello as well.   So we’re hard at work already,  and we’re working hard with a great team of people here in this building and at USAID. And we’re looking forward to fulfilling the excitement and the promise that the Obama Administration represents here at home and around the world.

Thank you all very, very much.”



A humble and graceful  speech as only Hillary could deliver (sans teleprompter).  Speaking for all your loyal supporters,  we wish you well,  dear Hillary.  The world embraces your intelligence and forthrightness for the good of all countries.  Best wishes and God speed in all the challenges you meet head-on unbowed and strong in your determination to make this world a better place for all of us!

Hillary achieves success with ease!

In economy, foreign policy, humanity, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, news, Politics, Secretary of State, Wordpress Political Blog, WordPress Political Bloggers alliance, WordPress Political Blogs on January 28, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Hillary breaks through the gridlock we’ve faced with Foreign Countries for 8 years with style, substance, charm and above all, a friendly invitation to all countries to resolve our differences and start building a united coalition for the benefit of mankind.

hillary-and-afghan-women2Just today, Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton met at the State Department with fourteen prominent Afghan women judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys. These jurists were in Washington to participate in a training program arranged by the Department’s Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan. Secretary Clinton told them: “Your American friends greatly admire your bravery and courage. It is your work in the tough environment of Afghanistan for women lawyers that will bring real reform and the rule of law to the Afghan people. As President Obama made clear yesterday in his first foreign policy announcement, we are committed to supporting your efforts to bring security and stability to your country.”

Hillary has done more in her first week on the job than Condi Rice did in eight years.

“Special envoys have been named for South Asia, the Middle East, and climate change, and George Mitchell, the Middle East envoy, is already on a listening tour in the region. She’s put in calls to more than three dozen leaders as part of an effort to reassure the world that the U.S. is committed to repairing damaged relations.

She’s made impressive development announcements, with an initial State Department commitment of $125 million this year to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and a pledge on behalf of the administration to work with other countries to halve global hunger and poverty by 2015.