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Posts Tagged ‘Secretary of State’

Bill and Vlad meeting in Davos!

In Bill Clinton, economy, foreign policy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Russia, Secretary of State, Wordpress Political Blog on January 30, 2009 at 2:38 pm

Finally, there’s some HOPE in the World!- The Clintons go about building bridges with countries formerly insulted and snubbed by the Bush Administration!


clinton-putin-largeIt’s about damn time this country started making progress rather than the disfunctionality of a country caught in a turn of the century time warp.

Former president, Bill Clinton attending the World Economic Forum this week embraced the occasion for private talks with former president, Vladimir Putin. Apparently, President Clinton’s status works hand in glove in an atmosphere of friendship where he “will continue to be an active figure on the international stage.”

President Clinton’s arrival in Davos was well received by foreign leaders resulting in an intense late night discussion with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The two met at a Sheraton Hotel where Putin reciprocated holding a private party after an early evening reception at a local museum hosted by President Clinton.

After the two men met privately behind closed doors for 90 minutes, walking out together, they greeted party goers and stood for remembrances of their meeting. Clinton quipped at Putin’s remarks implying his supporting free markets. Joking, “I hope it works for him.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet with Secretary of State Clinton prior to the April G-20 Summit, when Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will have their own face-to-face.

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Senate confirms Hillary by overwhelming majority as secretary of state

In confirmation, economy, Hillary Clinton, Politics, Secretary of State, WordPress Political Blogs on January 21, 2009 at 6:50 pm

Immediately after the vote, Clinton was to be sworn in during a private ceremony at the Capitol.

The Senate voted 94-2. The dissenting Republican Senators Bitter “Dave” Vitter of Louisiana and Jim “DeMented” DeMint from So. Carolina opposing.

Senator McCain came to the rescue and called off the deliberate attempt of those irksome partisan Republican dogs threatening to stall Hillary’s confirmation. Thank you, John McCain!

hillary-confirmation

“The administration also planned to name former Senate Democratic leader George J. Mitchell as Clinton’s special envoy for the Middle East. Dennis Ross, a longtime U.S. negotiator, was also expected to advise Clinton on Mideast policy, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the move. “

So, what is happening here? George Mitchell? Was he a last minute appointment. Who did he replace? Very interesting- the plot thickens.

For the most important pressing question of the day.

WHERE ARE PICTURES OF HILLARY IN HER INAUGURAL BALL GOWN?

It seems there has been a total BLACKOUT of pictures of Hillary and Bill at the Inaugural Ball!

Hillary appears set for Senate OK as top diplomat

In Hillary Clinton, news, Politics, Secretary of State, Woman of the Year, WordPress Political Blogs on January 13, 2009 at 8:13 am

“There’s no stumbling block,” Sen. John Kerry Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in an interview Monday. The panel could vote on Clinton’s nomination as early as Thursday. If she is approved, as expected, she could be confirmed by the full Senate as early as Inauguration Day.

YOU CAN WATCH A LIVE RE-BROADCAST HERE

WASHINGTON — Sen. Hillary Clinton, whose confirmation hearing as secretary of state beginshillary_clinton-sos Tuesday, is aiming to re-establish the State Department as the lead agency in foreign policy and to give it a greater role in economic diplomacy, say advisers to her and President-elect Barack Obama.

In her testimony, Sen. Clinton will call for a “renewal of American leadership” and a “revitalization of diplomacy to promote our security interests and advance our values,” according to a transition official.

At a time of huge crises around the world, Sen. Clinton wants to take back some of the turf now held by the Defense Department. In a slap at President George W. Bush for increased reliance on force, or so-called hard power, Sen. Clinton will outline a broader arsenal of diplomatic tools that she calls “smart power,” including economic agreements and social development that “invests in our common humanity” to achieve improved security, advisers say.

To counter the dominance given the military under Mr. Bush, she and Defense Secretary Robert Gates are working together to transfer assets and personnel to the State Department to assume reconstruction and stabilization efforts and public-affairs programs abroad, such as those in place during the Iraq war, Obama and Clinton advisers say.

Sen. Clinton is also ramping up for the State Department to be involved with the Treasury on such issues as U.S. economic development, as well as future IMF and World Bank governance changes and trade negotiations.

Senators are likely to push Sen. Clinton to outline the Obama administration’s plans to deal with the Middle East and North Korea. She talks regularly with Sen. Obama on developments. When the Gaza crisis broke, for example, they were on the phone within 15 minutes. For assistance, she plans to name a few special envoys and roving ambassadors to parachute into diplomatic hot spots around the world, probably including Richard Holbrooke on Afghanistan and Pakistan and Dennis Ross on the Middle East and Iran.

Republicans are expected to quiz her about former President Bill Clinton’s donors to his charitable foundation and library and their potential conflicts of interest with U.S. foreign policy. Clinton advisers are bracing for some lawmakers to accuse her of making a “power play.”

But Sen. Clinton will attempt to deflect that concern by telling the congressional panel that she’s implementing Mr. Obama’s vision for a new era of vigorous diplomacy, say Clinton and Obama aides. Accordingly, Sen. Clinton’s sweeping plans for State have a good chance of happening, with less-than-usual bureaucratic resistance at Defense and Treasury, they add.

Following Mr. Obama’s lead that the economy is an “all hands on deck” effort, Sen. Clinton wants the State Department involved in the design and execution of global economic policy, advisers say. She is expected to name former National Economic Council deputy and international economist Lael Brainard as undersecretary for economic affairs.

Another priority that will become clear at the hearing: arms control and nuclear nonproliferation. At one briefing she asked precise questions about North Korea and Iran, and displayed a technical knowledge of bombs including enrichment cycles, staffers say.

Advisers predict a major Clinton initiative to account for and secure nuclear material. An agreement with foreign countries to establish a global library of samples of fissile material from around the world would make it possible to identify the origin of a nuclear attack or accident. “Hillary wants to make the threat of nuclear terrorism a priority,” Sen. Robert Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat, said after meeting with her. She has also selected Robert Einhorn, a nonproliferation expert and negotiator, for a senior post, sending a strong signal that she is serious about pursuing this, advisers say.

Sen. Clinton is bringing into the State Department several members of “Hillaryland,” the loyal, close-knit group of women who worked in her first lady or New York Senate offices. She is expected to name top adviser and lawyer Cheryl Mills to be her chief of staff; Ms. Mills represented former President Clinton in negotiations with the Obama transition chief over his foundation activities to pave the way for Sen. Clinton’s nomination. Also likely to follow her to State are Lissa Muscatine, her longtime speechwriter for a similar post, and senior adviser Huma Abedin.

If any of the differences that surfaced between the Democratic candidates over foreign policy erupt in the new administration, a trio of the deputies is expected to iron them out. The president-elect’s deputy national security adviser Thomas Donilon, Vice President-elect Joe Biden’s national-security adviser Antony Blinken and James Steinberg, who will be deputy secretary under Mrs. Clinton, have been friends for years, even vacationing together with their families.

Tuesday’s hearing follows a whirlwind two months that has placed Sen. Clinton again in the spotlight. The night before her confirmation hearing, Sen. Clinton had dinner at the State Department with outgoing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. At a recent State Department briefing, incoming Sen. Clinton excused herself to take a call from Mr. Obama. When she returned, she told officials, “There are now two men whose calls I always take — Bill and Barack.”

WSJ

Hillary Moves to Widen Role of State Dept.

In economy, Hillary Clinton, Politics, Rise Hillary Rise, Secretary of State on December 23, 2008 at 9:07 am

WASHINGTON — Even before taking office, Hillary Rodham Clinton is seeking to build a more powerful State Department, with a bigger budget, high-profile special envoys to trouble spots and an expanded role in dealing with global economic issues at a time of crisis.

Mrs. Clinton is recruiting Jacob J. Lew, the budget director under President Bill Clinton, as one of two deputies, according to people close to the Obama transition team. Mr. Lew’s focus, they said, will be on increasing the share of financing that goes to the diplomatic corps. He and James B. Steinberg, a deputy national security adviser in the Clinton administration, are to be Mrs. Clinton’s chief lieutenants.

Nominations of deputy secretaries, like Mrs. Clinton’s, would be subject to confirmation by the Senate.

The incoming administration is also likely to name several envoys, officials said, reviving a practice of the Clinton administration, when Richard C. Holbrooke, Dennis Ross and other diplomats played a central role in mediating disputes in the Balkans and the Middle East.

As Mrs. Clinton puts together her senior team, officials said, she is also trying to carve out a bigger role for the State Department in economic affairs, where the Treasury has dominated during the Bush years. She has sought advice from Laura D’Andrea Tyson, an economist who headed Mr. Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers.

The steps seem intended to strengthen the role of diplomacy after a long stretch, particularly under Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, in which the Pentagon, the vice president’s office and even the intelligence agencies held considerable sway over American foreign policy.

No one has forgotten Powell’s plea for the rush to War at the UN while holding up a vial of faux yellow-cake for the camera. Showmanship has always been a Powell strength mainly used for residual credibility for the public’s consumption. Powell is the Forrest Gumperism of the Bush dynasty. Take him out of moth balls and you don’t know what to expect.

Given Mrs. Clinton’s prominence, expanding the department’s portfolio could bring on conflict with other powerful cabinet members.

Mrs. Clinton and President-elect Barack Obama have not settled on specific envoys or missions, although Mr. Ross’s name has been mentioned as a possible Middle East envoy, as have those of Mr. Holbrooke and Martin Indyk, a former United States ambassador to Israel.

The Bush administration has made relatively little use of special envoys. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has personally handled most peacemaking initiatives, which has meant a punishing schedule of Middle East missions, often with meager results.

“There’s no question that there is a reinvention of the wheel here,” said Aaron David Miller, a public policy analyst at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. “But it’s geared not so much as a reaction to Bush as to a fairly astute analysis of what’s going to work in foreign policy.”

Hardly- No one is reinventing the wheel here. What Mrs Clinton mission is, is replacing the wheels fallen off and left by the wayside since 2000.

NYT

Secretary of state.. salary cut for Hillary..

In Nancy Pelosi, New York Senate Seat, Secretary of State on December 11, 2008 at 10:28 pm

clutch-my-pearlsThe future Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton will be taking a pay cut of $4,700 qualifying her for her new job. The rest of the stellar Congress that has financially bankrupted our economy, will be getting a pay raise- huh… Yes I said a pay raise.It works like this. Senators now make $169,300 and are expected to receive a raise to $174,000 next year. I ask you, does this make any sense to increase the burden on taxpayers while they continue losing jobs in every sector of the economy?

This pay raise means an additional $4,700 in each and every Senator’s paycheck. This $4,700 increase will be taken out of the hide of the taxpayers who are suffering beyond belief trying to stay alive and survive the catastrophic bankruptcy of our economy brought to us by the people seeking a raise for their shameful work.

If we had hired them as subcontractors and they didn’t deliver satisfactory results for the job they were hired to do…. would they be paid for producing inferior substandard service? I know, I would not be willing to pay for something I never received. If Senators were employed in executive positions in the corporate sector; stockholders would have a problem increasing salaries for inexcusable failure. They would rightfully vote it down!

So, why are we allowing this tragic misappropriation of public funds rewarding a failed Democratic Congress paying them an additional $4,700 dollars a year for sending the middle class to the poor house? I welcome comments reflecting this insanity unless readers are either too apathetic to respond or unaware we are once again victims of a ‘spit in your face’ Congress laughing all the way to the bank with OUR MONEY! .
USA article

Queen Noor of Jordan showers Hillary with praise…

In Middle East, Queen Noor, Rise Hillary Rise, Secretary of State on December 5, 2008 at 12:31 am

A personal statement from her Majesty Queen Noor:

“Hillary Clinton will be a strong, effective Secretary of State in the new Obama administration.”

queenoor

I observed first hand her commitment to peace and justice during the presidency of Bill Clinton, when Jordan’s King Hussein, my late husband, and I worked closely with the Clintons in an attempt to achieve a Middle East peace. When they take office next year, I know that President-elect Obama and she quickly will begin looking for ways to bring security to Israel and justice to Palestinians, including four to six million Palestinian refugees.”

If this is not a sterling recommendation; I don’t know what is… Will this be enough to silence the fomenting mouths of the OBots for more than a day, if that? We shall see. I haven’t read the entire list of comments on the Huffington Post and before I do, I will venture an educated guess, it will be 50/50!

In the Senate, Mrs. Clinton has worked hard to protect other displaced populations, including those from Iraq and Darfur. Just two weeks ago, I was part of a delegation from Refugees International that met with Sen. Clinton to discuss the need for a comprehensive plan to deal with five million displaced Iraqis, one fifth of the country’s population. Nearly two million of the displaced Iraqis have sought refuge in Syria and Jordan, while the rest have fled their homes and violence within Iraq.

I know the utter despair and hopelessness of both Palestinian and Iraqi refugee families, having lived and worked with both communities over the past 30 years through the Noor al Hussein Foundation and other Jordanian institutions.

Sen. Clinton has introduced legislation to help displaced Iraqis. In the Obama administration she and her colleagues will have to come up with a comprehensive plan to help Iraqis return to a safe and secure Iraq as U.S. troops withdraw. This will be a challenge, but she understands that displaced Iraqis threaten the stability of Iraq, as well as the stability of the region, and potentially beyond.

During the campaign both Sen Clinton and President-elect Obama called for more aggressive U.S. action, including the possible use of force, to stop the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. Their agreement on this point could open an opportunity for a diplomatic push to bring peace to Darfur, something the government of Sudan says it wants but has done little to promote. Any successful peace conference will be complex, requiring full participation by the government of Sudan, rebel movements, Sudanese civil society organizations, neighboring countries and economic stake holders, such as China. While the prospect of success is small, the cost of failure would be extremely high, particularly for the government of Sudan and the people of Darfur.

As Secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton will face many challenges, but I know from personal experience that she is up to them all.

Huffpo-Link

Dec 1st. Obama names Clinton to top role in his team.

In Barack Obama, official announcement, Secretary of State on December 1, 2008 at 12:17 pm

hillary-sos-announcement1

CHICAGO – President-elect Barack Obama is filling his Cabinet at record speed, choosing loyal friends and one-time foes to guide his wartime foreign policy decisions.

Obama on Monday announced Democratic primary rival Hillary Rodham Clinton as his secretary of state and said that President George W. Bush’s defense secretary, Robert Gates, is staying on.

Obama also named Washington lawyer Eric Holder as attorney general and Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano as homeland security secretary. He also announced two senior foreign policy positions outside the Cabinet: campaign foreign policy adviser Susan Rice as U.N. ambassador and retired Marine Gen. James L. Jones as national security adviser.

The announcements rounded out the top tier of the team that will advise the incoming chief executive on foreign and national security issues in an era marked by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and terrorism around the globe.

“The time has come for a new beginning, a new dawn of American leadership to overcome the challenges of the 21st century,” Obama said as his Cabinet picks stood behind him on a flag-draped stage.

“We will strengthen our capacity to defeat our enemies and support our friends. We will renew old alliances and forge new and enduring partnerships.”

Obama said his appointees “share my pragmatism about the use of power, and my sense of purpose about America’s role as a leader in the world.”

Obama also has settled on former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle to be his secretary of Health and Human Services and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to be Commerce secretary. Last week, he named key members of his economic team, including Timothy Geithner, president of Federal Reserve Bank of New York, as Treasury secretary.

The decisions mean Obama has half of the 15-member Cabinet assembled less than a month after the election, including the most prominent positions at State, Justice, Treasury and Defense. With the world grappling with war, recession and terrorist threats that erupted this week during coordinated attacks in India, Obama was moving swiftly to try to bring reassurance and continuity in the federal government when he takes over in less than two months.

Concessions by former President Clinton
Clinton’s nomination is the latest chapter in what began as a bitter rivalry for the Democratic presidential nomination.

To make it possible for his wife to become secretary of state, party officials said, former President Bill Clinton agreed to:

  • Disclose the names of every contributor to his foundation since its inception in 1997 and all contributors going forward.
  • Refuse donations from foreign governments to the Clinton Global Initiative, his annual charitable conference.
  • Cease holding CGI meetings overseas.
  • Volunteer to step away from day-to-day management of the foundation while his wife is secretary of state.
  • Submit his speaking schedule to review by the State Department and White House counsel.
  • Submit any new sources of income to a similar ethical review.

Speaking at the news conference Monday, Clinton pointed to recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai and elsewhere, saying, “America cannot solve these crises without the world and the world cannot solve them without America.”

Gesture of goodwill?
Obama’s choice of Hillary Clinton was an extraordinary gesture of good will after a year in which the two rivals competed for the Democratic nomination in a long, bitter primary battle.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27983003/