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Posts Tagged ‘United States’

Hillary Clinton To Deliver Series Of Speeches Of Her Own Vision of US Policy…

In Global Economy, Global News, HILLARY 2016, Hillary Clinton Unleashed, PRESIDENT HILLARY, White House on August 13, 2013 at 4:59 am

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton announced Monday that she will deliver a series of policy-oriented speeches on the topics of transparency and national security and their impact on America’s leadership abroad in the “next few months.”

Speaking at the American Bar Association’s annual meeting in San Francisco, the potential 2016 presidential candidate kicked off the effort on the subject of voting rights, blasting state efforts such as that of Texas, Florida and North Carolina to restrict voting through stringent voter ID laws that passed “often under the cover of addressing the phantom epidemic of ‘voter fraud.'”

“Throughout our history we have found too many ways to exclude people from their ownership of the law,” Clinton said, delivering a plea to repair the crippled Voting Rights Act.

Clinton’s next speech is due to take place in Philadelphia next month, she said.

http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/hillary-clinton-to-deliver-series-of-policy-speeches

Clinton: ‘We’re Going To Weather This Crisis’

In Global News, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Syria's Assad, United States on August 13, 2011 at 5:48 am

8/12/11
“I’m confident that we’re going to weather this crisis, and not just our own country, because I think that we have very strong reasons to be confident, but I think also, our partners around the world, most particularly in Europe,” she told CBS Evening News.

QUESTION: Thank you, Madam Secretary. You are in close coordination with all of the European Union countries, and I wonder how much confidence you have that the European nations are going to be able to create a soft landing for their debt crisis that doesn’t wreck the economy here in the United States?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Scott, I think it’s very clear that the global economy has made us even more interdependent, and we’ve seen that in so many ways over the last three years. We are certainly supporting what the Europeans are trying to do. Our Treasury Secretary and other officials are in constant communication with their counterparts. Obviously, the President has spoken with his, and I’ve spoken with mine. And this is a very challenging economic time for many of us, but I believe that we’ll see actions taken that will provide the so-called soft landing that you’re talking about.

And I think we do have to all pay more attention to how we’re going to create jobs in the so-called developed world that are going to be available for the vast majority of middle-income and lower-income men and women, who are being basically marginalized in the way the global economy is growing.

more details at link:

Link
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Hillary Clinton Asks Tougher Sanctions Against Assad Regime-
Urges Further Sanctions as Syrian Violence Continues

Activists and witnesses say Syrian security forces shot and killed at least 19 people across the country on Friday during anti-government protests. The reports say protesters were killed in at least six Syrian cities, including Hama, Homs and Aleppo, as well as the suburbs of Damascus.

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have intensified their violent suppression of opposition protests during the past week, despite growing international condemnation.

On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged countries giving Syria economic and political support to “get on the right side of history.” She also called on countries to stop buying Syrian oil and gas.

Clinton says she is continuing diplomatic talks aimed at putting political pressure on Mr. Assad’s government. She again insisted the Syrian president has “lost the legitimacy to lead,” but still stopped short of calling for Mr. Assad to step down, saying that calls for his removal should be part of an international effort.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Abdullah Gul called on Mr. Assad to implement reforms before it is too “late.” Turkish media reports relayed Mr. Gul’s comments on Friday.

The Syrian government has defended its crackdown, saying it is combating armed gangs and terrorists. On Friday, state-run news reports said “armed groups” with “snipers” had opened fire “randomly” in a Damascus suburb and two other areas, killing three law enforcement officers and two civilians.

Rights groups say more than 1,700 people have been killed in Syria’s crackdown.

Details of events in Syria are difficult to independently verify because the government allows very few foreign news reporters into the country and restricts their movements.
Link

Oprah’s decline began with backstabbing Hillary Clinton…

In Smart Power, Woman of the Year on May 29, 2011 at 5:21 pm

 

Hillary v. Oprah — Oprah won the battle, but Hillary won the war

She who laughs last, laughs best. Oprah helped Obama win the Presidency over Hillary in 2008. But now Oprah's show is finished -- while Hillary is still rising. Flanked by George Mitchell after Obama spoke at the State Department on May 19, 2011 Credit: Getty Images

Looking happier than ever. Hillary is now the most accomplished woman in the history of American politics. Walking with British Foreign Secretary William Hague in London, May 25, 2011. Credit: Getty Images

Oprah went off the air this week with much fanfare. The hoopla — though annoying to some — was well-earned. Oprah’s rise from a dirt poor and abusive childhood to the most powerful woman in the entertainment biz epitomizes the American Dream. She has mothered millions and changed lives with her philanthropy.

Truly, Oprah Winfrey is a woman to celebrate. That’s why it’s especially sad that her lapse of judgment in 2008 ran her off the air so quickly. Oprah endorsed Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in 2008. Women – especially the middle class white women who formed her core audience – felt betrayed.

Oprah had never forayed into politics before – and her first foray was to kneecap Hillary Clinton, a hero for middle and working class women. Some have suggested that Oprah’s endorsement put Obama over the top; he would not be President without her, which is a testament to her power.

Unsurprisingly, Republicans and Clinton Democrats were not impressed. In the wake of helping Obama win the White House, Oprah saw her favorability ratings and the ratings for her once-dominant television show drop.

No doubt Oprah saw the writing on wall and decided to end her show before the bottom fell completely out. It did not have to be this way. But Oprah’s disgraceful dismissal of Hillary’s candidacy and consequent demise ranks as yet another example of the curious series of downfalls now afflicting so many 2008 Hillary backstabbers.

Oprah may be the most powerful woman in American entertainment — but Hillary Rodham Clinton is still the most powerful and admired woman in the world.

http://www.examiner.com/post-partisan-in-national/hillary-v-oprah-oprah-won-the-battle-but-hillary-won-the-war-picture#slide=33738011

Hillary straightens out Egypt… Hosni Mubarak’s power fades as US backs his deputy…

In Egypt, Munich on February 12, 2011 at 11:32 am

America yesterday swung its support behind Egypt‘s vice-president, Omar Suleiman, and the political transition he is leading, calling for a process of orderly reform. The policy, made clear by Hillary Clinton at the Munich Security Conference, was the latest sign of steps by the US and senior members of the Egyptian military to nudge President Hosni Mubarak aside and contain the potential for street violence.

The move came as senior members of the leadership of the ruling National Democratic party resigned from the party in response to the protests. They included Mubarak’s powerful son, Gamal, long expected to succeed his father. A relative liberal, Hossam Badrawi, was appointed the party’s new secretary general.

The mass resignation, announced yesterday afternoon, is likely to be seen as a further sign of Mubarak’s weakness and will only strengthen the demands of protesters determined to topple him. It appeared to be part of a strategy agreed with the US to manage the transition, with or without Mubarak, as power shifts to Egypt’s vice-president, who is backed by the Americans to head the political transition.

“There are forces in any society, particularly one facing these kind of challenges, that will try to derail or overtake the process to pursue their own agenda, which is why I think it’s important to follow the transition process announced by the Egyptian government, actually headed by vice-president Omar Suleiman,” Clinton told western politicians, diplomats and business leaders at the annual conference.

She added that the transition should be transparent and inclusive, and the process should set out “concrete steps” towards orderly elections in September. David Cameron and the German chancellor, Angela Merkel,, speaking at the same conference, echoed the call for an orderly transition and cautioned against early elections.

Frank Wisner, the White House envoy sent to Cairo last Monday to press Mubarak to agree to democratic reforms, said yesterday that he believed the president should remain in office through the transition period.

“You need to get a national consensus around the preconditions of the next step forward, and the president must stay in office to steer those changes through,” he told the conference. “I therefore believe that President Mubarak’s continued leadership is critical; it’s his opportunity to write his own legacy.” Last night the US state department appeared to distance itself from Wisner’s remarks, claiming that the comments were “his own”.

US backing for Suleiman and its failure to press for Mubarak’s immediate resignation will dismay many anti-government protesters who have failed to force the president out despite mass demonstrations across the country on Friday. Some protesters are suspicious of the American backing for Suleiman overseeing the political transition because of his role as Mubarak’s intelligence chief.

“We won’t accept this American plan if it does not cut off the head of the snake,” said Ahmed Mora, a university lecturer among the demonstrators. “America has not been good for us in Egypt. It supported Mubarak for 30 years. If he’s still there, or other people from the system are still there, we will not accept it.”

Anti-Mubarak protesters have called for another mass rally in Tahrir Square today after Friday’s protest. Yesterday the mood was calm, but many demonstrators said that Mubarak’s evident weakness had only reinforced their determination to continue the campaign. His resignation from the party leadership came after he said he would not run for president at the next election, scheduled for September. Mubarak said he would remain in office until then.

Clinton’s and Cameron’s statements may be crucial in allowing him to stand down according to his own timetable in the summer. Cameron denied there was a trade-off between the speed of reform and stability: “There is no stability in Egypt. We need change, reform and transition to get stability. The longer that is put off, the more likely we are to get an Egypt that we wouldn’t welcome.”

British officials said they were encouraged by the developments of the past 24 hours, pointing to the role of the army in preventing attacks on the demonstrators and the opening of a dialogue between Suleiman and opposition groups.

Clinton listed with approval the steps the Egyptian government had taken so far. “President Mubarak has announced he will not stand for re-election, nor will his son. He has given a clear message to his government to lead and support this process of transition,” she said.”That is what the government has said it is trying to do, that is what we are supporting, and hope to see it move as orderly but as expeditiously as possible under the circumstances.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/06/egypt-protests-hosni-mubarak-sulieman

U.S., Netherlands Seek To Hold Pirates Accountable

In foreign policy, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, The Netherlands, United States on April 21, 2009 at 12:59 am

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “U.S., Netherlands Seek To Hold Pirate…“, posted with vodpod


Remarks With Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen After Their Meeting

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good morning, everyone. I cannot tell you how happy I am to welcome a colleague and a new friend to the State Department. It is always wonderful working with our Dutch allies on a range of issues. And as many of you know, the foreign minister scheduled and pulled off the meeting we had in The Hague about Afghanistan in just a record period of time. Minister Verhagen is someone who takes so seriously the range of issues that not only concern our two countries, but indeed our concerns about the world.

We have just discussed a wide range of issues and set up a process that will continue going forward so that we can get in depth on a number of important matters. I told the minister that unfortunately, I have to leave to attend to my first Cabinet meeting, which was scheduled long after we had set this time aside for our meeting. But we were able to touch on everything from piracy to the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and last but not least, the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s voyage to the New World, which has particular interest to me as a New Yorker.

I want to just quickly mention a few of the matters that we discussed. Obviously, piracy is a concern to both our countries and indeed to the world. And I want to thank the Netherlands for the work they have done to fight piracy off the coast of Somalia, including their recent successful mission over the weekend to free 20 Yemenis, whose fishing vessel was hijacked by the pirates. Dutch ships and aircraft have been instrumental in the interdiction of pirates and the prevention of capture for ransom of several ships.

We look forward to continued cooperation. And we’re going to work together to seek more effective ways to hold these pirate criminals accountable for their actions, which threaten not only the lives of merchant seamen and the vessels on which they sail, but the security of critical maritime routes.

To this end, we will work on clarifying the legal authorities that exist. There will be, at our request, a meeting of the international piracy contact group in New York City in early May, in addition to the meeting that will be held shortly in Brussels. We’re going to have to determine the best way to bring pirates to justice after they’re captured. And there will have to be additional discussion about this at NATO as well.

I appreciate very much the foreign minister’s extraordinary work in highlighting the necessity for us to be effective in our efforts in Afghanistan that came out of the conference in The Hague. You know, the Dutch contributions in Uruzgan province have been instrumental and a real model in showing how we can bring stability and security to the people of Afghanistan. Dutch soldiers and civilians have done excellent work. In fact, the Dutch “3D” approach – defense, diplomacy, and development – pursued simultaneously, which may sound familiar to some of us, is a model for our own efforts and the future efforts in Afghanistan. There’s a lot of work for us to do there, and the minister will be meeting with Ambassador Holbrooke as well to go into greater depth.

more here

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.

CHEERS AND LONG LIVE “HILLARY” !

Senators Endorse Hillary Clinton for US Secretary of State

In confirmation, economy, Hillary Clinton, Politics, Rise Hillary Rise, Secretary of State, Smart Power, Woman of the Year, WordPress Political Blogs on January 15, 2009 at 2:04 pm

dodd-and-hillaryA key U.S. Senate committee has approved the nomination of Hillary Clinton as the next secretary of state.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 16-1 in favor of Clinton. The full Senate is expected to confirm the appointment shortly after President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Clinton Backs Six-Party Talks for Ending North Korean Nuclear Program

At her Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton expressed support for the Chinese-led six-party negotiations aimed at ending North Korea’s nuclear program. But she told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the negotiating process championed by the Bush administration is being reviewed.

President-elect Barack Obama said during the campaign that he was willing to try face-to-face diplomacy with leaders of adversary countries, like North Korea, if it would help resolve key problems.

But in her Senate testimony, his Secretary of State-designate said both she and the incoming President believe the six-party process, underway since 2004, has merit both as a negotiating vehicle and as a channel for bilateral dialogue with Pyongyang.

Hillary Clinton told the confirmation hearing that she and outgoing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have had several long conversations on the six-party process as part what she said is an “aggressive review” of North Korea policy by the Obama team.

Clinton Says US Should Use ‘Smart Power’ With Diplomacy in Lead hillary-bbc

Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton told senators Tuesday that the Obama administration will exercise “smart power” in international affairs with diplomacy taking the lead.

Clinton made no direct criticism of the outgoing Bush administration, but she clearly suggested that it was overly-ideological and relied too much on military power, rather than diplomacy, to project U.S. influence.

In an opening statement at the Foreign Relations Committee hearing, the secretary-designate said the Obama administration will seek a world “with more partners and fewer adversaries.”

Clinton said she and President-elect Obama believe that foreign policy must be based on a blend of principles and pragmatism, and not rigid ideology, emotions or prejudice.

“I believe that American leadership has been wanting, but is still wanted. We must use what has been called smart power, the full range of tools at our disposal – diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal and cultural, picking the right tool or combination of tools for each situation. With smart power, diplomacy will be the vanguard of our foreign policy. This is not a radical idea. The ancient Roman poet Terrence declared that in every endeavor, the seemly course for wise men is to try persuasion first. The same truth binds wise women as well,” she said.

Clinton signaled that she intends to build up the U.S. diplomatic corps, noting that Defense Secretary Robert Gates – who will be a Republican holdover in the new administration – has said the State Department and other U.S. civilian agencies abroad have been under-funded and under-manned for too long.

The secretary-designate outlined the general principles of the incoming administration but offered few specifics, saying key issues such as the idea of opening a U.S. diplomatic post in Iran, remain under review.

She did stress a continuing U.S. commitment to seeking peace between Israel and the Palestinians, pointedly expressing concern about civilian casualties on both sides resulting from the current conflict in Gaza.

Voice of America

Kennedy views constituency as “persona non grata”..

In Caroline Kennedy, economy, Gov Patterson., Hillary Clinton, nepotism, New York Senate Seat, news, Politics, Secretary of State on December 24, 2008 at 3:24 am

democratic-elections

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -The start of Caroline Kennedy’s “listening tour” was awfully hard to hear. So far, her first foray into politics has been one of private meetings, brief appearances, and unanswered questions about what she would do, say and think if chosen as New York’s next senator.

It’s a similar strategy to the one Hillary Rodham Clinton employed successfully in 1999 to meet and listen to residents and politicians, but with a big difference: Kennedy’s really campaigning for only one voter — Democratic Gov. David Paterson. He has the sole responsibility for naming a successor if Clinton is confirmed as President-elect Barack Obama’s secretary of state.

“It is not a campaign,” Kennedy said after a private meeting with Democratic officials in Rochester.

Yet there is an intense lobbying effort under way to persuade the people who can persuade the governor to make her a senator.

In that, the 51-year-old daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy is no different than the dozen or so other Senate hopefuls — but her effort has been far more closely scrutinized because she has never run for office and little is known about her politics, personality or priorities.

A big part of Kennedy’s effort is trying to convince upstate political bosses that she sees beyond the skyscrapers of Manhattan.

Upstate New Yorkers feel chronically ignored by New York’s political leadership, especially now that the governor and both senators live in or near New York City.
The region that sprawls from New York City’s suburbs to the Canadian border and west to Lake Erie has been in the economic doldrums for years, long before the financial meltdown.

Kennedy stumbled in her first public appearance Wednesday in Syracuse. She met privately for an hour with local politicians, then spoke to reporters for all of 30 seconds before being hustled away by an aide.

Syracuse Mayor Matt Driscoll said she “seemed pleasant” and added: “I think she’s certainly well-read.”

He said alot more than that. In a video interview, he said he didn’t think he would support her for Senator . Driscoll, was quite honest and candid about Caroline. I give him credit for standing UP and telling it like it IS !

Former federal prosecutor Dan French said she would return to Syracuse to talk more. “People need to let her jump into this,” French said. “She’s doing everything she can to meet people and hear from people, and she’s just begun.”

No one CAN stop her from jumping in to it! The more she speaks her mind; the less you like her. My only comparison to her… is her mother. Who was an interesting, charming and instantly likable woman . I’ve read Jackie’s biography… she was a soft spoken, enthused, out-spoken women. Caroline’s innate detachment from humanity speaks like thunder in the political world. She seems to project she’s more than what she is.. I can’t decide if it’s culture she’s lacking… or what it is… Women like her mother, Princess Dianna and now the warmth Hillary developed over the course of her presidential campaign.. What all these women have/had in common is they are/were approachable. Caroline seems to look at people like they’re ALL hired help…

Later in the day, in Buffalo, she opened up enough to speak publicly for about two minutes. But she was surrounded by security and media so it’s doubtful the public caught even a glimpse of her. The trip did not get good reviews.

“A drive-by visit,” the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle called it, urging her to come back and talk publicly to real people, not politicians.

By comparison, when Clinton came through Buffalo on her “listening tour” in August 1999, she dropped in on labor leaders, business leaders, ministers, family picnics and house parties. It was part of a long, concerted effort to showcase Clinton all over the state.

The then-first lady had an advantage Kennedy doesn’t: Time. She started introducing herself in mid-1999, more than a year before the election. Kennedy has only until January, or February at the latest, before Paterson makes his decision.

Oh, I beg to differ… If this sudden career change had really been thought out even as late as Nov 5th … or at Thanksgiving, she could have gotten herself out there and started lobbying people for support. Caroline would/could have caught fire by now had her approach been given some serious thought of what a Senate position entails…. Representing the Constituency… (remembering, Palin made her public debut look too easy. She was an instant hit.)
You feel it.. She’s the, “I’ll never ask them for anything” mentality. Those, yes those people, believe they are something special– Linda Harris comes to mind. The innappropriate comments, the nervous giggle, they interrupt or talk over you. You can’t wait for them to stop talking, because you’re gagging on their every word.
Kennedy’s public outreach so far may be scant, but her private talks have already paid dividends. Kevin Sheekey — the man behind Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s stillborn presidential campaign — has been promoting her privately, according to Democrats who spoke on condition of anonymity because the conversations are private.

UH! Big bonus for you, eh.. Skeekey? Get to work!

The backroom lobbying also centers around political operative Josh Isay, a former top aide to Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer whose clients include Kennedy, Bloomberg and civil rights activist Al Sharpton, who effectively endorsed Kennedy’s bid last week when he took her out for soul food at Sylvia’s in Harlem.

Yetch! Strange that Caroline chooses to do an end run around the People…
Those sorts of overlapping loyalties strike some as undemocratic, even in a process where a non-elected governor — Paterson rose to the office when Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in disgrace — is picking a non-elected senator.

“It looks like Bloomberg is creating a cadre of philosopher kings and queens drawn from the elite,” said Doug Muzzio, professor of politics at Baruch College. “I don’t know that it’s a positive development for New York politics, irrespective of her and her qualifications.”

Yup!

Bloomberg has lavished praise on her, and the politically powerful Kennedy clan has vowed to do everything they can to support her bid. After her meal with Sharpton at Sylvia’s, an appearance that is one of the rituals of running for statewide office in New York, Kennedy briefly addressed reporters waiting outside.

“I have, you know, quite a lot to learn, but I feel like I bring a lot with me, as well,” she said. “This is a time when nobody can afford to sit out. And I hope that I have something to offer.”

Well, no one can stand in your way Caroline… You just may be a casualty of the “Not likeable enough” syndrome… Alls I know is, you are giving Governor Paterson a Big headache and complicating HIS life… He is thinking about his election in 2 years knowing he will be challanged by Cuomo.. Paterson has a cure for that right now. Give the seat with your name on it to him. Problem solved.

Link

Caroline… Not Ready for Prime Time!

In Caroline Kennedy, economy, Gov Patterson., Hillary Clinton, nepotism, news, Politics on December 23, 2008 at 12:10 pm

Watching Caroline’s performance visiting upstate NY is more than disappointing. As unprepared as she is offering up her paper thin resume of erstwhile experience attempting to bluff her way through to the NY Senate Seat.

I know working mothers in the PTA who have read books on the Constitution, worked as fundraisers for terminated after school activities because of school budget cuts, collected cans with the Boy Scouts for families hard pressed to put food on the table. And done it all undelegated , with their own two hands

Caroline running for the NY US Senate seat is nothing more than theatrics, PR firm and all. Her bid for one of the most complex and diverse states in the Union is being met with the resistance typical of NY’er brilliance at smelling something that just ain’t right! Sure they all liked JFK and RFK… we all did. They had a vision for NY’ers and the future. All Caroline is bringing to the table is her DNA.

Will that be enough to convince Republicans objecting to the legislation Caroline proposes germane to NY’er when it comes crunch time? What will she use for supporting arguments GOOGLE? Or one of Obama’s tricks; using a philosophical quote from a book she read in College? Or will someone else do the homework for her?

Knowing the street sense of New Yorkers, they will be very unhappy with the choice made by Governor Paterson if his choice to replace Senator Clinton is Caroline Kennedy. New Yorkers have all the RIGHT in the World to expect good service from their political appointments… Caroline demonstrates she just isn’t ready for Prime Time… even if Uncle Teddy has volunteered his help! He won’t be sitting in the HOT Seat when it comes time to vote!

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