Saturday, May 02, 2009

NYT: Her Rival Now Her Boss, Hillary Clinton Settles Into New Role

The New York Times just put out an article on Secretary Clinton. It talks about the adjustment from going to presidential hopeful campaigner, to top American diplomat heading the U.S. State Department. It's a pretty insightful article. You can read the full article here.

She talks about her new job, likening it to being “mayor of a good-sized small city.”

“I love the job; I mean, it’s really hard,” Mrs. Clinton said in a recent interview. “We’ve inherited so many problems.”

She opens up about her staff and her old campaign team:

“I don’t know anybody in politics who doesn’t have a group of people,” Mrs. Clinton said. But she added, “A lot of people who I hired, I never worked with, and have just taken on faith and reputation.”

Of course the article goes into her family life and relationship with Bill:

Mrs. Clinton tries to get to New York once or twice a month, she said, but it has been hard because of her foreign travel. But she said she talks to Mr. Clinton regularly, and exchanges e-mail messages with her daughter, Chelsea, on her BlackBerry, which she is not allowed to use, for security reasons, at work.

Mrs. Clinton turned to her husband, the former president, in planning a recent trip to Haiti because he had been there two weeks earlier. But she said Mr. Clinton had also weighed in with advice to General Jones or Mr. Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. “He’s always value-added,” she said.

It also touches on her relationship with President Obama:

These days, Mrs. Clinton has a regular Thursday afternoon meeting with the current president. People who have been in meetings with them say their relationship is comfortable, if not warm.

On a recent afternoon, at Mrs. Clinton’s suggestion, the two moved their meeting outside to a picnic table on the South Lawn, next to a new swing set installed for Mr. Obama’s daughters. “We just had the best time,” she said."


Stacy said...

I saw this over at the NYT and what I find interesting is how so many pundits and media pols simply assumed that she would bring with her to the State Dept, only those people from her inner circle and thus reward loyalty over experience/knowledge. But she has not done that- sure, as she says in the article, she brought some of her people from her Senate days with her, but those people were her advisers on foreign affairs so that is entirely appropriate.

I think that the Clinton campaign made a few mistakes (please don't throw things at me :)) in the 2008 election as all campaigns do (and yes, I totally understand there were other factors which affected her not becoming President over which she had very little control and which were due to the Obama campaign) but I think Hillary has demonstrated her maturity and intellect by not repeating those mistakes.

HRC also doesn't seem to have made the mistake at the State Dept. that the Bush admin. made in every agency and Dept. and that mistake was to simply have loyalists serve as advisers regardless of experience or knowledge- instead, Hillary has NOT surround herself with people who *all* agree with her on all things and instead seems to realize the benefits of having people with different views on foreign policy because at the end of the day, she will be more prepared.

And in my opinion, that is a sign of a great leader.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Hillary ever had poor management skills, although many point to this when evaluating her Pres. campaign run. According to Susan Estrich, Hillary's Senate office and staff were the envy of the Hill for it's organizational and productivity prowess. As for the Presidential campaign, Hillary won handily from the end of February forward, and on far less money than BO had at this point. Goodness knows I admire the heck out of HRC, and wanted her for Pres. badly, but I think she just had a case of frontrunner arrogance(not poor mgt. skills), and I think it's understandable that she would have, given all we knew and didn't know at the time. However, much to HRC's credit, she was still able to pull her campaign together and garner more votes than any Pres. candidate in history. That is quite a feat!!! I am so proud of her, and I hope I get another chance to vote for her in the future.

I know there were many other factors in the race, but I don't want to get into all that history. I lived it once, and I don't want to relive the DNC, RBC, etc....I was basically elaborating on what I think is a misnomer about mgt. skills.

Lois said...

Seems like Hillary works harder than her new boss. Staying awake on flights while everyone else is sleeping to read and study her briefings. She said she hasn't been able to read a book or see a movie in the last 100 days.

Stacy said...

Given she just became SOS a little over 100 days ago, I would think that it takes a while to get to know some of the new staff she's working with and in the very beginning it must take a while to absorb and have a intricate, working knowledge as about every single nation and hot spot/conflict zone on the planet so as to be able to hit the ground running- and of course she is famous for being a hard-worker, disciplined and always uber-prepared- all of which will make her a great SOS.

Hopefully over time she will be able to watch movies and read a book or whatever she wants to do, w/o feeling like she's neglecting something.

Each time I see her at a hearing before Congress or in another country at a press conference, I am amazed at how knowledgeable she is about everything down to the last detail and how well she is able to articulate the US position - she's doing a brilliant job in my opinion.

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