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Suggested Questions for Hillary Clinton

By Ed O'Keefe

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) appears before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today for what's expected to be an easy confirmation hearing.

Hillary Clinton

While Clinton is likely to face questions about the Mideast conflict, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and maybe even her husband's charitable work, the General Accountability Office recommends lawmakers also focus on some managerial and procedural issues. It suggests Clinton will have to, among other things, police several regional conflicts, reform the nation's visa and passport operations, address staffing challenges, HIV/AIDS issues and increase humanitarian assistance.

The Eye has read the report, picked out some of the more interesting questions and posted them after the jump. You can leave your suggested questions (and guess Clinton's answers) in the comments section below.

(Make sure to also read the suggested questions for nominees at the departments of Education, Energy, Health and Human Services and Labor.)

• What skills and abilities do you have that would prepare you for managing government programs in war zones or regions in conflict?

Department of State

• What skills do you have for developing a comprehensive long-term strategy to enhance and rationalize passport operations in ways that go beyond simply increasing capacity?

• What experience have you had managing overseas operations of a large organization and allocating resources, including human capital, across various competing lines of effort?

• Do you have any background in international member organizations that illustrates how you might address long-standing barriers to the advancement of UN management reforms, including disagreements and competing priorities among member states?

• What skills and abilities do you bring to run [counternarcotics] programs in adversarial foreign environments like those in Afghanistan and parts of Colombia and Mexico?

• Other countries’ human rights records are an important consideration for making a range of foreign policy decisions. What aspects of your background have prepared you to address human rights violations and make these important decisions?

• What skills and abilities do you have to manage humanitarian assistance programs in crisis situations, be they short-term or open- ended in nature?

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By Ed O'Keefe  | January 13, 2009; 6:50 AM ET
Categories:  Administration, Confirmation Hearings, Congress  
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Next: Suggested Questions for Arne Duncan


I might be a little cynical but I highly doubt that any questions will be asked that could throw a shadow over her selection, she will be confirmed regardless. America also has it’s share of political dynasties and nothing will be allowed to change that.

But if I could ask one question it would be;

During your campaign you and your staff contended that your opponent didn’t have the necessary skills and experience to hold the highest office in the land, so how do you justify working for him?

Posted by: PhorkinSpoon1 | January 13, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Very interesting questions for the much hated and maligned - Oh-My-Gawd - it's...HILLLARY!!!

Question for you.....what other Presidential Nominee (think Condi) has come to the office with the skill-set you are demanding?

Get a life and accept reality....most of our leaders try to learn quickly "on the job"....which will include our new young President.

As I said...lean back and accept reality....Hillary will be the next SS.

Posted by: anderson2 | January 13, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if Hillary will sell more of our technology to China, like Slick Willy did during his tenure? This was a wholesale of treason.

Posted by: ignoranceisbliss | January 13, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

This is the change BO spoke so eloquently about? It's a very sad day for America when Hillary Clinton gets appointed to be SOS, much less confirmed. He will sorely regret ever thinking of putting her in this position. When's she's not outright trying to undermine him, she'll be making bone-headed decisions that will pull his administration down. And I'll tell you how she justifies working for 'he the unqualified': she'll do anything to hold on to power, including sell her soul, whatever's left of it.

Posted by: flintston | January 13, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

These are fair questions. Some of the answers (like when you or I interview for a job) should be of the kind "I haven't specifically done this, however I bring the leadership, organizational and decision making skills to address this issue, particularly with the guidance of the state departments subject matter experts." Her answers need not describe the solutions to long standing UN conflicts for example, only the approach to deal with them.

Whether you believe she is qualified or not, at the end of the day, this is a leadership position, not a technical knowledge position.

Posted by: dullard | January 13, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse


At last! We should be grateful to you, Obama has chosen the BEST when he has chosen you.

Bill and Chelsee should be proud and so should the Nation.

Now Rice can go back to Piano playing!

Good Fortune!

Posted by: LOONYBIN2000 | January 13, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

You're right Dullard, it is mostly a leadership position, requiring skills that Hilly is severely short of (just look at her campaign: totally chaotic and in-the-hole big time!). But it is also somewhat a "technical" position, and she's even more deficient in that department. How she could even be NOMINATED for this position is unbelievable. It smacks of behind-the-doors deal-making, i.e. Hilly stepped aside to let BO have POTUS in return for SOS. Looks pretty obvious. Why would he have made her SOS otherwise? They hate each other's guts.

Posted by: flintston | January 13, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Now maybe she'll really be shot at and see what's it's really like.

Posted by: LTCSTAN | January 13, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Hillary's answer to all your questions:

What do you mean by "have"?

Posted by: allenparker | January 13, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

We have a "young" president , which I guess is short for an inexperienced President (who is smart but that is about the extent of the positives). Hillary also has very little experience. And now they want to have Caroline Kennedy, who has absolutely no qualifications except that her family has been involved in politics.Lordy...somebody help us.

Posted by: soniasonesco | January 13, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

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