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The Rundown

8 a.m. ET: President Obama's selection of Hillary Clinton to serve as his Secretary of State prompted two primary questions: How would they get along, and how big a role would she really play in formulating the administration's foreign policy? At the five-month mark of the Obama presidency, we still don't have particularly good answers to either one.

Whether because their relationship is really harmonious, or because this White House doesn't leak much, there has been almost no evidence in the media of friction between Clinton and Obama. Policy divides between different camps of advisers, when they do happen, rarely spill out into public. And so the initial subplot that made the Clinton pick interesting -- former primary foes, forced to work together! -- hasn't borne much fruit. The lack of leaks has also made it difficult to read significance into administration personnel shifts. What was the real meaning of Dennis Ross' move from the State Department to the National Security Council? Why would Clinton bring Sidney Blumenthal to Foggy Bottom? It seemed that reporters were left to speculate on the reasons behind the Blumenthal hiring because no one actually knew the answer

The most surprising aspect of Clinton's tenure so far has been her public role, or lack thereof, in advancing the administration's diplomatic aims. As Ben Smith wrote in Politico last week, Clinton took the job as a huge celebrity but now has ushered in "an era of grindstone leadership at the State Department" and "has about as low a news-making profile as is possible for someone who is arguably the most famous woman on the planet." On Iran, Clinton has spoken out on occasion but Obama himself has taken the clear public lead. When Obama was taking heat from critics for his "realist" approach to Iran, what did Clinton think? Did she endorse his approach, or push for something else behind the scenes? We don't know for sure.

On Sunday, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on Face the Nation to discuss Iran strategy, while Ray Odierno was on a pair of shows to talk about Iraq. The administration regularly puts surrogates on the Sunday shows to talk foreign policy, but it's rarely Clinton (she's only done it once). Now Obama faces a tough decision in deciding how to respond to the crisis in Honduras. Clinton made a statement on the subject yesterday, but again it seems likely that the president himself, rather than the secretary of state, will deliver the key message on Honduras when he meets today with the president of Columbia.

On the domestic side, the White House will keep banging away on health care this week, as Obama plans to host an online town hall in Northern Virginia. Ceci Connolly writes that Michelle Obama and Vice President Biden are also pitching in, with the former visiting a community health clinic today and the latter authoring an email to party activists. The search for bipartisanship on health care remains elusive. One bill -- the Wyden-Bennett plan -- does have nearly equal support from both parties, but despite its low price tag, the measure has little chance to proceed because, as Roll Call writes, it would essentially do away with employer-provided health care.

On climate change, the bill that passed the House Friday faces an uncertain future. As (GOP spokesman?) Lindsey Graham put it on Meet the Press, “This bill coming out of the House is going nowhere in the Senate.” Obama did a roundtable interview Sunday to tout progress on the issue, calling it an "important first step" but leaving wiggle room for changes later, particularly on the subject of trade penalties. John Boehner, meanwhile, is less enamored of the bill, telling The Hill it's "a piece of s--t." Maybe he should get some advice from Clinton about being more cautious in public.

By Ben Pershing  |  June 29, 2009; 8:00 AM ET
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You and Bill know all about the "vast right-wing conspiracy" -- and you both must know it didn't just go away, but has cemented its hold on American society by directing its attentions to the GRASSROOTS.

How about clueing POTUS in on THIS:



• Bush-legacy extrajudicial targeting/punishment network makes a mockery of the rule of law at the grassroots -- violating civil and human rights.

• Is Team Obama unaware, naive -- or purposely misled by Bush holdovers?

President Obama is being co-opted into becoming the enabler of a federally-funded and overseen "multi-agency coordination action" program of nationwide extrajudicial targeting and punishment...

...a vigilante Gestapo that is misusing federally-funded volunteer programs to subvert the rule of law -- deploying a civilian vigilante army that covertly implants GPS tracking devices to stalk, persecute, vandalize and harass unjustly targeted citizens and their families.

This secretive multi-agency "program" also misuses government surveillance operations to censor, and maliciously tamper with, the telecommunications of many thousands of the unjustly targeted.

An array of component "programs of personal financial destruction" decimates the finances of "target" families -- contributing to economic distress. And microwave "directed energy weapons" are being used to degrade their very lives -- a gross violation of human rights, government-enabled crimes against humanity.

And no authorities will investigate -- invoking the "Gulag" tactic of dismissing those who seek justice as "delusional."

Please, Team Obama: Wake up and smell the police state that is co-opting your administration and making POTUS a pitchman and enabler for an American Gestapo.


OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):


Posted by: scrivener50 | June 29, 2009 9:33 AM

scrivener50 | June 29, 2009 9:33 AM

You are in serious need of theraphy.
Clinton not being out there all over the place is due to Axelrod & Obama's obsession & paranoia with all things Clinton. The challenge is how to use the Clinton name/fame but not give her exposure or credit. Hillary who will probably never forget how the media has treated her is in no hurry to make herself available. One can't blame her, if she walked on her water, you would hit her for not being able to swim.

Please Hillary continue to stay out of the spotligt & just do your job. Imagine that, someone in D.C not wanting the spotlight, just wanting to do their job. You guys in the press don't understand that at all, do ya?

Posted by: Nuts2U | June 29, 2009 11:59 AM

Nuts2U: (cc: Rosyln Mazer, IG, Office of DNI)

This is lame psy ops.

Have a nice day.

Posted by: scrivener50 | June 29, 2009 1:27 PM

These climate modelers and everybody else who MAKE A LIVING scaring the crap out of people remind me of the guys selling books and posting youtube videos about how the world will end in 2012. Is there much difference in the way the two different groups go about their scientific research. I have my doubts.

I'm all for energy independence, we need to distance ourselves from dependence on the middle east, but only if it makes economic sense. Prediction: sooner than later the tide is going to turn on global warming...I just don't know if anyone will report it. There is too much money and too many jobs at stake.

Posted by: vinny2321 | June 29, 2009 3:20 PM

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