Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Hillary Clinton Re-Imagined


Hillary Rodham Clinton will serve in a non-partisan role as secretary of state, which may provide her an opportunity to recast her legacy.

Hillary Rodham Clinton's confirmation hearing today in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee marks a turn in the legacy of a family that has dominated Democratic politics for the last two and a half decades.

With Clinton's likely confirmation as President-elect Barack Obama's secretary of state, she and her husband -- the former president of the United States -- will step out (permanently?) from the world of partisan politics and into the world of international statecraft.

And, with that change will come the potential for a re-imagining (some might say a re-writing) of the legacy of the Clintons in the minds of voters -- from partisan political warriors to committed bipartisan stateswoman (and man).

Perhaps more than any other political family in modern memory, Bill and Hillary Clinton are acutely aware of protecting and bolstering their legacies. It's why Bill Clinton took such umbrage during the primary campaign when Barack Obama insinuated that politics as practiced by Clinton and George W. Bush was what he was running against. And, it's why Hillary Clinton ultimately chose to leave the Senate after just eight years to take on the role of chief diplomat for Obama.

During the course of the 2008 presidential campaign, voters were reminded of what they liked least about the Clintons -- the too-political approach to every issue, the attempts to turn even the smallest mistakes by Obama into major crisis during the campaign and so on.

But, since the conclusion of the election, the Clintons (especially Hillary) have moved to erase any lingering memories of her as a partisan pitbull from voters' minds -- replacing those thoughts with the image of her as the consummate diplomat, ready and willing to serve for the good of the country.

In her opening statement today, Clinton sounded those same themes of statesmanship and non-partisanship.

Summing up that sentiment, Clinton said:

"The President-elect and I believe that foreign policy must be based on a marriage of principles and pragmatism, not rigid ideology. On facts and evidence, not emotion or prejudice. Our security, our vitality, and our ability to lead in today's world oblige us to recognize the overwhelming fact of our interdependence."

Republican members on the committee played their part in the re-making of Clinton's image; Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar (R) described her answer on arms control "very good news" while Ohio Sen. George Voinovich (R) waxed eloquent on Clinton's virtues during his question time. (The Post's Glenn Kessler is live blogging the hearing if you're interested.)

The transformation of Clinton is already well underway if you believe public opinion polls.

A new Gallup survey shows roughly two-thirds of Americans view her favorably, a steep increase from even August 2008 when 54 percent saw Clinton in a favorable light while 43 percent viewed her negatively.

Other polls affirm that positive movement for Clinton. An early December NBC/Wall Street Journal survey showed 53 percent of the sample felt very or somewhat positively about Clinton while 26 percent felt very/somewhat negatively about her. That compares favorably to an NBC/WSJ poll done in late March when 37 percent felt positively while 48 percent felt negatively.

Clinton's numbers are almost certain to continue upwards for two reasons.

First, she is now entirely outside of the context of political campaigns. Now the face she will put forward to average Americans is one of hyper-competency, intelligence and readiness -- the traits voters always liked about Clinton if only they could get beyond the partisanship (which they couldn't).

Second, the role of secretary of state is seen as the most non-partisan of all the cabinet posts -- the public face that America puts out to the world. That image explains why Condoleezza Rice is still highly regarded by many independents and Democrats despite having been at the side of a deeply unpopular president for the last eight years.

The stars appear to be aligning for Clinton to drastically -- and quickly -- reshape her political legacy over the next four to eight years. Today's hearing is the start of that re-imagination as Clinton moves from the world of politics to that of international diplomacy. It will be a fascinating journey to watch.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 13, 2009; 3:05 PM ET
Categories:  White House  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The "Obama Effect"
Next: The Fix, Kathie Lee and Hoda

Comments

"Did we imagine V. Foster"

Yes.

"or her post-convention campaign against BHO?"

Yes.

Can't speak to the others.

Posted by: SeanC1 | January 15, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Pete, you are out of control.

You drank way too much of the Kool-Aid. I suppose you were there protecting her from the heavy Bosnia sniper fire.

Did we imagine V. Foster or Dolly Kyle Browning or Travelgate or Troopergate or Whitewater or her post-convention campaign against BHO? Was it all a dream?

I agree Mrs. Wm. J. Clinton won this round, as did the Hillarians whom she has installed at State (yes, they are losers, harpies, and mentals, but, to their credit (I guess) they'd follow their leader off a cliff, great loyalty). America is paging Susan Rice. Paging Susan Rice. Heeeellllllp!
________________

"Hillary Clinton is brilliant and you don't need to reimagine her to understand that.

She put on a masterful show yesterday at the hearings and the only Republican who didn't manage to look small when challenging her on anything was Senator Lugor. And that is because he prefaced his comments with-Senator Clinton I will be voting for your confirmation-

Since 1990 when I first met Hillary Clinton in Arkansas I saw a brilliance in her eyes and a gutsyness to say what she thought and to fight for the ideals she beleives in. My view of her has never changed and only been enhanced over the years.

She will serve our nation and President Obama well as Secretary of State as she would in any position she chose to devote her mine and talents and energy too.

America is lucky to have Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: peterdc | January 14, 2009 11:21 AM"

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 14, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

"The question for Sec Clinton will be whether she is the center of the foreign policy, or if she is ignored while foreign policy is defined by others (see Powell, Colin)."

This is the real question. SoS is often misportrayed as being responsible for foreign affairs, but really only has part of that portfolio. People differ on categories, but generally there are four instruments of national power: Diplomatic, Information, Military, and Economic. SoS essentally controls the diplomatic tools, DoD controls the Military tools, Information is coordinated by DNI but permeates multiple cabinet offices, and Treasury controls economic policy. It's a power balance at the NSC, with the NSA supposed to be the one to keep the peace between the facitons and best strategize how to leverage them efferctively. In the first four years of Bush, the NSA was completely il-suited for the task and let DoD pretty much take over, while more balance has been restored (after too much damage had been done) in the second term. What will things look like this term and with this team is the real question.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | January 14, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Is there any end to the Kafkaesque political world? I kept thinking that everything would normalize after the new President takes over -- I'll now bet that I am wrong!!

Posted by: newbeeboy | January 14, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Well, we don't like Sarah Palin cuz she's too cute and has no clue about anything.

Well, we don't like Hillary Clinton cuz she's smart and can dish it out as well as take it.

What is so fear inspiring about this woman? She is a political creature like many in this nations history. She has great political accumen, intellegence and moxie (read nerve, competence whatever)

My guess is she will do the job well

Just as the voters of New York State found her worth re-electing, I believe the country will see the worth in her as well.

Posted by: Thatsnuts | January 14, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing to me that a "congenital liar" as has been demonstrated many times by the MSM can write articles that accept anything Senator Clinton says. It is even more amazing that the american people see her in a favorable light. Is this the best we have to offer?

Posted by: vitaglubet | January 14, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton is brilliant and you don't need to reimagine her to understand that.

She put on a masterful show yesterday at the hearings and the only Republican who didn't manage to look small when challenging her on anything was Senator Lugor. And that is because he prefaced his comments with-Senator Clinton I will be voting for your confirmation-

Since 1990 when I first met Hillary Clinton in Arkansas I saw a brilliance in her eyes and a gutsyness to say what she thought and to fight for the ideals she beleives in. My view of her has never changed and only been enhanced over the years.

She will serve our nation and President Obama well as Secretary of State as she would in any position she chose to devote her mine and talents and energy too.

America is lucky to have Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: peterdc | January 14, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

aprogressiveindependent writes
"The Secretary of State is not always the top foreign policy adviser to the president... During the post World War II era, the Vice-President, Secretary of State, Sectetary of Defense and National Security adviser have vied for influence with the President in determining foreign policies, especially as foreign policies have become often so interrconnected with national security, as well as military interventions in other countries."


The question for Sec Clinton will be whether she is the center of the foreign policy, or if she is ignored while foreign policy is defined by others (see Powell, Colin). The Sec of State will be in a challenging position because our foreign policy should not be strictly focused on the wars with which we're involved. This has perhaps been the biggest distraction to the Rice tenure as SoS. Moving forward, our next SoS could and probably should be involved not only in addressing problems like the mideast & 'GWOT', but also on trade agreements & climate agreements. A proper foreign policy considers all of these variables, not just who's on the 'enemy' list and who's not (i.e. the foreign policy of 'you're with us or you're with the terrorists').

We're told Sen Clinton has the intellect, enthusiasm & energy to approach the job in a pragmatic, comprehensive fashion. Whether she will or not, and whether she can make her case in cabinet meetings with Gates, Jones & Blair remains to be seen.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 14, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

As a former Republican now liberal Democrat OBAMA supporter, Hillary did a great job. Watching the Republicans trying to bring up Bill Clintons donors made me sick. Most the money the Clintons recieve go to many countries which need help with Aids care and to feed the hungry. I also wish people like Sarah Palin should stop blaming her problems on the media. The media has come such a long way since the past. MSNBC, ABC,CNN,CBS,NBC are Very noticably doing a great job with the way they are covering Obama and are hiring more minority anchors and they should be applauded. They have also been very fair in their reporting. Further, reporting from Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddows, Keith Olbermann, Nora O'Donnel, Chuck Todd, Ed Henry,Chip Dan, Jake Tapper, Chris Cizzila and many more, have been great job reporting. I wish she stop blaming the media. Its the Republicans who seem very biased. Shows and networks like FOXNEWS, HANNITY, O'RIELLY FACTOR, FOX AND FRIENDS, GERALDO AT LARGE, Morning Joe, seem very biased and need to be canceled and off our airways. They are full of such hate when all people, white, black, gay, straight and all eithic groups are coming together to have a different way of thinking. The media should be applauded for all their efforts for change. The Republicans need to stop and work with our President. Sarah Palin as well as Joe the Plummer need to stop complaining and get off our airways. The worst that came out of the complaining about Clinton was when it was reported that Republicans in the Defense Dept hiring people people based on their political views. That made me sicker. Hillary did a great job, and i can't wait until she gets our troops out of Iraq and rid Washington DC of the Republicans for good.

Posted by: mattadamsdietmanager1014 | January 14, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

The Secretary of State is not always the top foreign policy adviser to the president. Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of Treasury was more influential with President Washington in establishing foreign policy toward Great Britain and France than Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State. Cordell Hull was very popular at home and abroad, but was often ignored or bypassed by FDR.

FDR and Kennedy both seemed to often want to be their own Secretary of State. Henry Kissinger, as national security adviser, certainly had more foreign policy clout concerning policies toward China, Vietnam and the Soviet Union than William Rogers, Secretary of State.

During the post World War II era, the Vice-President, Secretary of State, Sectetary of Defense and National Security adviser have vied for influence with the President in determining foreign policies, especially as foreign policies have become often so interrconnected with national security, as well as military interventions in other countries. So Hillary Clinton will not necessarily be the chief foreign policy adviser in the Obama administration.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | January 14, 2009 1:10 AM | Report abuse

No, officermancuso, I admire Broder and have enjoyed his work for almost his whole career. I believe in mentoring -- have been a mentor and have been mentored. However, when you get to the level is at -- journalist for the WP, you should wean your from needing a mentor. I also make a difference from continuing a mentoring relationship and having a respect for those who have helped you.

You have parsed my comment incorrectly on both counts.

Posted by: frederick2 | January 13, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

The biggest test fir Hillary will be if she can truly put the policy differences between herself and Obama to rest and articulate the positions of the Obama administration when the pressure is on and as a first response to the next FP crisis.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | January 13, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

frederick2 wrote, "Did you get Mr. Broder's permission to publish this article?"

I can think of two ways to parse that comment. One is that it takes a dark view of mentoring in general. The other is that it's a backhanded criticism of David Broder.

Either way it strikes me wrong.

Posted by: officermancuso | January 13, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

"It's rare, and recently such multi-term SoS have had careers holding non-elected positions."

I just think that Hillary is too active and interested in government to leave for some sort of private-sector/policy work, not when she could be one of the top people in the government.

Posted by: SeanC1 | January 13, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

To paraphrase Coach Mora (or Allen Iverson) -- Reimagining? Reimagining. Reimagining? Reimagining!

Reimagine: Dolly Kyle Browning, Elizabeth Gracen, V. Foster, Troopergate, Travelgate, Impeachment, Whitewater, "working people, you know, white people," the phone-book sized enemies list personally authographed by Mrs. Wm. J. Clinton (which includes Patti Solis Doyle, Bill Richardson, Mrs. Schlossberg, Chris Matthews, and the guy who looked at HRC sideways last week)?

Reimagine that the most polarizing and divisive figure since George Corley Wallace will have success as the Nation's top diplomat?

Reimagine that the foreign interests who have contributed hundreds of millions to WJC's initiative want nothing in return but a Coke and a smile, and reimagine those riches will not influence the foreign policy of Mrs. WJC and the Hillarians one wit?

Sure anything you say, Chris...wait right there.

Susan Rice, HEEEEEELLLLP!!!!! Paging Susan Rice!

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 13, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

"If the administration gets a second term, I see Hillary as sticking around for longer than four years."

It's rare, and recently such multi-term SoS have had careers holding non-elected positions. The most recent SoS i can think of who had a significant legislative career and who served for more than one term was Cordell Hull (11 years under FDR at a trying time). He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize too - may HRC do the same! May she not around anyone fleeing prosecution, however.

Posted by: Kili | January 13, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

BUT WILL HILLARY REALIZE THAT TO SOME, 'INTERDEPENDENCE' HAS BECOME A STRATEGY TO ACHIEVE A CRUEL GLOBAL ELITISM THAT IS ROBBING CITIZENS WORLDWIDE OF THEIR HUMAN RIGHTS?

Please, Madame Secretary-Designate, read this:

http://my.nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-americas-horrific-shame

*****************************************


WHY OBAMA-BIDEN MUST CANCEL THAT 'SITTING DUCK' TRAIN EXCURSION THIS SATURDAY:


http://www.nowpublic.com/world/plea-obama-cancel-risky-reckless-sitting-duck-train-stunt

Posted by: scrivener50 | January 13, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Chris,
Did you get Mr. Broder's permission to publish this article?

Posted by: frederick2 | January 13, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

AnndeTexas wrote, "I couldn't care less what her husband did or would do for her. She can hold her own and lets give her credit for her capability without marginalizing it through the existence of her competent husband."

Which might be a compelling comment if Hillary Clinton had a political resume, pre-NY Senate, with any entries other than "wife of William Jefferson Clinton".

Posted by: officermancuso | January 13, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Will we ever have enough two career couples that the wife stops being examined in the context of her spouse. Through the primaries and a children's bio on Hillary that my child picked up, I was blown away by the intellectual strength, quantitative summaries, communication and grit of Hillary. I couldn't care less what her husband did or would do for her. She can hold her own and lets give her credit for her capability without marginalizing it through the existence of her competent husband.

Posted by: AnndeTexas | January 13, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

By this point in her life, Hillary has done every single thing, every single day, to qualify her for ANY position in the United States government.
I have every confidence that we can count on her to work for our country with every bit of the experience and savvy, and by this age, wisdom that she has gained through having dedicated her life to public service.
Just watch: the world will receive her with a welcome dedicated to most Presidents. And, Obama, being the shrewd leader he is, will be welcomed beyond our wildest dreams. This is EXACTLY what America and world needs.
Congratulations to the American People for electing this remarkable young man who is capable of bringing together our most qualified public servants.

Posted by: cms1 | January 13, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Go Hillary!

Posted by: Texan2007 | January 13, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

SeanC1, Cordell Hull was especially cool because he appears in a song recorded by Ry Cooder, "FDR in Trinidad" composed by Fitz Maclean.

Henry Kissinger was an extremely important Secretary of State.

And without further ado, the lyrics to "FDR in Trinidad":

When Roosevelt came to the Land of the Hummingbird
Shouts of welcome wre heard
"Hummingbird, Hummingbird, Hummingbird"
His visit to their island is bound to be
An epoch in local history
Definitely marking the new era
Between Trinidad and America

We understand that the president had just been
On a visit to Brazil and the Argentine
With Mr. Cordell Hull in attendance
There they took part in a peace conference

Struck by his modest style
We were intrigued by the famous Roosevelt smile
In fact everybody was glad
To welcome Roosevelt to Trinidad

We were privileged to see the democratic
President of the great republic
With his charm and his genial personality
And his wonderful urbanity
To stop war and atrocity
And make the world safe for democracy
The greatest event of the century
In the interest of suffering humanity

Port of Spain threw open her gates
To the President of the United States
In fact everybody was glad
To welcome Roosevelt to Trinidad

Posted by: officermancuso | January 13, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

"Senator Clinton is 61. Baker was 62, Albright 64 and Schultz 69 when they left the SoS. If Clinton serves four years, then I'd guess she'd be looking for something else to do - and I can't imagine her opening a consulting company."

If the administration gets a second term, I see Hillary as sticking around for longer than four years.

Posted by: SeanC1 | January 13, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Another reason Ms. Clinton's poll numbers will surge upwards is that her husband is no longer waging a partisan campaign on her behalf. Methinks many a citizen found the former president's hyper-partisan support of the wife to whom he hadn't bothered to be faithful except on alternate Tuesdays to be more than a bit off-putting.

That said, I think Bill Clinton was a fine (but not a great) president, and I think Hillary Clinton is capable of filling any office in the government well.

Posted by: officermancuso | January 13, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

"The reputations and global standing of previous Secretary of States have varied greatly. George Marshall and Colin Powell were probably the two most respected, at home and abroad, held in high esteem for their integrity, as well as non-partisanship."

Cordell Hull was the most popular politician in the country (apart from, usually, the president himself; during times when FDR hit the skids, as in 1938, he was more popular) for most of the Roosevelt Administration, though that was largely based on public perception of his role in government rather than his actual role (since FDR and Sumner Welles pretty much ran things).

"Clinton needs to avoid the example of Willian Seward and certain other Secretary of States, who tried to determine foreign policy for the presidents they worked for, instead of being their chief foreign policy advisers."

William Seward did make foreign policy, and was needed, because Lincoln knew almost nothing about the subject when elected. Seward ran his decisions by the boss, of course, but he was largely given discretion to handle things (ie, keep Great Britain and France out of the war), and did so admirably.

Of course, the whole working of government was different in the 19th century than it is now.

Posted by: SeanC1 | January 13, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

"I know all about Lib "science". no facts could ever get in the way of the big government takeover of everything in life."

Non sequitors, that's all KoZ ever has. Lib science, you mean like biology, geology, astronomy, etc? All those "lib sciences" that totally undermine basic conservative beliefs?

Posted by: kreuz_missile | January 13, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Mrs. Clinton does not seem to be of any Secretary of State material. But she is, certainly, non ordinary person. So is her husband, who is much more of Secretary of State material than she is. They may try honestly to do their best and their best might be good enough to create one very suitable currently secretary of state. Of course, there is much higher probability that everything might go sour. In this case laws and constitution would help Obama to replace her easily and with the minimal damage to the country. Let us wait and watch.

Posted by: aepelbaum | January 13, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Not sure about other degrees, but you've definitely got a PhD in BS.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 13, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Never has there been a political family more maligned than the Clinton's. It strikes me as interesting that you see her being cast in a new image. I see it more as the scribes finally beginning to see the lady for who she's been all along.

After losing her dream to Barack Obama, Senator Clinton wowed the public with her gracious concession speech and her full-blown support of Mr. Obama in the general election.

Hillary Clinton didn't and couldn't have simply pulled that graciousness out-of-a-hat. It was who she always was, save for those who needed to see her otherwise.

Halli Casser-Jayne http://www.thecjpoliticalreport.com

Posted by: PolitiHAL | January 13, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Not that you'd know anything about science, anyways.

Posted by: kreuz_missile


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I know all about Lib "science". no facts could ever get in the way of the big government takeover of everything in life.

Messiah, help us, spend all our money for us, give it to your crooked friends and incompetent Lib pols. the worst failures get the most.

Yeah, we all understand Lib science all right. coincides 100% with Lib dogma.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | January 13, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

The reputations and global standing of previous Secretary of States have varied greatly. George Marshall and Colin Powell were probably the two most respected, at home and abroad, held in high esteem for their integrity, as well as non-partisanship.

John Foster Dulles was highly partisan and a hard line ideologue. His rhetoric, dividing the world into either/or camps, was similar to the simplistic perspectives of Bush and Cheney.

Clinton needs to avoid the example of Willian Seward and certain other Secretary of States, who tried to determine foreign policy for the presidents they worked for, instead of being their chief foreign policy advisers. Her campaign rhetoric, especially about the Middle East, and previous support for the Iraq war, suggest Clinton could be strongly influened by neo-cons, perhaps even more so than Bush, less so than Cheney.

As to Clinton's rising popularity, according to polls, this may also be a reflection of how fickle many people are and limited their memories are of how partisan the Clintons have been. However, historians in evaluating her legacy will take into account her performance as Secretary of State, as well as her previous record.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | January 13, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

What about the Clintons' past connection (to criminals) like Ya Lin Charlie Trie, Norman Hsu, John Huang, and Johnny Chung and the Clinton's poor judgement in promoting them, sponsoring them, having them to the White House many times, creating potential national security risks, possible conflict of interest (with China) and campaign finance ethics. Why is the Senate Confirmation Committee only concerned with President Bill Clinton's conflict of interest in his Charity Donors and not re Hillary and Bill Clinton's past political donors, obligations to China, and other obligations that may be a conflict to our national security? Read article @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1996_United_States_campaign_finance_controversy

Posted by: SenateConfirmationHearings | January 13, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

vivek1 writes
"All Senators have to raise lots of cash for their elections, many of which come through bundlers. Are they implying that they somehow sidestep conflicts of interest, but HRC will not be able to?"


They are saying "I have to ask 'tough' questions as a member of the loyal opposition in order to appease the base, but will vote for confirmation anyway."

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 13, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

"That's not good for Republicans, conservatives, or the country."

Interesting that they put Republicans and conservatives above the country in terms of importance. Speaks volumes right there.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | January 13, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

"Poor al gore. OBE and facts. his legacy is looking to be mostly the butt of many jokes."

Tell that to the Nobel commission. There's a reason it's called climate change- average global temperature rising means shift in climate patterns, making some areas colder, some warmer- more extremes. That's exactly what's going on. Not that you'd know anything about science, anyways.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | January 13, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Comrade Zouk writes
"Poor al gore. OBE and facts. his legacy is looking to be mostly the butt of many jokes."

Local rag the Star Tribune published an article today that there may be another ice age coming. Source? Pravda.

http://www.startribune.com/world/37498924.html

"Based on a "large and compelling body of evidence from within the field of climate science," Pravda reports this week, "many sources of data which provide our knowledge base of long-term climate change" indicate that the current 12,000-year-long warming trend is coming to an end."

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 13, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

It is ironic that some Senators were quizzing her (so aggressively) about conflicts of interest because of donations to her husband's foundation.

All Senators have to raise lots of cash for their elections, many of which come through bundlers. Are they implying that they somehow sidestep conflicts of interest, but HRC will not be able to? Or, that they are beholden to the people who give them money?

Posted by: vivek1 | January 13, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

It is ironic that some Senators were quizzing her (so aggressively) about conflicts of interest because of donations to her husband's foundation.

All Senators have to raise lots of cash for their elections, many of which come through bundlers. Are they implying that they somehow sidestep conflicts of interest, but HRC will not be able to? Or, that they are beholden to the people who give them money?

Posted by: vivek1 | January 13, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

The paragraph quote you've printed is the exact definition of a failed attitude towards doing anything worthwhile. What Clinton is saying is the crude and overly simplified presumption which has done nothing to put forward sound american interests.

Posted by: usarownow | January 13, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse


Senate confirmation panel; Senator Clinton, please tell us why you should be confirmed as our Secretary of State.

Hillary; Why that's easy. Because I am a war hero.

Senate confirmation panel; You were in the war?

Hillary; What rock have *you* been hiding under. I'm a WAR HERO. Want me to spell that for you?

Senate confirmation panel; No, that's okay. Maybe you could describe your heroics for us.

Hillary; Why certainly. First of all, I was awarded the Medal of Honor during World War II, after I single handedly shot down 5 German dive bombers from a bunker in Normandy.

Senate confirmation panel; But.. Normandy happened 3 years *BEFORE* you were even *BORN*.

Hillary; Hey, I can't explain it either. All I know is the facts speak for themselves. And then during the Civil War I was a high ranking general and led a battalion ...

Senate confirmation panel; Excuse me. But what *facts" are we citing here? And the Civil War.. That was during the 1800s... Your *father* wasn't even born!

Hillary; Are you calling me a liar? Are you challenging my credibility to be the Secretary of State because I am a WOMAN?

Senate confirmation panel; No, no..

Hillary; Are you trying to oppress me? ARE YOU TRYING TO STIFLE WOMENS RIGHTS?!? ARE YOU TRYING TO DRAG WOMEN BACK TO THE DAYS OF BEING BAREFOOT AND PREGNANT?!?!?!

Senate confirmation panel; You've got this all wrong...

Hillary; ALL RIGHT BUSTER! YOU WANT WAR, YOU GOT WAR! MY HUSBAND HAPPENS TO KNOW A LOT OF POWERFUL PEOPLE IN HIGH PLACES.. AND FOR YOU TO CALL ME LYING CHEATING WOMAN WHO SHOULDN'T BE ALLOWED TO SERVE MY COUNTRY IS.. IS.. IS.... SHAME ON YOU!!!!!

Chelsea; Is the hearing over with Mommy?

Hillary; I SHOULD SAY SO!!! I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO INSULTED... LET'S BLOW THIS JOINT!

Posted by: DriveByPoster | January 13, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Don't think any Al Qaeda DUDE is going to be picking her up and taking her to a soccer stadium to put a bullet in her head.
------
No.

Field executions are only for kooks.

Funny, how shrill and frightened some get, innit?

Never saw that before.

Poor things.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | January 13, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

The Fix-ation with the Clinton image is understandable from the Clinton point of view. It should not matter to the rest of the world, but it seems to. It's as if we all paid more attention to the image of the athletes than to the games themselves (hey, wait a minute . . . ). What we should care about is how she will perform as Secy of State.

I think she is a fine choice, because Obama needs someone who can stand on her own while he tends to the economic crisis. And I think she should be confirmed despite the valid and substantial concerns that have surfaced. However, I also think Dems who support her because she is a Dem should realize the position they are taking on conflicts of interest, and they should take the same position (i.e., judging on ability to do the job without regard to conflicts) when it's a Repub nominee sitting for confirmation (assuming that ever happens again).

In other words, if you are going to stand on principle when it comes to Repubs, you should oppose Hillary as well. If you want to be a pragmatist, support Hillary and future Repubs who (like her) are capable but stained.

Posted by: Compared2What | January 13, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Here's the full text of her opening statement, for anybody who's interested.

http://potshotpolitics.ning.com/forum/topics/hillary-clinton-confirmation

Posted by: sandnsea | January 13, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

MINNEAPOLIS – Temperatures crashed to Arctic levels Tuesday as a severe cold wave rolled across the upper Midwest on the heels of yet another snowstorm, closing schools and making most people think twice before going outside. Thermometers read single digits early in the day as far south as Kansas and Missouri, where some areas warmed only into the teens by midday.

Poor al gore. OBE and facts. his legacy is looking to be mostly the butt of many jokes.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | January 13, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama's choice to run the Treasury Department and lead the economic rescue effort disclosed publicly Tuesday that he failed to pay $34,000 in taxes from 2001 to 2004, a last-minute complication in an otherwise smooth path to confirmation.

Just another Lib cheat. I predicted Tuesday. I must say I am surprised that Wrangle hasn't been accused of anything in over three days. the new Libs in town went a whole day without a scandel. Wow.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | January 13, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

In exchange for surrenduring, we the people of Arabistan, would like to present you with a dozen camels. and for your husband, a generous donation to his "library" made out to cash, and of course the usual 20 virgins you requested, I mean he, he requested.

and we will continue to donate to the Obama website under false names, of course.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | January 13, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I sincerely hope she doesn't try to pimp for Slick while she is acting as the SecState. Can anyone vouch that he'll keep his paws off soliciting funds or whatever? I think the former is doable, I doubt the latter is.

Posted by: BrownShoeAirForcePilot | January 13, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Nemo - I think you're confusing Hillary with Trinity.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 13, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I am very proud of Hillary.
For a woman who, when she visits the troops in Iraq, wears skin tight black leather jumpsuits and 4 inch stiletto heels, coming off the helicopter.
Oh yeah.
Don't think any Al Qaeda DUDE is going to be picking her up and taking her to a soccer stadium to put a bullet in her head.

GO HILLARY !! GIVE 'EM HELL HILLARY !!

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | January 13, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I have no quarrel with the warm and fuzzy post--I am a former Clinton state convention delegate--but I am becoming very concerned about The Fix`s ability to count--which is a rather important skill for a political reporter!

At the outset of this piece it is written that the Clintions have dominated Dem politics for 'two and a half decades.'

I do not recall the Clintons dominating the scene two and a half decades ago--that would be in 1983-84...

Posted by: bjerryberg | January 13, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Zouk, I'm sure you're prepared to counter the Democrats with as many falsehoods as are necessary. Kudos for finally citing your sources, though.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 13, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

it's 3:00am in the white house - female employee residential wing

butler; can i help you?

bill clinton; no, thank you.

butler; aren't you bill clinton? secretary of state hillary's husband?

bill clinton; why yes, yes i am. i'll bet you want my autograph..

butler; no sir. i'm sorry, but you'll have to leave. this is where the female employees sleep.

bill clinton; it's okay, i'm sleep walking.

butler; b-b-but you're completely naked!

bill clinton; i always sleep walk naked.

butler; it's sticking straight up!

bill clinton; i always sleep walk with a boner.

butler; i better call security.

bill clinton; which room is that little senorita in? the one with the big gazoongas!

butler; i thought you were sleep walking.

bill clinton; i am sleep walking. i'm just trying to find the little little rosita!

butler; i'm calling security.

bill clinton; or maybe that fiesty little redhead... ariel! hot damn!

butler; SECURITY!

bill clinton; of course.. the blonde who winked at me.. i could definitely dine on her!

butler; SECURITY!

bill clinton; you know.. i really did miss this place.

butler; SECURITY!

bill clinton; *sigh* the building.. the music.. the food.. the interns..

butler; SECURITY!

bill clinton; i wonder if that was monica's cousin i saw. you know, she WAS wearing blue..

butler; SECURITY!

bill clinton; yup.. the ole bill-meister's back. back for my third term.. hee hee hee... thanks obama dude!

Posted by: DriveByPoster | January 13, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I don’t think Hillary Clinton has either the judgment or the character to be Secretary of State. Her husband’s solicitation of donations presents an insurmountable conflict of interest. And frankly, I think, Obama will need to watch his back with her around.

How much evidence of this does one need? Her eagerness to play the race and religion cards during the campaign? Her vehement support of the Iraq invasion and war for years and years, and her Bush-like inability to admit it was a mistake? Her patently transparent (and repeated) lies about “sniper fire” in Bosnia in 1996? Her tactless statements suggesting Obama might be assassinated?

She’s an intelligent enough woman, so these patterns of behavior suggest problems with ethics and judgment more than mere stupidity. But however you spin it, does she really seem like the sort of Secretary of State we need to help rebuild America’s reputation in the world?

Posted by: Itzajob | January 13, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

"You will not find finer men nor better public servants than Justice Thomas, Ken Starr, John Ashcroft"

You couldn't come up with better Republicans than those three? That alone invalidates the rest of the post. Ashcroft at least had some integrity. Thomas and Starr will be remembered for their coke cans and cigars.

Think I'm wrong? Name one particularly honorable thing Starr or Thomas did - and just their jobs doesn't count. (And they lose points for all the whining.)

Posted by: kszimmerman | January 13, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"you can only have your eyes bug out of your head so far before you begin to look like a cartoon."

When she did the 'democratic response' to the SOTU a number of years ago, I was left thinking "she looks just like Skeletor".

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 13, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

If anyone was wondering what we mean when we say that the Clintons are competent and George Bush is not, please watch a video comparing Hillary Clinton answering questions today on Capital Hill and Bush answering questions yesterday from the WH podium.

Hillary Clinton acted Presidential.
George W. Bush acted like he had one glass too many.

I really welcome a new administration in America, one that will strive for peace and posterity, like we enjoyed under President Clinton.

I wish the very best to Madam Secretary Clinton and to President-elect Obama!

The vast majority of America and the world welcome you to the helm.

Posted by: freespeak | January 13, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Bingo! Couldn't be more on point.

Posted by: UrbanCrab | January 13, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

it's 3:00am in the white house - the phone rings

RING! RING! RING!
RING! RING! RING!

RING! RING! RING!
RING! RING! RING!

president obama; hello?

front gate; mister president?

president obama; yes?

front gate; this is the front gate. you better come quick!

president obama; what is it?!? are we being attacked?

front gate; no sir! it's worse.

president obama; my god! worse than being attacked?

front gate; yes sir! far worse.

president obama; give me time to get dressed! i'll be right down!

[18 seconds later president obama appears, wearing full camoflage, military gear, and carrying no fewer than six 2-way radios]

president obama; tell me what's happening!

front gate; out on the lawn. over there, sir!

president obama; my GOD! who is that naked lady running in circles around the white house lawn with a stainless steel vegetable colander on her head?

front gate; that's your new secretary of state, sir!

president obama; hillary clinton? what is she doing?

front gate; we have no idea, sir! she just keeps running in circles shouting that snipers are firing at her.

president obama; well, are snipers firing at her?

front gate; no sir! she is alone and naked as the day she was born. well, except for that stainless steel vegetable colander she's wearing on her head.

president obama; do you think we should do something?

front gate; yes sir! what do you have in mind, sir?

president obama; well... we could let out the dogs.

front gate; that's an excellent idea, sir! i'll get right on it.

president obama; you are a good man charles.

front gate; yes sir! thank you, sir!

president obama; i'm going back to sleep..

front gate; bentley? this is charles at the front gate. we have new orders... RELEASE THE HOUNDS....

Posted by: DriveByPoster | January 13, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

At least she hasn't poisoned/altered her face like that nitwit Pelosi. you can only have your eyes bug out of your head so far before you begin to look like a cartoon. Just how small can a human nose become?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | January 13, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans escalated the partisanship to nasty levels under Lee Atwater and his "Willie Horton" campaign for Bush Sr. The Republicans were convinced that they'd found a way to permanently hold on to the presidency by pushing the "ugly social issues" buttons.

But in '92 the Clintons BEAT THEM. Did the angry Repubs work with the new Democratic president for the betterment of America? No, they got even nastier and they got revenge. Impeachment for lying about "sexual relations"? Really?

And because the Clintons fought back, this makes them partisan? Oh, well, I guess they should've rolled over and said, "Sorry, Newt. Sorry, Trent. Sorry, Mr. DeLay. We'll never try to win the White House again."

Get some historical perspective, haters.

Posted by: dognabbit | January 13, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Recent SoS have had post-cabinet careers out of the public eye. George Schultz lobbied to end the Cuba embargo and to legalize recreational drugs, but with little effect. Baker created an institute at Rice University and Albright started her own consulting organization; Christopher participated in a few things, but not many (of course, he was 72 when he left the SoS position).

Senator Clinton is 61. Baker was 62, Albright 64 and Schultz 69 when they left the SoS. If Clinton serves four years, then I'd guess she'd be looking for something else to do - and I can't imagine her opening a consulting company.


Posted by: Kili | January 13, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

they are never going to break the image of crooked, lying, self-serving, thieving, cheating, pocket-lining, adultering letches.

I guess selling pardons and furniture didn't pay enough. now international treaties will be up for sale on e-bay.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | January 13, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

When Up is Down [Peter Kirsanow]

In his column today, Jay Nordlinger describes how George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Sarah Palin have been caricatured in the media and the broader popular culture. Jay maintains that the Left has won, i.e., its dominance of our institutions permits portrayal of conservatives as evil buffoons. The popular perception of Cheney in particular is upside down (the obverse is the media's portrayal of certain liberals as smart and personable, when in reality these individuals are ignorant cusses).

Jay's right that news media, television entertainment, movies, music, and the schools are major culprits. But another culprit is the repeated failure of prominent Republicans (and to a lesser extent, conservatives generally) to defend and support our own.

Think about the scores of times bright, honorable, self-sacrificing conservatives have been defamed by the Left with barely a peep of protest from Republicans in a position to command attention. It's as if Republicans concede the premise that their friends and colleagues are demons and/or nitwits.

Many Republican politicians seem to begin the day apologizing for being Republicans. And they appear to have a perverse, desperate desire to befriend and seek favor from those who regularly malign conservatives.

You will not find finer men nor better public servants than Justice Thomas, Ken Starr, John Ashcroft — to name a few. Yet I've witnessed Republicans act as if they're embarrassed to even know of them. Whether it's a momentous slander or a series of invidious slights, too many weak-kneed, hand-wringing Republicans simply tolerate the abuse heaped on these good Americans. No surprise that the caricatures hold sway when those expected to protest remain silent.

Until Republicans start responding to each and every falsehood with vigor and conviction, the slanders will continue. That's not good for Republicans, conservatives, or the country.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | January 13, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company