What’s Hillary been up to since taking the reins at Foggy Bottom? Plus, a little State Department gossip:
- It wasn’t just our imagination that had us thinking Hillary Clinton’s reception by State Department employees yesterday was more exuberant than any of their interactions with Condoleezza Rice. It turns out that some State Department staff refer to Clinton as Glinda… and Condi as the Wicked Witch of the West.
- New York Governor David Paterson announced that he’s appointing upstate New York Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand to Hillary Clinton’s seat this afternoon. Paterson announced that Clinton had called him to pass along her congratulations to Gillibrand.
- Hillary got straight to work, conducting one of her first official phone calls with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi today. The placement of this particular phone call on her agenda is likely a sign of things to come, as the State Department (and likely the U.S. Trade Representative) seek to wrest some control of China policy back from the Treasury Department. For Hillary’s sake, it’s probably a good thing that Tim Geithner’s going to have his hands full with the domestic economy for a while.
- Clinton also had a conversation with Indian external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee today in which she reportedly told him that she wants "to take the relationship between India and the USA to a new level." That’s probably not exactly what Pakistan would like to see happen, but they did get an envoy, after all.
- Israel’s Tzipi Livni beat both Makherjee and Jiechi, however, making the top of Clinton’s to-do list yesterday. They reportedly discussed Iran’s nuclear ambitions before turning to the more sensitive subject of Gaza.