Madam Secretary

Roundup: Hillary Clinton’s first 100 days

Roundup: Hillary Clinton’s first 100 days

A cursory Internet search finds these views of Secretary Clinton’s first 100 days:

For his list of 100-days winners, Chris Cillizza at The Fix (a Washington Post blog) selected Clinton:

Who would have thought that in less than one year Clinton would go from a defeated presidential candidate to the country’s top diplomat? Clinton[‘s] decision to leave politics (forever?) has paid off as her approval number[s] are through the roof. (A mid-March CNN poll showed 71 percent of Americans approved of the job she was doing as secretary of state.) Clinton has been measured and effective as an advocate for the president’s policies and has shown an amazing adaptability as she moves from political circles to diplomatic ones.

Charles Wolfson, State Department reporter for CBS News, writes:

For those who forecast that Hillary Clinton would have trouble playing second fiddle to her former political foe, senior officials who have watched the two say she knows who the boss is and has had no problem accommodating herself to her new role.

Over at Politico, David Cloud writes:

In less than 100 days, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did something that neither Colin Powell nor Condoleezza Rice was able to accomplish in their entire tenures: She restored the State Department to the central place in U.S. foreign policy.

"What Clinton has done and the president has done is to say clearly that diplomacy is a national security tool of the United States," said Marc Grossman, a career foreign service officer who served as undersecretary of state during the Bush administration. "The only tool is no longer just the military."

Over on the other side of the Atlantic, the BBC seems to concur about placing diplomacy center stage (it does need to update Clinton’s mileage to 74,107, however):

By the president’s side is a straight-talking secretary of state with her own star-power and some 60,000 air miles already under her belt – Hillary Clinton.

The administration’s new emphasis on diplomacy means the state department is squarely back at the heart of America’s efforts to engage with the world, from allies to rivals.

Of course, there are some negatives. Here are a few:

–David Cloud at Politico mentions that in the first 100 days there hasn’t been much in the way of "diplomatic breakthroughs, peace deals or the standard measurements of State Department success." On the other hand, he admits that these types of accomplishments can’t be expected to happen in a mere 100 days.

–Then there was the blooper with the reset button that Clinton gave to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Instead of saying "reset" in Russian to indicate wanting to press the reset button on U.S.-Russia relations, the button had printed on it a Russian word that translated to something along the lines of "overload."

–Additionally, many Americans were upset when Clinton played down human rights when she visited China in February. On human rights in China she said, "Successive [U.S.] administrations and Chinese governments have been poised back and forth on these issues, and we have to continue to press them. But our pressing on those issues can’t interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis, and the security crisis."

–Then, of course, there’s the whole issue about reaching out to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.