Is Hillary Clinton’s star power fading?

[Note: Thanks for bearing with FP while we get our Web site properly functioning again. Because the site goes down intermittently, Madam Secretary posts may be delayed and/or sparse until the problem is solved.] Politico has a provocative article on Secretary Clinton today, "Clinton Toils in the Shadows." The article states that many assumed Clinton ...

[Note: Thanks for bearing with FP while we get our Web site properly functioning again. Because the site goes down intermittently, Madam Secretary posts may be delayed and/or sparse until the problem is solved.]

Politico has a provocative article on Secretary Clinton today, "Clinton Toils in the Shadows."

The article states that many assumed Clinton would be the "brightest star" in the U.S. cabinet, but instead, "she has about as low a news-making profile as is possible for someone who is arguably the most famous woman on the planet." (A bar chart accompanying the article shows that media mentions of Clinton have plunged since February.)

[Note: Thanks for bearing with FP while we get our Web site properly functioning again. Because the site goes down intermittently, Madam Secretary posts may be delayed and/or sparse until the problem is solved.]

Politico has a provocative article on Secretary Clinton today, "Clinton Toils in the Shadows."

The article states that many assumed Clinton would be the "brightest star" in the U.S. cabinet, but instead, "she has about as low a news-making profile as is possible for someone who is arguably the most famous woman on the planet." (A bar chart accompanying the article shows that media mentions of Clinton have plunged since February.)

One touchy topic has been her delegation of some responsibilities to regional envoys — Richard Holbrooke for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and George Mitchell for the Israel-Palestine conflict. The article states, "the unprecedented reliance on high-profile envoys … will perhaps be the key to her success or failure."

Some observers think Clinton’s use of envoys diminishes the influence of the State Department. "You’ve got the empire of envoys that she acquiesced in, which sent into motion these little fiefdoms. … The general proposition is that in diplomacy and strategy, all power seems to be flowing away from the State Department," former Middle East negotiator Aaron David Miller told Politico.

Meanwhile, Holbrooke told Politico that bringing in high-profile, experienced people such as himself broadens the State Department’s reach. "There’s a real difference between subcontracting foreign [policy] to people — which can cannibalize you — and having strong people who you direct."

Sounds like this use of envoys is really costing Clinton in terms of her image right now. What do you all think? Is Secretary Clinton a "disciplined loyalist" providing "grindstone leadership" as she "toils in the shadows"?

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP

More from Foreign Policy

A propaganda poster from the 1960s shows Chinese leader Mao Zedong.
A propaganda poster from the 1960s shows Chinese leader Mao Zedong.

Xi’s Great Leap Backward

Beijing is running out of recipes for its looming jobs crisis—and reviving Mao-era policies.

A textile worker at the Maxport factory in Hanoi on Sept. 21, 2021.
A textile worker at the Maxport factory in Hanoi on Sept. 21, 2021.

Companies Are Fleeing China for Friendlier Shores

“Friendshoring” is the new trend as geopolitics bites.

German children stand atop building rubble in Berlin in 1948.
German children stand atop building rubble in Berlin in 1948.

Why Superpower Crises Are a Good Thing

A new era of tensions will focus minds and break logjams, as Cold War history shows.

Vacationers sit on a beach in Greece.
Vacationers sit on a beach in Greece.

The Mediterranean as We Know It Is Vanishing

From Saint-Tropez to Amalfi, the region’s most attractive tourist destinations are also its most vulnerable.