Clinton has brought ‘new energy’ to the State Department

 A lengthy article in the Washington Post‘s Style section today declares that Secretary Clinton has brought “new energy” and a favorable management style to the U.S. State Department. The first two paragraphs say: Hillary Rodham Clinton ran a presidential campaign notoriously insular and unhappy, managing a group of egos and backstabbers whose dysfunction may have ...

TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images
TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images
TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images

 A lengthy article in the Washington Post's Style section today declares that Secretary Clinton has brought "new energy" and a favorable management style to the U.S. State Department. The first two paragraphs say:

Hillary Rodham Clinton ran a presidential campaign notoriously insular and unhappy, managing a group of egos and backstabbers whose dysfunction may have cost her the White House. Understandably, people wondered what kind of management style she would bring to the State Department.

But a little over a year into her tenure as secretary of state, allies and detractors alike say Clinton has made a vigorous effort to widen her circle, wooing and pulling into her orbit the agency's Foreign Service and civil service officials, many of whom said in interviews that she has brought a new energy to the building.

 A lengthy article in the Washington Post‘s Style section today declares that Secretary Clinton has brought “new energy” and a favorable management style to the U.S. State Department. The first two paragraphs say:

Hillary Rodham Clinton ran a presidential campaign notoriously insular and unhappy, managing a group of egos and backstabbers whose dysfunction may have cost her the White House. Understandably, people wondered what kind of management style she would bring to the State Department.

But a little over a year into her tenure as secretary of state, allies and detractors alike say Clinton has made a vigorous effort to widen her circle, wooing and pulling into her orbit the agency’s Foreign Service and civil service officials, many of whom said in interviews that she has brought a new energy to the building.

The only part I took issue with was the assertion that Clinton hasn’t defined a signature issue:

One loyalist inside the agency, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid, suggested that Clinton is stretched too thin and has not narrowed her goals or developed signature issues that will define her tenure. “What bothers me is that we’re planting zillions of seeds … speeches on every issue, but where’s the thematic coherence?” this aide said.

No “signature issue”? How about women’s rights? As I blogged last September, Clinton is making women’s rights her signature issue for U.S. foreign policy. During virtually every overseas trip she has made, Clinton has met with women leaders and women’s groups, even defying security advice last August and traveling to Goma, Congo — the epicenter of where rape has been used as a weapon of war — to meet with victimized women and hear their stories. 

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

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