Clinton’s ‘quiet statecraft’ profiled in Christian Science Monitor cover story
Secretary Clinton is profiled in the cover story of the Sept. 27 issue of the Christian Science Monitor under the headline, “Hillary Clinton: A quiet brand of statecraft.” The piece notes that Clinton’s approach to foreign policy and diplomacy draws from her “unique curriculum vitae”: The unflagging advocate for women and girls traveled the world ...
Secretary Clinton is profiled in the cover story of the Sept. 27 issue of the Christian Science Monitor under the headline, "Hillary Clinton: A quiet brand of statecraft."
Secretary Clinton is profiled in the cover story of the Sept. 27 issue of the Christian Science Monitor under the headline, “Hillary Clinton: A quiet brand of statecraft.”
The piece notes that Clinton’s approach to foreign policy and diplomacy draws from her “unique curriculum vitae”: The unflagging advocate for women and girls traveled the world as first lady, honed the art of brokering deals as a senator, and ran against the U.S. president she now serves.
Clinton’s experience as a politician is especially valuable because she understands the political constraints under which her counterparts in other countries — foreign ministers — are operating under. “People forget that most foreign ministers are also political leaders, especially among our allies,” James Steinberg, deputy secretary of state, told the Monitor. “She can relate to politicians. She knows the particular pressures they face, and that allows her to be particularly effective.”
Still, one unknown is how strong and nimble of a negotiator she is. Of course, as I pointed out last October, her diplomacy did save the day on the Turkish-Armenian accord, and as a senator she sharpened her negotiating skills while brokering deals to get legislation passed. Still, that’s not enough to convince everyone. “Consequential secretaries of state are great for one of two reasons, and one of them is that they solve problems,” Aaron David Miller, who was an advisor on the Middle East to six secretaries of state, told the Monitor. “You either look at the world as a chessboard or you don’t; it’s not something learned. It remains an open question: Does Hillary Clinton have the negotiator’s mindset?”
Then there’s the question of what unique stamp, if any, will Clinton leave as her legacy. “Frankly, it’s hard for me to place her,” George Herring, a University of Kentucky professor emeritus and expert on secretaries of state, told the Monitor. “She does not appear to have put her trademark on anything at this point.”
Perhaps that trademark will be her advocacy for women and girls, her e-diplomacy efforts, the new multilateral global architecture she mentions so much, or a new way of U.S. leadership in a changing world, which she referenced in her Sept. 8 speech when she said the United States is at a “new American Moment, a moment when our global leadership is essential, even if we must often lead in new ways.” Maybe Clinton’s tenure will be that pivot point when U.S. foreign policy reorients in the face of rising centers of influence — China, India, Brazil, Turkey, etc. — and better adapts to a rapidly changing, more interconnected world. If so, though, Clinton has just over two years left in Obama’s first term to do so.
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