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This is What a Leader Looks Like

Our Hillary… always giving the world something to talk about!

No, I’m not just talking about Hillary’s condemnation of the Qu’ran burning that RD wrote about in her last post…although I will say this, Hillary’s statement was absolutely *pitch perfect* on that issue, both at the State Department Iftar dinner last night and today at the CFR. Clear and decisive but to the point that this religious bigotry against Muslims that’s been going on

“doesn’t, in any way, represent America or Americans or American Government or American religious or political leadership. And we are, as you’ve seen in the last few days, speaking out.” –HRC, today at the CFR

Hillary did not get sidetracked and give this publicity stunt of hatred any more attention than it already has generated. She redirected us and the world back to who we are as Americans. That is what a leader does. Leads.

Hillary yesterday... September 7, 2010: Secretary Clinton hosted an Iftar to celebrate the Holy Month of Ramadan--a time devoted to worship, contemplation, charity, and fellowship, observed with a daily fast from dawn to sun down. State Deparment Photo by Michael Gross

But, I want to direct your attention to what else Hillary has been saying, because today was a big day for Hillary…today she gave a very important foreign policy speech at the CFR:

As a complete sidenote: with her hair grown out these days, Hillary right now reminds me so much of Hillary Beijing 1995 (“women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are women’s rights”).

I. love. it! Hillary is free to be Hillary.


Hillary, Beijing 1995

September 8, 2010: Hillary, CFR, Washington DC (Photo credit: KAVEH SARDARI)

The entire speech is a must-see/read for any Hillary “diehards” like myself (and proud of it!), so I’ll leave you with the video and a link to the State department transcript at the end of this post, but before that I just wanted to share with you a few details from her speech and the coverage of it.

Here’s one juicy, gossipy tidbit from President of the CFR Richard Haass’ introduction of Hillary:

Fortunately, today’s speaker, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, is experienced in managing the most difficult of situations. And I refer, of course, to her performance this summer as mother of the bride. (Laughter.)

Secretary Clinton is the 67th secretary of State. And as you all know, she has not limited her travels to Rhinebeck. Since she became secretary, she has visited, at last count, some 64 countries, and that amounts to one out of every three countries in the United Nations. She has racked up 350,000 miles in the process, has done all this in just over a year and a half, but still, well more than half a year longer than John C. Calhoun.

Now, speaking of John C. Calhoun — (laughter), who served as vice president before becoming secretary of State, I couldn’t help notice the speculation in some parts that Secretary Clinton might just find herself trading places with Vice President Biden, becoming the Democratic candidate for vice president in 2012. And all I can say is that there’s precedent for this. (Laughter.) There were actually — there were two fellows, named Van Buren and Jefferson, and it worked out pretty well for the two of them. (Laughter.)

Now, speaking of the past, today also marks the seventh time Mrs. Clinton has addressed the Council on Foreign Relations, the sixth time she has done so without a broken arm, and the second time she has been here as secretary of State of the United States.

So Secretary Clinton, it is a privilege and it is a pleasure to welcome you back to the Council on Foreign Relations. (Applause.)

I also caught this headline from Tunku Varadarajan at the Daily Beast — “Hillary Clinton Foreign Policy Speech: Better than Obama…. Hillary’s Home Run of a Speech” :

The secretary of State delivered the best speech of the Obama administration this morning. Tunku Varadarajan on her “new American moment”—and why she’s better than her boss.

Behold the Hillary Doctrine. And heap abundant gratitude—and rose petals if you have them on hand—on the firm, unfussy, deeply reassuring woman who has just offered it up to the world.

In the 20 months since this administration began administering (a verb I use only in the loosest sense), the speech Wednesday morning by Hillary Clinton, delivered at the Council on Foreign Relations, was the first time we have been given an unreserved lift of the heart by any of its members. It was, by far, the best speech of this administration. Whereas her president has frequently wrung his elegant hands, doing the rounds of the world to reassure foreign leaders that America is a cuddly bunny at heart, the secretary of State declared Wednesday that we are all living “a new American moment—a moment when our global leadership is essential.” There was no bowing from her to potentates in robes; there was, instead, a promise that “we will do everything we can to exercise the traditions of American leadership at home and abroad.”

And, that’s just the beginning. It gets better:

In her speech, Clinton referred to the sources of “American might.” The first, of course, is “economic power.” But it is her hailing of the second—America’s “moral authority”—that was so invigorating.

It was Acheson who said: “The most important aspect of the relationship between the president and the secretary of state is that they both understand who is president.” What is so piquant here, in this administration, is not the fact, plain to behold, that Hillary understands that Obama is president. It is the growing sense that Hillary would have made a much, much better president than Obama.

This was from Laura Rozen’s preview of Hillary’s speech at Politico — “Hillary Clinton finds her ‘groove'” :

“She is definitely getting her sea legs; she is past the learning curve and has developed her team and her agenda and her reputation to the point she can really get things done,” former Clinton-era National Security Council official David Rothkopf said.

“With Defense Secretary Robert Gates leaving within a year and [National Security Adviser Jim] Jones probably leaving too … she looks like she is the stable center of it all and the leading figure in the Cabinet.”

What’s more, Rothkopf said, several foreign policy issues with which the administration is contending are now at a point where the State Department’s role is more prominent than the Pentagon’s.

The efforts of Middle East peace envoy Mitchell “are bearing fruit and bringing that issue to the fore … which is a State issue,” Rothkopf noted, while the hand over in Iraq, and critical issues in Afghanistanl, Pakistan, Iran, North Korea and with China “are all State issues.”

Clinton “needs to be the real timeline between the president and the [Middle East peace] negotiations,” veteran U.S. Middle East peace negotiator Aaron David Miller told POLITICO. “Neither now should be the desk officer for those talks. … But by upping her involvement — in the substance — she is the pivot if the talks reach a stage where they get serious, just like Kissinger and Nixon and Baker and Bush.”

And, from Rozen’s reporting after the speech, “Clinton: World needs U.S. leadership” :

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday pushed back on America’s sense of domestic crisis and declining power, saying U.S. leadership in the world is more important than ever despite the economic woes at home.

“I know these are difficult days for many Americans, but difficulty and adversity have never defeated, or deflated, our country,” Clinton told the Council on Foreign Relations in her second major foreign policy address to the think tank as secretary of state.

“Let me say it clearly: The United States can, must, and will lead in this new century,” Clinton said. “Indeed, the complexities and connections of today’s world have yielded a new American Moment — a moment when our global leadership is essential, even if we must often lead in new ways.”

“This is a moment that must be seized — through hard work and bold decisions — to lay the foundations for lasting American leadership for decades to come,” she went on, adding that America will not “go it alone. … The world looks to us because America has the reach and resolve to mobilize the shared effort needed to solve problems on a global scale.”

Speaking for almost an hour, Clinton several times connected America’s role in the world with its domestic strength. The State Department, she said, is willing to absorb its share of national security fiscal cutbacks, but asserted “we have to be smart about it.”

Yes, we do have to be smart about it, Hillary. That’s why we need your voice and your smart power out there — you get how the big and small pictures fit together. I wish we had you more on the domestic stage too, but I am glad to have you on the world stage. Keep on fighting for us!

Speaking of which, here’s an extended soundbyte of the part where Hillary got a bit into discussing the national budget (from a foreign policy perspective), upon being prompted during the Q&A section of her CFR speech:

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Richard, first, as I said, I think that our rising debt levels poses a national security threat, and it poses a national security threat in two ways. It undermines our capacity to act in our own interests and it does constrain us where constraint may be undesirable. And it also sends a message of weakness internationally. I mean, it is very troubling to me that we are losing the ability not only to chart our own destiny, but to have the leverage that comes from this enormously effective economic engine that has powered American values and interests over so many years.
So I don’t think we have a choice. It’s a question of how we decide to deal with this debt and deficit. I mean, it is – we don’t need to go back and sort of re-litigate how we got to where we are. But it is fair to say that we fought two wars without paying for them and we had tax cuts that were not paid for either, and that has been a very deadly combination to fiscal sanity and responsibility.
So the challenge is how we get out of it by making the right decisions, not the wrong decisions. There’s a lot of wrong things we could do that would further undermine our strength. I mean, it is going to be very difficult for those decisions. And I know there’s an election going on and I know that I am, by law, out of politics, but I will say that this is not just a decision for the Congress; it’s a decision for the country. And it’s not a Republican or a Democratic decision. And there are a lot of people who know more about what needs to be done and who, frankly, have a responsible view, whose voices are not being heard right now, and I think that is a great disservice to our nation. Whether one is a Republican or a Democrat, a conservative, a progressive, whatever you call yourself, there is no free lunch and we cannot pretend that there is without doing grave harm to our country and our future generations.

And, now as promised… the video of her speech and the transcript linked below.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Here is the link to the State Department transcript of Hillary’s speech.

148 Responses

  1. Gawd, she makes me weep. It is soooo good. She’s an American. She’s not afraid. She leads.

    Damn, the DNC really fucked us ocher good.

    • So sad it causes one to weep… 😥

      • Interesting article.

      • when I saw the source and then the byline, it was hard for me not to suspect that this was NY Daily News / conservative bait from conservative columnist Sarah Elizabeth Cupp… but I read on and that’s actually worth a read, whatever the author’s intentions. Thanks for the link. I still can’t see Hillary running as an Independent (or primarying O, etc.) but that turned out to be an interesting piece.

        As for the MSM, they can go hope-and-change themselves. They sold Obama, he’s theirs. They can’t wash their hands of selling Bush, Iraq, and Obama and try to act like they now get the value of Hillary. No way. A decade of the press’s dysfunctional relationship with the American presidency has cost too much. We don’t need their creepy beltway opinions. We knew what we had in Hillary all along.

        • Wonk The Vote you are amazing.

          Thank you for this. It’s a crazy week and for me it’ll be a packed day, but this is the best time investment I’ll make — an hour and eight minutes of Hillary along with your commentary and roundup of those articles – it turns a growling start of the day into an inspiring one.

        • Yeah, I’ve got to say I’m getting more than a little suspicious of the continuing articles by conservatives, all beating the love drum for Hillary. We shouldn’t forget that Republican conservatives savaged Hillary Clinton from the moment she walked into the political arena.

          I’d like to believe that the leopard can change his or her spots. But color me suspicious anyway. :0)

          • Whatever praise Hillary may receive from conservatives, she would not receive their votes. And she would be lacerated were she in office. Being “nice/fair” to someone not in power is easier. Especially when you suspect it will undermine and enrage the powers that be.

          • I am suspicious. But a drowning man will grasp at any lifesaver.


      • (((FAINTS))) …

  2. Do you think she is taking aim at those who want to extend the Bush tax cuts? The wingers are basically claiming her comments on the debt and the deficit show she is in agreement with their position on spending. Your reporting is much more inclusive of all she said than the bits I’ve read online. Thanks for that.

    • She’s perfectly consistent with what they say they want. They say they want lower deficit levels because they can be harmful. She is agreeing: high deficits *can* be harmful. And it’s going to be painful in the wallet for some people. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. The people who have been making out like bandits might have to fork some of it over.
      This is what EVERYONE wants. Even Tea Partyers and crazy ass birthers. They want the fat cats to pay their share too.
      Ok, everyone wants it except the rich and well connected who for some stupid reason think that working class Americans don’t work hard enough for the measley pay they get while *they* labored through a difficult childbirth into a wealthy family and therefore, they are entitled.

      • That makes a lot of sense. When I said the wingers, I didn’t mean the voters, I meant the political class wingers. It just burn me when they use Hillary to say, aha, we’re right! Even Hillary says the stimulus was wasteful and dangerous. While I do think much of Obama’s stimulus was wasteful, particularly the tax cuts, I thin we need a lot more direct stimulus to get us out of this mess.

    • Is this Hillary coming out against the cat food commission?

      “I think that our rising debt levels poses a national security threat . . .
      So I don’t think we have a choice. It’s a question of how we decide to deal with this debt and deficit. . . .
      And there are a lot of people who know more about what needs to be done and who, frankly, have a responsible view, whose voices are not being heard right now, and I think that is a great disservice to our nation.”
      Krugman? Stiglitz? Galbraith?

  3. THANK YOU!!
    A Wonk post on our Hillary! Does it get better than that?

  4. I know these are difficult days for many Americans, but difficulty and adversity have never defeated, or deflated, our country,” i>


    • She’s channeling Eleanor Roosevelt again.

      Here, take my tissue. One of those corners is dry.

    • what hits me is that when she says this I believe her and feel hopeful. Were Obama to say this, who could believe him? He says whatever he has to say to whatever group he is speaking to so he can get votes. No one believes him anymore. He has shown himself to be a lot like Kerry, he never found an issue he couldn’t stand on both sides of.

  5. It is such a relief to not feel dread and embarrassment when one of our public figures steps up to the podium. And of course she does none of that annoying side to side TOTUS glancing.

    sigh ….

    • You noticed the side to side motion of the president too? A person could get whip flash watching him when he is at the podiium.

  6. “Hillary would have made a much, much better president than Obama.”


    • yes, well the majority of primary voters knew this, but the DNC had other ideas. Not another cent to that group until they get rid of the current idiots.

  7. We needed Kathryn Janeway for President, and we got Wesley Crusher. 😡

    Except Wesley is a genius. I rather doubt the same can be said for Obummer. 😛

  8. When I saw that speech (I missed the first few minutes), I couldn’t tell she was using a prompter. She wasn’t looking down at notes or obviously doing the Obama side-to-side. I kept thinking how is she doing this? She is wonderful and yes, reassuring.

    Just hope the O man doesn’t get jealous and send the knives out. Something struck me today though. I saw his speech (on tv) today and thought it was better than usual. But, some things he said were very similar to her earlier speech. Like her father’s story and then he talks about his grandparents and their were afew others I can’t remember now. Tinfoil hat, I know–but, hers was first.

    • Tinfoil hat, I know–but, hers was first.

      that would be his usual modus operandi ..stealing another’s speech and repeating what Hillary said

    • Yeah–reading this, I did sort of think that going after her would be just about the only thing he could do to rally his voters, really get their juices flowing.

    • You have to look at teleprompter less WHEN YOU ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND THE MATERIAL.

  9. She was masterful. I listened to this earlier today. She’s clear and direct and always reassuring in her core belief in what America is in the world and what we have yet to become: a continued leader and example among nations, prospering ourselves and leading other like-minded countries into a better future. And, as she nearly always does, she spoke to the important role of women.

    She does the country proud. And that’s why I supported/support her. And I’m glad she mentioned the two unfunded wars and tax cuts that got this ball rolling. Republicans would like us to forget those inconvenient facts.

    Very impressive.

  10. She amazes, as always, what else is new? Fabulous, wonk.

  11. She’s one vote I’ll never regret. I only hope we get a chance to do it again.

  12. I have no doubt that Hillary would rank among the best presidents if she became president of the U.S., but I’m of the opinion that given our system, we got what we deserve.

  13. We didn’t deserve it or the American people. We deserve to have the rules apply fairly and our votes counted–I live in Florida.

  14. I just want everybody to see what we missed. Even my conservative brother says he wished we had Hillary, and that is saying alot for him.

  15. Lord, she’s amazing. I so miss that pragmatic wonkiness. Still keeping my fingers crossed for 2012.

    Even leaving aside discussion of what is good for the country, and simply looking at things from a sheer political strategy standpoint, Hillary is the Dems only hope for survival.

    2012 will continue to be a massive anti-Obama wave. It will be impossible to win without being “anti-Obama” yourself. The democrats have no one, and I mean NO ONE, not a single other candidate who could credibly run as “the anti-Obama” in 2012. Only Hillary.

    Even for her it would be tough. The very fact that she held a job in his administration has to some degree tarnished her with his stink. Sorry, but it’s true. SOS has given her other exposure that is positive, but I have to be honest and admit the negative of it as well.

    However, given the rancorous 2008 primary that is common knowledge for voters, she is the ONLY one who could hope to have a shred of credibility running as the alternative to Obama.

    • Hillary doesn’t need to be anti anything, imo. When she ran in 2008, she’d mention Bush, but she ran based on her own ideas, that Obama would copy every time. She’s beyond attacking others to win, and she would have won if it wasn’t that her own party back stabbed her.

      • Oh, I don’t mean she’d have to run bashing Obama. She wouldn’t. But she is the only Dem who does not have the public perception of being his complete toady.

      • So true! I remember how, campaigning for Obama, she would say: “No way, no how, no McCain” – and then a few times she’d add: “… no Palin.”

        But that wasn’t – isn’t – her MO. I’m convinced she was pressured, and I only recall her adding the “no Palin” a couple of times.

    • I can’t see Hillary running as the anti-Obama or otherwise in 2012 unless something major shifts to give her an opening to do so, but I think Hillary’s work as SoS has given her a lot more positive than it has given her stink of Obama. Actually she comes out smelling like a rose because of it more than anything else and for most voters, Obama’s stink bounces off her (and off Bill) and right back onto Obama because he always needs the Clintons’ help… which highlights what a leader he isn’t, and he’s in a bind so far since he can’t refuse their help either — if he did, then he’s got literally nothing. Exhibit A. O leaning heavily on Bill as a Hail Mary pass for midterms campaigning doesn’t hurt the Clintons so much as it makes Obama look weak. Exhibit B. The only area where the Admin isn’t failing in voter approvals is pretty much diplomacy with other countries, which has Hillary’s fingerprints all over it. Again highlighting O’s own deficiencies everywhere else that he doesn’t have Hill’s help.

      The CDSers are being drowned out by the Clinton admirers right now. We know the CDSers are bound to have an outbreak of infection whenever it’s convenient again… but they aren’t the mainstream and I think the pattern is becoming obvious by now that the Clintons are being counted out only to prove their detractors very wrong. And as a matter of fact, in Rasmussen’s latest polling on this, voters perceive Hillary as more mainstream than Obama, Romney, Huckabee, or Palin. Also, in all the polling I’ve seen, she (and Bill) have got the highest approvals of any national American pols right now, Dem or Rep.

      It’s Obama, the Dems, and the GOP that all stink. Yes, the GOP, too, even with the GOP/Bush being rehabilitated by the creeps posing as Democrats…even with the Independents moving toward voting GOP in November to push back on the Democrats, the GOP still stinks and really both parties are very disliked and distrusted and it’s not so much that the GOP is making gains as the Dems are sinking fast. The Clintons are the only ones who are as inoculated as one can be against the anti-Dem backlash because while the terminal case of CDSers will never understand, they are not the majority. Most Americans understand… they could have had Hillary… and the Clintons did try to point out that Hillary was READY and didn’t need the kind of on the job training that other candidates did.

      Right now the anti-Hillary crowd within the O camp isn’t unleashing too much on Hillary because they’re trying to play up the Obama/Hillary teamwork and the Bill Clinton 90s economic nostalgia and hoping some of that can be harnessed to build Obama back up. The more they realize that this is only making it plain as day that the clothes have no emperor, things may or may not get rough for the Clintons again. The Clintons are savvy savvy pols though…esp. to have bounced back to where they are now after the way they were stabbed in the back in 2008. I have a feeling they know exactly what they are doing right now and have built up their own alliances to mount a defense against the kind of shit that went down in 2008. And, as we keep being reminded by people who are upset Hillary is getting praise and O is not–yes of course, it goes without saying, that if Hill were president right now, she’d be in that hot seat… but one huge difference right off the bat is that she is better at being in the hot seat, is much more battle-tested, and knows how to fight. Which becomes more obvious every day!

      • At the risk of exposing my dismal political instincts and knowledge (as if that weren’t apparent already, lol!), how about this:

        Obama has the “First, black etc” pocketed. He doesn’t like the work that comes with the title. There’s no way he can beat Hillary Clinton’s popularity and he craves being popular. So he’s going to step aside, he’ll back Hillary, and … will be historically historical for stepping aside and not only give room for but be instrumental in giving the US it’s first female President! Voila, yet another “first” in his belt!

        On a more serious note, it does surprise me, that Hillary Clinton is allowed to become so visible as she presently is. Obama&Co. always knew how to avert the media’s focus. So what’s up with that?

        • Well others are way more optimistic than me about the idea of O stepping aside or being forced to do so. I’m just very skeptical about the chances of that ever coming to pass. However, I will say that chances aside, since he’s still so unable to move beyond his defensive campaign style of invoking how the “GOP hopes he fails” (it’s called politics, Mr. Obama SuperGeniusChessMasterPOTUS sir), the decent thing really would be for him to get out of the kitchen and let the woman who’s been ready and can take the heat step in his place. I don’t see it happening, though. I think O would rather risk the possibility of losing in 2012 than let anyone, esp. Hillary of all people, prove she could win. And, I’m really not all that sure Hillary wants to run. She gave it everything in 2008 and now she’s giving it her all as SoS. I just wouldn’t blame her if she doesn’t run again. And, she’s made a commitment to help Obama, so her primarying him is really impossible for me to fathom personally. She’s not going to betray O the way the Democratic establishment betrayed her. That’s just not who Hillary is.

          • Wonk, I agree that Hillary would never primary a fellow D. She’s way too loyal for that – actually to a degree unfathomable to most. But so much more admirable.

            The woman has class!

        • On a more serious note, it does surprise me, that Hillary Clinton is allowed to become so visible as she presently is. Obama&Co. always knew how to avert the media’s focus. So what’s up with that?

          You can’t keep a Clinton down *and* O can’t afford to hide the political assets that are Hillary Clinton (and Bill Clinton) when he’s drowning politically, that’s what 🙂

      • I hope you’re right here. Events keep throwing a curve to obama–it’s like he’ll get started on a message and semi get it out then a stray event (like the Koran burning kook–we really grow them down here in Florida) and he screws up. He’s terrible when impromptu. He loses alot of time with this. He doesn’t have the core that Hillary has so his instincts don’t have a base–if that makes sense.

      • she would know what to do with the hot seat and with theh oval office and the military. I agree with you about the Obama stink bouncing off of her. She took the job despite everything because she was needed and thought she could do a good job. There is no way she is not a loyal American and she does what the best of americans do, she serves.

  16. We could’ve had a V-8.

    And we got a model airplane engine instead.

  17. D – ‘but I am of the opinion that – given our system – we got what we deserve’.

    Why do you think this D – our system has been gamed for a long time but with the selection of Bu$hit with very little cover and now Obumbles, with NO cover up how did we get what we deserve?

    Just skimming some blogs today I realized how very perfect Mr. Backtrack is with all these failures this country is experiencing now, why he was selected. I can’t think of one government agency that is doing anything about any issue the countries citizens has. Food safety, FDA – drugs are approved that are known poison, environmental protection, human rights laws, infrastructure, jeebus the list goes on and on.

    BDT is giddy over a speech that Mr. Bumbles gave today – now there is someone who is getting exactly what he deserves, possibly wants? He just seems to talk out of both sides of his mouth.

    WtV – great post, she is so amazing. Is it just me – the comparison between what we got and what we could/should have had is so painful.

    • His reaction to the speech was bizarre. He also mistakingly called letting some of the Bush tax cuts lapse the “most progressive initiative in 17 years”. It was a progressive initiative when Clinton raised taxes on the rich. In this case, nothing at all needs to be done, and those tax cuts go away. That doesn’t take any intiative at all.

      • Frankly, your word bizarre was what came to my mind
        immediately. It’s getting so that even to get to read Anne, CC
        and a couple of other posters – I can’t stomach that site. Not a
        puzzlement anymore – just pretzel time.

    • After everything that happened in 2008, the Ds have kept the caucus system. There was no outrage from the voters when the Supreme Court decided for G.W. Most voters are apathetic about who they elect, and are swayed by TV ads, mostly attack ads. What can such a system produce? G.W.B. and Oprecious.

      • I will respectfully disagree on one point there was a lot of outrage from voters where I was sitting. Reps still use it as an insult of a non-existant event. ‘Bush really won so the Supreme Court was right’ while they snicker at Dems who are still upset.

        But in support of your point, I am not sure how many of these Obots are true political junkies because they have no sense of history to their posts. All very shallow thinking/arguments which indicate this being a new hobby of their’s since the One hit the stage.

        Reps can be included to the new Obot inspired political junkies who have no sense of even recent history.

        • ugh typos…

          • no worries 🙂

          • Thanks Women Voter….

            I am much more kind to other posters typos and barely notice them, but my own glare back at the exact moment I hit the submit button.

          • My motto: can’t live with typos, can’t type without ’em 🙂

            I completely agree with your response that there was (and still is) frustration with the Supreme Court (and the DNC during the primaries) … While I do wish MORE of that got aired in the public square, on the streets, and can see where Dario is coming from about complacency, the problem is that the media can still black out what it wants to black out, just liked they blacked out a lot of the Iraq war protest before the war.

            The corporate media (which carries out what its corporate masters want) bears responsibility for framing these issues as total laughable non-issues that people just needed to get over rather than actually hash out and come to some resolution about. So a lot of people just aren’t going to say anything out of peer pressure or out of just being too caught up in trying to survive their own day-to-day lives to follow the details enough to feel confident to say that what happened degraded the integrity of their vote. And, when people are worried about how to pay the bills, how to keep a roof over their heads, how to get the healthcare they need, how to get their kids the education they need, sending their loved ones off to war… all of the Bush/Gore, Hillary/Obama stuff can fade to the backburner and seem very much like a non-issue. Even though they are actually a lot related.

            The activist left (or at least what poses for it) –if it had any sense and would learn from anything that’s happened from 2000-2010– would start to make the link between the concerns that have mounted about the presidential voting process over the last decade (be it the general election in 2000 or the Dem primary process in 2008) and the damage done to the country over the last decade. But, the chances of opportunists like Kos and Arianna doing any of that are NIL. They moved on from 2000 because they wanted to experience what it feels like to do the same thing themselves in 2008. So it’s up to the grassroots to make some noise and rise up if they want to take back their country from Wall Street. It doesn’t have to be an all out “Gore/Hillary should have won” kind of thing… it could just be, for instance, making the connection between the fact that a majority of voters had a LOT of valid doubts about Bush/Obama that were railroaded by the MSM and weaknesses in the electoral process and we need to improve things to restore voter confidence.

          • I agree Wonk the Vote….that is probably the only way. A grassroots effort to fight the corporate media and keep these subjects in the debate and important enough to resolve.

            I have often thought that one of the reasons the Reps used the Office of the Independent Counsel on such trival subjects was to smear it in the eyes of voters. Since it had nailed Reps so badly on Iran-Contra.

            Now we have Fitz in the new version of the office. Which seems to always stop short of delivering the big fish on the huge topics the Bush Admin caused.

            Geez….. they even cut short Blago’s investigation to basically announce in public we are wiretapping him….shut up Obama.

            Our ability to deal with these huge topics in a real way have been negated to a large extent. Grassroots is probably the only way to have any real movement.

  18. We got a slurpee….

  19. This is what a leader doesn’t look like.


    PARMA, Ohio – With less than an hour before President Obama’s scheduled speech, 75 seats remained empty in the recreation center at Cuyahoga Community College’s Western Campus.

    So organizers went around campus and recruited more students to fill the seats.

  20. She’s great! She’s awesome! The best SOS evah!

    But… she can’t be president. Oh no, us Hillary diehards are just looking backwardz and need to move on.

  21. She is so stunningly competent and engaged. She is head and shoulders above anyone in the Admin and Obama himself.

    And did you notice how the introduction of her was so affectionate and appreciative?

    I predict there will be a growing demand for her to run, a tsunami of recognition of the USA/world’s need for her scope, brilliance, and effectiveness.

    • She has been getting lots of introductions like that…. my favorite (I put it up at the top of my blog as a widget….) is this one from back in May (h/t to Still4Hill for first alerting me to it!):

      Jon Huntsman, 5-23-10: “So, ladies and gentlemen, I give you your Secretary of State, and perhaps the most respected person on the world stage today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

      • That is beautiful music to my ears. And true, to boot!

        Thanks for a great post, wonk.

      • And he’s a Republican! I remember when he said that. Former Gov of Utah, current Ambassador to China.

        This is a great post, Wonk. This and that commercial the guy in Chicago did finally give her the respect she deserves.

        • I think I wouldn’t mind if Huntsman became President, if it can’t be Hillary. But of course, that’s why Obama promptly packed him off to China as soon as he became president, to get him out of the way, out of potential competition.

          • yup… Obama’s strategy of packing away everybody that could have given him competition was (drumroll please…) a feature, not a bug! And, the truly regrettable part of all this is that if O had just been the type to compete back instead, his competing back might have been the very thing to force him to grow and be a better president.

      • WORD! She is respected, for her decades of service to her country, for the children, for bringing NIC Units to her state, for affordable health insurance for children and young adults, for advocating for Women’s Rights and pointing out that they are Human Rights, for speaking up for children and those that are seldom advocated for…. Yes, Hillary has earned respect, she is very caring and most admired for her work and continued commitment to Human Rights and Peace.

      • Hillary Clinton and Alicia Keys – Superwoman

      • Agree Wonk. Still4Hill has done an amazing job of documenting everything Hillary Clinton has done as SoS. And one has to wonder: How many hours are in Hillary Clinton’s day? It’s unbelievable what she accomplishes in a 24 hour day! Speeches, meetings, preparations, travels, work- work- work …

        From the day she stepped into “Foggy Bottom” for the first time, she’s received praise, admiration, love to a degree you’d never know about if you only follow the mainstream media. Shameful.

    • The introductions are a fav of mine as well.

      It is also nice seeing the pictures of her with the other world leaders here or abroad. You can tell they are geniunely happy to see her.

      I guess Obots would claim the same thing for their preferred leader but Hillary isn’t the smoke and mirrors version of a leader and the other world leaders know it. They’ve been behind closed doors with both of them.

      And we’ve seen how many attempts to control access to the Pres? From snubbing the Nobel Prize dinner to various other examples of not visiting.dining with heads of state while in their country. To the strange handling of other heads of state or leaders while they visit Obama in the WH. I suspect they are repeatedly trying to hide just how unprepared he is….even now.

  22. Fear not, should America come to its senses and ask Hillary to lead the crew at MSNBC will do their mightiest to bring her low.
    With the help of Kos, Marshall, any breathing conservative talk show host, and last but not least, Kerry, Pelosi and Reid.

  23. Aye yep. Hillary 2012. Anything less is uncivilized.

  24. Hi Wonk,

    Thank you for this wonderful post. I really needed something to cheer me up tonight, and reading this did it for me.

  25. “She is definitely getting her sea legs”

    No, she had them. And that is why so many wanted her. Now?

    • Very true. I think she’s really hitting her stride as SoS, though. You can see it every day more and more. Just when you think she’s at her strongest yet, her strength only grows from there.

    • It just became impossible for the media to ignore how accomplished Hillary is.
      So rather than admit they made a colossal blunder foisting Obama off on us, they go with, “My look how fast she is learing the ropes” .

      Oh and BTW, I found this while doing battle with the bagsters on another site:

  26. I didn’t want Hillary to take the SoS because I knew her work would help Oprecious, but I was wrong. Obama can steal her words, but he cannot appropriate her accomplishments.

    • That’s so nice to hear, Dario. I always wanted Hill to take SoS. The only part I had any hesitation at all about was Hillary having to leave behind her Senate seat to open up this new door, but while I was attached to having her voice there, as I suspected, and as the savvy Hillary had to have known–better to get the hell out of Dodge with this lot of Dems running Congress and still too hellbent on their hubris of getting away with their Obama coup to be ready to listen to her on the domestic side of anything.

      Just look at the shape Pelosi is in. And, look at where Hillary is. Smart Hillary! Smart decision.

      • Oh, Lord. *shudders* Can you imagine if she’d stayed in the Senate? I didn’t want her to take SOS because I figured you can continue in the Senate for decades, but I didn’t realize what a bloodbath this was going to be with these contemptable morons. Gosh I’d love to be in the position of completely marginalized scapegoat. 😉

        • It wasn’t so long ago that Caroline Kennedy was being pushed by Obama and the D leadership, but Paterson nominated Gillibrand. She’s way up in the polls. Paterson paid a huge price for doing the right thing.

          • It was brave, but he also knows how they operate. He gives them what they want, 10 times out of 10 they’ll screw him anyway. There’s not a whole lot of incentive to play ball with Obama. He punishes his friends, mentors, and enemies alike.

          • Yeah, he really did pay the price.

            And Obama hit some new lows by asking him to step aside. The Dem Gov of New York….no less.

          • Yes he did. Unfortunately, Gillibrand was co-opted by the Obama machine and sold our reproductive rights down the tubes by voting for the healthcare scam.

          • yeah that Obamacare vote is toxic for all Dems and definitely Gillibrand should have to account for it just like everyone else who voted for it, but since Al Franken and Bernie Sanders and Russ Feingold and Dennis Kucinich and the entire lot of them voted for this HCR disaster… and Gillibrand is a freshman senator *who was appointed* I’m willing to hear Gillibrand out on this and on other issues. I still think she has potential.

      • WTV, do you think Hillary negotiated for a cabinet post in exchange for her support in 2008? Kerry thought he had the SoS post, so I’m assuming Obama had sort of promised it to him.

        • She’s a Democratic loyalist through and through. He would have done Jack for her if the positions were reversed, but there was no chance she would ever not support him to the upmost. Of course, Teddy Hypocrite and all the rest of them put absurd, unprescedented demands on her and would have crucified her if she hadn’t met them (or, what the hell, if she did, why not), but that had nothing to do with it either IMO. She honestly believes.

          • Yes, she is a D through and through, but she’s also smart. She knew Obama was a failure and not ready to be president. She would have supported him, but I just don’t believe Obama gave her the SoS because he’s smart and saw that she would do a great job.

          • Oh, god no. But I also pretty much believe the story that she made it clear she’d take VP if asked and he wouldn’t give it to her. I didn’t then, but if she took SOS, I can believe she would have taken VP. Also, Jo-Jo the Talking Donkey told Oprah that Bozo gave him the choice of VP or SOS. I Can’t see him
            agreeing to make her SOS in exchange for her support knowing he’d have that anyway. If anything, he probably thought it was funny to give a big eff u to his Hill hating supporters, plus Kerry and the 23 others he promised it to. 🙂

          • Something is not right with the story that he offered it to her and he was so convincing that she took the post. The fact that she left the senate, and as WTV said, it was the right move. Hillary makes things happen, and that’s why I suspect that she negotiated for the SoS post.

          • Well, that and get her out of the Senate so she wouldn’t one-up them with better proposals, keep her out of domestic policy, take the attention off of keeping Gates, put her under his thumb and in a position to be blamed for everything (that didn’t work out so well as everything else turned out to be such a cluster$&@), get fawning media approval for being an incredible Lincolnesque statesman after how awful that mean old rac ist —– was to him–there were so many upsides for him.

          • True. Everything you say is true, but he doesn’t like her. Michelle doesn’t like her. I remember the media making it sound as if he had gotten away by “keeping his enemies close”. She knew she was entering the lions dens. It almost feels as if she wanted to show those who badmouthed her, while serving her country. t was a brave thing for Hillary to take the SoS post.

          • I don’t think he had to be that convincing, personally. They weren’t going to let her do a thing in the Senate, and she knew it. She would have had to have waited for most of these morons to lose in order to be in a real leadership position, and that could have taken decades (okay, with Obama, months). It was brilliant of her to take the job, and farsighted. But Obama isn’t known for honoring his promises anyway. Even if he did promise, he could just as easily back out. Why would she trust him, knowing how sleazy he is? He’s not exactly bound by the honor system or any sense of loyalty.

          • True. He doesn’t know what loyalty is, and a liar to boot, so his word is worthless. The voters sure know that now.

          • yup, Hillary was always going to work her heart out for the Dem nominee as she promised. I do think there were some sort of preliminary “if we do X, Y, Z, then…” type conditions laid out from both sides during that meeting between Hill and O in DiFi’s living room back in June 2008. And, I think at some point before O was actually elected, both camps had to have had people looking into clearance for Hillary to be part of the Admin and how to take care of any conflicts of interests that might get in the way. But my guess is actually that it’s not so complicated why he made her SoS. I think it’s simply because Hillary is so very strong and O and his machine respond/fear strength only. Hillary and her 18 million made her support valuable to him. I think O has a perverse sort of respect for Hillary moreso than say he has for a Kerry or a Pelosi who just kissed his butt and don’t bring anything to the table for him, no constituency, nothing really, because they weren’t working for the grassroots bottom up and delivering anything to him, they were just sycophants, giving the milk away for free, pushing him through from the top-down. Of course, O has an interesting way of showing this respect for Hill, Lol. Copying off her paper is the sincerest form of flattery apparently 😉

        • Thanks. I knew your thoughts would add to my understanding.

  27. Seriously, are you in the West Coast? You seem to be up late most days.

    • No, I just have really bad insomnia.

      • Okay.

      • g’nite.

      • Speaking of insomnia – and totally ot, heh – every night/morning around 4 o’clock a German tv station shows half an hour of “The most beautiful trainrides through Germany.” They’ve put a steady camera in the steering house(?), and the only sound is the mecanical noise from the engine.

        I always thought this was to help insomniacs – sort of hypnotize them to sleep. But now the Norwegians has made a 7 hour film with the same concept showing a trainride from Bergen to Oslo. People who’ve seen it are mesmerized ! So I guess I shouldn’t really recommend it for your insomniac. Worth a try, though?

        I suck at googling, but at least this link is in English:


        • Pips, it might be a matter of time…a half hour as apposed to 7 hours. Sometimes less is more!

          How thrilling to know of a film that has no voice over! lol! I would find that mesmerizing myself …and a relief

    • It’s really great to see Hillary shine while all those superdelegates are in deep doo doo. It won’t happen but I wish Clyburne and Pelosi lost their seats.

  28. Wonk the Vote, on September 9, 2010 at 4:58 am

    Excellent post…who wouldn’t want Hill working for them. Really the best way BO could assure his link time was to put Hill into harness . And as you say, the Kerry crowd bring nothing…he AND Kennedy together could not deliver his own state …in fact lost it by 10 points!. Pathetic.

    But Hill is making it all work the way she has always made it work. By working her own ass off .

    • Hell, they lost it by 15 points! But many of these assholes will lose their influence after the midterm elections. They have already marginalized Pelosi, and the new republican speaker will be Obumbles best friend. Together they will continue with the repub/corporate agenda at record speed.

      • Hell, they lost it by 15 points!

        15 points! more pathetic than I thought! I guess I was thinking of the CA margin of defeat lol!

        ….Together they will continue with the repub/corporate agenda at record speed.

        yup and BO can’t wait

  29. Thank you for this wonderful post, Wonk. Her words are so comforting, so admirable, so classy, so uplifting.

    Even if others treated her “like a dog,” she’d NEVER verbalize such a tacky thing on national TV. Not our Hillary.

    Class. True class.

    Thanks again. I needed that. 🙂

    • Yeah, by that stupid dog remark, Obama gave his foes a place to shoot at him.

      And he deserves what he gets.

      I still can’t understand why he made such a stupid statement.

  30. More and more of these pieces are circulating lately…

    Hillary Clinton’s Political Star Rises
    With her boss struggling, the secretary of state may be this administration’s brightest prospect.


    • USA Today had a short list of O’s best cabinet members. The first one was Gates, and right after came Hillary. I think Gates seems great because who wouldn’t after Rumsfeld.

  31. and this is what a leader does NOT look like: in the latest much praised by liberals speech, Obama waxes Reagan

    • between Obama and his trickle down Reagan-to-Obama fantasies and Chris Matthews and his Obama tingles… and all the “wee weed up” theories from the AxelrahmGibbs school of psychology… the Frat Boiz really have a theme going… morning in America as Wall Street pisses on ordinary Americans all for the tingles and shits and giggles.

  32. This morning we have a Wake Up Call – regarding the courts dismissal (US District Court of Appeals – 9th Circuit, SF) 6-5 on the CIA rendition case.

    This is a victory for Obama (according to some). State
    Secrets trump human rights because of National Security……….In other words we have no standards, not ethcis and no morals……..he can do what he wants, un monitored, and really I mean, unaccountable
    for the many punishments and torture and imprisonment of peole in other countries.

    Get ready for re-hash of 2008 campaign were he flipped flopped, and were he accused Hillary of flip flopping.

    This is not something I wanted to wake up to this morning, but it’s bloody bad.

    • I just finished a book called ” Angel Island ” which was the Pacific coast Ellis Island. Terrible stories of how Chinese immigrants were treated by the system…but years ago an Chinese illegal alien had more rights than we do today. They could at least keep appealing . We aren’t on Angel Island…we don’t have it that good .

  33. Tweety made a pact with the devil. A couple of days ago he almost said that Obama was whinning with his dog comment then he checked himself. then yesterday he was back on message with obama’s wonderful speech in Ohio (the one he copied from the girl).. Tweety is a fool–my husband puts him on to watch the spittle and laugh.

    • I agree. By failing to point that out. Obama really has dropped the ball for those who will be upset and for the people who will be at the front lines of anger around the world.

      To paraphrase Larry Flynt and his case vs Falwell.

      ‘The First Amendment gives me the right to be offensive.’

      It is offensive on a lot of levels…..but it is his right to burn the Koran.

      Now if the guy was in politics that would be a completely different scenario because the govt cannot burn books. And he should be stopped immediately.

  34. I sadly have the opposite reaction to the speech.

    Realizing that it’s her job to say such things (maybe), but talk of an “American Moment” and “lasting America leadership for decades to come” sounds like pure exceptionalism to my ears.

    I just wonder if anyone in the state department has any awareness of how it comes across.



    • Hey willy… 🙂

      I heard it as a call to action to Americans in trying times and a counternarrative to people who are ready to write America off and count us out. I read/listened to the entire speech and instead of American exceptionalism, which rings hollow and empty to me, Hillary’s words and passion came across to me to be about reminding us of our history and our strengths and what we Americans have to offer as a partner in the global architecture she has been talking about since her last CFR speech.

      • Inspiring – you and Hillary!

        I’m beginning to concede that America is still a player – there’s a vacuum out there. I long for the days of cooperative leadership.

      • “reminding us of our history and our strengths and what we Americans have to offer as a partner in the global architecture”

        Which to my mind is death and destruction.

        That’s the problem.

        See: Natives, Africans, Filipinos etc etc

        “America is still a player”

        What does that even mean? (I’m not being antagonistic)

        • See: Natives, Africans, Filipinos etc etc

          I totally agree that this is the ugly part of our history and am all for recognizing this. But that was not the entirety of our history and where our strengths were — the strength was in the ordinary people (esp. minorities, women, labor, lgbt) who rose up against the death and destruction.

          As for the “America is still a player” comment, those weren’t my words and I’m sure purplefinn can speak for herself, but just to say–I read pf to be basically responding in shorthand to what I had written about America being a partner in the world and not to be written off or counted out.

          • Yep. Wouldn’t hurt to hope for a spirit of goodwill in our “playing” either.

          • You speak to strengths that involved internal struggles.

            They have nothing to do with “foreign relations”.

          • willy, now it’s my turn not to antagonize but just trying to understand–

            Why shouldn’t the can-do spirit of ordinary Americans be part of the American story and be emphasized in our diplomatic efforts? Should we let the world continue to just see us blindly as podpeople represented by a pod government? Hillary is meeting with the peoples of all the countries she’s visiting, she is doing townhalls with the ordinary peoples of those countries trying to emphasize their strengths… so why can’t we bring out ours?

  35. Hey, I’m a bit late but have to say. I love this woman! Hillary is amazing on so many different levels. She always has a wonderful presence and her delivery of her message is always top notch.

  36. By the way, if you don’t read it already, I recommend the State department’s official blog, DipNote:

    DipNote might be a good addition to our blog roll.

    Also I recommend following them in twitter if you do that sort of thing at: @StateDept

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