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This Saturday in Shero News

She's a shero. (Picture is of Hillary on Veterans Day. The State Department was closed, but our gal--workhorse that she is--met with Netanyahu in NY.)

Hey news junkies! (Who else would be reading a Wonk the Vote roundup on a Saturday morning?)

I’m going to start by rewinding to Tuesday night, when ABC aired Cynthia McFadden’s joint interview with Hillary and Gates in Melbourne, Australia (link goes to youtubes and transcript at my blog). McFadden introduced the segment with the following description of the two Secretaries:

the ultimate power couple of US foreign policy.

Robert Gates and Hillary Clinton are amazingly at ease with each other. It’s always fascinating to watch, partly because it’s unusual to see the head of the Pentagon get along so well with the head of Foggy Bottom but also simply because the banter between them is delightful:

McFADDEN: Thank you both. I came over on your plane, I’m going home on your plane. His is bigger.

CLINTON: [laughter] I’m not surprised!

GATES: Proportionate to the budget.

CLINTON: I don’t know. He has a plane with no windows. Did you bring the no window plane?

GATES: Yes, yes, yes.

McFADDEN: The Doomsday plane. I told . . .

GATES: . . . It’s like being FedEx’ed around the world.

CLINTON: [laughter] Did you get scanned and screened?

To riff on that theme some more… US diplomacy in the age of Hillary Clinton: Signed, sealed, delivered. (Too bad her domestic policy isn’t ours.)

Click the prompt to continue reading after the jump…

McFadden tried to get some answers on the persistent chatter in DC that Hillary will take over the Pentagon when Gates steps down in a year. The ease and banter between Hillary and Gates made it very easy for them to deflect:

McFADDEN: So you tell me you’re not going to stay in office more than another year, Secretary Gates? Any thoughts about who might do a good job at Defense?

CLINTON: We’re hoping that that timeline keeps moving further and further ah beyond . . .

GATES: . . . We have, we have . . .

CLINTON: . . . We came in together, we should go out together! That’s my theory!

GATES: We have, we have what we call the Old Folks Caucus.

CLINTON: [laughter]

GATES: Since we’re so much older than everybody else in the government right now! We’re the only ones that kinda pick up on our cultural allusions and our jokes and things like that! All these younger people are sitting around with what — what was that all about? . . .

CLINTON: . . . What are they talking about!


So McFadden probed more directly. Gates was quick to answer that Hillary could do his job, but Hillary interjected once again to reiterate that she wants Gates to stay:

McFADDEN: Could she do your job?


GATES: Sure.

CLINTON: Well yeah, but –

McFADDEN: But what?

CLINTON: No, no, wait a minute!

McFADDEN: I asked — Just a second, I asked him.

CLINTON: It’s not fair, it’s not fair! First of all we want Bob to stay, so I don’t want him — I don’t want him on national television talking about somebody else doing his job! I hope . . .

GATES: . . . But I will say . . .

CLINTON: . . . we could convince him to stay.

GATES: I will say this. I think that one of the great strengths that Hillary brings to the job as Secretary of State is as spokesperson for the United States around the world. And to go back to the beginning of this conversation, that’s not the role of the Secretary of Defense.

Once again…US diplomacy under Hillary: signed, sealed, delivered.

I would not hazard a guess as to whether there is any validity to the buzz of Hillary taking over as Secretary of Defense. DC loves to talk, and both Clintons never fail to give DC something to talk about. If Hillary is ever asked to take on that role, though, I know she will serve. Mostly because she’s a dedicated public servant but for two other reasons in particular as well. McFadden touched on the first one:

McFADDEN: Okay! But you’re interested in shattering those glass ceilings, and with due respect two other people have been in this job before. There’s never been a woman sitting in the Secretary of Defense’s position.

Hillary answered McFadden exactly as you would expect her to:

…I do want to see women break every glass ceiling, from Secretary of Defense to President and everything else. But I love the job I’m doing.

I truncated Hillary’s response. You can read and/or listen to the full response at the link I posted at the beginning.

The other reason Hillary would take on the role of Secretary of Defense ties into the glass ceiling issue, and that reason is the fact that Hillary has a good working relationship with the military. I remember the conference call of retired military leaders one after another endorsing Hillary Clinton for president just like it was yesterday. That was an amazing thing to hear.

A Secretary of Defense Hillary Clinton would be doing her part to pave the road for a woman to become commander-in-chief someday.

I am really torn on the idea. My first instinct is to hope that Hillary is never formally asked. I do not want her to be saddled with Bush’s and now Obama’s war policy. I am sick over these wars. I was skeptical of Bush-Cheney taking us into Afghanistan, let alone into Iraq–operative words there being Bush-Cheney.

Throughout our country’s history, men have waged the wars. Hillary voted for an authorization of military force from the state of NY, representing her constituents’ interests in the atftermath of 9-11, and somehow she became more to blame for the war than Bush, Cheney, McCain, Kerry, Edwards, and the supposedly anti-war Barack Obama (who in 2004 said, “There’s not much of a difference between my position and George Bush’s position at this stage”).

A woman to blame for the wars all over again is just the kind of distraction the corporate media and its backers would love to have at their disposal.

The other part of me thinks our troops really need leadership, and Hillary Clinton is a leader.

Outside of the Clinton-Gates alliance, there is a deep leadership void where the American president’s should have been but has been missing-in-action for the last decade. The “best” attempt we have seen at leadership in recent days is a tacky cutaway to footage of a roaring bear at the end of a political ad. That is not a commentary on Sarah Palin but on the sad point we are at in American history.

We do need strength, but we also need that strength to be grounded in substance.

Speaking of substance, I would like to turn your attention to a very imporant op-ed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if you have not read it already. Just hours before I had come across it on Wednesday morning, I had actually just been thinking about this subject–how we as a society let the modern slavery of human trafficking continue and yet act as if slavery is over. And, lo and behold Hillary comes out with a piece to appear in newspapers across the world entitled

An End to Human Trafficking

Not only that, but her opening paragraph is this:

Elementary students across America are taught that slavery ended in the 19th Century. But, sadly, nearly 150 years later, the fight to end this global scourge is far from over. Today it takes a different form and we call it by a different name — “human trafficking” — but it is still an affront to basic human dignity in the United States and around the world.


It is especially important for governments to protect the most vulnerable – women and children – who are more likely to be victims of trafficking. They are not just the targets of sex traffickers, but also labor traffickers, and they make up a majority of those trapped in forced labor: picking cotton, mining rare earth minerals, dancing in nightclubs. The numbers may keep growing, as the global economic crisis has exposed even more women to unscrupulous recruiters.

We need to redouble our efforts to fight modern slavery.

Hillary refuses to yield to the idea that modern slavery cannot be abolished. She includes concrete ways citizens can work to END this problem:

Citizens can help too, by advocating for laws that ban all forms of exploitation and give victims the support they need to recover. They can also volunteer at a local shelter and encourage companies to root out forced labor throughout their supply chains by visiting www.chainstorereaction.com.

Secretary Clinton meets with her messaging team to plan for her upcoming trip, Washington, DC. (Photo Credit: US State Department)

In other Hillary news, rewinding even further back to Monday and the National Geographic channel’s special on the State Department (which I semi-live blogged when it aired), I just wanted to hightlight that Deputy Asst. Secretary of State Philipe Reines described Hillary as the…

Energizer Secretary

I have called her the political energizer bunny before, so that made me smile.

If you missed the special, I believe it will be reairing again tonight at

8 pm Central/9 pm Eastern on the National Geographic channel.

"Are you a collector of chips? Is this your first –" Hillary: "I am an eater of chips."

You can also view the first 14 and a half minutes on youtube, courtesy of Team Hillary Clinton.

Moving along to Hillary’s interview with Hamish and Andy — it has already generated a lot of buzz in the press, but there’s audio, video, and a transcript at the link in case anyone missed it. It’s a must-see. My favorite part is where they ask Hillary about how she, a sitting secretary of state, and Bill, a former president, negotiate where to get takeout from for dinner. Here is most of Hillary’s response:

SECRETARY CLINTON: We practice different models of negotiation around important issues like that. Because if I were to say to him, as I have on many occasions, “What shall we have for dinner tonight?” If he says to me, “Oh, I don’t care; you choose,” I know that’s a really bad answer, because then I’m stuck with the responsibility. So I will come back and I’ll say, “All right. Well, so how do you feel about Chinese — or Mexican or Italian?” And if he says a second time, “I really, really don’t care,” then I will go choose. Now, contrarily, if he says to me, “What do you want for dinner tonight,” I will say, “What do you want?” Then he’ll go, “Well, I was thinking of maybe picking up some Thai.” And if I’m in a good humor, I’ll say, “That’s fine.” But if I am feeling not enthusiastic about Thai, I’ll say, “Well, maybe we should consider something else.” And he’ll say, “Well, then you choose.” (Laughter.)

Watching Hamish and Andy give Hillary the bag of chips and her hilarious acceptance of them as a diplomatic gift, I could not also help but remember this MoDo column from April of 2008, making a federal case out of the fact that Hillary is in fact “an eater of chips”:

The Nixonian Hillary has a ravenous hunger that Obama lacks. Literally — at a birthday party in Philly for her photographer, she was devouring the chips and dip with two hands — and viscerally.

How the tide has turned. Hillary still is enjoying her chips while the Village eats crow.

Turning to the Village’s pick in 2000–though they would have you forget W was their pick–I will only remark on his return to the spotlight briefly because George W. Bush is no shero.

Joseph C. Wilson and Peter Daou summed it up best earlier this week.


George Bush’s Deception Points


Bush was far more successful rehabilitating his image by disappearing than by reminding people how callous and smug he can be.

Back to Shero news. From Lynette Long at Equal Visibility Everywhere:

And of special interest to us, Macy’s is also introducing a new balloon of a real live actual female human: Virginia O’Hanlon, the little girl whose letter prompted the famous reply, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

We’re glad to see this year’s new balloons feature both male and female characters. Last year all four of Macy’s new balloons were male: Sailor Mickey, Ronald McDonald, Spider-Man, and the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Macy’s has still had only 10 female balloons in its entire history.

Parade balloons are not a trivial issue. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade regularly has 2 million live viewers and 50 million television viewers. Every year millions of young girls eagerly attend Macy’s and other parades, only to look up and see nothing but male characters float by. While we applaud the inclusion of new female characters in this year’s balloon line-up, Macy’s still has a long way to go to achieve gender parity.

EVE’s Great American Heroines balloon project is committed to creating balloons that celebrate outstanding women in American history and culture. We’re also encouraging parade planners to select and request more female characters from their balloon suppliers. Hopefully, one day, the parade skies of the United States will be filled with an equal number of male and female characters.

From the Great American Heroines link:

Our first balloon is famed aviator Amelia Earhart. The 40-foot balloon is a replica of the red Lockheed Vega that Amelia flew across the Atlantic in 1932, with an oversize Amelia looming out of the cockpit. The balloon had its first “test flight” in October 2010, and will be booked in parades across the country. You can track its progress in the map at right, and visit the Amelia Earhart Balloon project page to read about the building of the balloon.

I want an Alice Paul balloon float! And, of course a Hillary Clinton one, too. (Also one for Jeannette Rankin, who last week I included in the November 6th trivia, because about.com’s women’s history site lists that as the day she became the first woman elected to US Congress. I went digging and found out it was actually November 7th. Small difference there, but I wanted to correct the record.)

Okay, now this Reuters video of two elephants squaring off in northeastern India made me think of the GOP establishment vs. Sarah Palin and the tea partiers.

Say what you want about Sarah’s politics, and I personally agree that most of her ideological stances are horrid and empty, but at least she takes on her own party’s establishment.

Sadly on the left, we have the opposite, with the Cecile Richards of the world writing op-eds about “Why Women Need Pelosi.”

Excuse me, but no, we do not need the female Speaker of the House who enabled the Stupaksis disease and allowed it to give birth to all its evil spawn (warning: link goes to a pdf document showing the mini-Stupak laws on abortion that have arisen across the country in 2010.)

Cecile has the guts to say this:

And in the fight to defeat the effort by Congressman Bart Stupak to eliminate insurance coverage for abortion care, Speaker Pelosi refused to budge. Women need her now more than ever to protect their gains from those who are anxious to roll back health care and undermine their rights under the law.

We need another Ann Richards.

I miss Ann Richards every day in American political life. Her daughter gives me a headache.

Here’s your November 13th trivia. I just grabbed these from wikipedia:

1956 – The United States Supreme Court declares Alabama and Montgomery, Alabama laws requiring segregated buses illegal, thus ending the Montgomery Bus Boycott.


1715 – Dorothea Erxleben, German, first female medical doctor (d. 1762); 1856 – Louis Brandeis, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (d. 1941). His opinions were, according to legal scholars, some of the “greatest defenses” of freedom of speech and the right to privacy ever written by a member of the high court; 1869 – Helene Stöcker, German feminist, pacifist and publicist (d. 1943); 1869 – Ariadna Tyrkova-Williams, Russian feminist (d. 1962); 1953 – Frances Conroy, American actress; 1969 – Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Dutch author.


1963 – Margaret Murray, English anthropologist and Egyptologist (b. 1863) One of the earliest women to “make a serious impact upon the world of professional scholarship,” she was also an ardent feminist, being actively involved in the Suffragette movement; 1974 – Karen Silkwood, American activist (b. 1946); 2005 – Vine Deloria, Jr., Native American author, theologian, historian, and activist (b. 1933)

As you can see, I let a couple heroes slip in there with the sheroes. Cecile Richards says we need Pelosi, but what we really need is strong women like Hillary and like-minded men!

Well that’s it for me. I hope you have a great weekend and please use the comments to share what’s on your mind and what you are reading this Saturday morning.

51 Responses

  1. Sarah Palin’s new consumer ratings guide – “Sarah’s Scores” will replace Zagat and others – REVEALING story at:


    Peace! 🙂

  2. Gail is grasping at straws, and desperately trying to keep Hope alive.

    Believing in Barack


  3. General consensus (even from his biggest fans) seems to be: Fail in Asia:

    Obama can’t get G-20 nations to follow his lead


    Expert: past 10 days have been worst of President Obama’s ‘political life’

    WASHINGTON – President Obama is coming home from his overseas trip pretty much empty-handed.

    After watching his party take a beating in the midterm elections, Obama wasn’t able to secure even a symbolic victory on a trip that was expected to give him plenty of opportunities to claim a win.


  4. Talking about labor trafficking…

    In Delhi, Michelle Obama bought dolls made by a 4-year old girl. Times of India dutifuly reported, but it was not picked up by American press.

    Wonk – I think you or someone should do a post on this. What Michelle did might have been illegal.
    Why Indian government allowed that is a mystery.

    But it was four-year-old Kavita from Rajasthan who stole the show when Michelle spotted her quietly embroidering cloth dolls inside the Rajasthan stall. ”She was stunned to see Kavita’s workmanship even though she was so young and immediately placed an order for 10 dolls. Later she came back and asked for five more,” said Kavita’s proud grandfather Sumar Bhura.

    Kavita — who will soon be going to school — perhaps reminded her of her daughters, so Michelle did some toy shopping, buying wooden trains and spinning tops from the Karnataka stall.


    • Jake Tapper covered it. It doesn’t sound suspect to me:

      Today in New Delhi, First Lady Michelle Obama toured the National Crafts Museum, a permanent collection of 20,000 folk and tribal arts showcasing the best artworks in Asia.

      Mrs. Obama was joined by over a dozen young girls, ranging in age from 10-13 years old, who are part of local non-governmental organizations that work with young girls from poor communities.

      Many of the girls came from local slums in Delhi and some were orphans.

      The visit is part of the First Lady’s effort to engage youth around the world and follows similar stops that she has made on foreign trips.

      When she arrived, the girls, wearing uniforms, greeted Mrs. Obama with a “Namaste,” a common salutation here in India.

      • I agree, there was nothing suspect about it! there is plenty of real stuff to criticize the president on, making this stuff up about his wife committing some sort of crime is just silly.

    • Well, that’s really heart warming. When can we expect to be able to order Malia and Sasha’s handiwork?

  5. The Nixonian Hillary has a ravenous hunger that Obama lacks. Literally — at a birthday party in Philly for her photographer, she was devouring the chips and dip with two hands — and viscerally

    Since this is the Banshee’s scribblings I want to see a photograph of Hillary’s alleged two fisted scarfing.

    Remember this is the shill that wasn’t above putting phoney NASCAR quotes in John Kerry’s mouth.


  6. articles aside, she looks fab in that photo! Either its been touched up a bunch or she has gotten some super duper freshening up treatments!!

    I am seriously considering some, hmmm, rejuvenating treatments myself, although the thought of a knife cutting the skin on my face or anywhere NEAR my eyes freaks me out! But if I can look a bit more refreshed with a little shot here and a little shot there, I am definitely game!

    • I’m thinking about some retin A. It’s about the only thing that genuinely works and I have some photodamage to attend to.

      • do you mean just in the cream form or is there some kind of injectible way to use it? I have plenty of photodamage as well, but all of a sudden the little smile lines and wrinkles that I thought gave me a bit of character a few years ago have become hummungo crevices that just make me look ancient! PLUS the puffy bags (not quite at bill clinton’s level but I can see me going down that road relatively soon@!) under the eyes are definitely not what I like to see when I look in the mirror.

        • Have you heard of restilane? I think that’s how it’s spelled. It’s a line filler. Not collagen but some other biodegradable polymer. That might do the trick.

        • And there’s also Sculptra. It’s also a line filler. More popular in Europe, I think but recently introduced here.

        • I had my eyes done in Singapore. Go there for a trip and fix as the Asians are great on eye lifts as they do thousands of them on asian eyes. Lots of experience. No vit C or E 1 week before surgery so your blood will clot easily. No pain, just puffiness so wear jackie O sunglasses for a week or two.

          Really it’s no big deal and cheaper there. Altho I bet China has got this thing down big and cheaper. Lasts about 10 years before you feel like doing it again. I haven’t tho and it’s been almost 29. You reach the mature point that there’s no use as you would just have to spend all your time fixing. I’ve got more interesting things to do. I was still pretty in my 60’s but Bush ruined my face with all my hating on him.

          Hillary looks like she’s in love. Gates?

    • It’s this photo from Getty — I cropped it because Netanyahu isn’t a shero either:


      • Netanyahu used to be so hot when he was younger.
        Hey, isn’t yahu the name of the god the Midianites (sp) used to worship?

    • She looked really great in the National Geo special too–well-rested for a change. She also looks happy these days, out of the line of fire and doing meaningful work.

  7. I LOVE the planes and windows exchange. Where do you find these gems?
    She’s so funny. I guess it helps to have a great sense of humor after all she’s been through.
    Thanks for making my day.

  8. they are a great couple..:)

  9. Have you seen this picture?
    Notice anything missing or in short supply?

  10. You mean there aren’t enough people to discuss whether they got a face lift or not? Well, let’s not be sexist then. The guy on the left has swollen, puffy skin. Obviously he’s overweight, but really does he have to look that dumpy? The black guy could use some Grecian formula, he looks like hell. Has he never heard of a facial peel to get rid of the bags under his eyes, etc. Pure snark/

    • Bad mood. Been reading sexist shite for two days.. Needed to vent.
      You get the idea. Unnecessary comments about womens appearance in midst of conversation of human trafficing sent this person into snarkdom.
      That, and the onion looks like it’s going downhill… Damn. Great post though wink. Thankyou for all great info and mention of some of my favorites: Amelia and rankin! Now I will work on being in better mood.

    • Re: plastic surgery- you only live once and after all, both men and women are sexual creatures. There’s nothing wrong with looking good for yourself or others.
      No, the problem with the picture is that there is a single token female blogger.
      As if there are no other female progressive bloggers in the blogosphere.
      Of course, it could be that they just declined the invitation.
      But that’s just as bad, if not worse. It certainly doesn’t help the Democrats’ problem with women.

  11. This piece on Obama’s vanity is from Weekly Standard, but is filled with anecdotes – some new, some good readings of old ones

    In the midst of the BP oil spill last summer, Obama explained, “My job right now is just to make sure that everybody in the Gulf understands this is what I wake up to in the morning and this is what I go to bed at night thinking about: the spill.” Read that again: The president thinks that the job of the president is to make certain the citizens correctly understand what’s on the president’s mind.

  12. Wonk, today is a special day for me and what a treat to drop by and find this post. I cannot wipe the happy grin off my face. Love the pictures and love this woman. Back to reading.
    Thank you!

  13. I would not hazard a guess as to whether there is any validity to the buzz of Hillary taking over as Secretary of Defense.

    Hillary knows that Obama is one termer. Unless a Republican president gives it to her, the SoD job for Hillary is media b.s. Her next job is president, or a civilian job that she’ll design herself.

  14. I almost put the following in the roundup, but I couldn’t bring myself to dignify it on the frontpage:

    Last night, I could hear Bill Maher playing in another room. Maher said that Bill Clinton and Nancy Pelosi got
    “all the testosterone in the Democratic party.”

    Pfffft. I mean, hooray for the Big Dawg love, and sure Nancy has muscle… but she uses it for evvvvvvellll!

    Hillary and Ann (Richards) have/had more balls and ovaries than Pelosi and Reid.

    Oh, and Michael Moore was on Maher’s panel and went off on some weird tangent about the stimulus and Dems not being able to brag about it because of “gynecology” (he used that word specifically and repeatedly) and then he said mockingly “here’s your clitoris program.” His delivery wasn’t even funny. We all know the jokes about the “stimulus,” it’s pretty stale by now (and personally the funniest skewering I’ve seen was done in Christmas ‘09 with this Santa Baby parody of Obama…worth the click if you need a pick-me-up), but Moore had to hang this specifically on gynecology…I think he said the word at least three times, perhaps more. Just odd if you ask me. Shows the left is really off their game and grasping at straws to rationalize the defeats handed to them by their Empty-Suit-in-chief.

  15. What a wonderful post. Thanks Wonk.

    Hillary really is a light to the world.

    Just goes to show, almost everything 0 claimed to be was really what Hillary was, and almost everything 0 accused Hillary of was exactly what he was inside.

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