Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hillary Clinton - Obama’s Kissinger?

A day after President Obama’s West Point speech committing 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was on Capitol Hill explaining the policy, deflecting criticism and - side-by-side with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chair Admiral Mike Mullen - adding a considerable dose of gravitas to Obama’s war strategy.

Then it was off to Brussels where Clinton met with European allies and, along the way, did some spunky interviews with, among others, NPR and PBS.

Hillary is emerging as a star player in the administration and someone who is essential to its - and the president’s - success.

With disapproval of the Obama “surge” arousing rowdy and near-hysterical disapproval within important factions of the Democratic Party, the Secretary of State could be pivotal in keeping these constituencies in the fold.

While Colin Powell gave - and ultimately forfeited - his credibility in service to George W. Bush, no Secretary of State in my memory has been so central to a presidency as Clinton since Henry Kissinger fashioned and carried out foreign policy for Presidents Nixon and Ford.

This must be an awful comparison for Kissinger-haters. Dr. Kissinger, the evil genius, never ran for office and in addition to his breakthrough diplomacy with the Chinese Communists, was involved in some of the most pernicious acts ever committed by this nation (the overthrow and murder of Salvador Allende in Chile is just one example).

Nevertheless, Kissinger’s influence was historical and enormous. And now, Ms. Clinton is taking center stage in the post-cold war era.

The move, a year ago, to offer her this key cabinet position may turn out to be President Obama’s most politically astute act and the one that could ultimately save his presidency.

3 comments:

  1. That would mean Eric Holder is Obama's John Mitchell, Gates is Melvin Laird, Gibbs is Ron Ziegler and -- not quite sure on this one -- Emanuel is Haldeman, but without the charm. And of course poor Spiro Biden. I presume you meant the Kissinger comparison as a compliment to Clinton or Obama, but the Tricky Dick/Kissinger project in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam did not work out so well if memory serves. And the addition of 30,000 more targets, er, troops, is NOT a strategy, it is a tactic. There is no fucking strategy.
    Gerry Daley

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  2. I support Obama, too. That's not to say i agree with everything he does.
    Yeah, the health plan falls short. The stimulus falls short when it comes to job creation. And Afghanistan, jesus christ, I can't figure him out on that one. However, being President makes for some hard fucking choices. Those choices occur in the real world. For those that think we can be Cuba, or Sweden, hate to break it to you -- were not and never will be.
    Kissinger was evil but he shaped history. A little too early to put Clinton on the same level.

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  3. Deborah B. Los AngelesJanuary 3, 2010 at 10:12 PM

    Good viewpoint. Needed to stay positive and keep the juice flowing. Things are moving now and we should, as you say, count our current blessings.

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