The President And The Secretary Of State
Unlike many of our readers, it is my view that President Obama has been a nearly flawless foreign policy President. And make no mistake, unlike some Presidents, President Obama appears firmly in control of his Administration's foreign policy. And one of his valuable assets in carrying out his foreign policy is his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Today's New York Times has a long piece on the relationship between the President and the Secretary of State:
Sixteen months after Mr. Obama surprised nearly everyone by picking her as secretary of state, the two have again surprised nearly everyone by forging a credible partnership. Mrs. Clinton has proved to be an eager team player, a tireless defender of the administration, ever deferential to Mr. Obama and careful to ensure that her husband, the former president, does not upstage her boss.
[. . .] Still, there is none of the deep familiarity or the tight bonds — the round-the-clock, back-channel access — of their predecessors, Condoleezza Rice and George W. Bush, or going further back, James A. Baker and the first President Bush or Henry A. Kissinger and Richard M. Nixon. “Hillary Clinton is the secretary of state,” said David Rothkopf, a former Clinton administration official who has written about the shaping of foreign policy. “The question now is whether she becomes a real adviser, and whether he trusts her.”
Rothkopf's comment seems a strange one to me and appears to buy into the idea that the Secretary of State should be the formulator of foreign policy. This accepts the view of Henry Kissinger, who viewed himself as a sort of foreign policy czar:
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