[US][Diplomacy][Hillary Clinton][Presidency] - The Economist - 2012.03.24

[US][Diplomacy][Hillary Clinton][Presidency] - The Economist - 2012.03.24

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What Hillary did next Since failing to win the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton has loyally served Barack  Obama as secretary of state. We assess her record and ponder her plans “WHY extremists always focus on women is a mystery to me. But they all seem to. It doesn’t matter what  country they’re in. They want to control women. They want to control how we dress, they want to control  how we act, they want to control everything about us.” So said Hillary Clinton last month to a young Arab  woman who had asked her at a public meeting about wearing the  hijab . This encounter was in Tunis,  where Mrs Clinton had just taken part in an international summit on Syria. She had come straight from  London, where she attended a meeting on Somalia, and went on to Algeria and Morocco before making  the nine-hour hop back to Washington, DC. If Barack Obama is re-elected in November, one big thing is going to be different in his second term. He  will no longer have his relentlessly globe-trotting former presidential rival at his side. As the frazzled aides  and reporters who travel regularly in the back of her converted Boeing 757 attest, the job is punishing,  especially the way she has chosen to do it. Since taking office, Mrs Clinton has visited 95 countries (see map) and logged some 730,000 miles,  sometimes cramming more than a dozen meetings into a single day. This marathon came hard after the  titanic Democratic presidential campaign of 2008. “I’ve had an extraordinary 20 years. I’ve been really at  the highest levels of American political life,” she told  The Economist  in a  recent interview , “I need a little  time to reflect, step off the fast track I’ve been on.” Evaluating her record is a complicated business. The job of a secretary of state has at least three parts:  implementing foreign policy, acting as America’s global ambassador and running the behemoth that is the  State Department. But in the first and most visible of these—foreign policy—it is the president who takes  the lead.
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That has been especially true of this administration. By some accounts, Mr Obama has been the most  hands-on foreign-policy president since Richard Nixon (see  article ). When America is at war,  Washington’s centre of gravity tilts even further towards the White House and the Pentagon and away  from the State Department in Foggy Bottom.
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  • Spring '09
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