Hillary Clinton was under the klieg lights today, enduring all the grand-standing, all the long-winded elocution, all the pomp and eclat of the various Big Egos that comprise the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. One might very well be moved to pity. There she sits, quietly enduring the likes of Senators John Kerry and Richard Lugar holding forth on the high esteem in which they hold her, the dire needs of the country at this critical juncture, their eagerness to work with her, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
Well, no need for pity. She's used to it being a senator herself. And these hearings are a mere formality. When it comes to cabinet nominations, Senators afford each other a great deal of latitude. Despite the smattering of questions she received about the funding for hubby Bill's foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative, none of the Senators got into too much of a huff. Her nomination will sail right on through. Very soon, Hillary will be our new Secretary of State.
Let's go back, shall we, to that far away night of June 5, 2008? Back to the heady days of the Democratic primary race. On June 5, Obama had secured enough delegates to secure the nomination. But Hillary refused to bow out. There was even some talk about her going all the way to the convention; there might even be a floor fight and a move to challenge delegates' credentials.
That night, California Senator Diane Feinstein offered up her home for a secret tryst between the two Democratic candidates. The meeting was a hush-hush affair, and involved only the two candidates themselves: no staff, no lawyers, nobody else.
A few days later, on June 9, Hillary conceded defeat and endorsed Barack Obama for President.
So, now, with Hillary smiling smugly while John Kerry drones and Dick Lugar yammers, we see the end result of that conversation in Diane Feinstein's living room. "Secretary of State has a nice ring to it, wouldn't you say, Hillary?"
Well, that's politics. For my part, I think Hillary could be an effective top diplomat for this country. She's smart. No one can deny that. She's tough. That's apparent as well. She's got her husband, a respected world statesman, for council and advice.
Of course, a potted plant would be an improvement over the current embarrassment that sits in the corner office at Foggy Bottom. But I have high hopes for Hillary. She was well-prepared and thorough. Some of her statements today were like blissful rain in the desert. Lifting travel restrictions to Cuba, using diplomacy to curtail Iran's nuclear ambitions, action on Darfur... rain in the desert, I tell you.
You can read CNN's summary here.
And just read what these Republican Senators had to say:
"Her qualifications for the post are remarkable... Her time in the Senate has given her a deep understanding of how United States foreign policy can be enriched... She is fully prepared to engage the world on a myriad of issues that urgently require attention." --Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN)Move aside, Condi. It's time for a real woman.
"Well, I'm -- I'm very pleased, very encouraged to hear that and truly look forward to the opportunity to be working with you to advance these issues." --Sen. Lisa Murkowski, (R-AK), in response to Hillary's support for the Law of the Sea Treaty.
"Congratulations, Senator Clinton. I always found you to be very prepared, very thorough, very thoughtful. And I'm sure you're going bring all of those same things to the State Department." --Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY)