Hillary Rodham Clinton was the guest speaker on Thursday at the Women of the World Summit in New York City. As will be the case between now and when Ms. Clinton decides whether to run for president or not, she was asked what she was most proud of during her tenure as secretary of state.
She was President Barack Obama’s Secretary of State from January, 2009 until she resigned in January, 2013. Unfortunately she was unable to provide one substantial accomplishment for that four-year period.
Not a single one, and remember, she has had well over a year since she resigned to prepare for that question.
The exact question from the moderator was, “When you look at your time as Secretary of State, what you are most proud of? And what do you feel was unfinished, and maybe have another crack at one day?”
The question was clean, concise and to the point.
Hillary’s answer was anything but concise. “Well, I really see, that was good, that’s why he (the moderator) wins prizes. Look, I really see my role as Secretary, in fact leadership in general in a democracy, as a relay race. When you run the best race you can run, you hand off the baton. Some of what hasn’t been finished may go on to be finished, so when President Obama asked me to be Secretary of State I agreed,” was her verbatim response.
Since there was no video, it’s hard to imagine what the facial expressions of the audience looked like.
But Ms. Clinton had to know the answer was a bit nebulous, so she continued.
“We had the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, we had two wars. We had continuing threats from all kinds of corners around the world that we had to deal with. So it was a perilous time frankly. What he said to (Obama) me was, ‘Look, I have to be dealing with the economic crisis, I want you to go out and represent us around the world.’ And it was a good division of labor because we needed to make it clear to the rest of the world, which we were going to get our house in order. We were going to stimulate, and grow, and get back to positive growth and work with our friends and partners.”
That’s answering the original question? Apparently sensing she had still not answered the original question, she hesitated, smiled and trudged forward.
“So I think we did that. I’m very proud of the stabilization and the really solid leadership that the administration provided that I think now, leads us to be able to deal with problems like Ukraine because we’re not so worried about a massive collapse in Europe and China, trying to figure out to do with all their bond holdings and all the problems we were obsessed with. I think we really restored American leadership in the best sense. That, once again, people began to rely on us as setting the values, setting the standards. I just don’t want to lose that because we have a dysfunctional political situation in Washington. Then of course, a lot of particulars, but I am finishing my book so you’ll be able to read all about it.”
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