Thursday, March 11, 2010

Quickie: HRC Widens Her Circle at Foggy Bottom

You may have seen this already. But if you haven't, here is WaPo on HRC: Hillary Rodham Clinton widens her circle at the State Department

Excerpt below:
But a little over a year into her tenure as secretary of state, allies and detractors alike say Clinton has made a vigorous effort to widen her circle, wooing and pulling into her orbit the agency's Foreign Service and civil service officials, many of whom said in interviews that she has brought a new energy to the building.

"We have had other secretaries of state who have cared deeply for the institution," said Patrick F. Kennedy, undersecretary for management and a senior Foreign Service officer. "None who have done as much internal outreach."

To be sure, Clinton has her share of critics who take aim at her operating style, complaining that she has ceded too much of her power to special envoys and that she has been in a global campaign mode of relentless image-building, intense travel and international media cultivation. Her job-approval ratings top President Obama's.

One loyalist inside the agency, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid, suggested that Clinton is stretched too thin and has not narrowed her goals or developed signature issues that will define her tenure. "What bothers me is that we're planting zillions of seeds . . . speeches on every issue, but where's the thematic coherence?" this aide said.

Stewart M. Patrick, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who worked at the State Department under Colin L. Powell, agreed that Clinton "seems to still be struggling with priorities" and questioned whether she has a "grand strategic vision."

Read the whole thing here.


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