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WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Secretary of State Kerry leaves former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the dust...

Secretary of State John Kerry's tireless ambitious diplomacy has provided a stark contrast to the work of his predecessor, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The last few weeks have seen several columns and blog posts indirectly raising delicate questions: Was the risk-averse Hillary Rodham Clinton something of a dud as Secretary of State? Or did President Obama hold her on a tight leash? Or did her gender undercut her position in certain countries? Or did she indeed CONSIDER the type of high-risk diplomacy Kerry is now undertaking, and conclude the risks of failure were just too high? (Actually, she might have become even more risk-averse after her celebrated re-set of U.S./Russian relations went off the rails with Putin's election - again - to the Presidency!) If she did conclude the chances of success were scant, did she think such diplomacy might ultimately undermine the U.S. position or, with eyes on the 2016 Democratic Presidential nomination, she simply could not afford such failures on her resume`? Perhaps it's a combination of ALL of the above.

I suppose how you answer these questions might depend on your notions about the position of Secretary of State. A case can be made for a Secretary of State going for broke - trying to remedy tense situations, trying to ease conflicts - precisely because that's what a Secretary of State is SUPPOSED to do. He/she shouldn't be worrying about how such high-stakes diplomacy affects that Secretary of State's possible future political ambitions.

Not that Secretary Kerry's record hasn't already has been open to interpretation: For example, was it a Kerry gaffe, or a stealthy move by Kerry which gave the Russians an opening to produce a Syria initative which rescued the Obama Administration from a humiliating Congressional rejection on Syria?

Ironically, one could argue Hillary Rodham Clinton's instinctive caution has actually undercut her political position in the past. Her vote FOR the second Iraq war, and then her refusal to diavow it, arguably handed the 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination to a relative neophyte named Barack Obama.

In political terms, maybe it won't matter at all. Maybe all of Secretary of State Kerry's high stakes gambits will ultimately go down in flames. Maybe Hillary Rodham Clinton being a woman will trump all else for many women voters anxious to see the nation's first female President.

But for now, one marvels at the contrast between Secretary of State Kerry's energizer bunny high-stakes diplomacy and ex Secretary of State Clinton's low-risk diplomacy.

Some articles for you...


From POLITICO...

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2013/12/was-hillary-clinton-a-good-secretary-of-state-john-kerry-2016-100766.html


From The Los ANGELES TIMES:

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/commentary/la-oe-mcmanus-column-kerry-state-department-20131208,0,1472606.column#axzz2mrTRLqry



Posted at 7:35am on December 11, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

billsmith
Wed, Dec 11, 2013 8:01am
It's funny. When Hillary had the job and at the time she left it, she was doing great. Now the chattering class does a 180 and says "no," she really wasn't?

Kerry has no backbone. He still hasn't clamped down on the Israelis. They have the bomb (even as they try to get the rest of the world worked up about Iran). They keep building their illegal settlements in the West Bank. They keep committing human rights violations against Palestinians. If Kerry had backbone, there would be a trade and travel embargo on Israel. All U.S. citizens living in Israel would have to return to the U.S. or lose U.S. citizenship. All Israeli nationals would be ordered to leave the U.S. The U.S. would break off diplomatic relations with Israel (and restore diplomatic relations and trade and travel with Cuba). Talk to me about caution after Kerry has the guts to stand up to the Zionist Lobby and the Batistaite Cuban Lobby.



kavips
Wed, Dec 11, 2013 11:13am
That is a one-issue condemnation of Kerry. Israel is a fight no one takes on. Lambasting someone for not taking Israel on is the equivalent of lambasting someone for not diving off the Golden Gate Bridge. In both cases, it is too far to the bottom. I'm surprised you brought it up. Being accused by the stupids for not having backbone, as you well know, is usually considered a compliment among the smarts for having brains...

Although I agree with your assessment of Israel, berating someone for not taking Israel on, is rather silly. There may come a time when such a move is appropriate. Right now is not that time....

One can not say that if Hillary had continued in her position another term, she too might not have been experiencing this whirlwind of activity, all of which has come by events taking place outside of both Secretaries' control....


billsmith
Wed, Dec 11, 2013 2:41pm
Kav: Why not now? And if not now, when?

It can also be argued that Hillary loosened the top of the jar for Kerry.

kavips
Wed, Dec 11, 2013 5:33pm
Israel has a formidable lobby. It owns Congress more than any other lobby we have.

The situation has to be such, for example if Israel unilaterally bombed Iran, that the American people would support sanctions against Israel, so much that for a Congressperson to kow-tow to the Israeli lobbyists, would be certain death,... only then could any containment of Israel then occur...

The answer as to when, would be indirect, as in whenever American public opinion goes against Israel to the extent of 70-30.

kavips
Wed, Dec 11, 2013 5:39pm
If Syria had not used chemical weapons, or if Ahmadinejad had won Iran's elections, we would not be having this thread on this topic...

btw... How is the Pacific going right now?

Does anyone know the percentage or how many American Jews are in our media, both in print and televised?

mrpizza
Wed, Dec 11, 2013 7:55pm
As usual, the ignorant speak evil of Israel, God's chosen people.

kavips
Wed, Dec 11, 2013 8:32pm
Pizza, earlier you claimed America was God's chosen people.. Is America now Israel?

mrpizza
Wed, Dec 11, 2013 10:20pm
I never specifically said America was God's chosen people. What I said was that America was founded by people who wanted to live free to serve God as they choose rather than the king dictating that.

The Jews are God's chosen people in a specific prophetic biblical context. The re-establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 was the beginning of that prophetic fulfillment.

kavips
Wed, Dec 11, 2013 11:09pm
Allan, shifting gears here, but did you see these charts from the Atlantic? One of them has Heidi Moore's (Guardian) explanation on it... They are in regard to our economy.

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/12/the-most-important-economic-stories-of-2013-in-43-graphs/282193/

billsmith
Thu, Dec 12, 2013 5:21am
No, Israel is the new U.S. The U.S. was invading and bullying other countries and flaunting a sense of entitlement long before Israel was established.
U.S. arrogance is displayed in the use here of the word "America." America is two continents. Not a country. Like Israelis, people in this country don't think anybody else matters.

kavips
Thu, Dec 12, 2013 12:13pm
Correctly put, it is Republican-Americans who exhibit the trend above. Democratic Americans do tend to think all other people matter... Which is why, they tend to be successful when Republican-Americans always fail.

billsmith
Thu, Dec 12, 2013 1:06pm
Democrats only think members of designated entitlement/victim groups matter. Republicans only think rich people matter. Which leaves out a huge portion of the population nobody thinks matter. And the rest of the world matters only insofar as they do what those currently in power want them to do - which mostly means serving corporate and NGO interests.

EarlGrey
Mon, Dec 16, 2013 8:58am
Democrats only think members of designated entitlement/victim groups matter. Republicans only think rich people matter. Which leaves out a huge portion of the population nobody thinks matter. And the rest of the world matters only insofar as they do what those currently in power want them to do - which mostly means serving corporate and NGO interests.

Maybe not all Democrats/Republicans fit into those "stereotypes" but I would say (sadly) a majority of each side does indeed think/vote with the Party stereotype.

Maybe our representatives should be forced to live in their "home state" and away from D.C./lobbyists/Big Money/Big corruption. It would be better for the states they are supposed to be representing because they would see/hear from their constituents on a daily basis...rather than "special occasions" right before an election when they pretend to care/listen because their jobs are on the line.


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