Historic Meeting of Ambassadors Called By Hillary Clinton (& other Hillary news)Posted: January 31, 2011
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called top envoys from U.S. embassies to gather in Washington on Monday for a wide-ranging foreign policy meeting.
Ambassadors from almost all 260 U.S. embassies, consulates and other posts in more than 180 countries are expected to convene at the State Department for what’s being billed as the first meeting of its kind.
Officials say the meeting will include discussion of foreign policy priorities for 2011, The Associated Press reported, as well as an assessment of the fallout from the release of secret diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks. Clinton will meet individually with diplomats working in unstable countries.
I just picked the picture from yesterday because it looks kind of historic, too!
This is an Open Thread. I have to run some errands, but I’ll try to update with some more afternoon news later.
Well I’m back, and I see Kat’s got a breaking news thread up and running on HCR being ruled unconstitutional, so I’m just going to update this with some Hillary headlines.
Looks like our Energizer Secretary is having to put on a bit of a referee hat these days when it comes to elections. “Hillary Clinton presses Haiti’s René Préval to break election stalemate” (via CSM):
After two months of electoral stalemate from Haiti‘s disputed national election, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the Caribbean nation on Sunday with a clear message for their president: Move out of the way.
“It is important that the election go forward so there can be a new president,” she said in a series of interviews Sunday. “There is so much work to be done in Haiti, and the international community stands ready to help.”
Mrs. Clinton met with outgoing President René Préval – whose existing term expires Feb. 7– and the three leading presidential candidates from an initial round of voting on Nov. 28. The two leading vote-getters are to compete in a second round of presidential voting, now set for March 20 after a delay. The electoral council has said it would finalize the ballot Wednesday.
Clinton did not mince words about who she prefers to see in the runoff, saying she would push for Mr. Préval to accept the recommendation of the Organization of American States (OAS). While initial election results showed former first lady of Haiti Mirlande Manigat winning the vote and Préval-backed candidate Jude Célestin placing second, OAS election monitors analyzed a sample of ballots and found popular singer Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly had placed second.
“We have made it very clear we support the OAS recommendations, and we would like to see those acted on,” she told reporters, according to a transcript, adding that “at this time” there was no talk of suspending aid to Haiti.
This next one is actually from a few days ago, but I just saw it pop up again and I get a kick out of it, because for months I was telling the Hillary 2012 crowd that Hillary isn’t going to run, she’s put decades into public service, she gave it her all in 2008, and she’s got other priorities she’s allowed to think about like spending more time with her family and possible grandkids someday. Someone actually got mad at me once for saying that and questioned my intentions in bringing up grandkids since she doesn’t have any yet. Well here you go, straight from the Big Dawg’s mouth — “Bill Clinton Says Wife Wants Grandchild More Than Presidency” (Bloomberg):
“I’d like to live, I’d like to be a grandfather. I have nothing to do with that achievement, but I would like it,” Clinton, 64, replied, laughing. “I would like to have a happy wife and she won’t be unless she’s a grandmother. It’s something she wants more than she wanted to be president.”
Oh, this one I’m about to post is a real doozy, though not very unique in its theme, just exceptionally over the top in its delivery and rage directed at Hillary — the Progressive’s Matthew Rothschild asks, “Who’s Hillary Clinton Kidding on Egypt?“:
On Friday, Hillary Clinton urged “restraint” and Obama urged “reform.” But neither endorsed the demand of the Egyptian people to be rid of their dictator.
And then Clinton told a whopper on Sunday. “We are on the side” of the Egyptian people, “as we have been for more than 30 years,” she told Candy Crowley of CNN.
Who does Clinton think she’s fooling with this crap?
Was the United States on the side of the Egyptian people as Mubarak’s security forces engaged in rampant and hideous torture?
Was the United States on the side of the Egyptian people as Mubarak rigged one election after another?
At times like this, such bald-faced lies don’t fool anyone, especially not the Egyptian people.
Now, first of all I actually agree completely that the Egyptian people aren’t fooled by Hillary’s statement that we’ve been on the side of the Egyptian people for more than 30 years. Second, even before I saw Rothschild’s rant at Hillary, I wrote something in the last thread’s comments that is relevant here and that I thought of frontpaging afterward so this is as good a place to stick it as anywhere else. Pardon me as I commit the blogger sin of copy/paste…
I love Hillary, but I’m not sure to the Egyptians her being the face of the Admin really changes much. I can’t blame Egyptian protesters if they don’t see much daylight between Hillary and Obama on this, because in the end, no matter how well Hillary packages O’s indecision, it’s still his indecision that she’s representing. Frankly, as much as I love Hill, I don’t know anyone quote unquote ‘electable’ in the American political class who I could be certain would “turn away from the policies that got us here” where it concerns the Middle East. That’s the larger piece of the puzzle that’s missing, and no amount of “orderly transition” statements on Hillary’s part cleaning after Joe-please-stay-in-the-cone-of-silence-Biden changes that. If people wanted it to be her call and her policy to blame her for, they should have elected her. It’s O’s policy and frankly no one has a damn clue what it is as usual.
Well this is interesting… from the Independent’s write-up on Hillary’s historic ambassador meeting, “Clinton calls home US envoys in post-mortem on WikiLeaks crisis“:
The unprecedented gathering at the State Department began yesterday and brought together America’s most senior diplomatic representatives from 180 countries. Most have been told to stay in Washington all week for a series of meetings and pep talks. Ms Clinton is set to address them tomorrow and will have face-to-face meetings with envoys from front-line countries where the stakes for America are highest.
Officials stayed quiet about the initial purpose saying only that Ms Clinton was anxious to complete planning for 2011. However, it comes at a time of multiple challenges for the US in its foreign dealings, including the growing clamour on Capitol Hill for cuts in foreign aid and the impact of the turmoil in Egypt on Middle East policy. That is not to forget the running sores of Iran and North Korea or the perils of American policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
While President Barack Obama focuses on domestic issues as he nears the start of his re-election campaign, Ms Clinton is almost alone in the foreign policy storm surrounding her. Only a few days ago she commented that she had not committed to staying in her job should Mr Obama get a second term.
Now is really the time for O to give up the Fierce Urgency of the Permanent Campaign and turn off the Candidate Obama so he can be a President. 2012 really doesn’t matter if he can’t get this one right. With all the news releases about the WH preparing for Huntsman to leave, though, seems like the WH has its priorities same as always and they’re dumping Hillary with the ones that should be theirs/his.