Hillary’s Legacy

It is interesting to see the care pundits are taking in assessing Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State.  President Obama called it outstanding.  Others were quick to point out the one million miles of travel and all the countries she visited (is that praise?).  And of course, there are the usual suspects who see the last four years as a dismal failure.

Many critics have one eye on 2016 and the possibility that Hillary could be the first woman elected President (as well as the first spouse elected chief executive).  If that scares you, then Hillary probably did not do a great job.  If her Presidency is something you favor, well clearly she was brilliant.

Any real assessment of Hillary’s years will require much more in depth research.  How was Hillary as a team member with other cabinet secretaries?  What type of advise did she render the President?  How well did she carry out directives?  What really big ideas did she bring to the table?  How would you describe her foreign policy?  And, how would you say the US was better off because of her policies?

It should be obvious that time will be needed to both summarize Hillary’s years (what took place) and what were the consequences.  It should also be clear that it may be difficult to separate Hillary’s policies from those of President Obama.  If so, whose foreign policy was it?  Should we be looking at Hillary as an implementor or a policy creator?

The good old days of foreign policy ended with Reagan with the cold war closure.  Everything was so simple then.  Things were either this, or they were that.  Good guys wore western suits and smoked Malboros.  (This in part explains why President George W Bush and Condoleezza Rice were so ineffective, they were fighting the last war with a different enemy.)  

I think it can be safely said (with what we know today) that Hillary was an adequate Secretary of State and did much to restore the US image among modern countries.  Whether she deserves a statue or even credit towards a Presidential run remains to be seen. 

History will be the judge but History does not tip its hand easily. 

 

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