In the latest cover story of Foreign Policy, Editor-in-Chief Susan Glasser explores Hillary Clinton's tenure as U.S. secretary of state. Glasser charts Clinton's evolution from outspoken advocate during her time as first lady, to a diplomatic, strategic leader in her current position.
Has Clinton been an effective secretary of state, and what's next for the former First Lady?
Glasser will join The Daily Circuit Thursday to talk about her piece.
Few Americans have any idea what Clinton has actually been up to as secretary of state, or even what a secretary of state is supposed to do in this day and age. In the rarefied circles of the Washington foreign-policy establishment, where they've been paying closer attention, Clinton gets big points for style and for taking her brand of "people to people" diplomacy international at a time when America desperately needed just her kind of star power to revive an image tarnished by a near decade of George W. Bush's cowboy unilateralism. Aside from that, as one of the city's mandarins put it to me recently in one of numerous nearly identical conversations, "What has she done?" The poohbah reeled off a long string of Important Global Issues, from Middle East peace to negotiating a political end to the long-running war in Afghanistan, from which Clinton appears to have been sidelined by the Obama White House or is simply out of the picture. To those traditionalists, Clinton is something of a puzzle; clearly, she's a success in the "soft power" department, a relentless cheerleader for Brand America. But they can't help disdaining her focus on issues such as women's rights and development economics -- surely not the stuff of real diplomacy -- and see her attention to them as proof of how marginalized she's been by the Obama White House on the geopolitics that count. "That's the rap," sighed one Clinton booster.