It was just a matter of time before politicians and talking heads with an agenda to push started their “assessments” of Hillary Clinton and her performance as Secretary of State. Hillary’s performance at State is as much about domestic politics as it is foreign policy.
If you want to guess what kind of grade she will get, assume that anyone to the right of her, any Republican, any journalist or writer pushing a right-wing agenda OR pushing for a Democratic candidate other than Hillary, will give her a barely satisfactory grade.
It is also fair to assume that anyone with a left-leaning or pro-Hillary point of view will give her high grades for her ground-breaking work in “X” country or situation.
Here’s how she was graded by the people contacted by Politico. The report comes from The Wire:
- Aaron David Miller, former State negotiator: “She was a fine secstate but not consequential.” Our estimate:
- American Enterprise’s Institute’s Danielle Pletka: “Unwillingness to take risks, unwillingness to lead, willingness to stab a lot of people in the back. And dead people.” Our estimate:
- David Gordon, State staffer under Bush: “[G]ood not great … great weakness was avoiding serious diplomacy.” Our estimate:
- Howard Berman, formerly of the House Foreign Affairs Committee: “[L]ook at the issues Kerry is working on and it is clear that Clinton, for rather obvious reasons, couldn’t have replicated what he has done because those issues weren’t ripe then.” Our estimate:
- Dennis Ross, former National Security Council aide: Clinton was “in a place where she felt the need to prove her loyalty to the president and demonstrate she was a member of the team.” Our estimate:
- Steve Sestanovich, former State department staffer under President Clinton: “It’s true that her record as secretary included few accomplishments if you mean by that peace agreements solving some big problem. If you measure her tenure by success in rebuilding America’s power position, it looks a lot better.” Our estimate:
- Anne-Marie Slaughter, former State staffer under Hillary Clinton: “I continue to think that people will look back and see that she was the first secretary of state really to grasp the ways global politics and hence foreign policy have changed in the 21st century.” Our estimate: