It was a simple question to someone accustomed to much tougher ones: What was her proudest achievement as secretary of state? But for a moment, Hillary Rodham Clinton, appearing recently before a friendly audience at a women’s forum in Manhattan, seemed flustered.
Mrs. Clinton played an energetic role in virtually every foreign policy issue of President Obama’s first term, advocating generally hawkish views internally while using her celebrity to try to restore America’s global standing after the hit it took during the George W. Bush administration.
But her halting answer suggests a problem that Mrs. Clinton could confront as she recounts her record in Mr. Obama’s cabinet before a possible run for president in 2016: Much of what she labored over so conscientiously is either unfinished business or has gone awry in his second term.
—Mark Landler and Amy Chozick. File under “gee, ya think?” Incidentally, Clinton’s response–“I really see my role as secretary, and, in fact, leadership in general in a democracy, as a relay race . . . I mean, you run the best race you can run, you hand off the baton.”–is not much of one. The question wasn’t “now that you have finished your term as secretary of state, is there anything left for anyone else to do?” The question challenged Hillary Clinton to state her proudest achievement as secretary of state. She couldn’t. That tells you something about her tenure.
Indeed, I daresay that both she and her supporters would find it similarly difficult to state her proudest achievement as senator from New York. Or . . . well . . . any achievement at all. Don’t believe me? Quick; what was the most significant thing that Hillary Clinton accomplished as either senator or secretary of state. Don’t Google, don’t look up any articles; state something off the top of your own head. And do it fast.
Difficult, isn’t it? I guess we now have an idea of what challenges await Clinton should she decide to run for president.