Monday, February 21, 2011

The Obama-Clinton Partnership


I am pleasantly surprised at how well President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have worked together. Like everyone in this country, I remember the bitterness of the 2008 primaries and caucuses. Obama's coalition politics versus Clinton's identity politics. But the two have placed their differences aside for the good of the country, and the world.

To be sure, there are serious problems with our engagement in Pakistan, and there are still question marks regarding Iran and North Korea. Moreover, most U.S. citizens want an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But overall, the Obama-Clinton partnership has produced some good foreign policy results.

No one can tell me that their measured approach didn't impact the uprisings taking place in the Middle East right now. Listening to the endless political spin and commentary on cable and network news, you hear reporters and pundits calling for the Obama Administration to "get mad" and to "take a side immediately". But the calm demeanor and cautious diplomacy angle is winning the day.

Simply put, Team Obama-Clinton is making waves. There will always be some heavy lifting to do on international issues. Always. And there still could be a crisis that might actually test their skills like never before. But I see nothing wrong with reflecting on what some (mistakenly) said would never happen: that two former rivals would have a productive relationship and shine together on the world stage.

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