Hillary's Long Goodbye
For the moment I am still consigning the rash of stories writing Hillary Clinton's political obituary to the too-good-to-be-true file. Yes, the Secretary of State has openly stated that Secretary of State will be her "last public position." Yes, Mrs. Clinton was publicly humiliated in Bahrain over the weekend, as Iran's foreign minister played cat-and-mouse with her, dodging her attempts to meet with him, as if she were some kind of stalker, finally achieving only "an unintelligible mutter from the Iranian leader in the general direction of the secretary."
And yes, Julian Assange and Bradley Manning have revealed her to be a conniving, underhanded hard ball player, urging her diplomats at the United Nations to spy on their counterparts' credit cards and other personal tidbits. But what else is new? Dick Morris long ago coined the term "White House Secret Police" to describe the sort of spying on opponents that Hillary obersaw when her husband occupied the White House.
Despite my unwillingness to take a sigh of relief, secure in the knowledge that the threat of President Rodham Clinton is over, I am beginning to believe that the damage she has sustained in the WikiLeaks affair is insurmountable. Nile Gardiner of the UK Telegraph makes some excellent points in an article he titles "WikiLeaks: has Hillary Clinton finally met her Waterloo?"
She has become the public face of the Wikileaks fiasco on the world stage, and will likely remain so, as the official ultimately responsible for America's vast diplomatic corps. And the White House has been happy to keep it that way. The president has strikingly avoided making any comment on this latest leak, the third this year, and kept his distance from what is a huge embarrassment for his administration. In fact, over Wikileaks, Barack Obama has proved as elusive as the Scarlet Pimpernel. (snip)Note that President Barack Obama seems quite happy to hang Hillary out to dry, letting her bear responsibility for his policies. He, after all, is in charge of the Pentagon, from which the leaks came. He is the one setting diplomatic priorities like START, and the outreach to Iran.
One can never underestimate her, but perhaps she has finally met her Waterloo. Hillary Clinton will be the one to deal with the immediate fall-out from the Wikileaks scandal, and there can be no doubt that in the long-term she may be politically damaged as a result of it. Her foreign policy as well, it has to be said, has hardly been a success, from the folly of engagement with Iran to the ludicrous "reset" of relations with an increasingly authoritarian Russia. American leadership under Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama has overwhelmingly been a failure, and the Wikileaks fiasco and the Obama administration's failure to prevent it will only reinforce that impression across the rest of the world.
Perhaps the best indication of Hillary's current state of mind is her hair. The woman who once had a website devoted to her changing hairstyles, has let herself go, tonsorially, as seen is recent pictures. Perhaps I can finally breathe easy after all. Ding Dong.