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April 2, 2009

HRC G20 09


Angled in to the table from the lower left, in blue against the sea of (boys in) black suits, driving her agenda but still in line with the President, this photo exemplifies the subtle, but “stand out” performance turned in by Hillary at the summit. Clinton took the “China assignment” after Holbrooke and Mitchell were assigned the sexier Afghan and Middle East portfolios, and this week, she made it pay.

Update: Emphasizing Clinton’s heft this week is this image and comment from Karen:


The only logical explanation for the above photo (in terms of protocol) was that after both men shook hands and exchanged words of greeting, the Chinese President Hu Jintao took notice of Mrs. Clinton and interrupted his journey to his seat, leaving Obama the only leader sitting down. Score Clinton!

Update 2: Oh yes, I forgot this one. The resonance between the painting and Hillary’s effusive gesture also reflects well on her impact and presence this week.

(image 1: Saul Loeb / AFP – Getty Images. London. April 1, 2009. image 2: Todd Heisler/NYT.)

  • Paula

    I wasn’t all that jazzed for HRC being on the team, esp. since my main beef with her was her foreign policy team, some of whom have made it back into the diplomacy game no doubt because of her (Holbrooke, Ross).
    Though I grudgingly admitted that the informal ambassadorial role of the FLOTUS might help her out, I was rather dismissive about it since, like most people, I tend to think of the FL as an attache rather than as a policy driver.
    Seeing her reception around the world is making me eat that sentiment. It’s equal parts her “celebrity”, her familiarity to these audiences given fondness for her husband’s administration, and respect for her own accomplishments as a professional politician that’s driving it all and may go a long way towards making the diplomatic road easier. And yeah, Obama was probably counting on her skill but also her reputation to hold up that part of his agenda while he was being snowed under by domestic/economy issues.

  • bystander

    China might not be the sexy assignment, but it holds a hell of a hammer over our heads. I wish Hillary Clinton well, and I wish her success.

  • bob h

    With some diplomatic successes under her belt, Clinton could offer herself again in 2016. We might be ready for our own Golda Mier. One wonder whether there is not some sort of understanding about this between HRC and Obama.

  • Harold Pomeroy

    What’s with the glasses? After looking at this picture, I realized the Americans don’t wear them, and Chinese diplomats do. Perhaps one day, if the Chinese follow our model, they will show up in DC with no glasses and Senatorial Hair.

  • yg

    it wasn’t until you joked about senatorial hair did i become disturbed that there weren’t any women in the chinese contingent.

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