The First Draft: Hillary Clinton marginalized? If you have to ask…

October 12, 2009

IRISH/Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spent the weekend in Switzerland and Ireland, but landed on the morning talk shows on Monday, fending off questions about whether she has been marginalized in the Obama administration. It’s not considered a good sign when people start asking this question in Washington, because the implication is that the answer is “yes.”

Clinton had no comment when newscaster Ann Curry on  NBC’s “Today” program asked whether she should be more visible on such hot-button issues as Iran and Afghanistan. But she responded fully when asked about concerns that the “highest-ranking woman in the United States needs to fight against being marginalized.”

“I find it absurd, I find it beyond any realistic assessment of what I’m doing every day,” Clinton said. “I believe in delegating power. I’m not one of those people who feels like I have to have my face in the front of the newspaper or on the TV every moment of the day. It would be irresponsible and negligent were I to say, ‘Oh no, everything must come to me!’”

She had a theory about why she’s comfortable working this way. “Maybe this is a woman’s thing. Maybe I’m totally secure in that I feel absolutely no need to go running around in order for people to see what I’m doing. It’s just the way I am.”

But aren’t there moments, she was asked, having campaigned so hard for president against Barack Obama, that you just want to make a decision yourself?

No. “I am part of the team that makes the decision.”

On another front, Clinton said flatly she would not run for president again. She said she’s looking forward to retirement “at some point.”

For more Reuters political news, click here.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton (Hillary Clinton in Dublin, October 11, 2009)

46 comments

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I believe her. She doesnt need to be in the media patting herself on the back. We all know shes there and proud that she is . Shes a wonderful woman and has always followed thru on her word, I for one see the media as when it comes to such pety conclusions. Please the woman has more important things to do then play a game of sling and arrows.

For Hillary Clinton to say “it’s a woman thing” totally undermines the notion of equality in this country. Shame on her.

Posted by CC | Report as abusive

[...] keep-in-the-public-eye and her smart stay-behind-the-scenes-don’t-get-associa ted-with-the-myriad-Obama-messes this way: ““I believe in delegating power. I’m not one of those people who feels like I have to [...]

I think the “woman thing” comment was tongue-in-cheek. It’s hard for those things to come across in print.

Clinton is smart and committed, and I believe she’s doing a fantastic job. This smells like the media manufacturing a story during a lull.

Posted by EM | Report as abusive

Two comments on an article about the marginalization of Mrs. Clinton…guess that answers that!

Posted by Den of York | Report as abusive

What a contrast to her boss – “I believe in delegating power. I’m not one of those people who feels like I have to have my face in the front of the newspaper or on the TV every moment of the day. It would be irresponsible and negligent were I to say, ‘Oh no, everything must come to me!’”

Posted by dasnodak | Report as abusive

Of course she has been marginalized! President Obama appointed special envoys that report to him and to her really on a dotted line basis. Richard Holbrooke-Af/Pak;
George Mitchell-Mideast; Dennis Ross-Persian Gulf&Southeast Asia; J. Scott Gration-Sudan. There is no way that persons of this caliber would have taken these positions if they did not have direct access to Pres. Obama. She is left with the rest of the world to give speeches and go to teas. If she had any real pride she would have resigned when these persons were appointed.

Posted by Tony Ajrajr | Report as abusive

I am not big a fun of Hillary Clinton. She does decent job as Secretary of State given the fact that she never had expose to foreign politics. She still builds trust and contacts. tShe just cannot deliver big result immediately.

The truth is that after Pr. Bush Obama shines as a Super nova. Hillary is Secretary of State. She cannot and should not eclipse President.

I glad that she finally sounds more human and even acknowledges “woman things”. Shame on people who cannot accept our differences.

Posted by Sergey | Report as abusive

She is being marginalized and she knows it. In fact, the whole cabinet is. The cabinet seems to be “face people” whom answer questions from the media. On the surface, at least, it seems that the power is concentrated with the Chief of Staff and the “czars”. The two hundred calls between Geithner and Emanuel would seem to bear testimony to this theory.

Her response, be it tongue in cheek or not, about being a “woman thing” is absurd. She undermines the entire gender with idiotic comments such as that.

Posted by Rich | Report as abusive

Yes she has other things to do, She has been dedicated to support an antidemocratic government in Honduras which has killed already more than 100 unarmed civilians only for been requesting the return of their country to democracy… this is making campaign for, or giving credit to the Obama’s Nobel price… that is the team she is part of…

Posted by J.A | Report as abusive

I sure hope she’s being marginalized!!! Why else would she be appointed to such a prestigious position where she cannot possibly contradict her president???

Posted by Steve from Atlanta | Report as abusive

Hillary is a dumb $#% and only lives in the shadow of her husband, I thought that was obvious last time she asked about her husbands opinion on someting not to long ago, must be a “woman thing”! As for Obama, he is an idiot an I will be first in line for his impeachment. He is just like the rest of them, thinks the USA has an “open checkbook” policy yet expects the middle and upper class people to pay for. As if the taxes we pay for families that sit back and collect welfare because they are to lazy to work a job isnt ebough, now we have to pay for his ridiculous politics! I think Obama knows what I am talking about! Instead of focusing on heathcare, focus on the low lifes that spit out more kids to get WIC cards and HUd housing (yet drive Escalades) because they refuse to work, I think we all know what I am talking about. Thats a waste of my tax dollars and yours!

Posted by J Deezy | Report as abusive

Those most responsible for marginalizing our intelligent Secretary of State are working for the media. Why is there not more positive coverage of this woman? Are they threatened by a woman in high office? Are they jealous? Or, are they just sexist in their approach to all news material when it concerns a woman?

Hah… are you kidding me… Hillary Clinton’s arrogance is her ignorance… she now finds herself a messenger for the person she claimed did not have the “Gravitas” to take the catastrophic 3am call on the Oval Office “Red Phone”… Obama played to her ego, sucked her in and not only has she been marginalized… she’s insignificant and not only that… when this whole international diplomacy thing blows up in Obama’s face she’ll be the goat.
Keep your friends near by and your enemies even closer!

Posted by COTUS | Report as abusive

excellent article.Madam hilary’is a prime example of Women in power and has been consistenly displaying Professionalism;humble;elagance yet still maintaining her own identity through out her international tour.

For CC to voice a comment ‘For Hillary Clinton to say “it’s a woman thing” totally undermines the notion of equality in this country. Shame on her’ just reflects the extreme ‘politically correct’ attitudes of modern America. Just look at the backlash we got from the innocent jackson 5 skit here in Australia. Thank God here we don’t view all & sundry soooo seriously.
Hillary Clinton cannot win with some people. If she shines the spotlight she is full of it. If she doesn’t the Obama administration must be ignoring her. Tough job.

Posted by Aussie terry | Report as abusive

‘…I glad that she finally sounds more human and even acknowledges “woman things”. Shame on people who cannot accept our differences.’

- Posted by Sergey

Sergey proved my point brilliantly! Thank you. So, obviously following your LOGIC, WHAT WAS HILLARY before SHE IS HUMAN NOW? What was she? You probably can’t and won’t answer that for a BILLION years! This is how ridiculous you lying LIE-BERALS are. ‘..finally sounds more human..’ Hello, 1-digit brain people!

Posted by Jeremiah Wright | Report as abusive

Hillary got marginalized by many people when it became apparent that she was willing to put up with Bill. She would have had many more fans if she had thrown all his stuff out on the White House lawn. Instead, she “stood by her man”.

Posted by SC | Report as abusive

Hillary was a marginal politician, was a marginal senator, was a marginal wife and in all probability a marginal mother, so what did you expect???

Posted by steve banks | Report as abusive

Hillary is a brilliant woman who shines on her own. There is no way she is marginalized. She has the ear of Obama any time she wants. She is discrete and very capable of defining her role as the face of America to the rest of the world.

The people she meets for the most part don’t like the macho arrogant mindset of Americans when they travel abroad. Her subtle approach is just what is needed to lead negotiations with the rest of the world. With Obama protecting her back she will do America proud.

You could do worse. If it weren’t for the mighty Blackberry you could all be commenting on Darth Vader or Dick Cheney as Secretary of State…All this from a Canadian and yes this is not just a local conversation…The world is watching.

Posted by Jim Wight | Report as abusive

Heh! Hillary knows her job and does it as well if not better than any man! I’m oh so lucky to have her as my senator! She has my vote whatever she’s doing and if you all are smart she’ll get your’s too! GO HILLARY!!!!!!!

Posted by DollySue | Report as abusive

Hilary, yet again misjudged her career move. She should have waited for the Sotomayor slot on the Supreme Court. She is the least powerful Secretary of State in years and Obama has played her like a violin.

Posted by Alex | Report as abusive

Any doubt?

Posted by humberto hernandez | Report as abusive

The way Hillary was saying she didn’t need to be on TV or in the nations face 24/7 had me thinking she is taking a not so subtle swipe at The Obama. One of the many complaints is that The Obama is narcissistic in his omnipresent appearences. Hillary says she ‘is way too secure in herself’ to be like…..The Obama.

Posted by Gazinya | Report as abusive

Obama is very smart. You keep your enemies close to your vest. He had to give her some official title.

Conservative scrutiny over Obama is now being applied to others on his staff. Nothing to see here. I’m sorry that Republicans got so used to having a horrible President in office led them to believe that all Presidents are this way. Obama has to be a diplomat just as much as the secretary of state does…moreso in some ways.

Posted by Justin | Report as abusive

I am so proud to be a part of her campaign.She faught it like a worrier,She is doing a great job and the teamwork she has shown with President Obama is tremendous.The image of USA has improved remarkebly and other countries have startd looking USA as a true friend again.There will always be criticism but the most important thing is ,who is the winner ,and She is the one who is spreading message of goodwill and friendship and at times soft but firm. Kudos Hillary mam!!

Posted by Dinesh Gangola | Report as abusive

I tend to agree that she is weak. She did not lead in the restoration of Zelaya in Honduras too frighted to call it what it is a coup.

She lets the Israeli’s call the shots in the Middle East. The Clinton’s represent the left of the Repubican Party. Thank God that Sotomayor is the Supreme Court Justice.

Posted by Hernan | Report as abusive

Nice shot Hillary … right across the brow of Obama. He may not have seen it coming, but surely he’s heard about it. Now what? :o(

Posted by Schmuel Rhodinsky | Report as abusive

I am not from the US, and don’t really understand the political system, but she doesn’t speak and project well, even Henry Kissinger projected and spoke more clearly. Then there is the issue of her husband popping up like a ‘jack-in-the-box’ all over the show. Quite confusing to outsiders.

Posted by Gaspard | Report as abusive

You say she’s doing a wonderful job as, SOS? Name me 3 things she has accomplished that were noteworthy. Even her husband (Billy boy) upstaged her. Going to North Korea and getting those two journalist released was a slap in the face for her and for, Obama.

Posted by James Kimball | Report as abusive

Uh, Ms. Dolly Sue, Hillary is not a senator. She is the Secretary of State for the United States of America. Your vote of confidence further demonstrates how marginalized your heroine truely is.

Posted by Al | Report as abusive

Hillary Clinton is a talentless moron who is in office solely because she was a cuckolded President’s wife. Just as Bill Clinton found better things to do in bed than bother with her, so has Obama found better things to do than bother with her idiotic opinion. Let her continue to enjoy her undeserved status as “the highest ranking woman in America.” She’s also the highest ranking bimbo in America.

Posted by Josephine | Report as abusive

Let’s first wait three years and then make a summary of the achievements of the 67th United States Secretary of State.

Posted by Marc | Report as abusive

I’m not suggesting or implying anything; merely asking
reuters readers: do you think she’s a carpetbagger. I donot
like Barack or her. It’s not me that is saying so; It’s
the press suggesting that Barack was intently looking at
a mulato female’s back at Nato summit in Paris around Jan09 imagining all sorts of things?? You know these sons
of guns are amazing; mine is a wealthy family when we
apply for visa etc the consuls ask very very nasty questions ; refuse to give visas etc bec we’re honest
while millions of criminals and terrorist gain easy entry in US by lying.

Do you think both are skunks?
I rather John Edwards
had become President but that son of gun mess it all up
by …. It’s a mad mad mad world !

Posted by jjmk4546 | Report as abusive

No, Hillary is working hard behind the scenes to create World Government. Secretary of State is a perfect roll for someone who wants to sabotage our national sovereignty. Better for these socialists to quietly enslave us, without our knowledge, than to openly admit they want a world socialist government. Someday we will have another payroll deduction going to the United Nations, thanks to the Democrats. Think I am nuts? Google: Hillary Walter Cronkite World Government, then see the YouTube video and you will see Hillary congratulating Walter for supporting world government.

Posted by PedroHanson | Report as abusive

Well, isn’t it interesting that we had a female secretary of state prior to this “elevated moron” and she was quite respected, did a great job and had “cahones”

Hillary is a wining liberal, nothing more, nothing less.

Just imagine, according to one of the posters…”she never had exposure to foreign politics…are you nuts? Why would that be an issue and why are you defending her? Your liberal pals screamed about Sarah Palin not knowing anything about foreign affairs and she got crucified, but it’s okay to coddle Hillary? Don’t think so.

Yes, she marginalized herself by “crying” that Billy Bob upstaged her in Korea. Grow a set Hillary.

Posted by terry silverman | Report as abusive

Who is Hillary trying to fool? When does a Clinton ever tell the truth? She will run against Obama at the first sign he looks beatable and that point may be reached soon. She will resign her cabinet position and announce to the world she is running “for the good of the nation and the Democrat party to save the country from Obama’s failed policies.” I can’t wait for this to happen.

Posted by Songkhlaman | Report as abusive

Brilliantly subtle comment by Hillary about not needing to be going all over the place to be seen in order to feel important. A direct shot at the egocentric Obama, the pathologically narcissistic empty suit. Yes he got the Nobel Peace Prize. I can’t figure out why he didn’t get the Nobel for economics as well. He’s equally clueless and naive about that. What a team.

Posted by James | Report as abusive

Hay Dolly Sue, I was not smart enough to vote for Hill, but I am smart enough to know that she is not yours or anyone else’s Senator. In order to help expand your self proclaimed superior intelligence, Hillary is Secretary of State.

Posted by twm | Report as abusive

First of all, I will qualify my answer with the fact that I am an independent and have voted for as many Republicans as I have Democrats over the years. I voted for George H.W. Bush, but not Bush 43. I am also a regular church-going Christian — of the mainstream Methodist persuasion.

Is Hillary marginalized? No.

She is working behind the scenes like a good team player. She has been traveling and working for the U.S. as our #1 diplomat. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is traveling to Zurich, London, Dublin, Belfast, and Moscow from October 9 to 15, 2009.

In Zurich, Secretary Clinton attended the signing of two protocols between the governments of Turkey and Armenia. In London and Dublin, the Secretary engaged in a series of discussions on a wide range of bilateral, transatlantic, and global issues. In Belfast, the Secretary emphasized the U.S. commitment to the joint economic prosperity of Northern Ireland and the United States, as well as reaffirming unwavering U.S. support for Northern Ireland’s peace process.

In Moscow, the Secretary is meeting with senior Russian officials to discuss progress on a successor agreement to “START”, cooperation on nonproliferation and counterterrorism, discussions about Iran, and the next steps for the Clinton-Lavrov commission.

She will not upstage President Obama. This makes me respect her all the more. She is doing an excellent job.

To those who think Obama is horrible as a President:
On George Bush’s watch the U.S. was attacked by terrorists (he ignored intelligence). After going to war in Afghanistan (where the terrorists were), he took his eye off the ball and went to war in Iraq (where the terrorists were NOT) after telling us Saddam had WMDs (a lie). The Iraq war has cost us nearly 1 trillion dollars so far.

Under his watch, a recession that started in 2007 was consistently denied — allowing it to turn into a near depression and disaster before giving it any attention — which eventually required billions in bailouts to keep our financial system afloat. Meanwhile, the average income of the middle class actually went down — the middle class was being squeezed.

Under his watch, manufacturing jobs left this country by the millions. We no longer manufacture much of anything. The borrowing of money from China to shore up our country’s debts (to pay for two wars) became rampant. China now practically owns us.

His school-yard bullying attitude of “your either for us or against us” turned practically the entire world against us. Had he had another year in office, we would possibly have become isolated — with a war in Iran.

Before becoming president, Bush failed at every business he “started” and he was in the process of bankrupting this country, too.

He left a mess for the next president to clean up. And no matter who had won — whether McCain or Obama — it will take years to clean up the mess.

Posted by Mae | Report as abusive

That seem to be more of a media issue if she is being marginalized. Other then that I think she’s a hard working, smart woman that doing her job. She’s polling very high right now and if she was more in the media crossfire they would find a way of dragging her down, as they’ve always done.

The Bush administration left such a mess behind, I’m sure she has a lot of clean up to keep her busy.

The campaign was a hard fought one, which left me a little disgusted with Hillary – both Clinton’s in general. But I must say, not seeing a lot of her is helping to heal the wounds and brings back the good feeling I once had for them.

Posted by Stellar | Report as abusive

Hillary clearly took a swipe at The Obama ego… endless screen time. I think she’s deliberately laying low so that the scapegoat role doesn’t fall on her. Why not let Obama take all the spotlight, credit and ultimately the RESPONSIBILITY for knee capping the US in the world.

Posted by Pamela Hutz | Report as abusive

I think Mrs Clinton has the right attitude, she is part of a team. I think she has done a great job of it.

Posted by sjensen | Report as abusive

Mrs Clinton is a true lady. She stood by her husband through a horridly personal event, when she could have ran. Most of you cannot imagine the shame of what she dealt with blown up into the world spotlight. Secretary of State Clinton, you are awesome, and I think doing a terrific job. As for people wanting to impeach Obama I ask this: Why? That ‘incredible’ Bush, you don’t bother to speak against him, and look at what he did to our economy, to our standing in the world’s eye.

Posted by Tony Barbour | Report as abusive

I’m continually amazed at how many people claim to come from “a wealthy family” and yet have no command of written English. Do the wealthy no longer school their children in grammar and punctuation?

Comparing Hillary to Palin is like comparing fine champagne to Boone’s Farm. Hillary is an educated, well-travelled and intelligent woman. Palin is a small-minded moron.

Those of you who are worried about the one world government need to check your prescription of Haldol because you may have schizophrenia (characterized by bizarre delusions and hallucinations).

Posted by BK | Report as abusive

Don’t think for a minute that Hilary doesn’t have a set of Billy balls. She is powerful, crafy and Barrack, Billy and Hilary make quite the troyka. It will show up big time during this adminstration.

Posted by Bob Burns | Report as abusive