Clinton exits post having helped restore standing of US overseas
The Nation/Asia News Network
February 5, 2013, 12:09 pm TWN
When Hillary Clinton was asked to take the post of the U.S. secretary of state just four years ago by a recently appointed American president, Barack Obama, many saw it was a trade-off.
The two had fought hard during the presidential primaries but none of that carried over into the first Obama administration. Could Obama have picked a better candidate? Perhaps.
But Clinton, too, was taking a chance as she was certain to take the top position in the Senate if she hadn't accepted the nomination to be Secretary of State. She was also moving away from her comfort zone of social policy for something that was somewhat uncharted for her and her political career.
But things didn't turn out so bad for the first Obama administration or for America for that matter. Although she leaves behind no major single achievement that all of us can easily point to, Clinton's stamina and teamwork has helped smooth America's troubled relationship with Pakistan.
Moreover, under her watch, the U.S. standing in Asia was being restored. While being firm on China's human rights record, Clinton did not damage the wider U.S. relationship with China when she helped secure the release of the blind activist Chen Guangcheng.
In fact, engagement with civil society was an important part of her world tour. But while it may be too soon to judge U.S. performance in its dealing with China, Russia and the Middle East, Clinton, without a doubt, helped restored America's credibility and political capital that was damaged during the George W Bush administration.