Clinton's Grade at State: Just 'Solid'

Popular leader hasn't left enduring legacy: analysts

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 28, 2013 11:47 AM CST

(Newser) – As Hillary Clinton leaves the State Department a fawning public is eating out of her hand, but policy wonks are less impressed, complaining that she hasn't left an indelible mark. "She has never dominated issues of war and peace in the manner of predecessors Dean Acheson or Henry Kissinger, or laid down an enduring diplomatic doctrine," writes Paul Richter in the Los Angeles Times. The top foreign policy issues of her tenure, ranging from the Middle East to North Korea, remain volatile, with some even more dicey than they were when she took office.

For one thing, President Obama "tightly controlled foreign policy," leaving her less room to maneuver. Meanwhile, various conflicts meant her plan to have three "special envoys" for key problems never panned out. "It's tough to see what's happened in world politics over the last four years that wouldn't have happened without her," says an ex-administration official. Still, she comes out with a "stellar reputation," including an approval rating that hovered around 70%. "She's the first secretary who's also been a global rock star," says another official. In short, says an analyst, she was "more solid than spectacular." Click for Richter's full column.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton smiles during a lighter moment as she testifies on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs about the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other...
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton smiles during a lighter moment as she testifies on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs about the deadly September...   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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