Clinton Moves to Beef Up State

Bigger budget, expanded role sought for department that withered under Bush
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2008 8:20 AM CST
Special envoys did not play a big role in the Bush administration, with Condoleezza Rice usually sent in person to take care of peacemaking initiatives.   (AP Photo/Meet The Press, Alex Wong)
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(Newser) – Hillary Clinton is already working to restore some of the strength sapped from the State Department under the Bush administration, the New York Times reports. Clinton is seeking a bigger budget for the department and wants to restore the role played by high-profile special envoys. Officials say Clinton also wants to carve out a bigger role for the department in tackling the global financial crisis.

Insiders say Clinton's push for a more powerful State Department has support from the Pentagon, which believes jobs like the economic reconstruction of Afghanistan and Iraq could have been handled by the foreign service instead of the military. Clinton's desire for the department to play a bigger role in economic affairs, however, could put her on a collision course with other powerful Cabinet members.