Hillary Clinton breezed through her Senate confirmation hearing yesterday, writes Maureen Dowd, "performing as the A-student she always is" on topics from nuclear proliferation to governance in the Arctic. While Tim Geithner got caught up in controversy over back taxes, Hillary charmed the windy John Kerry and buttered the skeptical Dick Lugar. For the New York Times columnist, it looks as if Clinton, and not Geithner, could be the Obama Cabinet's real "hot nerd."
Only David Vitter, the Louisiana senator entangled with the DC Madam, dared to challenge Hillary—and she quickly batted him away. The new secretary of State "will easily intimidate the world’s dictators," says Dowd, "just as she often intimidated Obama in the primaries." But it remains to be seen whether she can drop her grudges against those who deserted her for Obama, and "manage Foggy Bottom better than she managed her foggy campaign."