Hillary Clinton showed off her "substantive and unspectacular" side on her trip to the Middle East this week, writes David S. Cloud in Politico. Hearkening back to her early days in the Senate, she impressed colleagues by chipping away at details, figuring out how to play her new role. But her star power still shone through as she won applause from Arabs and Europeans who clearly liked the new face of America.
No matter that she got little done in the Mideast; who could do better, with rockets flying and Israel forming a new government. Most importantly, "her grueling schedule and pitch-perfect answers" showed that she's not just passing the job off to envoys picked by President Obama. "Her celebrity gives her a tool she seems intent on exploiting, both within the administration and overseas," writes Cloud.