In the Shadows, Hillary's Power Grows

Retiring secretary of state has won Obama's admiration
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2009 6:31 AM CDT
Barack Obama introduces China's President Hu Jintao to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at Winfield House in London, Wednesday, April 1, 2009.    (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
camera-icon View 5 more images

(Newser) – Hillary Clinton has kept a low profile at the G20 summit, ceding the spotlight to Barack Obama and Tim Geithner, and when she and the president travel to NATO summit and EU meetings over the next few days she may not utter a single word in public. But while the secretary of state is out of the spotlight, her influence in the Obama administration is rising. As the New York Times reports, Clinton's pragmatism and collegial approach have greatly impressed her former rival.

Beyond their weekly scheduled meeting, Clinton and Obama see each other several times a week in the White House, and aides say the secretary of state has come to see herself as the president's top staff member. But while the two leaders have a good rapport, Clinton had a vivid reminder of the administration's hierarchy on Tuesday night: Her relatively modest Boeing 757 was put in a holding pattern above London, while controllers cleared the skies for Air Force One.