Loyal but Tough, Clinton Returns to Fore

Facing do-everything White House, Hillary reasserts herself
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2009 5:43 AM CDT

(Newser) – Yesterday Hillary Clinton delivered an ambitious, muscular speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, in which she warned Iran of further sanctions while defending Barack Obama's policy of multifront diplomacy with rogue states. After months in the shadows, writes New York Times reporter Mark Landler, the secretary of State wanted to make a splash. Faced with a strong White House, Clinton reasserted her allegiance to the president, but also defended her turf as the nation's top diplomat.

Clinton leaves today for India and Thailand, but she has been out of the spotlight lately; a broken elbow forced her to cancel two trips, and she is undergoing tough physical therapy five times a day. And Obama has seized some of her turf—he moved her top Iran adviser to the White House, and recently blocked a State job for journalist Sidney Blumenthal. Yet while Clinton's speech was assertive, she was scrupulously loyal: She mentioned the president eight times in 34 minutes.