Hillary's Not Under Barack's Thumb
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2009 8:32 AM CDT
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington yesterday.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – Critics who say Barack Obama is forcing Hillary Clinton to keep a low profile, a la a Daily Beast charge that it's time to let her take off the burqa, don't understand how foreign policy gets made in America, Anne Applebaum writes at the Washington Post. Clinton's post at State is a "fabulously ill-defined job," Applebaum writes, and one that offers her plenty of scope to set her own agenda and engage with the world as she chooses.

"One presumes that she consults with the president on major speeches and key issues," Applebaum writes, "but other than that, she sets her program," as seen by her recent off-message comments about a missile shield to prevent the Middle East from Iran. "It is largely up to Clinton, not Obama, to determine what kind of secretary of State she will be," Applebaum concludes, and "If she hasn't done so yet, that isn't the president's fault."