Clinton Torn Between Leading and Blending In
Blunt talk and campaign-style events ruffle some diplomatic feathers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2009 6:33 AM CDT
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton takes part in a joint news conference, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009, at the State Department in Washington.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
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(Newser) – Hillary Clinton has impressed many in her 8 months as secretary of state but her own leadership aspirations are sometimes all too obvious, Glenn Kessler writes at the Washington Post. Clinton has forged close working relationships with other Cabinet members and made her desire to cooperate clear, Kessler writes, but she has also seemed out of step with the administration at times, and analysts see her as pursuing her own agenda on issues like women's rights.

Clinton brought a large staff with her to the department, Kessler notes, which veteran staffers dismiss as a jobs program for campaign faithful, some of whom still harbor hopes that she may take another shot at the presidency. Her plain-speaking manner has ruffled plenty of feathers in the diplomatic world, and her town hall appearances around the globe smack of campaign stops. But Clinton says she feels an urgent need to explain to ordinary Americans why it is important to spend money on programs like improving women's literacy rates overseas.