Tension Builds Between Hillary, Obama

Clinton a strong secretary, but not yet administration's voice
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2009 6:50 PM CST
Tension Builds Between Hillary, Obama
Hillary Clinton listens to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, not pictured, at the Presidential Palace in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009.   (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Ask Hillary Clinton or her staff about President Obama and they’ll praise him and tell you the relationship between the two really is strong. But the tensions between the State Department and White House are starting to show, writes Joe Klein. The president’s foreign policy hasn’t yet yielded results, and on her recent Pakistan trip, Clinton gave the first hints that she’d like to assert her independence—and move beyond what Klein calls “the Rodney King ‘Can’t we all just get along?’ phase.”

The White House, meanwhile, doesn’t like Clinton’s tendency to use unnecessarily dramatic language, like when she called Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest peace overture “unprecedented”—even though it wasn’t—annoying Palestinians. Clinton has been a valuable voice abroad, but she hasn’t been Obama's foreign-policy voice at home. Such tensions are within the boundaries of “creative policy making,” writes Klein in Time, but the question lingers: “How much can these former rivals really trust each other?” (More Hillary Clinton stories.)

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