Monday, May 7, 2012

As the World Turns: New Diplomatic Landscape Develops for Hillary Clinton

We loved Nicholas Sarkozy in the role of Prince Charming when our gorgeous Cinderella lost her slipper on the steps of the Elysee Palace once-upon-a-time.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, left, loses her shoe as she is greeted upon her arrival by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, right, on the steps of the Elysee palace, Paris, Friday, Jan. 29, 2010. Clinton flew to Paris on Friday for talks with French officials and to give a speech on European security in which she will underscore the Obama administration's commitment to the continent's security. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Last month she clearly charmed French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe on a visit to Paris.
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe (R) turns to speak to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the family photo during the meeting of "The Friends of Syria" in Paris April 19, 2012. Major international powers meeting in Paris on Thursday called a U.N.-backed peace plan the "last hope" to resolve the Syrian crisis and said they would do all they could to help it succeed, according to draft conclusions obtained by Reuters. The agenda of the "Friends of Syria" meeting, which includes France, the United States, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, is to ensure the Arab League-U.N. plan succeeds. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier (FRANCE - Tags: POLITICS)
It is all history now as a new French government prepares to step to the fore under Socialist François Hollande.  We will watch with interest as our intrepid SOS greets the new leadership.  We expect to see smart power on steroids in the coming weeks.

Hollande defeats Sarkozy in French presidential election

Top story: Francois Hollande beat French President Nicolas Sarkozy with just over 51 percent of the vote in a runoff election on Sunday, becoming the first Socialist to win the presidency since Francois Mitterrand left office in 1995. Sarkozy, the first French president since 1981 to not win a second term, will officially transfer power to Hollande on May 15.
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Meanwhile, on the Russian front. he-man superstar Vladimir Putin has reclaimed his former post as president.

Vladimir Putin Sworn In For Third Term As Russia's President

By LYNN BERRY 05/07/12 07:48 AM ET AP
MOSCOW -- Vladimir Putin took the oath of office in a brief but regal Kremlin ceremony on Monday, while on the streets outside thousands of helmeted riot police prevented hundreds of demonstrators from protesting his return to the presidency.
Putin, 59, has ruled Russia since 2000, first as president and then during the past four years as prime minister. The new, now six-year term will keep him in power until 2018, with the option of running for a fourth term.
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Four years ago, when Dmitri Medvedev stepped into the presidency, there was speculation that he was a placeholder for Putin.  Those whispers   have never died down. We see her here with Putin at a meeting at his residence in Russia which had not been scheduled but which she requested.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, left, greets U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during a meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo just outside Moscow, Friday, March 19, 2010. Clinton said Friday that American and Russian negotiators are "on the brink" of agreement on a nuclear arms reduction treaty. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Pool)
We can reasonably expect that aside from dealing anew with Putin, Mme. Secretary will continue her successful working relationship with Sergei Lavrov whom we do not expect to see replaced and with whom she successfully hammered out the New START Treaty.
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov smile as they exchange documents after finalizing the New START treaty during the Conference on Security Policy in Munich, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
So, at least as far as Russia is concerned, plus ça change, plus c'est la meme chose.