Sunday, April 7, 2013

Hillary Clinton: Making Waves By Doing What Comes Naturally

It seems as if the media has lost its collective head over two public appearances this week by Hillary Clinton after a two-month absence from the public eye. It is interesting when you consider that around this time last year she was in Istanbul at a Friends of the Syrian People Conference  that was covered so shoddily that one vice presidential candidate was ignorant of the group's existence.  Where was the media frenzy then?  Might she have had something important to impart then?  Click on the image to see the video and remarks you did not see then since apparently it wasn't that important at the time.  It was only Hillary doing her job.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sp

If the media ever had covered Mme. Secretary's tenure at the State Department as energetically as it has followed John Kerry's from the start, there would never have been a need for this blog.  But while our Hillary sacrificed her personal family life to do her job in her signature dedicated manner, the press, largely,  stood aside .  We did hear interviews and reports from regulars in the press room and on her Big Blue Plane.  Most recently, Kim Ghattas published a book about these adventures.  For the most part, however these forays and the speeches delivered were given little media coverage despite MSM spending bucks to send their correspondents along for the rides.   Reports often consisted of  a correspondent quoting her while showing silent, truncated video clips of Hillary.

So one has to wonder why all the media hype this week?  What is new?  What does it mean?  What's it all about?  Here are the facts.  Hillary Clinton appears at these two events every year.  The sole exception was the Vital Voices event last year when she was on foreign travel, once again in Turkey.  If you click on the image you can see what the media neglected to provide about that event.

U.S. Secretary of State Clinton and Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu attend the Global Counterterrorism Forum in Istanbul

Chelsea appeared at Vital Voices in her place and brought along a video from her mom.  Hillary Clinton has routinely appeared at these annual events and had she not this year, that would or should have raised the antennae,  not the other way around.  Then the questions would/should have been, "Where is she?"  "Why isn't she here this year?"

Instead, apparently unaware of her history with these organizations and events, the press entered DEFCON 1 - maximum readiness - because she made two routine appearances at two events she tries never to miss.  In contrast, our current DEFCON level  with respect to  North Korea's threats is 4 - above normal readiness.

Here is the archive of Hillary Clinton's past appearances at the events that shook the airwaves this week.  None of these, in the past, received the coverage or were attributed the gravity her appearances at the same events received this past week.  All she did this week was what was routine for her, what came naturally.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the Ninth Annual Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards 

March 11, 2010 by still4hill |

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Remarks At the Women In The World Summit

March 15, 2010 by still4hill

Video: Secretary Clinton Introducing the play “Seven” at the Women in the World Summit 03.12.2010

March 15, 2010 by still4hill

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the Women in the World Summit **Updated With Video**

March 11, 2011 by still4hill

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the 10th Annual Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards

April 12, 2011 by still4hill |

Video: Hillary Clinton at “Women in the World 2012″

March 10, 2012 by still4hill

Hillary Clinton’s Video Message to Vital Voices

June 8, 2012 by still4hill

So it is these two  appearances that have the media all in a twirl and to which Maureen Dowd refers as  "tornado activity."   Two things we knew Hillary Clinton would do after stepping down as Secretary of State were making speeches and writing a book.  Over the past year or more Hillary has often said she would be speaking and writing.  She never, to my knowledge, mentioned a spa, Maureen.  Why the fact that she is doing what she said she would do should generate wide-eyed shock and speculation is as confounding as the reaction some of her supporters displayed in 2008 when, after suspending her campaign,  she went on the road to campaign for Obama-Biden as she had said she would.  Why is it lost on people that Hillary Clinton is a woman of her word?

Apparently Hillary Clinton is never so fascinating as when she does exactly what she has said she would do or is doing what she always has done while no one was paying attention. Dowd's Op-Ed in today's New York Times aggravates as much for what is omitted as for what is included.  As a woman and a journalist, how is it possible that Dowd does not know of Hillary's history of speaking at the above events? Of course she has known.  Clearly she chose to ignore that history for the sake of sensation.

She sprinkled in some irritants: "commandress" in chief?  Really? That {-ess} suffix eschewed  by women of many professions is truly a stretch.  A quick check found it  primarily referring to a social event and secondarily to a wardrobe style.  It is simply snarky from the keyboard  of one whose career was never subjected to what linguists refer to as marking.  Unlike a stage performer, Dowd has never been burdened with the {-ess} mark.  She should not have applied it where it does not belong.

For four years as Secretary of State in every country she visited, Hillary Clinton declared making women full partners in society and the economy "the unfinished business of the 21st century."  Friday was not the first time she said it.  It was more likely the thousandth, but since the media ignored all of those speeches, their readers and viewers might have the impression that this was the birth of a campaign slogan.  In truth it encapsulated her signature issue as secretary of state throughout her tenure and was no red flag.  It is her mantra.

It is arrogant of Dowd to question Hillary Clinton's ability to learn, her learning style, and to pseudo-analyze her personal academic history in that respect.  Worse, it is needlessly disruptive at this point to set up a false comparison between her style and Obama's.  Who says Obama gets an A cramming only the night before?  Where are the polls that assign him an A?

Many in the media point long fingers back at 2007-2008 and declare her campaign a disaster.  Certainly there are lessons to be learned there, but we should also remember that she did capture the popular vote and won primaries in landslides.  It was a failure to prime the caucus states that did not guarantee her the nomination.  If she does mount another campaign, certainly that metric will be recalculated.

Hillary Clinton's approach to all things is to analyze and gain a thorough grounding before speaking out.  That strategy would not be inappropriate for Dowd and the rest of the media to take in view of the short shrift Hillary's work at the State Department was given. Had they adopted this technique they would not have found Hillary Clinton's recent activities, from book deal to speeches,  in any way surprising or even significant.  All of that was simply Hillary being Hillary doing what she said she would do and doing what comes naturally to her.

Edited to add:  For all of the reasons stated above, Arianna Huffington has proven herself to be an envious ignoramus of monstrous proportions (as we have always known) given these remarks this morning.

Arianna Huffington: Hillary Clinton sending a bad message to women

During her appearance on ABC’s 'This Week,' liberal publisher Arianna Huffington was critical of Hillary Clinton for jumping back on the national stage so quickly.
“She’s obviously running,” Huffington said bluntly about Clinton's future in the 2016 presidential race.
Huffington added that she was disappointed that Clinton didn’t take more time to rest.
Read more >>>>>
No, Arianna, she was obviously fulfilling an annual commitment. Do not count on seeing her around much over the next few weeks, since she is not running. She will be writing and resting.