Friday, December 20, 2013

5th Annual Hillary Rodham Clinton Year in Review: Installment I January 2013

Hillary Clinton's final month at the State Department began with her in the hospital being treated for a blood clot that was discovered during tests related to a concussion sustained when she fainted at home the month before.   Early January reports stated that she was working from her hospital room,  but Mme. Secretary did not want grass growing under her kitten heels.  On January 2, she left the hospital for home.  For a few days, her public schedule stated that she had no public events, but on January 7, she returned to the office.

By January 9, she was back to a full-day public schedule, meeting with foreign dignitaries and presiding over official events.   Republicans at the Tea Party tip of the wing were salivating to have her testify on Benghazi.

In mid-January her long-awaited testimony on Benghazi.was scheduled and announced.  "Mr. Hillary Rodham Clinton" made a surprise appearance at the Golden Globe Awards, and Chelsea announced that her mom was "Doing great!."

Seth Meyers named her to GQ's 100 Hottest List (we agree) and more recently has said he would like to have her as a guest when he takes over Late Night from Jimmy Fallon.   We hope she accepts!

On January 20, she and President Clinton attended the inauguration.

On the 22nd, the retirement of her 2008 campaign debt was announced.  Her schedule for the 23rd consisted of testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee followed by a meeting at the White House.   The following day, she returned to the same Senate committee to introduce her successor, John Kerry,  to the committee he chaired.  It went well.

On the 27th she appeared on 60 Minutes in a joint interview with President Obama setting off a great deal of 2016 speculation.  A flurry of media interviews were to follow along with a series of electronic thank you cards from a variety of sources in appreciation of her service as Secretary of State.   Among the interviews, was one with Cynthia McFadden when she was asked about her now famous outburst at a question.   Here was her response.
QUESTION: Let’s talk for a moment about Benghazi. It seemed as though you lost your temper at the hearing momentarily the other day.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I believe that we should in public life, whether you’re in the Administration or the Congress, de-politicize crises and work together to figure out what happened, what we can do to prevent it, and then put into place both the institutional changes and the budgetary changes that are necessary. And the majority of the panelists in both the House and the Senate I thought were very constructive, asked sensible questions that deserved answers. But when someone tries to put it into a partisan lens, when they focus not on the fact that we had such a terrible event happening with four dead Americans, but instead what did somebody say on a Sunday morning talk show, that to me is not in keeping with the seriousness of the issue and the obligation we all have as public servants.
QUESTION: But do you regret – “What difference at this point does it make?” It has been so analyzed in the moments since you said it.
SECRETARY CLINTON: No, because I think that asking questions about talking points for a Sunday morning talk show, it’s really missing the point. The Accountability Review Board chaired by Ambassador Pickering and Admiral Mullen didn’t pay any attention to that. They looked at what we could have done, what we have to do in order to prevent this in the future. And remember there have only been two of these accountability review boards for the time since 1988 ever made public. All the others have been classified. I believe in transparency. I said let the chips fall where they may, put it all out there. And I don’t want that to be politicized. I want it to serve as a framework for working together between the Administration and the Congress to keep our people safe.
QUESTION: So you stand by what you said?
Reminder:  Links to that unclassified report and the cover letter are in the sidebar on the right.

She conducted her final Town Hall at the State Department on January 30.  Her last speech as Secretary of State was delivered at the Council on Foreign Relations on January 31 and addressed American leadership.

She would depart the State Department the following day.

Mme. Secretary,  thank you again for your dedicated service to our country.  It was a pleasure to record your contributions over your four-year tenure.

The archives for January 2013 can be accessed here.