“We came. We saw. He died.” – Secy. Hillary Clinton, TIME magazine
The issue above is slated to hit newsstands on November 7, the day before my book, The Hillary Effect – Politics, Sexism and the Destiny of Loss comes out. I urge you to read this article, which is behind a subscriber wall. It will cost you $2.99 to get access for one week. Do it, if you possibly can. The media establishment needs to see evidence that Hillary Rodham Clinton, whether you love her or hate her, is a woman worthy of coverage and that people will pay to read candid articles and books about her, because of what she has accomplished. It’s how Sarah Palin happened, even after her vice presidential candidacy collapse. Sarah became bankable because of her fans. No one deserves to become monetized in media terms, that people will pay to read about her, more than Hillary Rodham Clinton.
They say timing is everything and I certainly hope so. Because Hillary has earned it, that’s why I wrote my book. This woman, this dynamo, this fighting female made history and her story matters to American politics, but now even the world.
The TIME article also has an iconic Hollywood type shot of Secy. Clinton looking positively fabulous, by Diane Walker. You will love it. As she heads into what will be her last year at the State Department, at least according to her own statements, there can be no doubt that Hillary Rodham Clinton is riding the wave she created, the Hillary Effect.
Beyond American politics, including the galvanizing impact her loss represented for both women and men, in and out of Washington, which is the focus of my book, the Hillary Effect can be seen across her diplomatic efforts, but also in the latest action by Pres. Obama, the bombing of Libya. It’s one of the things over which Secy. Clinton and I differ greatly. But if you believe the New York Times reporting, among others, which I do, Hillary was instrumental in what manifested. The militaristic reaction by Pres. Obama and his administration, including Clinton, toward Kaddafi’s threats to massacre Libyans made them act through NATO with bombings and force. And guess what, it worked to get rid of Kaddafi.
I was strongly against Pres. Obama’s decision and disagreed with Clinton’s choice to side with Samantha Power and Dr. Susan Rice, though I understand and sympathize greatly with their humanitarian reasons to suggest bombing Libya to save the people. But what will replace Kaddafi? The stories so far are not promising, nor is what this action means to U.S. foreign policy as part of an overall strategic vision.
It’s the militaristic reaction from women, now represented very well through Libya, that proves we’ve got a long way to go before females can add the dimension needed on foreign policy matters. Of course, it helps that it’s just not practical anymore to send a large footprint into nations. However, a smaller force doesn’t mean no involvement or that our impact will not be costly to the U.S., not just financially, but more importantly in our global focus.
When it comes to military action, Secy. Clinton, as well as Power and Rice, but also Madeleine Albright, have proven women aren’t yet ready to lead differently than men. Albright once saying “What’s the point of you saving this superb military for, Colin, if we can’t use it?”
Will it be different as American women take larger roles in the military and get more involved on the front lines of battle? Conservative women are always the first to say fight, “man up,” while simultaneously spewing that women shouldn’t have combat roles. The irony is not lost on people like me who study these issues and the surrounding hypocrisy.
There’s a story that’s gone around for a long time about Clinton being one of the most trusted Democrats by the Pentagon establishment, because she understands the military. It’s something former Pres. Bill Clinton did not enjoy. All of the research I’ve done proves this to be the case regarding Hillary. It comes out of her generation and her persona, which has at its core traditionalism, something that informs all she does, particularly her larger foreign policy philosophy, beyond her diplomatic instincts, but particularly her domestic priorities.
If Secy. Clinton wasn’t the star talent she is, knowing how to speak the language of men and might, she would never have convinced the Arab League and leaders of the Arab world to approve of Pres. Obama’s actions through NATO.
This is also part of the Hillary Effect.
But so was Sarah Palin’s history making presence on the Republican presidential ticket; Michele Bachmann’s Tea Party candidacy, which also made her the first Republican female in U.S. history to win a straw poll, primary or caucus; so is Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who’s stepping out to help women like Rep. Hochul and many others; as is Elizabeth Warren, whose fan base makes her look like a presidential contender. These are just a few examples of women breaking out since Hillary’s historic candidacy that made her the first woman in U.S. history to win a major party presidential primary.
Secy. Clinton’s tenure at the State Dept., through the brilliance of Pres. Obama choosing her to not only run State but resurrect it from the ashes of Bush-Cheney, has shifted the world in the short-term. This shift is one reason why Clinton’s work post-State will be so important, because it’s a continuation of her “human rights are women’s rights” speech in Beijing, China as first lady, which began the charge of her life: convincing the world that women and girls matter to countries and that the stability of nations depends on females being part of the political process and economic future of each country.
Clinton’s feminist philosophy, if you will, has established “human rights are women’s rights” as a tenet to U.S. diplomacy, which includes women’s ability, no matter where they live, to have access to reproductive health care, in order for women to plan their life and their family.
How she’s altered the State Dept. through her leadership is the story yet to be told, which will no doubt happen once she starts her next chapter. Experts on diplomacy and statecraft will no doubt weigh in soon, though I’ve offered a brief preamble in my book.
Clinton opens a chance for women to succeed in the hierarchy of U.S. foreign policy. What has not happened is that women today have yet to break out of the male dominated militaristic language and attachment to use of force tactics to solve problems that are well outside America’s strategic interest.
Secy. Clinton has made U.S. history in putting women and girls at the forefront of U.S. diplomacy. Her impact in Afghanistan, Africa, but also in the world at large is undeniable. Across the globe backward countries like Pakistan, Syria, Afghanistan still abuse and marginalize women, as will no doubt happen in Libya if sharia law is implemented. But Clinton gave women a voice, a megaphone and a platform, and though there will be brutal battles ahead to drag religious fundamentalist Arab and Muslim countries and the citizenry into modernity, it has begun.
It’s another facet of the Hillary Effect.