December 2, 2008 posted by admin While President-elect Obama called on Monday for "a new dawn of American leadership," his selection of Hillary Clinton as our country's next Secretary of State brings a well-known, and in many instances well-liked, face to the international scene. It is this mix of familiarity joined with fresh perspective that will allow Clinton to rebuild our nation's relationships with the world's leaders. According to The New York Times , the team assembled by Obama calls for a "sweeping foreign policy shift," geared to "strengthening the tools needed to deal with unconventional threats." A well-funded and active state department is indeed central to this goal. But building the opportunities to make this shift requires the mending of U.S. relations around the globe. Clinton, who already knows and is known by so many on the world stage, will spend much of her first 100 days in office on the telephone restoring confidence and renewing friendships. And as part of the funding for a re-renewed state department role, there will be bridges to build with the Pentagon as a source of support where Defense Secretary Gates promises to be a major ally. Not only does Clinton bring established relationships with many world leaders, she has the added advantage of strong connections to women on the ground. At the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, Clinton's declaration that "women's rights are human rights" had global resonance, setting up a profound alliance with local and national women leaders worldwide. Throughout her tenure as First Lady, both inside the administration and in her international role, Clinton was consistent in her commitment to women. In her newfound position as Secretary of State, these very women may prove strong allies in Clinton's work. During the lengthy primary season, Clinton assured the public that she could handle foreign policy. As our nation's incoming Secretary of State, she can now hit the ground, and the phones.
--Marie Wilson, President & Founder, The White House Project 
This post is part of a forum