La Crónica de Hoy, Mexico
What Did Hillary Clinton Really Win?
By Concepción Badillo
Translated By Cydney Seigerman
6 February 2013
Edited by Gillian Palmer
Mexico - La Crónica de Hoy - Original Article (Spanish)
In the three decades that she has been in the public eye, Hillary Rodham Clinton has been the wife of a governor, the first lady, a betrayed wife, an influential senator, a presidential candidate and, most recently, as secretary of state, the most famous and recognized diplomat in this nation and in the world.
This week, however, by her own decision, she is one more private citizen for the first time in more than 30 years, with the difference being that she is still considered the most powerful woman in the United States. And perhaps the most controversial woman, whom no one believes will truly distance herself from politics forever.
Last Friday was her last day in her most recent public position. Although she denies having presidential ambitions and has said that she is not considering competing once again for the job that Barack Obama won from her in 2008, she remains, according to well-known analysts, the favored Democratic candidate for the 2016 elections. After all, the first African-American president has already been elected; it is time, they say, for a woman to be elected.
For right now, Hillary Clinton departs from the State Department, admired by many, criticized by others, more well-traveled than any other of her predecessors, with a record of having visited 112 countries, an average of 28 nations per year during the four years that she worked for her former opponent, traversing more than 1.5 million kilometers, passing almost the same amount of time in the air as on the ground.
She leaves the State Department and the public life, however, without having had a single extraordinary success that characterizes or closes with a flourish her diplomatic career or that places her on par of other chancellors of this country who went down in history for their accomplishments, including George C. Marshall or Henry Kissinger.
On the other hand, she also did not have grave or transcendental failures. And, yes, she was influential in the reestablishment of Washington’s relationship with Myanmar and supported the formation of South Sudan. Additionally, she contributed to establishing a union of nations, albeit weak, which oppose Iran’s supposed nuclear plans.
Her critics insist that with her at the head of diplomacy, the peace process in the Middle East was stagnant, relations with Russia disintegrated and she was incapable of helping to curb the civil war in Syria. Experts, even those who said they admire Clinton, assert that she did not resolve any problems nor achieve any victories.
However, other analysts have recognized that when Hillary Clinton assumed the position, President Obama and the entire world had high hopes for her, in that moment when most of the world was furious with the United States for the politics carried out by George W. Bush’s administration. The secretary of state did not disappoint them. With her presence, her personality and the fame of her name, she succeeded in reversing a large part of the anti-American sentiment felt worldwide.
This does not negate the fact that she leaves behind no legacy and that she produced not a single new doctrine or international political strategy. Her supporters, however, argue that overall, this was due to the fact that Washington’s relationship with the rest of the world was issued and determined by the White House itself.
In fact, Hillary Clinton devoted much of her tenure in diplomacy to promote issues of a different nature, including the use of social networks, Internet security and climate change. Additionally, she passionately dedicated time to defend all aspects of equality for women. In a recent statement, she insisted that it is unjust that different parameters for men and women continue in politics and that every aspect of a woman is analyzed in politics, even the most trivial details, including the clothes they wear.
Secretary Clinton admitted that the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya last September, during which four American citizens were killed, including the ambassador, was the lowest and saddest point of her career. However, she has yet to comment on her opinion of Republican Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina, who said that Clinton left her position with a crime in tow.
Clinton insists that she does not know what will happen to her in the future, but that for now, what she wants is to rest and sleep. On Monday, ex-senator John Kerry from Massachusetts replaced her as secretary of state. No one is hopeful, however, that Obama’s current international politics will change at all with him. After all, upon beginning his second term, the president only referenced one country in his speech: his own. He did not speak about plans regarding any other.
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