If Congress doesn't pass an omnibus appropriation bill, the resulting funding cuts will "seriously impede our efforts to meet unanticipated national security needs," Secretary Clinton said yesterday in a statement.
Without an omnibus bill, the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) would be subject to a yearlong continuing resolution that "would sharply cut our funding and severely weaken the [State] Department and USAID's ability to execute our critical civilian missions, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq," Clinton stated.
She also said, "We need these resources now more than ever to support national security priorities in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan where we are helping secure gains made by our military and preventing the spread of violent extremism."
Clinton and other government officials have repeatedly said that U.S. foreign policy rests on three pillars: defense, diplomacy, and development. Weaken the pillars of diplomacy and development, and the edifice of U.S. foreign policy collapses. Leaders such as Gen. David Petraeus have said that there is "no military solution" to Iraq (and the same can be said of Afghanistan). The Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review -- released yesterday and titled "Leading Through Civilian Power," asks, "How can we do better?" It answers, "we will build up our civilian power: the combined force of civilians working together across the U.S. government to practice diplomacy, carry out development projects, and prevent and respond to crises."
Some lawmakers, such as Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), wish to cut the State Department and foreign-aid budgets. Guess she's not into the three-pillars thing.
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Judicial Watch, perhaps best known for its judicial harassment of the Clintons in the 90s, is at it again. Today, officially on behalf of Foreign Service Officer David C. Rodearmel, the organization filed a lawsuit claiming that Hillary Clinton is constitutionally ineligible to serve as Secretary of State -- as they telegraphed last month that they would.
The basis of the lawsuit is that, in effect, any senator who was serving when a Cabinet secretary position received a raise (as the secretary of state did in January 2008) cannot then assume that position.
Under the "Emoluments" or "Ineligibility" clause of the U.S. Constitution, no member of Congress can be appointed to a civilian position within the U.S. government if the "emoluments" of the position, such as the salary or benefits paid to whoever occupies the office, increased during the term for which the Senator or Representative was elected.
In order to get around this, as presidents have done since the days of William Howard Taft, Congress decreased the salary of the secretary of state by $4700 in mid-December -- to the salary Rice was making when Clinton started her second Senate term. Judicial Watch argues that even though Clinton won't benefit from the pay raise Rice received, she nonetheless was there when it happened and thus is technically ineligible.
They furthermore argue that forcing Rodearmel to serve under her would be forcing him to break his Foreign Service oath, by which he promised to uphold the Constitution. Apparently, some habits die hard, and suing the Clintons is one of them.
This morning, Hillary Clinton attended a White House ceremony to watch Barack Obama sign his first bill into law: the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act. That act reverses a 2007 Supreme Court decision that narrowed the statute of limitations on filing pay discrimination suits.
Hillary Clinton was one of the initial co-sponsors of the Senate legislation (later blocked by Republicans) that sought to change this decision and, in one of her few official acts before being confirmed as Secretary of State, signed on as an original co-sponsor again this year. She appeared with Lilly Ledbetter to rally for the legislation, spoke about the act on the floor of the Senate, and proclaimed its importance during her speech at the Democratic National Convention. She's no doubt delighted at the bill's success. Also in attendance: Nancy Pelosi and Michelle Obama.
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On Tuesday, Politico's Glenn Thrush reported about a little tête-à-tête between Hillary Clinton and John Cornyn in the Capitol. Cornyn, you'll recall, had just prevented a unanimous consent vote on Hillary's nomination and Thrush, who saw but did not hear the discussion, characterized the exchange as "heated," which Cornyn denied.
Well, one of our eagle-eyed sources spotted the same discussion and was able to get within earshot just in time to hear Clinton warn Cornyn, "The Clintons don't forget." One day later, Cornyn's objections to Clinton's confirmation magically disappeared and the man who had set the roll call vote in motion voted in favor of confirming Clinton. Now let's see how she handles Hamid Karzai.
UPDATE: A spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee emailed Madam Secretary with this:
This story about what Sen. Clinton allegedly told Sen. Cornyn is false and it’s disappointing that the Senator’s office was not contacted before it was posted. Senator Cornyn has made clear, including in an op-ed in the Austin American Statesman today, that this situation had nothing to do with Senator Clinton personally, and everything to do with his long record as an advocate for transparency in government.
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Elizabeth Moore at Long Island's Newsday has a rather eloquent eulogy to Hillary Clinton's Senate career, with quotes of praise from some of Clinton's most vociferous former enemies. I have to say: Guys! She's only just getting started!
She was nothing short of phenomenal," says former Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, one of the first lady's chief tormentors during the 1990s as chairman of a Senate committee that held hearings on the Whitewater scandal.
"She was at first viewed as a celebrity dilettante," D'Amato says now. "By dint of her absolute total dedication, she made New Yorkers believers."
If you don't know why it's a big deal for D'Amato to call Clinton a phenomenal senator well in advance of an actual eulogy, you might want to hearken back to those aforementioned Whitewater hearings, in which D'Amato accused Clinton of being a pathological liar involved in Vince Foster's suicide. Oh, and lying under oath. D'Amato hopes you don't dig up those transcripts, though.
Moore recalls the worst slurs against Clinton, including the mean-spirited obsession with her hairstyles (we mostly just want to know if we could ever afford her colorist!), the infamous cookie-baking gaffe, the utter failure of Hillarycare, and the somewhat blind loyalty that allowed her to discard Occam's razor in L'affaire Lewinsky and blame the "vast right wing conspiracy" -- which, having been subjected to it for the past eight years, most people would agree is giving the right far more credit than is deserved. But Moore also notes how Hillary managed to turn it all around in time to make 18 millions cracks and ascend to the Secretary of State perch more popular than ever.
Clinton's coiffure found peace in the Senate, a chamber where she carved out a reputation as a collegial centrist who could pray over breakfast with men who'd voted to impeach her husband, vote to authorize an invasion of Iraq, and be counted on as the best-prepared person at any meeting. Here in New York, that "listening tour" presaged a tenure that would carry the motorcade to an estimated 4,600 events around the state's 62 counties, including 96 visits to Long Island - a schlepping record respectable even compared to her Senate colleague Charles Schumer.And although Moore picks at the edges of Clinton's ultimately unsuccessful quest to be No. 44, she ends her eulogy to Clinton's career much as Hillary herself did: looking forward to what she's doing next.
Bloomberg reports the obvious this morning that Hillary will still face questions on Clinton Foundation donors in the weeks and months ahead. In summarizing the criticism and questioning she received from fellow senators during her confirmation hearing and the Senate vote yesterday, they got this response from Hillary's spokesman:
Asked for comment on the senators’ criticism, Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines responded by e-mail: "94-2."
Here's Hillary being sworn in last night in her Senate office, with Bill looking on:
Photo courtesy of State Department
After days of wrangling, objections by Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, Texas Sen. John Cornyn and Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn-- and a day's delay to accommodate a full Senatorial roll call vote -- the Senate just voted to confirm Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, 94-2. Those two nay votes came from Vitter and South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint -- but not from Cornyn, who was the one to insist on a roll call vote in the first place, or Coburn, both of whom voted in favor of Clinton.
Vitter, who famously moralized about needing to impeach Bill Clinton for his moral failings and then was caught patronizing prostitutes, couldn't even get his comrades-in-arms to support his anti-Clinton protest vote. All this delay came strictly so that Vitter, Cornyn, Coburn, and DeMint could thumb their noses at her. How statesman-like. In any event, here she goes!
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Although the Senate today voted to confirm a variety of other Cabinet nominees by unanimous consent -- including now-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano -- Hillary Clinton was left figuratively (in addition to literally) out in the cold. Her unanimous consent vote was delayed by John Cornyn's machinations, so Harry Reid will be having a full Senate vote on the nomination tomorrow.
Glenn Thrush of Politico reports that Cornyn and Clinton had "a fairly heated (that is to say, intense but cordial) discussion" in the Capitol today, a characterization that Cornyn's staff disputes, but which sounds as right to us as it does to Thrush.
Glenn Thrush at Politico reports that some Republicans are planning to hold up Hillary Clinton's confirmation vote because of their desire for more timely Clinton Foundation disclosures. Texas Republican John Cornyn (the incoming head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee) and Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn have both publicly expressed dissatisfaction with Hillary's answers at her Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing to questions about renegotiating the Memorandum of Understanding between the foundation and the Obama transition team. Those concerns, of course, were the reasons David Vitter gave for his vote against Clinton at the committee hearing.
Although neither Vitter, Cornyn, or Coburn will be able to filibuster Clinton's nomination, they can disrupt tomorrow's planned vote in the Senate. Majority Leader Harry Reid had scheduled it as a Unanimous Consent vote, which means that most senators need not be in attendance for the measure to pass and no one need vote individually.
However, if one senator in attendance objects, the majority leader is obliged to hold a full vote and record inviduals senators' votes -- and most of the Senate plans to be out and about for the Inauguration tomorrow. This means that the full vote (which Hillary is unlikely to lose) would occur, at the earliest, on Wednesday. And it will give guys like Vitter, Cornyn, and Coburn to register yet another vote against
Bill Hillary Clinton.
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Despite being a Senior Statesman(TM) and officially retired from government service, Bill Clinton always manages to attract attention even when he's not around. This week's round of confirmation hearings was a case in point.
Not only was his work with the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative the topic of the most scrutiny at Hillary's hearing on Tuesday -- and ostensibly cost Hillary David Vitter's vote and a unanimous nod from the committee -- the Bill connection also tied Attorney General nominee Eric Holder into knots in his confirmation hearing today. The Obama folks have to be so tired of hearing "Bill" and "Clinton" in the same sentence right now.
Stephen Jaffe/AFP/Getty Images
Hillary Clinton just took to the floor of the Senate to give her final speech as the Senator from New York, wearing what is totally one of my favorite suits of hers (the royal blue). As befits both the departing senator from New York and, by all accounts, the soon-to-be secretary of state, she spoke at length about the events on September 11th and the aftermath, which has shaped so much of this country's foreign policy over the last 7 years. But she also took a moment to rib Senator Chuck Schumer about his penchant for television cameras and some rural senators for not knowing about New York's farmers.
Those brought a couple of moments of levity to an otherwise somber and heartfelt speech, during which Hillary seemed occasionally close to tearing up as she bid farewell to a job and an institution that seemingly brought her far more professional fulfillment than any before.
Clinton, whose eyes welled up as she worked the elegant LBJ room in the Capitol, hugged and kissed colleagues, posed for pictures and thanked them one by one as she reminded them she would be "just around the corner." Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) nearly choked up as he spoke. "Parting is such sweet sorrow — I have such sweet memories of you," he said. "I feel like crying." An emotional Clinton responded, "This is not goodbye — this is just a wave, Harry. ... We're going to be in each others' hearts and minds."
Reid does know that Foggy Bottom is a 10-minute cab ride from the Senate, right?
At the end of the night, after greeting more than 31 senators as well as Rahm Emanuel, Larry Summers, and several New York Congress members, Hillary left her party, telling her guests, "Let’s go out and make the future better than it is." She always did give a good farewell speech.
Despite an early offer from Chairman John Kerry to sit behind the senators so that her mom could see her smiling face during the long hours of testimony, Chelsea Clinton sat just behind her mother's right shoulder throughout the course of the hearing with her perfect posture, her impossibly perfect hair, and a magenta wool dress that I desperately coveted from 20 feet away.
But the chairman's offer wasn't the last time her name came up in the hearing. Several of the assembled senators -- perhaps at the behest of their majority-male staff -- made mention of Kerry's internship/seating offer throughout the hearing, which Chelsea acknowledged with a faint smile and a firm commitment to stay close to her mother. Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson, who had the first post-lunch question, mentioned how proud Hillary was of her daughter and that she would undoubtedly like to see some grandchildren soon -- and Chelsea didn't even claw his eyes out.
The only time I saw more than a hint of Chelsea's profile, though, was during her mother's battle of wits with the unarmed David Vitter, when I could have sworn her (perfectly made-up) lips sneered ever so slightly at him. Mostly I just stared at her hair and bemoaned the fact that I will never be able to get mine to look like that.
Alex Wong/Getty Images News
Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold asked Hillary Clinton to comment on the incoming administration's policy on Somalia, which he pointed out is both about the failure of Somalia as a state and about the piracy problem that has brought Somalia back to the edges of the collective American consciousness recently. In an unusual move for a politician, Hillary Clinton didn't just say that she would have her staff reply later or try to give an answer that was full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. She told Sen. Feingold, "I have no wisdom on this," proving she had wisdom, even if she didn't have an answer.
She noted that the problems in Somalia are intractable -- so much so that her husband inherited them from his Republican predecessor and Obama will do so from his -- and that there are no easy solutions or low-hanging fruit that would enable her or the administration she will serve to snap their fingers and fix the problems easily. She plans to consult with those people, like Feingold, who have some expertise and some ideas, which is very Obama-like of her. I guess he's even got some change Clinton can believe in.
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Jr. Louisiana Sen. David Vitter -- best known for patronizing the services of the now-deceased D.C. Madam, as well as prostitutes closer to the Louisiana home he shares with his wife -- decided to take on the role of attack chihuahua on the issue of the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative. He came prepared with two posterboards about the disclosures agreed to under the Memoradum of Understanding (MOU) between the transition group and the foundation...and virtually no substantive knowledge about the foundation or the MOU that he didn't glean in a couple of cocktail-fueled conversations with Hillary detractors.
Vitter's rather nit-picky and difficult-to-follow criticisms of the disclosure agreement -- which Hillary Clinton pointed out was above and beyond anything legally required -- seemingly came down to the fact that...oh, who are we kidding. Vitter doesn't like Bill Clinton, he's suspicious of the foundation, and he was trying to do something to get a little press coverage as the first person to hurl some mud at Hillary Clinton. It was a poor prologue to Sen. Lugar's more thoughtful criticisms of what he termed the "perception problem" of taking (or continuing to take) foreign money for the programs that help poor countries buy HIV drugs.
In addition, Hillary's explanations of how the whole thing works was interrupted by Vitter, who asked committee Chairman John Kerry that her explanation of how the MOU will function and how the foundation works not come out of his question time. That was both the only time I've ever heard a senator (or a congressman) ask that a witness's answer not come out of his allotted question time and one of very few times I've ever seen John Kerry express human emotion (severe annoyance and disbelief that Vitter would ask), which would seem to confirm that Vitter was far more interested in making the 6:00 news than getting any understanding of how anything is going to work when Hillary is confirmed as secretary of state.
Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images
9:50. "President" Putin of Russia...oops. [Lugar]
10:06. Kerry nominates Chelsea Clinton as "intern for a day" on the committee.
10:24. Also, Sudan is most definitely not on the Human Rights Council. Clinton was referring to the old "Commission," since replaced by the Council, which, notably, has not elected some of the human rights abusers (e.g. Belarus, Sri Lanka) that have applied. Hopefully later Clinton will announce a reversal of Bush's decision not to join the Council and have an active role in shaping it.
10:37. Clinton says we need to aid the billion people in the world living on less than two dollars a day. Yes, except there are actually almost two billion of them. One billion live on less than one dollar a day.
11:23. Relief. Clinton pronounces it "Lugar" not "Lugaarrr" as before. Sec. of State, not Somali pirate in disguise.
California Sen. Barbara Boxer led off her line of questioning with what was arguably one of the most interesting parts of the hearing so far -- a question about how Hillary Clinton would translate her long-standing commitment to international women's issues to substantive action at the State Department. Boxer cited one of Nicholas Kristof's recent columns about sex trafficking in Cambodia (which I'm sure you've read already!) and the apparent increase in acid attacks on women in South Asia, among other problems.
Although much of Hillary Clinton's testimony, and even her answers, have been vetted by the Obama administration -- which doesn't necessarily make for particularly heartfelt speech -- this answer was the first time that she was really speaking from the heart. She, too, is a fan of Kristof's columns and his work in the developing world, and she thinks that there is much that she as the secretary of state and that the Department of State can do to make the world better for people who, as Boxer said, "were born female." Her commitment to and interest in international women's rights isn't just a talking point; it's obviously something about which she feels strongly and on which she clearly plans to work with a great deal of focus and vigor.
Alex Wong/Getty Images News
When I arrived at Hillary Clinton's confirmation hearing this morning, I was not surprised to see that there was a line to get in, as there often is even for hearings that don't feature a former First Lady and Senator in one. But I was surprised to see that the line didn't have a lot of be-suited lobbyists or giddy Congressional interns. As I passed the line heading for the press entrance and trying not to make eye contact, the masses seemed to be comprised mostly of Clinton fans, young and old and resoundingly female. They stood, to a person, with an air of excited anticipation despite the fact that the line was several hundred deep and the hearing about to start.
The front of the line was notably far less patient than the poor souls in the back. A harried Capitol Police officer was turning away people left and right, especially those who thought themselves important enough to skip to the front, and he was also telling a number of very disappointed interns that their Congressional IDs weren't going to get them into this one.
As another reporter and I showed our press badges and were allowed past the gatekeeper, we were the recipient of a couple of dirty looks from some out-of-towners, who clearly considered themselves VIPs and who then feigned democratic outrage that the press could get into a supposedly full hearing room and not We The People. The Capitol police officer explained that while they do endeavor to seat as many members of the public as possible, the media can actually tell more of America what is going on than the two of them would. The doors closed behind me just as they began to huff and puff again. I haven't seen them since.
The hearing room is packed with media types (including Andrea Mitchell, who ducked out early), representatives from a number of foreign embassies (many of whose reserved seats in the front two rows have remained empty), Code Pink protestors wearing signs commemorating deaths in Gaza, Hill types, and more than a few regular people, most of whom appear to be dozing off just as we hit the 2-hour-mark, and just as the questions are getting more esoteric and the answers longer. But I can't blame them for that. I would kill for an intern to get me some coffee right about now, and I'm actually interested in what is being said.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News
By most measures, this a strong opening statement from Hillary. A few highlights so far:
In Sen. Dick Lugar's opening statement, he pressed the Clinton Foundation to accept more stringent measures to ensure transparency in donations it receives. He even suggested that the foundation should "forswear new foreign contributions" once Hillary assumes her position. Here is Lugar on the risks that exist even if the foundation agrees to extraordinary transparency:
[T]he Clinton Foundation exists as a temptation for any foreign entity or government that believes it could curry favor through a donation. It also sets up potential problems with any action taken by the secretary of state in relation to foreign givers or their countries. The nature of the Secretary of State post makes recusal from specific policy decisions almost impossible, since even localized U.S. foreign policy activities can ripple across countries and continents. … The bottom line is that even well intentioned foreign donations carry risks for U.S. foreign policy.
Hillary has always inspired as much devotion on the left as she has wild-eyed ranting/irrational hatred on the right. But her nearly-successful run for the Democratic presidential nomination brought her a new group of dedicated fans, as well as a cheering section that all but abandoned real support of her and her political views once the race was over.
For those people, some of whom adopted the acronym P.U.M.A. (or Party Unity My A** in response to calls by Democrats -- including Hillary -- to come together to elect Barack Obama), there is no president who could be better than Hillary, no vice presidential pick that wasn't a slight. Some of them would even call the secretary of state slot a "safe, expected place for a woman to be," in order to denigrate the selection of yet another woman for the position, even if that woman is Hillary Clinton.
For them, calling Barack Obama a feminist -- as this month's Ms. cover does -- is a slap in the face to everything they believe in, which, at this point, has little to do with the policies and principles for which Hillary has fought much of her political life. For many of these supposed supporters, their support for Hillary stopped being about Hillary or her political future many months ago. And as many of them are political neophytes, tomorrow's hearing will be about who abused their supposed idol or asked her too-tough questions or proved themselves to be sexist by asking her questions as though - gasp - she were any other nominee for the position.
The rest of her supporters, well, they'll be checking out her suit and her hair and listening to what she has to say about Gaza, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Darfur, Russia, Georgia, 3 AM phone calls and all the rest of it. And we'll be here tomorrow to help with that.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images News
Over at FP's Shadow Government blog, members of the loyal opposition have put together a great list of questions they hope to hear tomorrow. A few standouts:
10. Does Russia belong in the G-8?
12. Is Darfur a genocide? Will the Obama administration send U.S. troops to Darfur?
22. Can you name three or four prominent foreign policies of the Bush administration that you think were wise and that you will seek to continue under President Obama's tenure?
33. It has been over seven years since the 9/11 attacks. The United States has launched a "global war on terror" and initiated a number of policies and programs around the world. How do you assess the U.S. response seven years on? What have been the major accomplishments? What have been the major shortcomings?
44. We have an explosive situation on our southern border. Mexico's economy is starting to falter, while the government is facing a major drug-driven insurrection. What initiatives would you recommend vis-à-vis Mexico?
46. Would you talk to Hamas? To Hezbollah? To Iran?
The Bill Issue promises to be the biggest potential land mine at tomorrow's hearing. Yesterday, the NYT editorial board strongly encouraged the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to ask more than softball questions when it comes to Bill's foundation:
The roster of donors to Mr. Clinton’s presidential library and global foundation enterprises include million-dollar-plus contributions from governments in the Middle East, tycoons from India, Nigeria, Ukraine and Canada, and international figures with interests in the policies Mrs. Clinton will be helping to write and carry out.
The five-page accord signed by representatives of Mr. Clinton and Mr. Obama could use tightening. For example, the wording calls for disclosure of “new contributors” to Clinton Foundation programs. It does not necessarily require disclosing the size of their gifts or the dates they were made. Disclosure of Mr. Clinton’s charitable fund-raising and relevant private fees should be done monthly, or at least quarterly, not just once a year.The overarching principle should be prompt disclosure of the amount and source of all payments to any Clinton charity or to Mr. Clinton personally by any person or entity with a political or economic interest, real or perceived, in State Department decisions. Ideally, the White House counsel’s office would be assigned a larger role than envisioned in screening Mr. Clinton’s speaking and consulting deals before any check is received.
Clinton may get a last-minute legislative hurrah on her way out of the Senate. Two controversial bills on equal pay for women -- the Ledbetter Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act, the latter of which is sponsored by Hillary -- have been reintroduced and are expected to easily pass in the House today. The Ledbetter bill, which reverses a Supreme Court decision, is designed to allow employees who learn of pay disparities after the fact a longer window to file formal complaints. The Paycheck Fairness bill allows employees who face salary discrimination the ability to file class-action suits and increases penalties for companies with gender pay gaps.
Both bills aren't popular with the business community and probably face a tougher time in the Senate. But they could be a satisfying capstone to Hillary's Senate career if they find their way into the lawbooks.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images News
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are suggesting that Hillary will have an easy go of it next week during her confirmation hearing. From the AP:
I think she's a known commodity. She's been tested in a lot of ways," said Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "She expresses herself well, and I don't think she'll make any rookie mistakes." [...]
The lack of contention surrounding Clinton's nomination so far is at least in part a result of Senate protocol. Senators are generally willing to allow an incoming president to pick his Cabinet without too much interference.
They also tend to give a certain amount of leeway to one of their own; Clinton spent eight years as the junior senator from New York. While Republicans did not agree with her on such big-ticket political issues as health care and the economy, most GOP senators believe she worked well with them on day-to-day matters, according to Republican aides.
The vote on Hillary will probably take place later in the week, which puts the pressure on NY Gov. David Paterson to decide on her replacement.
Hillary's confirmation hearing hasn't yet been scheduled, but Tom Daschle's is Thursday and Eric Holder's is next week, so an announcement could come any day now.
As a member of the Armed Services Committee, Hillary took part in a number of high-profile confirmation hearings in the past few years, including Gates for Defense and Petraeus when he took over command in Iraq and later Central Command.
So, what would Hillary ask herself if she were behind the dais and not at the table? I've been browsing transcripts of hearings this afternoon to see if any insights can be gleaned. (She'll appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and will no doubt be delighted to be spared former committee chairman Joe Biden's loquacity.)
Clinton is just as guilty as any other senator of the habit of not using the allotted time to ask actual questions. (I don't think she asked Petraeus a single question when he was confirmed for Iraq command back in January 2007.) But there are a few questions she did ask that she might see offered back to her, in some shape or form:
And I would love to hear this one repeated back to her, which she also asked Gates:
[D]o you believe the president, the vice president and the existing secretary of defense are intelligent men?"
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Madam Secretary is an obsessive blog about all things Hillary Clinton. From her policies to her pantsuits, Madam Secretary delivers up-to-the-minute news, analysis, and gossip about America's top diplomat.