She talked chickens with female farmers in Kenya. She listened to the excruciating stories of rape victims in war-torn eastern Congo. And in South Africa, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited a housing project built by poor women, where she danced with a choir that was singing her name.These are worthy things, but speaking of women's issues, this woman, Hillary Clinton, has been subordinated.
Clinton’s seven-country trip to Africa, which ends today, has sent the clearest signal yet that she intends to make women’s rights one of her signature issues and a higher priority than ever before in American diplomacy.
Clinton’s goals include pressing governments to crack down on sexual abuse and retooling US aid programs to put more emphasis on women.
Clinton isn’t the first female secretary of state, but neither of her predecessors had her impact abroad as a sort of pop feminist icon....And what now is forcing her to take a lower profile? Condoleezza Rice didn't pay special attention to women's issues because she took on the traditional work of the Secretary of State. Why is Hillary Clinton going back to the traditional work of the First Lady, work that she didn't originally want to be relegated to when she was First Lady, but that she retreated to after her work on health care reform collapsed?
Clinton mentioned “women’’ or “woman’’ at least 450 times in public comments in her first five months, twice as much as her predecessor, Condoleezza Rice.
Clinton’s interest in global women’s issues is deeply personal, a mission she adopted when her husband was in the White House after the stinging defeat of her health care policy forced her to take a lower profile.
And why bring up the fact that Condoleezza Rice didn't say "woman" and "women" a lot in her speeches and not compare Madeleine Albright too? I think we know the answer. The Boston Globe is straining to put Hillary in a good light, as she is consigned to foreign affairs work that does not involve important American interests. She's doing "women's work," unlike Albright and Rice, and that makes her look inferior. Quick! How can we make that seem superior? Compare her to bad old Condi Rice, who didn't spend her time with female chicken farmers and rape victims. Doesn't that make it look like a step up? No, it's a big step down, and Hillary knows it.
Obama is hogging all the glory, while Hillary is left with the hens. She know it and it's irksome. Look how pissed she is:
At least the collapse of health care reform will fall on Obama this time. I wonder how Hillary feels about that? I think she feels deeply gratified. I think she feels like running for President. In 2012? Is there a path? When she's sitting there in her tight blue pantsuit, panting in the heat of the Congo, where it seems somebody wants only to know what her husband — her infuriatingly charismatic husband — thinks, she's all prickly and ready to snap — quite aptly! — the gears are turning in that head — that don't-tell-me-I'm-ill-coifed head — and she's trying to figure out the way to oust Obama from her rightful place, the presidency.
Let's see: 1. Health care reform collapses, 2. Obama takes the blame for that and other things, 3. His popularity plumments, 4. Some G.O.P. star rises, 5. The Democrats get desperate for a new star of their own, and 6. That star is me! First woman President! Hello! But wait! Here I am in Africa, encouraging female farmers and consoling rape victims. I'm being marginalized, marginalized as a woman — with women. It's so unfair. My plan requires a major achievement or 2 before I resign and mount my new campaign. But I'm penned in and subordinated in Africa — Obama's homeland (in his dreams) — where major achievements are not possible and I'm looking like a First Lady — a used-up First Lady from the past.