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July 14th, 2009
06:26 AM ET

Obama's other wife – by Tina Brown

President Barack Obama (L) and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (2R) converse while having traditional Russian tea on a terrace at Putin's residence outside Moscow on July 7, 2009.
President Barack Obama (L) and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (2R) converse while having traditional Russian tea on a terrace at Putin's residence outside Moscow on July 7, 2009.

By Tina Brown
The Daily Beast

Left behind on major presidential trips, overruled in choosing her own staff—Hillary Clinton is the invisible woman at State. But Obama's brilliant foreign-policy spouse may not stay silent forever.

It’s time for Barack Obama to let Hillary Clinton take off her burqa.

Consider the president’s Moscow trip a week ago. In a cozy scene at Vladimir Putin’s dacha, the boys enjoyed traditional Russian tea and breakfast on a terrace. Sitting on Putin’s right was the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov. Where was Lavrov’s counterpart? She was back home, left there with a broken elbow to receive a visit from the ousted Honduran president, José Manuel Zelaya.

It becomes clearer by the day how cleverly Obama checkmated both Clintons by putting Hillary in the topmost Cabinet job.

Same thing last month, when the president stopped off to see King Abdullah en route to his oratorical home run in Cairo: no Hillary. Nor was there any sign of Middle East envoy George Mitchell or anyone else from the State Department on the Saudi leg of the trip, even though its main mission was to recruit Abdullah into a peace-making partnership with Israel. The king told Obama no, by the way, so it’s fair to ask whether the president could have used a bit more Foggy Bottom prep work. Jim Hoagland noted in Sunday’s Washington Post that the White House’s leak of Obama’s decision to send an ambassador to Syria took Clinton’s State Department by surprise and trumped State’s efforts to squeeze another concession or two out of Damascus first.

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Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Joane Johnson

    Joane: We can sense your frustration. But, rise above the foolishness. Racism is ever-present, and we know that the standards are different for people, which is unfair. For example, right now, for one of the most qualified candidates for the Supreme Court, we see a non-diverse panel with not a 10th of the candidate's experience, raking her over the coals; evaluating whether she should become the next Supreme Court Justice.

    However, insults don't solve problems. Dialogue and discussion aid in the creating and executing a solution to existing problems–even age old problems such as racial disparities, racism, and discrimination.

    Never stoop to calling names; Show others how intelligent you are by not stooping to their unresearched, unwarranted, and ignorance. And perhaps, those dwelling in their own ignorance will realize how their ignorance is a blockade, and will follow you (or find themselves) in search of knowledge and a better way.

    July 14, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  2. PR

    Your statement is rather ignorant. Since when did the State Department act autonomously, without oversight and involvement from the Administration? Why are we setting, or even suggesting, starting a new precedent here?

    Hillary Clinton is not the President! And beyond this, it's not about who is in the spotlight. It's about working together, rallying behind our President, and helping to accomplish the mission of becoming a better nation. When we allow the "spot lights" and our desires for "spot lights" to perish, we can move beyond our own self interests!

    July 14, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  3. Disappointed Reader (Suzie)

    Bernice: "Everyone else's president"??? How so, is it the current President's fault that our global image is tainted. If you know anything about working with people, you know that you can't just force people to work with you. You have to establish some sort of bond/level ground, so that you (as a group) can accomoplish the common mission. It's not the President's fault that he inherited such poor international relationships and blemished image. Remember, the previous president rushed to war (2 wars) without authorization from the United Nation's Security Council. Remember, the previous president gave the world an Ultimatum ("either you are with us or against us") instead of encouraging/enticing the world to embrace our perspectives and ideas–and embracing others. And what's even scarier, is that we could have had a President & Vice President Team that embraced war; had obviously no foreign relations experience; and whom thought that foreign relations stemmed from one's close proximity (distance) to another nation. Now, that's scary!

    July 14, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  4. Disappointed Reader (Suzie)

    Jim: That's a very ignorant comment!

    July 14, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  5. Disappointed Reader (Suzie)

    Have we no respect for the President? Obama is the President. He inherited a mess, years of a mess: a defunct and broken health care system; 2 wars amassing billions of dollars; an economy in shreds; and etceteras. He has been president for less than 7 months. The time alone, 7 months, is not enough to judge whether one is a competent as a President, and it most certainly is not long enough to gauge the effectiveness of a President's Administration.

    What happened to respect, understanding? And why is he "penalized"/lashed for being blessed with wisdom, intelligence, and the ability to articulate his thoughts to all?

    With all of the foolish/ignorant and unwarranted comments in this forum one must wonder do we reside in the "Land of Opportunity and Chances" or some other country where immediate "rush to judgement" is hailed??????????????????

    "Change & Progress take time."–Anonymous

    July 14, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  6. Joane Johnson

    The country has been bankrupt since the Clinton surplus disappeared. Get a grip. As for 'other wife'. Was Albright a second wife? Wright another wife? I won't ask or tell with Powell. Acorn counted nothing. Get the facts right. Some of us have a brain. Some of you are the most ignorant imbeciles known to man. You said nothing when cheney and co. helped to engineer this bogus war and now as usual, the black man has to clean up after you and get the blame. Either name a freind or relative 'over there' or go and see what yours are up to. Why don't you wake up!! Trust Palin? Are you an imbecile? Yes, I guess you are. If anyone black has her pedigree or lack of we would have been called ghetto gang bangers and not worthy of any office. Hypocrisy, thy name is white people.

    July 14, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  7. jim vicalvi

    The Billary's are two of the most egotistical, arrogant, perverted people not only in the USA but in the world. But, Hillary is the worst of the two. Everyone knows which head slick willie thinks with and she was the one actually making all of the decisions. They left the American taxpayer holding the bag for many millions of $ and now they are worth many millions. PAYBACK. Now, Dubya and his sidekick Cheny are also getting their payback from the oil companies. At least they are quieter in doing it. The Billary's still have their sticky fingers in the cookie jar. They should send them over to Africa with that traitor goober farmer as their driver. I'm sure that Obummer would put a good word in for them with some of his friends and relatives over there.

    July 14, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  8. Bernice

    PR, and what would that matter in the end? He now has his good buddies ACORN to count the votes for him! Maybe this is why he is in office to begin with! Acorn just counted the voted where the newest senator was JUST voted in...acording to ACORN! The people however, disagreed! So do I. Acorn should NOT be in charge of ANYTHING! They are out for thier interests, which are so very ANTI-AMERICAN! We need to shut the Govt money flowing into this horrible foundation! Why are they here? They are here removing our country from us! Buish had not much to do with the financial problems today! He just get blamed! U are all being misled! Opec had alot to do with the fall of the financial institutions. So did ACORN! Demanding the banks to give those loans to the minorities and the poor people who could not have afforded it. It is just easier to blame the Bush admin. That way he got voted in! We have been had! Now we are being robbed! We need to listen to Palin... LISTEN! We will lose our rights and freedoms if we do not! Please educate yourselves! I really do not wish to become communist! Do you? If not, CHANGE THIS! If Acorn did not count the votes, maybe Hillary did win. I trust ACORN.....not one ounce! WAKE UP AMERICANS! Before it is much too late!

    July 14, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  9. Bernice

    PR, and what would that matter in the end? He now has his good buddies ACORN to count the votes for him! Maybe this is why he is in office to begin with! Acorn just counted the voted where the newest senator was JUST voted in...acording to ACORN! The people however, disagreed! So do I. Acorn should NOT be in charge of ANYTHING! They are out for thier interests, which are so very ANTI-AMERICAN! We need to shut the Govt money flowing into this horrible foundation! Why are they here? They are here removing our country from us! Buish had not much to do with the financial problems today! He just get blamed! U are all being misled! Opec had alot to do with the fall of the financial institutions. So did ACORN! Demanding the banks to give those loans to the minorities and the poor people who could not have afforded it. It is just easier to blame the Bush admin. That way he got voted in! We have been had! Now we are being robbed! We need to listen to Palin... LISTEN! We will lose our rights and freedoms if we do not! Please educate yourselves! I really do not wish to become communist! Do you? If not, CHANGE THIS!

    July 14, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  10. norman hart

    obama is a good talker, a terrible president that is going to bankrupt our country.
    norman hart

    July 14, 2009 at 9:13 am |
  11. Wendy

    Hillary should have been running the show in the first place, period.

    July 14, 2009 at 9:09 am |
  12. Amber Krutak

    It's all just politics. I am not concerned with her press coverage or what trips she goes on. I am sure if she feels the need to visit a country she can hop on a plane and go visit. So far both seem to be doing their jobs with a decent amount of effectiveness, which in politics I am happy with.

    July 14, 2009 at 8:37 am |
  13. PR

    I hope President Obama doesn't trip himself up in thinking that the American Public is dense and Hillary's supporters are not keeping a close eye on him and how he treats her because the same 18 million people are still here and many of them are still women.

    I would suggest that he removes his hand from Secretary of State Clinton's Larynx and treat her with the respect she deserves or some of us will be forced to help Sarah Palin very soon as she doesn't support him at all.

    I supported Obama because of Hillary's position but now I'm thinking that he thinks he's smarter than he really is also, never forget that this is "Politics" and there is a reason for the cliche' "Politics" make strange bedfellows.

    Also, his negative, sneaky actions can come back to bite him where he not only sits but walks.

    July 14, 2009 at 7:45 am |
  14. Bernice

    Larry, and please take Obama with them! He looks more like everyone elses president in the world, NOT OURS! All of his decisions are quite destructive to our country and our way of life. By the way, Obama does not want oNE WORD from Hilary!! When will she realize that?? She was a puppet being used to keep her in sight and under his control! If I were her, I would resign and go off like Palin and stir up the public on what he is actually doing tour country!! She needs to stand up for herself, know that she was seriously used and manipulated( which he seems very good at), and fight to GET BACK OUR COUNTRY! Independents can do a much better job than this!!

    July 14, 2009 at 7:44 am |
  15. Bernice

    Larry, and please take Obama with them! He looks more like everyone elses president in the world, NOT OURS! All of his decisions are quite destructive to our country and our way of life.

    July 14, 2009 at 7:40 am |
  16. Larry

    I'm not a fan of the Clintons' and I didn't understand Hillary's appointment to Secretary of State other than as a consolation prize for losing the Democratic nomination.

    What many people don't understand is that it was Bill Clinton who brought on our financial meltown. His easing of the banking regulations in the '90's allowed instability and greed to prosper in the financial system. His approval of NAFTA sent 5 million good paying jobs out of this country between 2000 and 2007.

    When Clinton left office he was $10 million in debt for lawyer fees over his Impeachment. Now the Clintons claim $109 million net worth! In ten years! That's good work if you can find it, and also very suspicious.

    Clinton has been given an Ambassadorship to Haiti. I wish he and Hillary would go there, and stay!

    July 14, 2009 at 7:25 am |
  17. Cindy

    Yes, apparently. I only said it in another way. Thanks.

    July 14, 2009 at 7:04 am |
  18. Cindy

    Ms. Brown: Obama's other wife? Please be reasonable. Hillary Clinton is her own person. She can speak for herself, thank you. Please give us responsible comments.

    July 14, 2009 at 6:55 am |
  19. ronald

    Never underestimate Hillary. She may appear to be wearing a burqa but she is running as a tag team.
    Her intelligence shall achieve what all past failures have only been delayed by the past failures of Condolezza Rice.
    Condolezza Rice was only good for taking photo ops.
    Hillary can create a good positive portrait that history will judge.

    You will see as Washington and Syria resume diplomatic relations,the return of Golan Heights from Isreal to Syria shall become achieved by help from Jimmy Carter,since he about the only American ex-President whom can tell what others fear to not discuss, whom is capable of talking the talk and can walk the walk,Jimmy Carter will achieve peace between both Fatah and Hamas returning together as one Palestine administration.
    One last thought, do not become surprised when you at CNN discover that the captured Isreali soldier that was ambushed along time ago is provided to safety to Jimmy Carter for his safe return to Isreal.
    That event alone will mask the peace accords when the Isreali populace embraces peace and tells their Nothingyahoo to walk the walk towards peace.

    Hillary may appear naive to some,but to compare herself to wearing a burqa will one day reveal that the only person wearing a burqa will be that of King Abdullah.
    as for King Abdullah, his days of helping the people of Palestine are well overdue and probally will mean less today than had he done anything earlier when he should have helped the people of Palestine.

    July 14, 2009 at 6:53 am |