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July 15th, 2009
02:14 PM ET

Is Secretary Clinton being back-benched?

By CNN's Jill Dougherty

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers a major foreign policy speech and some Washington political observers ask: "Is she trying to get back in the spotlight?"

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Supporters of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insist she is not being sidelined."]

Since she slipped and broke her elbow last month, the secretary has had to cancel an international trip, and some inside-the-Beltway types are reading the tea leaves. Is it another step in the process of keeping Secretary Clinton from the real foreign policy decision-making in the Obama administration?

"The Daily Beast's" Tina Brown writes: "Left behind on major presidential trips, overruled in choosing her own staff - Hillary Clinton is the invisible woman at State."

"It's time for Barack Obama to let Hillary Clinton take off her burqa," she said.

The Washington Post's Jim Hoagland said it's President Obama's inner circle, advisers such as chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and senior adviser David Axelrod, who are controlling the president's foreign policy message. He predicts "tensions will emerge instead between the close-in advisers and the Cabinet secretaries who have been chosen to sell and implement policies more than to decide them."

Clinton aides say charges that the secretary is being "back-benched" are "wholly false."

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Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. laura

    I do not think anyone can (or would) back-bench Sec. Clinton. I think she is doing her job. It is not her job to be in the limelight without the permission of her boss. It is her job to clean up the mess of foreign policy left on her desk by the Bush administration. I think she is very qualified to do it, and had probably dug herself in so deeply to her task that she does not even realize you are looking for her. I can almost hear her "whistle while she works". You know she loves nothing better than something she can really sink her teeth into!

    July 16, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  2. Bernice

    NO WAY!! The law is the law! If they lied and he was born anywhere other than the USA, that should disqualify him immediately! We NEED to follow law! Arnold S. Had to follow that, so should Obama. All presidents were checked out for qualifications!! Even Bush, and YES! He has a birth certificate! He did not have to lie about it. If Obama was NOT born here, impeach him! Not for his color, but to follow law and have a REAL AMERICAN BORN CITIZEN look out for OUR best interests!! Anyway, why would you feel it acceptable to lie just to get to the presidency seat? You should have wished to obtain it ...honestly. Hawaii is a state, but it was found that he may not have even been born in Hawaii to begin with. That would make the whole election a fraud! That would intail that MANY Federal offences had to taken place for something like this to have happened! I want CNN to keep us updated! If this did happen, it needs corrected IMMEDIATELY! We do have LAWS here, and it is time that ALL govt begins to realize this and FOLLOW THEM! Besides, you win without having to cheat! It should make you somewhat PROUD! (like you earned it)

    Bush and Clinton were born Americans! Now, was Obama really?? I smell a rat! Keep us posted CNN!

    July 16, 2009 at 8:54 am |
  3. LA

    All the Obama birth certificate deniers.....please tell me, did you see Bush's birth certificate? Did you see Clinton's birth certificate? I didn't think so. Now we have a black president, all of a sudden black people aren't natural born citizen.

    But yes, this is America, home of the free, land of equal opportunity for all right? Unless you are black. Clearly.

    It so funny, because I bet these same people voted for McCain, who was born in PANAMA!!! lol

    Only in America is Panama an American state, but Hawaii isn't.

    July 16, 2009 at 7:00 am |
  4. LA

    Are CNNs ratings down? Is that why they purposely try to stir up some faux controversies?

    July 16, 2009 at 6:43 am |
  5. Bernice

    One more note ... I have been reading lately that the pres. really may not have had a birth certificate proving citizenship as a US American citizen, after all. It may have all been a forgery and fraud against the American people just to take the White House. I read that they are appealing to the courts about this issue. CNN, if this is true, are you guys keeping a close eye on this issue?? AND, if so, can he be impeached if this were true? Could he actually go to a Federal Prison here in the states for committing federal offences by surfacing a fake ID? That is a Federal Offence, is it not? If true, He better have to face the music, like all the rest of America would have to!! He should be in jail if this ends up being a true statement! Anyone involved in the act of fraudulantly giving away our presidents seat to a non-citizen should go there with him! Please do keep us informed about this issue, cnn. Thank you for the greatly delivered news!

    July 16, 2009 at 6:22 am |
  6. Bernice

    We are NOT about to keep a hands off approach to any country at the moment, but Iceland!! Those comments are there to mislead you, friend. We will not stop butting our noses in other country's business until we have given all of the money (US taxdollars) away to these countrys!! Obama has given BILLIONS of our dollars away, for votes worldwide!! This is going to cost our children and grandchildren for ages to come! He is going to bleed us dry, and give all of our money away! As for Hillary, she is a puppet, and nothing more. As Obama has said, keep your enemies close to you!!! He then tied her hands! If I were Hillary, go for the grass roots movement! Change your ideas! Resign like Palin did, do what Palin is doing, and then join her in the effort of GETTING BACK OUR COUNTRY! Palin is one of the only ones telling the truth! That is one of the things that the demos can't stand about her. She is trying to help us, the American people, and not help herself by using them, as the demos are very good at!

    July 16, 2009 at 6:14 am |
  7. Larry

    If her "major foreign policy" speech was aimed at Iran, I read it and I seriously doubt Iran is quaking in their boots over it

    I thought we were taking a hands-off approach to Iran.

    We have dire problems in this country, and our people are gettting fed up with our interference in other countries when we can't even run our own country.

    Empty threats don't work anymore Hillary. I'm sure Iran could care less what you have to say.

    July 15, 2009 at 4:16 pm |