The hallmark of Hillary’s tenure as America’s top diplomat has hardly been robotic precision. It has instead been a curious propensity for public statements that require amendment, clarification, and implicit retraction--as illustrated, most recently, by comments she made about Israeli settlement policy that reportedly baffled even her own aides. Perhaps because she is a smart and independent-minded woman, Hillary has taken a self-consciously blunt-speaking approach to her job and shows no sign of apologizing for it. “She’s candid,” says State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley. “And, if you look at the response she’s received around the world, I think most people appreciate it.” But it’s not a style in keeping with a White House that generally demands complete message control. For a president who hates drama, Barack Obama has installed a secretary of state who keeps creating it.
Her unwitting (I assume) gift to Netanyahu is part of my column this week. Sucking up to Israelis is a habit that some may find hard to kick.