Hillary Devoted Only a Few Sentences to Her Tenure as Sec of State in Re-Launch Speech


At Hillary Clinton’s re-launch in New York over the weekend, she delivered a 4,600 word speech which barely mentioned her four years as Secretary of State.

The framework of the speech included a section which walked through Hillary’s career, each paragraph advancing the story chronologically. Here’s how that section looked in skeleton form:

  • As a young girl…
  • My first job out of law school…
  • As a leader of the Legal Services Corporation…
  • In Arkansas…
  • As Senator…

And that’s where it stops. Instead of a paragraph about Hillary’s four years as Secretary of State, the speech meanders into policies she plans to advance as President and then to the four promises she intends to make to voters.

Eventually, Hillary gets to promise number three, which is to maintain America’s “leadership for peace, security, and prosperity.” At this point it would definitely be odd for Hillary not to mention her role as Secretary. She does do so eventually, but only after returning to her role as Senator for New York.

When Hillary finally turns to her tenure as Secretary, she offers just two brief sentences describing her accomplishments. “I’ve stood up to adversaries like Putin and reinforced allies like Israel. I was in the Situation Room on the day we got bin Laden,” she says.

She goes on to offers some generic observations any candidate, including one with limited foreign policy experience, might make. For instance, Hillary says, “There are a lot of trouble spots in the world, but there’s a lot of good news out there too.” It’s pretty vague stuff.

Toward the end of the speech, Hillary does mention her role as Secretary once more, but this time as part of a list. After saying she will always, “seek common ground with friend and opponent alike,” Hillary says:

That’s something I did as Senator and Secretary of State — whether it was working with Republicans to expand health care for children and for our National Guard, or improve our foster care and adoption system, or pass a treaty to reduce the number of Russian nuclear warheads that could threaten our cities — and it’s something I will always do as your President.

This downplaying of her four years in one of the top jobs in Washington seems to be intentional. Last week, before the speech in New York, her campaign put out a five minute video which also offered a timeline of her accomplishments. The video devoted 40 seconds to her four years as Secretary, but half of that time was to her decision to take the job from her former rival, Barack Obama. Another ten seconds was devoted to her decision to extend benefits to the families of gay diplomats. The only foreign policy mentioned is Hillary mending relationships with unspecified countries.

Perhaps Hillary thinks Americans don’t care about foreign policy. For whatever reason, her public statements definitely seem to be downplaying the most recent job on her resume.