Thursday, January 22, 2009

Clinton's First Day

I wonder if you would believe me if I told you I went in to work at 8:30 this morning, even though I didn't have to be there until 1:30 this afternoon, just so I could tell you about Secretary Clinton's arrival.

I didn't think so.

The truth is, I am a geek and I am geekishly loyal to the Department. So I really wanted to be there.

I wasn't the only one.

The C Street entrance to Main State was PACKED, and if you have been there, you know it is not an ideal place for crowds. I was way in the back, behind the glass barracades, and I couldn't see her when she walked in. But you would have thought a rock star had entered the building. A new cheer went up each time she took a few steps so a new section of the crowd could see her.
She stood on the steps so she could be seen, and she made some short, really nice remarks. She said that foreign policy is a three-legged stool, with the legs being defense, diplomacy and development. And that diplomacy and development belonged to us, and she and the President planned to make those legs strong again.

She said that she doesn't wake up each morning thinking only of the threats we face, though they are real and serious. She said she also wakes up each morning thinking about who we are and what we can do. She said it wouldn't be easy, but that if it was easy, anyone could do it and we wouldn't need all the smart and talented professionals of the foreign service. She said she intended to hear us, and that while our individual views might not make it into foreign policy, she liked a good debate and that our policy would be stronger for it. She said when she referred to smart power and smart diplomacy, she was talking about us.

When she finished, she walked the long way through the crowd, shaking hands with a lot of the people there. Me included. My spot at the back of the room turned out to be a pretty good one.

And really I did it all for you.


DS said...

Thanks for doing this Digger, much appreciated. I linked to you here:

Alison said...

Aw, I love this! she was always equally gracious when I met her during her campaign.

Omar said...

Thanks for the pictures! I had to watch it on BNET because there was no where to stand in the lobby!

Steve said...

What an incredible contrast! I've linked to you here: