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In honour of American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to this region, I will take a moment to refer you to various expressions of Hillz-buzz that’s out there at the moment.

Hillary Clinton (ISRAEL OUT) Israeli President Shimon Peres (R) and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton kiss after a joint press conference on July 16, 2012 in Jerusalem, Israel. Clinton is in Israel to discuss diplomacy with Iran, Syria and Egypt in addition to peace talks regarding the Middle East.

(Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images Europe)


But first a confession: I am not enamoured by Hillary’s politics. But I do find myself liking her as a role model of a capable woman doing her thing. And we need all the role models we can get… Also, Clinton has made a point to always meet with women’s groups and grassroots when she travelled as a Secretary of State and that approach to empowerment and bringing about change is something I appreciate very much. (a bit of fluff here)

Okay, back to the order of the day: Politics and world peace.

Part of Clinton’s visit to Israel was the issue of Iran. As David Horowitz points out in his analysis (The Times of Israel, July 15, 2012)

But there is one great unspoken secret at the complicated heart of this highly sensitive relationship between two true allies facing what, for one of them — the weaker and more immediately threatened one — is a potentially existential danger: There is no circumstance, absolutely no circumstance whatsoever, in which the United States will empathize with an Israeli decision to strike alone at Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Which no doubt was emphasised again during this visit. The degree of coordination between Washington and Jerusalem regarding Iran seems to be much higher than most assume, which is the good news. The bad news is that IMNSHO the situation with the Iranian nuclear programme is at a dangerous stalemate (see previous blog posts tagged #Iran)

Now, beyond the lack of world peace, AP’s spin on Clinton’s visit (Associated Press, July 16 2012) is this not-so-zingy-zinger:

Clinton hasn’t visited Israel since September 2010. With little to show for U.S. efforts on a two-state peace agreement and a hectic schedule before she steps down as secretary of state next year, it is unlikely she’ll return. Clinton has said she would leave the post, even if Obama wins a second term.

But this brings us from the stage of actual world politics and over to the New York Times’ feature article from June which is a good read: Hillary Clinton’s Last Tour as a Rock-Star Diplomat (NYT, June 27 2012)

What has been most striking about Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state is at once how suited for the job she has proved to be and how improbable it once seemed, even to her. “Not in a million years,” she replied by e-mail in November 2008 when her political aide Philippe Reines first told her that President-elect Barack Obama was considering her appointment, despite having derided her experience in foreign affairs as first lady during the campaign.

The article then goes on to detail her diplomatic approach and political high-points. It’s an interesting read!

Such as the war in Libya:

It was Obama, not Clinton, who led the country into the war, though it was left to Clinton and Susan Rice to win enough votes at the United Nations Security Council and to persuade allies like Britain and France that a no-fly zone meant more than a limited intervention.

Obviously, the question is — what will Hillary do once Obama’s first term ends?

Some American TV- writers seem to have an idea…NYT’s article Madam Secretary’s Oval Office Ambitionswhich informed me of a brand new political drama thing airing in the US:

REMEMBER those die-hard Hillary Rodham Clinton supporters? The ones who donned “Hillary” buttons and waved placards long after it was clear Barack Obama had sealed the deal?

Now, imagine if one of those Hill-raisers, as they were known during the 2008 campaign, was also one of Hollywood’s most prolific television writers.

What’s is about?

I wondered and found the review of the first episode over at WSJ ( ‘Political Animals’ Series Premiere, Washington Street Journal, July 15, 2012)

“Elaine Barrish Hammond (three names, just like Hillary Rodham Clinton, get it?) is a former first lady with a fondness for pantsuits who has a philandering but politically popular husband. In a bid to make her own national political mark (she’s also a former governor, shades of Sarah Palin), she runs for president, loses the nomination fight, and accepts the consolation prize of Secretary of State.” (from WJS’ re-cap)

Okay, so I am not sure that would count as FICTION in Europe…seriously. But British “The Telegraph” seems content enough:

This is a show about a powerful woman’s travails in the male power world of Washington. And what better person to base it on than a player who has survived so cannily for so long.

So while we wait to fall properly in love with Sorkin’s The Newsroom, perhaps Political Animals will do for some politicy-geek watching. And if Clinton ends up running for President of the US, i’ll re-tag this post in “Life imitating Art.”

If this is all ready much too American-centric for you, there’s European Female Politician Appreciation going on over at this crazy tumblr: