Wonk’s Saturday Reads: Strictly Hillary

h/t Still4Hill

Morning, news junkies. My link dump this weekend is almost all Hillary. Enjoy.

I’ll start you off with this op-ed Hillary penned in the newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat yesterday–it’s called “There Is No Going Back in Syria”:

The Syrian people will not cease their demands for dignity and a future free from intimidation and fear. They deserve a government that respects its people, works to build a more stable and prosperous country, and doesn’t have to rely on repression at home and antagonism abroad to maintain its grip on power. They deserve a nation that is unified, democratic and a force for stability and progress. That would be good for Syria, good for the region and good for the world.

Also from Reuters… Clinton and Lavrov discuss Syria U.N. resolution.

What Did Hillary Whisper? (Insert your caption here!)

Next up, a nice and frothy link… “What Hillary Whispered — this is a fun Hillary-themed tumblr that’s been making the rounds (see The Atlantic, NY Mag, and Glittarazzi….Team Glittarazzi calls What Hillary Whispered their new favorite work distraction.)

Now for a series of more weighty links… if you missed it this past Sunday, here’s NPR’s take on Hillary’s trip to Africa: “Clinton’s Africa Tour Underscores The Power Of Women.” For more info, see:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton talks to Julia Dolly Joiner, Commissioner, Political Affairs, African Union Commission, at the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, June 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Hillary also made a speech at the African Union where she talked about empowering the women of Africa:

And finally, when it comes to economic opportunity and development, we must empower the continent’s women. The women of Africa are the hardest working women in the world. And so often – (applause) – so often what they do is not included in the formal economy, it is not measured in the GDP. And yet, if all the women in Africa, from Cairo to Cape Town, decided they would stop working for a week, the economies of Africa would collapse. (Applause.)

So let’s include half the population. Let’s treat them with dignity. Let’s give them the right and responsibility to make a contribution to the 21st century of African growth and progress. And the United States will be your partner, because we have seen what a difference it makes when women are educated, when they have access to health care, when they can start businesses, when they can get credit, when they can help support their families. So let us make sure that that remains front and center in the work we do together.

My $0.02: Unfortuntately, the US model is coming undone since women’s access to health care (and economic security) are under attack. See:

An op-ed, unsurprisingly published in the NY Post, criticized Hillary for not visiting the Congo and not delivering on a special envoy yet. Hillary did bring up the Congo in her remarks to the African Union though:

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, we remain concerned about the continued violence against women and girls and the activities of armed groups in the eastern region of the country. Every effort by the AU and UN will be necessary to help the DRC respond to these continuing security crises.

My $0.02: True, it’s words and not actions per se, but to act as if Hillary has forgotten the Congo just because she visited other areas this time is a stretch. I’m sure she’ll never forget the Congolese survivors she has met after all the outreach she has done. Not to mention the fact that Hillary’s Africa trip was cut short by all that volcanic ash this time anyway, so it’s not like she even got to say and do all that she was planning on anyway.

At least the cover art looks like Hillary.

Getting back to the power of women, but in more political terms… The UK Telegraph: “Hillary Clinton must be on the rise – she’s got her own comic.”

My $0.02: Tim Martin’s art blogging at the link isn’t really about Hillary per se, though it does give some interesting background on the maker of the Hillary comic and about socio-political cartoons in general. Nice to see Martin mention the graphic novel Persepolis. I have to say, from the glimpses I’ve gotten of Bluewater’s Hillary comic book so far, I’m not terribly impressed. Still, I take Martin’s point that “if the grinning, policy-spouting simulacra in Female Force and Political Power point even one reader in the direction of these inspiring and adventurous pieces of contemporary writing, their efforts won’t have been in vain.”

Another one about the comic — ABC News reports that the book portrays Hillary and O as friends before the primaries:

The unauthorized, full-color comic book, released last week, describes how in 2003, then-New York Sen. Clinton sat on a tarmac in a private plane, waiting impatiently for a thunderstorm to pass before taking off for Chicago, where she hoped to attend a fundraiser for Illinois state senator and Senate-hopeful Obama. After eventually making it to Chicago, she was blown away by the young politician, according to the book.

“He’s young, brainy, African-American and a terrific speaker,” the book shows Clinton telling an aide. “Just the kind of candidate that we need more of, that Bill and I have spent our lives promoting. There’s a superstar in Chicago.”

“At one point,” Maida writes, “Obama gave her a gift: a photograph of him, Michelle, and their two young daughters, Sasha and Malia. From then until she left the Senate in 2009 … even during their rivalry amid the contentious 2008 campaign … Hillary displayed it prominently in her office.”

My $0.02: Funny how that kind of material made the cut and the three pages where the Bill Clinton caricature got to express his point of view on South Carolina, etc. did not.

On a similar note… Did anyone else catch Mr. Fish lumping Hillary together with every Tom and Dick in DC?

My $0.02: It’s one thing to argue as Taylor Marsh has, that women leaders have not proven to be less hawkish than men, which is a conversation worth having, but it takes a real dick–figurative, literal, whatever–to make the Weiner scandal about Hillary needing to be afraid of people running her out of power, as Mr. Fish’s comic does.

The Clintons in Bermuda, summer of 2009. I'd say this is as good a glimpse as we've gotten of "Hillary's future."

On the neverending DC parlor game called “Hillary’s future”…. More Hillary-should-replace-Biden noise, this time on Huffpo. That is one persistent internet urban legend, Lol. And, over at wowowow, Liz Smith asks this question about Hillary: “Would she do the ‘unthinkable’ and challenge her own party’s sitting president, the man who elevated her to the position of Secretary of State?”

My $0.02: As I asked of Jonathan Alter’s profile on Hillary in the June issue of Vanity Fair, what part of Beaches and Speeches do people not understand? 1600 PA Avenue just isn’t big enough for Hillary anymore.

Incidentally, Stacy at SecyClintonBlog recently spotlighted a Guardian piece from the beginning of this year that I guess popped up again last weekend–it’s called “Clinton is proving that a feminist foreign policy is possible – and works.”

My $0.02: Hillary’s feminist foreign policy is precisely why she’s transcended the White House and has much bigger horizons ahead of her. (Be sure to click over to Stacy’s post–she chose two great photos to go along with the piece.)

Excerpt from the Guardian link:

Back in the heady days of 1970s feminism there was an argument that once women achieved political power, there would be no more war. Margaret Thatcher and her Falklands war exploded that myth, and along with it any residual notion that women might do foreign policy differently from men. Indeed, it became a credibility requirement for any women with a senior foreign or defence brief to give a wide berth to anything with a whiff of being a woman’s issue. Women had to work extra hard to look tough on the world stage. Meanwhile, women’s issues were parked in the softer brief of international development.

It is these unspoken rules that Hillary Clinton has been dismantling since becoming US secretary of state two years ago. She is the most powerful politician to advance an explicitly feminist agenda. Even in that most delicate and crucial relationship with China – on which the world’s attention will be fixed this week for the Chinese president’s visit to the US – Clinton has gone out of her way to press feminist issues. In China’s case, she has highlighted the country’s growing gender imbalance caused by the high abortion rate of female foetuses.

My extra $0.02: I’m glad the author of the article drew attention to this. Even though I was born and raised in the US, I grew up acutely aware of the Indian practice of sex selective abortions–it has always been just as important an angle of the abortion debate to me as a woman’s right to choose. That’s one of the reasons why Hillary earned my support. Her pro-choice view is grounded in a complex understanding of gender politics and iniquity around the world.

In other human rights developments on the global stage…

Yes she did...and she keeps on!

Ever the Fierce Advocate her current boss will never be, yesterday Madam Secretary put out a statement on “the first ever UN resolution on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.” From the link:

This resolution will commission the first ever UN report on the challenges that LGBT persons face around the globe and will open a broader international discussion on how to best promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons.

All over the world, people face human rights abuses and violations because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, including torture, rape, criminal sanctions, and killing. Today’s landmark resolution affirms that human rights are universal. People cannot be excluded from protection simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The United States will continue to stand up for human rights wherever there is inequality and we will seek more commitments from countries to join this important resolution.

My $0.02: It would help if America’s domestic leaders would stand up for the human rights of people here at home, too. Just sayin’.

Also from the fact sheet the State Department put out on “U.S. Accomplishments at the UN Human Rights Council’s 17th Session,” (the session concluded Friday):


The United States continues to join UN members to call attention to violence against women and girls around the world and improve international efforts to eliminate and prevent that violence. The United States strongly supported a Canadian-led resolution addressing Violence Against Women, took part in annual day discussion on addressing sexual violence against women in conflict, and responded to the report of Violence Against Women Special Rapporteur Rashida Manjoo on the United States.

My $0.02: The fact sheet also has bullet points on the LGBT resolution, internet freedom, business and human rights, and country-specific resolutions. As usual Saudi Arabia is absent from the list.

We’re about halfway-through, so if you’re not bored yet, click to read the rest:

February 2010: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with Saudi women and signed autographs at the Dar al-Hekman College in Jidda, Saudi Arabia. (AFP/Getty Images)

Speaking of our country’s silence on Saudi Arabia… The Saudi group Women 2 Drive, which has petitioned Hillary Clinton for her support, took to the streets (and the wheel!) to protest on Friday. That link goes to Stacy at SecyClintonBlog. I completely agree with Stacy’s comment that:

While Saudi Arabia is an important ally, if the U.S. wants to be taken seriously on the human rights front, particularly in light of the democracy and rights movements sweeping across the Arab world, then the government needs to say something publicly about this. I don’t think anyone expects the Obama administration to rip into Saudi Arabia and publicly embarrass them, but to fall back on the excuse of “well, we speak to them in private” really won’t cut it anymore. By not speaking out publicly, the U.S. is enabling the Saudi regime’s attempts to silence these protesters. If women in Libya, Egypt and Iran are worth a public show of support from this administration, certainly so are the brave women of Saudi Arabia.

My $0.02: I suspect attaching the Women 2 Drive push to Hillary’s name and her feminist foreign policy has given the cause more momentum than it would have had if John Kerry were Secretary of State right now.

Click to go to Peter Juul's piece at CAP... above, Saudi women board a taxi in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP/Hassan Ammar)

At ThinkProgress, Ali Gharib asks “Will Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton Draw ‘A Red Line’ And Support Women’s Right To Drive In Saudi Arabia?”

My $0.02: Gharib’s piece is a thoughtful, well-referenced, concise primer on the issue that alerted me to Peter Juul’s *excellent* recommendations on US policy and Saudi women over at the Center for American Progress. His suggestions sound entirely practical, doable, and effective, though I remain skeptical that the current Empty Suit of the United States (or future ones for that matter) will sign off on any such semblance of trying to approach consistency in how we address human rights abuses by different countries. Also, I continue to find it very revealing that most people are asking first and foremost what Secretary Clinton will do on the Saudi women front before (or even rather than) asking what President Obama will do. While I understand (imho the phenomenon points to the fact that people think Hillary is more of a changemaker), it was still nice to see Juul focus on what -the Obama Administration- will do about Saudi women for a change.

I like what Emily Rauhala at Time’s Global Spin blog had to say about Hillary’s condemnation on Thursday of rape and sexual violence as a tool of war in Libya:

To the extent that her statement gets people talking about sexual violence, or eases the stigma faced by survivors, I’m glad Clinton spoke out. I hope, too, that she’ll continue to do so, using this case to highlight the prevalence of sexual violence and its links to militarism and war. Systemic sexual violence may be taking place in Libya, but this is not a ‘Libyan’ problem — it’s a global one. And, by recognizing the common roots of violence, we’re better able to fight it.

Last month Hillary launched a public-private partnership to promote women's health through the use of mobile health technology. (Click photo for more info.) Last year, Hillary also launched the mWomen initiative...to find out more about this program, go to: mWomen.org

Alright, switching gears… here are a few Hillary “geek” items… first up, Wapo has a six-minute video up of Alec Ross, senior adviser for innovation at the U.S. Department of State, appearing on Bloomberg West to discuss how Hillary is making the U.S. more tech savvy. To quote Ross (I’ve transcribed this myself on the fly, so excuse any errors):

Hillary Clinton has brought some serious technology mojo to the conduct of America’s foreign policy. Everything from creating an entire human rights agenda around internet freedom to creating encrypted crime reporting programs in Ciudad, Juarez to a number of other breakthrough innovations, some of which you may have heard of like the Text HAITI program that we came up with which raised about 35 million bucks in two weeks for earthquake relief in Haiti.

Also check out Still4Hill’s post on Hillary Clinton’s State Department and their new 21st Century State-Apps for Travelers.

Women and Girls in Science: Click to go to Dipnote.

And, here’s a related science/tech bit that ties in to Hillary’s campaign for women as well…. This past Monday, the State Department, the National Science Foundation, and the OIC (Organisation of the Islamic Conferene) sponsored a symposium called “Changing Mindsets to Promote Women and Girls in Science.” Dipnote has more on the State Department’s agenda to “shine a light on women and girls in science” across the world. It’s a wonderful read written by Dr. Sharon Hrynkow, Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. Hrynkow notes:

This conversation matters because we are confronting major global challenges — how to overcome food insecurity, how to prevent deadly diseases, how to preserve natural resources, to name just some — and science is at the heart of the solutions. We need the best ideas from every source in order to make progress on tough problems, and that means that women must be at the scientific table. Too often, they are not. This leaves girls without role models or mentors and it deprives societies of the scientific talents and diversity of ideas that women bring to the table.

My $0.02: Let’s hear it for peace and girl geeks, especially in the Middle East! (BTW, Dipnote has a lot of great stuff up this week worth checking out if you’ve got the time, including this inspiring piece by Stacey Somsichack, a refugee’s daughter now working at the US State Department. And, look out for Luke Forgerson’s Dipnote “Week in Review” tomorrow if he posts one.)

Hillaryland odds and ends:

  • I won’t lie–the Wapo piece on Phillipe Reines earlier this week almost put me to sleep. What an insider piece of gobbledygook. If you haven’t read it or come across it by now, consider yourself lucky and go read Taylor Marsh’s anecdotes about her own experiences with Reines instead.

Caption via the WHW (What Hillary Whispered) tumblr: “Have you considered running for his seat?”

  • On a more uplifting and light-hearted note… Glitarazzi suggests that Huma should run for Congress. (“What should you do when your husband cheats on you via the Internet? Take his job, obviously.”)

On Hillary’s Agenda next week:

Brief note on Big Dawg:

  • My $0.02: The tea partier attack ad on Hahn is nothing short of an abomination. Stuff like this just proves that it was only a matter of time before the tea party’s worst elements, left to their own devices, would expose their bigotry better than anyone else can. Now all of America can see what the tea party’s “Taxed Enough Already” mantra is really about, without anyone else having to say a word. If only progressives had spent the last three years more focused on pushing the president to deliver on jobs rather than devoting the bulk of their “activism” toward obsessing about “teabaggers” who were bound to hang themselves anyway, the Democratic party would be in much better shape right now. (Of course, they could have just elected Hillary…in which case the progs would have already had Kucinich primarying her by now were she to have had the same record as Obama does on the economy and on the wars right now.)

Today in Women’s History (June 18)

Daily Graphic, v. 1, no. 81 (5 June 1873). "The Woman Who Dared" (Click image to go to the image embed at the Stanton and Anthony papers at Rutgers online.)

“The sentence of this Court,” Hunt declared, “is that you pay a fine of $100 and the costs of prosecution.”

Anthony responded, “May it please your honor, I will never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty. . . . ‘Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.'”

Hunt did not order her jailed, but released her, saying “Madam, the Court will not order you to stand committed until the fine is paid.”

Susan B. Anthony neither paid her fine nor lived to see the Nineteenth Amendment’s national enfranchisement of women in 1920. The Fourteenth Amendment was not successfully used to overturn a sex-biased law until Reed v. Reed (see page 112 of Women’s Rights on Trial), 98 years later.

Well, that’s it for me. What’s on your blogging list today?

[originally posted at Let Them Listen; crossposted at Sky Dancing and Taylor Marsh]

One Response

  1. I meant to put this in the post!

    Secretary Clinton Helps Secure Seven Additional African Nations to Join the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves:


    On the heels of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s visit to Africa, seven African nations have joined the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. The governments of Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Rwanda and Tanzania, together with the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, committed to join the public-private partnership to help save lives around the world.

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