Hillary Clinton is an advocate of something she calls “Smart Power,” which she presumably exercised during her time as Secretary of State and will, again, should she become president.
And what, exactly is “Smart Power?”
Glad you asked, says Lanny Davis, long time spear carrier (and catcher) for the Clintons. Writing in The Hill Davis explains the concept by quoting from a recent Clinton speech on Iran:
“We want to give space for diplomacy to work,” she said (soft power). “If it does not, then we can always and we will, put on additional sanctions ... and yes, we will explore every other option. And let’s be clear, every other option does remain on the table.” (hard power).
And just in case you don’t get it, Davis reduces it to simple arithmetic:
In short, soft + hard = smart
… it could be one of Clinton’s most enduring doctrines and legacies of her leadership at the State Department in the early years of the 21st century.
Barack Obama’s latest State of the Union address was a dreary, tiresome affair—which, to be fair, could be said of most such addresses by most modern presidents. The only real surprise was how he soft-pedaled the problem of inequality. Pre-speech hype had promised this would be the centerpiece theme, and it’s certainly one that has been a hobbyhorse of his Democratic party since its founding. But perhaps, on deeper reflection, we should not be so surprised that the word itself was only mentioned once.
In his latest email to supporters, President Obama bemoans his lack of political power. The email, sent today, is signed by Obama and sent to the list of Organizing for Action, his former reelection campaign group.
"Daniel," the email begins. "There is only so much I can do on my own."
Yesterday in Cape Town, South Africa, President Obama talked about bringing energy and power to the continent of Africa. Today, President Obama is expected to reveal that part of his Africa energy plan involves a soccer ball that carries an electric generator inside.
From the White House transcript of Obama's speech from yesterday:
That little American girls still yearn to be princesses only shows how little history they read. So it is too bad that The Deadly Sisterhood, which is about Italian Renaissance princesses, is not written for them. It verifies the reality of all those Disney lures: the sumptuous weddings to princes, the gorgeous dresses shot with gold and silver and embroidered with pearls, the fabulous jewels dotting their robes and entwined in their hair, and the imposing palaces laden with luxuries and lackeys.
Inside the beltway, there is a pervasive sense of impending doom. The rest of the country may not much care, but sequestration is here. According to warnings by the Obama administration, failure to avert these automatic spending cuts will lead to planes falling from the skies, bridges collapsing, federal penitentiaries moving to a voluntary self-incarceration policy, and the Jersey Shore returning to the airwaves.
There’s been an Orange Revolution in Ukraine, a Rose Revolution in Georgia, and a Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia that helped launch last year’s Arab Spring. Is democracy sweeping the globe at last? Well—not yet, according to our author, a former editor at Foreign Policy who has been doing some globe-sweeping of his own (93,000 miles, give or take) over several years spent reporting for this volume.
An anti-Occupy Wall Street movement (who call themselves "Occupy Occupy D.C.") protested bird killing wind turbines today at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. The group gathered "to highlight the threat that wind, a celebrated alternative energy source, poses to the American bird community," according to a press release sent out by the National Center for Public Policy Research, which sponsors Occupy Occupy D.C.
In 1942 George Stevens made a romantic comedy for MGM called Woman of the Year. Based on the journalist Dorothy Thompson, one of the subjects here, it concerned the obstacles to marital bliss faced by an emancipated woman and her former colleague turned husband. With Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy as the combative partners, everything turned out well.