I imagine I was not the only Hillary follower who was taken aback to see the very business-like woman pictured here in Lisbon last week with our Mme. Secretary identified as France’s Foreign Minister. It came as a surprise that Bernard Kouchner no longer occupied that post. He had developed a cozy enough relationship with Mme. Secretary as to have wormed his way into my heart. So my first reaction was, I have to admit, disappointment that I would no longer be seeing him in bilaterals with Mme. Secretary.
Every once in awhile, instead of having to call somebody on a slight or attack on Hillary or one of her constitutent populations, we have something pleasant to cheer about or some kind of milestone to celebrate here at DeHoS. So, after I recovered from my initial shock and nostalgia for Bernard, I came to realize that with the face of European diplomacy suddenly including more lipstick , the nature of Mme. Secretary’s diplomacy undergoes an interesting shift from the flirtatious smart power we have seen with the men, to the power of sisterhood we now see with France, Spain, Denmark, and South Africa among others. (Now do not all go jumping all over me for saying she flirts, because she does. It is an established fact, and I find nothing whatsoever wrong with it.)
This morning’s briefs from Foreign Policy Magazine include an interesting profile of France’s new FM Michèle Alliot-Marie, affectionately known as MAM. There appear to be a number of similarities with our Homegirl-in-Chief. She has a rugby background. Hillary’s background is baseball. She plays on her President’s team rather than forging policy herself. And she is the kind of powerhouse who can and has headed up other ministries, as FP puts it, a “ministerial grand slam,” a talent HRC possesses even if it has never been tested. Bill Clinton has been quoted as remarking that she could fill any cabinet post when he first entered the White House, and Bob Gates attested recently that of course she could run the Pentagon, but he likes the way she uses her diplomatic skills.
So, thanks to Foreign Policy, meet HRC’s new French counterpart, MAM, Sarkozy’s Iron Lady!
Update: February 27, 2011: She lasted three months. She resigned this morning. Evidently, only a month or so at this post and she caused a scandal by suggesting the French send riot police while she was vacationing in Tunisia during the revolution there. No, she was not a Hillary Rodham Clinton. Not at all!