Ben Smith compiles some previews of what is being billed as a major speech from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tomorrow:
“She is bringing the concept of ‘it takes a village’ to foreign policy,” said Brookings Institution President Strobe Talbott, invoking the title of a well-received book that Clinton wrote while her husband was in the White House.
“She thought it was a good time to try to give a framing speech to take some perspective, talk about what we have been doing, what we plan to do – the administration and her as secretary – and how these issues fit together as part of a larger strategy,” said an administration official familiar with the draft speech, who said it would tour a breakneck half-year’s diplomatic efforts everywhere from Iran to North Korea, Iraq, Pakistan, and the Middle East.
“It’s an opportunity to take a step back and talk about how this all fits together,” the official said.
The speech will include “strong discussion of development and a forward-looking overview of how we think about U.S. relations with [and] management of the great powers in a way that gets more comprehensive than what they are doing on this or that crisis,” said another Democratic foreign policy official.
I think everyone will welcome this kind of speech from Clinton, as it will be enlightening to hear her give the kind of big picture worldview that we’ve heard President Obama give in his major speeches in Cairo, Russia, and Ghana. But it will be unfortunate if the speech is assessed through the lens of the rather petty debate that has emerged over whether or not there is some kind of “rift” between Clinton and Obama. She is not giving the speech to enhance her own prominence; that it will do so, or that it may appear that way, is only a function of Clinton’s undeniably large media personality. I don’t remember too many whisperings going around if Condoleezza Rice hadn’t given a big speech in a while.
(image from flickr user kakissel under a Creative Commons license)